The Democrats have a problem. They don’t have a candidate who has the mass appeal of President Trump or President Obama, both of whom flourish in popularity even as detractors despise them vehemently. The left will vote for Democrats and the right will vote for Republicans, but in the murky middle the decision is often made to vote for the person who is most appealing regardless of policies or talents.
Joe Biden is seen as a gaffe-machine who is too old, too white, and too “hands-on” with the people he meets. Elizabeth Warren is Bernie Sanders (or visa versa) and both of them are basically communists. Kamala Harris is so unlikable, it’s possible she could lose the early California primary despite representing California in the Senate. Pete Buttigieg is somewhat likable until you get to hear him speak long enough, at which point he somehow comes off as pretentious and falsely humble at the same time. The rest have very little chance of making enough of an impact to compete.
Some might say, “But President Trump’s disapproval rating shows he doesn’t have mass appeal!” We have to understand what mass appeal really is before we can address this hypothetical rebuke. Mass appeal doesn’t mean mass support. nor does it mean universal appeal. Mass appeal refers to a combination of the number of people who like someone and the passion of those who fall into that category. Most people don’t listen to Taylor Swift, but nobody would deny she has mass appeal because a ton of people do like her music and those who do are often rabid fans.
Based on this definition, we can say that Warren and Sanders combined have mass appeal, but they also have a dangerous quality about them. They’re socialists, and therefore they turn off a large chunk of the population instantly. Their appeal is similar to UFC’s. Many people love UFC and are rabid fans, but a large slice of Americans are instantly opposed to the violence entailed.
Contrary to what media pundits and far-left activists believe, the actual number of people who hate President Trump is relatively low. It’s higher than President Obama, but not by much. Many people may not like President Trump personally, and a larger number may be unwilling to acknowledge they like him publicly, but at the end of the day people really do ask the question President Reagan once posed, “Are you better off today than you were four years ago?”
More people are working. Wages are higher. Poverty is at its lowest point since before the economic crash. People are buying, traveling, and achieving their dreams. These things will play heavily in the election as long as they continue until then.
By no means am I suggesting the election is in the bag for President Trump. As he often points out, the media is against him and they’re doing everything they can to convince people they aren’t really better off than they were. They’re trying to scare up a recession. They blame every instance of racism on the administration. They shame minorities who like how things have been going the last three years.
This all brings us back to the original premise: No Democratic candidate has mass appeal. It’s the same problem Hillary Clinton had. Outside of her base, Democrats were lukewarm towards her and Independents saw her as acceptable at best. She won the popular vote based mostly on the coastal states being blue, but the passion wasn’t there. It wasn’t enough to appeal to a majority of states, which is necessary to win an election.
For all of President Trump’s bad press and poor polls, the passion within his base is contagious. If the Democrats can’t find a candidate with the appeal of President Obama, their chances of sneaking out a victory are very low.
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