FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver is exposing one of the unspoken truths of 2016: liberals elected Trump. Moreover, Silver’s calculations indicate certain liberals could be the key to Trump’s reelection in 2020.
To clarify, Silver theorizes that a vast majority of people he calls “socially liberal but fiscally conservative;” Americans cast ballots for Donald J. Trump. For example, 70% of social liberals who call reducing the federal budget deficit “a priority” support Trump, Silver claims.
In detail, a socially liberal fiscal conservative is a person who wants gay rights and lower taxes. Hence, such people want the government out of both their bedrooms and their bank accounts.
Meet the Liberals who elected Trump
Thus, the socially liberal but fiscally conservative President Trump (R-New York) is the perfect candidate for such people.
For instance, Trump signs tax increases and slashes regulations but never discusses sex or morality. Moreover, the thrice-married Republican ex-casino owner Trump lives the social liberals’ values.
Silver believes fiscally conservative social liberals make up just 15% of the population. However, that is enough to swing an election in today’s electoral landscape. In fact, just 107,000 votes in three states decided the 2016 presidential election, The Washington Post calculates.
Moreover, the electoral power of socially liberal fiscal conservatives is greater than their numbers suggest because of their nature. To explain, a fiscally conservative social liberal is usually, white, educated, and upper class. Thus, fiscally conservative social liberals are more likely to vote.
Will Socially Liberal Fiscal Conservative’s elect the Next President?
I think socially liberal fiscal conservatives will shape and perhaps decide the 2020 presidential election. In particular, I conclude Silver’s socially liberal fiscally conservative thesis says three things about the 2020 presidential election.
First, Trump is a stronger candidate than many of us believe. To explain, a well-educated and influential segment of the population thinks Trump represents their economic interests. Thus, socially conservative fiscal liberals will vote for the Donald against any Democrat.
Second, a socially liberal but fiscally conservative candidate; who lacks Trump’s baggage, stands a good chance in the 2020 Republican primaries. Thus, somebody like Howard Schultz, John Kasich, or Maryland Governor Larry Hogan could give the Donald a nasty surprise in March 2020. Moreover, a kinder and gentler Republican social liberal/fiscal conservative will be very competitive against any Democrat in November 2020.
Third, the centrist Democrat strategy of pursuing socially liberal fiscal conservatives is stupid. The 2016 results show fiscally conservative social liberals will choose the worst Republican over an impressive Democrat. Basically, fiscal conservatives will trust no Democrat.
Economic Interests will determine the 2020 Election
Thus if Democrats want to win in 2020, they need to pursue other voters. Therefore, a 2020 Democratic victory depends on African Americans, working-class whites, Hispanics, and younger voters.
Moreover, Trump could win by appealing to the economic interests of upper-class voters and ignoring cultural matters completely. Hence, Democrats could win by appealing to the economic interests of lower-class Americans and ignoring fiscal conservatives.
Fiscally conservative social liberals elected Trump and they are the key to his reelection. If Donald forgets that, he will not enjoy a second term.
In the final analysis, Trump’s political survival could depend on socially liberal fiscal conservatives, instead of working-class whites or evangelical Christians. Consequently, we will see some strange new political alliances form in 2020.