His strategists say Trump must get more of his rabid fans to vote.
The problem is so many of them are not registered to vote.
With less than 14 months to go before Election Day, the Trump’s team is heavily banking his reelection hopes on identifying and bringing to the polls hundreds of thousands of non-voting Trump supporters, people in closely contested states who didn’t vote in 2016. The campaign is betting that it may be easier to make voters out of these electoral rarities than to win over millions of Trump skeptics in the center of the electorate.
It’s a risky wager borne of political necessity and helps explain Trump’s provocative communications strategy, from his attacks on the media to his racially polarizing rhetoric. Trump, aides, and allies say, he knows he needs to fire up his supporters, racism and anger are powerful motivators.
“People trying to persuade swing voters are probably wasting their time because nearly all voters have already put their jersey on,” said GOP strategist Chris Wilson. “Trump needs to bring more of his fans onto the field.”
Tens of millions of Americans choose not to vote in federal races every two years. Trump’s campaign is determined to turn out its supporters among them. It views them as an untapped stash of Republican support that can help him overcome stubbornly low poll numbers and his difficulties in winning over voters in the shrinking political center.
“There’s a new math spurred by a new candidate at the top of his ticket,” Trump campaign senior political adviser Bill Stepien told reporters. “And I think we need to throw out the old way we look at how elections are won and lost.”
That’s not to say reaching them or getting them to vote for Trump will be easy.
The surest predictor for whether someone will vote in the future is whether that person has voted in the past. This political truism has long informed campaign strategies.
The Trump campaign is betting that xenophobic zeal and pent-up racist fervor will turn the tide.
Of course, the Trump campaign won’t publicly talk about their main tactic, which is to suppress the vote by any means necessary, particularly of Black and Hispanic voters. This is done by gerrymandering districts. Challenging voter credentials, intimidation, and misinformation. The Trump campaign heavily relied on outside help in 2016 to tip the scales. Russian hackers did a lot of their dirty work for them and 2020 looks to be shaping up the same way.
Some of this post is based on reporting from AP