In a Times piece covering the disaster of the first weekend of this Presidency, I saw an interesting quote from a despicable man:
“Ultimately this is about governing,” said former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who has advised Mr. Trump. “There are two things he’s got to do between now and 2020: He has to keep America safe and create a lot of jobs. That’s what he promised in his speech. If he does those two things, everything else is noise.”
“The average American isn’t paying attention to this stuff,” he added. “They are going to look around in late 2019 and early 2020 and ask themselves if they are doing better. If the answer’s yes, they are going to say, ‘Cool, give me some more.’”
I actually agree with Newt on this. Having interacted with voters this cycle in a variety of places across this state and in different races, I was dumbstruck by how little voters follow, know, or care about the kind of ideological issues us hardcore activists and partisans are always concerned about. The women’s march was a happy counterpoint that I hope can be built into something sustainable. But most voters just care about providing for their immediate family and they don’t want another terrorist attack. I was struck by another Times piece on Trump voters who voted for Obama that confirmed that for them, the response to the San Bernadino/Orlando attacks made them go for Trump. That the race and gender issues didn’t matter, but the fact that he promised more jobs and promised to ‘get tough’ on ISIS made him the better candidate in their eyes.
So I would narrowly focus on the economic and national security agenda
-Trump isn’t making us safer
-He isn’t bringing back jobs
The real Obama slogan in 2012 was Osama Dead/GM Alive. Hard for Romney the job killer to counter that one. In 2016 we didn’t run on that record, instead we ran against Trump on all the issues the voters didn’t care enough about to disqualify him in the primary.
Right now crime is at it’s lowest levels in American history, more jobs were created in the last 8 years than in any prior administration, and there have still been no 9/11 style attacks on American soil. Under Trump this will change, and we have to be ready to counter each and every Trump failure with a Democratic recipe for success.