Although my polling is anything but scientific, representing a very specific sampling of the general voting public, the results have been the same for months now: Trump is gaining more voters than he is losing. Does this reflect a national trend?
My last poll was conducted on Twitter on Oct. 16, with this wording: "As the elections are upon us, I'll ask my standard question once more. Did you vote for Trump in 2016, and do you plan to vote for him in 2020? (Note carefully the four choices.)"
The choices were: Yes in 2016, yes in 2020. Yes in 2016, no in 2020. No in 2016, no in 2020. No in 2016, yes in 2020.
A total of 69.4% were in the "Yes in 2016" category, while 30.7% were in the "No in 2016" category. (Obviously, the counts are rounded off by Twitter, resulting in 100.1% totals.)
So, almost 70% of those responding said they voted for Trump in 2016, in contrast with 30% who did not vote for him in 2016.
Of the first category, the Trump voters in 2016, at the rate of roughly 23 to 1, they said they would vote for him again in 2020. (Specifically, 67.2% to 2.2%.) A tiny minority is defecting from Trump.
Of the second category, representing those who did not vote for him in 2016, nearly 2 out of 3 said they were changing their vote and would support him this time around. (Specifically, 18.8% to 11.9%.) So a substantial majority is moving toward him.
The implications of this, if representative in the least, are massive.
Back in June, Middle East expert Daniel Pipes, a strident opponent of Trump in 2016, penned an op-ed in Newsweek titled, "A Reluctant but Unhesitating Vote for Donald Trump." When it comes to the issues of most importance to Pipes, issues of international significance, Trump has done well, gaining the support of Pipes.
Also in June, The New Yorker explained how Southern Baptist leader Dr. Albert Mohler had decided to vote for Trump in 2020 while not doing so in 2016.
In his view, "President Trump is a huge embarrassment. And it's an embarrassment to evangelical Christianity that there appear to be so many who will celebrate precisely the aspects that I see biblically as most lamentable and embarrassing."
Yet, he said, "I intend to vote for Donald Trump in 2020, but my shift is from reluctantly not voting for him in 2016 to what you might call reluctantly voting for him in 2020, and hoping for his reelection, because the alternative is increasingly unthinkable. But I will not become an apologist for the misbehavior of the president and for what I see as glaring deficiencies in his private and public character."
On Oct. 9, the Federalist posted an article by Daniel Sound with this provocative title: "I Didn't Vote For Trump In 2016, But I'd Crawl Over Broken Glass To Vote For Him Now."
He begins his article saying, "Even though I had voted for every Republican presidential candidate since 1980, I didn't vote for Donald Trump in 2016.
"Many Republican nominees had been huge disappointments to me, and I wasn't going to vote for yet another GOP candidate I thought would betray my trust. I couldn't imagine Trump as a genuine conservative who would champion limited government, respect individual freedom and liberty, and protect the unborn—but was I ever wrong. Although I didn't vote for Trump in 2016, I would crawl over broken glass to vote for him in 2020."
On October 19, Ben Shapiro announced that, although he did not vote for Trump in 2016, he was voting for him in 2020.
First, he says that he was wrong about Donald Trump on policy. Trump has, in fact, governed conservatively.
Second, he says that whatever damage has been done by Trump's character flaws has already been done and voting for him now won't change that.
Third, and most importantly, "the Democrats have lost their (expletive) minds." Enough said.
Over in Israel, and coming from an Israel-centric perspective, Abraham Katsman posted a fascinating op-ed piece on October 11 in the Jerusalem Post: "Hate Trump? Understood. Vote for him anyway—opinion."
Pulling no punches, he wrote: "I know. Many of you loathe US President Donald Trump. He triggers your contempt, disdain, scorn and various Trumpian synonyms still to be coined. You find him vulgar, narcissistic, dishonest, ignorant, bigoted, divisive, uncouth, misogynistic, racist, nativist, Islamophobic and anti-Semitic, not to mention a fraud, con man and tax cheat. You 'sat shiva,' mourning his unimaginable election—your revulsion has only snowballed since. You disbelieve his every word, including 'and' and 'the.' Evidence or not, you remain convinced that he colluded with Russia to unfairly defeat Hillary Clinton. His lack of moral compass and coddling dictators and white supremacists sickens you. And, embarrassed as you are that he is president, you are even more appalled by his voters. (Did I leave anything out?)"
I would say he "gets it" when it comes to some of the biggest objections to Trump, be they real or exaggerated or imagined.
But, he adds, "Now, take a deep breath. Hold your nose. And vote for Trump anyway. For real."
And this: "Recoil if you must from Trump's tweeting and speaking style, gag from his personality and wallow in disgust at his pervasive Trump-ness. I get it. Still, consider the alternative; then force yourself to vote to keep this solid administration in place."
This seems to be what is turning the hearts of many voters. First, Trump kept his promises to his constituencies and did not betray us, as we feared would happen. Second, despite his grotesquely obvious flaws, which are damaging in many ways, the alternative is even more frightful.
Personally, I know people who voted for Trump in 2016 but will not vote for him in 2020, either voting third party or not voting for the president at all. But, from what I can tell, for the reasons stated here, they appear to be in the minority.
In a few days, we shall see.
Dr. Michael Brown (www.askdrbrown.org) is the host of the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program. His latest book is Evangelicals at the Crossroads: Will We Pass the Trump Test? Connect with him on Facebook or Twitter, or YouTube.
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