He dredges up memories of P.T. Barnum. His rallies are redolent of The Greatest Show on Earth, and he knows it, capitalizes upon it, and uses it to his advantage. He is chock full of stories, humor and merciless jabs at his opponents. And the people love it, crave it – stand in line for hours to be part of it.
Not since the days of the wild Louisiana Democrat known as “The Kingfish” has America witnessed such populist fervor at a political rally. Of course, Donald Trump is no Huey Long, but the people who attend his rallies are increasingly becoming a force to be reckoned with, and Democrats are petrified by the numbers, the demographics and past voting history (or lack thereof) of the people who attend the president’s campaign extravaganzas.
Who Are These People?
Let’s take the recent stop in Phoenix, Arizona, for example, where Trump Campaign Manager Brad Parscale tweeted, “Wow, Arizona! Big Phoenix rally. 67,516 Tickets, 29,990 Voters Identified (87% from AZ), 26% Didn’t Vote in 2016, 18% Democrats, Thank You Arizona. Winning Data!” Either this is a massive head fake by the president’s campaign or a frightening portent of dangerous political headwinds for the Democratic nominee – whoever that might be.
One might argue the head fake in Arizona, but what about Ohio, Kentucky, and Mississippi? Were all these phony statistics as well? Perhaps that’s too much of a stretch. Could this be part of the undercurrent that has Democrats like Chris Matthews and James Carville shaking in their boots? One would expect a sitting president to be popular within his party, and this is true of Mr. Trump. He has 95% of the GOP wrapped up. So, he’s taking his show on the road into enemy territory. Former Democratic strongholds like Michigan, Wisconsin and The Golden State are now Trump campaign venues. While he hasn’t held a large-scale event in California thus far, Trump has made five stops in La-La-Land as president. This is a statement by his people – a statement that says: “We don’t want to just win, we want to win big, and we will go into your kitchen to do it.”
The most amateur political analyst knows that it’s a small portion of the electorate that determines the outcome of an election. It’s those darn independents or those folks who didn’t show up to cast their vote last time – or members of the other party jumping ship – who get the final say.
In every one of these categories, Trump rally metrics show that American support for the president is bigger, stronger, and louder than 2016:
- Toledo, OH: 22% identified as Democrats, 21% as independents; 15% had not voted in the last four presidential contests.
- Hershey, PA: 18% of attendees were non-white.
- Milwaukee, WI: 57.9% did not have a history of voting Republican.
- Phoenix, AZ: 18% identified as Democrats, 26% didn’t vote in 2016.
Death by a Thousand Cuts
One cup of people from the other party, two teaspoons of independents, a dash of black voters, and you have one hell of a recipe for Democrat Disaster Flambé. If these statistics are a harbinger of things to come then it’s all over save the fat lady bursting into “God Bless America.”
And that, my friends, is what has the Democrats freaking out.
Read more from Leesa K. Donner.