Juan Williams: The fantasy of Trump's appeal

Juan Williams: The fantasy of Trump's appeal
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Leave it to Fox News’s Chris Wallace to hit the pause button on a major line of political spin coming out of the Trump campaign these days.

When Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, repeated to Wallace Trump’s claim that the candidate is “doing very well with women” and also “winning with Hispanics,” the “Fox News Sunday” host called for a reality check.

“Corey, wait, he’s not winning with women, he’s not winning with Hispanics, his numbers are hugely underwater with both,” Wallace shot back. 


The numbers are on Wallace’s side. 

Here we go:

A Quinnipiac University poll out last week found that 54 percent of female voters support Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonClintons, Stacey Abrams meeting Texas Democrats Biden says Russia spreading misinformation ahead of 2022 elections Highest-ranking GOP assemblyman in WI against another audit of 2020 vote MORE while only 30 percent back Trump. 

These findings track with those of a Fox News poll from mid-May which found Clinton with 46 percent support among women and Trump lagging with 33 percent support. A CBS/New York Times poll released the same week found Clinton beating Trump, 53 percent to 36 percent. 

A Fox News Latino poll from last month found that Latinos overwhelmingly support Clinton over Trump, 62 percent to 23 percent. Far from “winning with Hispanics,” that’s a 39-point deficit for Trump. 

“Much was made during the 2012 election about Mitt Romney's dismal performance among Latino voters,” Fox News Latino noted in its release of the survey. Later the pollsters added that Trump's 23 percent support "paired with the 74 percent unfavorable rating has the real estate mogul facing a monumental task if he wants to win over Latinos."

An April ABC News/Washington Post poll showed just how deep a hole Trump is in with these two key demographics. The real estate mogul has a 75 and 81 percent disapproval rating among women and Hispanics, respectively, according to that survey. 

These are consistent findings from a variety of pollsters. Yet Trump and his surrogates repeatedly insist there is a great bandwagon of support for him picking up speed across the nation. 

It’s all an illusion being created to make Trump seem more popular than he actually is.  

Some TV networks buy into the fantasy to the point of inviting people to debate how many Bernie SandersBernie SandersDemocrats say they have the votes to advance .5T budget measure Millennial momentum means trouble for the GOP Briahna Joy Gray: White House thinks extending student loan pause is a 'bad look' MORE supporters are likely to vote for Trump in November. 

That is amazing when Wall Street Journal/NBC News polls over January, February, March and April of this year found just 6 percent of people backing Sanders “felt positively about Mr. Trump, while 90 percent felt negatively.”

And that’s not even the biggest political illusion being used by Trump. The real whopper is his claim to have the support of most GOP voters, while he has only won a plurality.

According to the Census bureau, there were approximately 153 million registered voters in the United States as of the 2012 elections.

Just over 11.5 million have voted for Donald TrumpDonald TrumpMyPillow CEO to pull ads from Fox News Haaland, Native American leaders press for Indigenous land protections Simone Biles, Vince Lombardi and the courage to walk away MORE so far in the GOP presidential primary. If we are going strictly by popular vote, a majority of the voters who cast ballots in the Republican primaries so far have voted for someone other than Trump. Over 14 million voters preferred Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward Cruz228 Republican lawmakers urge Supreme Court to overrule Roe v. Wade GOP, Democrats battle over masks in House, Senate Human rights can't be a sacrificial lamb for climate action MORE, Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioBreak glass in case of emergency — but not for climate change Democrats join GOP in pressuring Biden over China, virus origins Senators introduce bipartisan bill to expand foreign aid partnerships MORE or John Kasich.

This means Trump has won the support of roughly 8 percent of registered voters. Those voters are overwhelmingly older and whiter that the general electorate.

As the Pew Research Center noted in a February report, “The U.S. electorate this year will be the country’s most racially and ethnically diverse ever.”

“Nearly one-in-three eligible voters on Election Day (31%) will be Hispanic, black, Asian or another racial or ethnic minority, up from 29% in 2012. Much of this change is due to strong growth among eligible Hispanic voters, in particular U.S.-born youth.” Pew concluded.

Given his problem with Hispanics, how does Trump’s recent attack on New Mexico’s Republican Gov. Susana Martinez, who is Latina, make sense? How is it supposed to help him win over Latinos, especially women?

At a rally in Albuquerque, Trump defamed Martinez as a lazy leader for the state, saying “we have got to get your governor to get going.”

What was Trump’s evidence for this outrageous broadside? According to him, the number of New Mexicans on food stamps had increased since 2000. Trump neglected to mention that Martinez only became governor in 2011. 

Even Trump backer and potential vice presidential candidate Newt Gingrich called this a political error. 

“You particularly don’t want to see a candidate who needs to both get stronger with Latinos, and stronger with women, attack a Latina woman Republican governor,” Gingrich said.

Trump’s women problem isn’t confined to women of color. White women are also expressing their distaste for his politics. 

“The potential for the 2016 election to widen America's racial voting chasm even further is nothing new,” Washington Post polling manager Scott Clement recently wrote. “But Washington Post-ABC News polls have also identified a related dynamic: White Americans are splintering along education and gender lines at rates not seen in at least three decades.

“The gender split is similarly historic, with Trump’s support 22 points higher among white male registered voters than white female registered voters (69 vs. 47 percent), double the largest gap between these groups in previous presidential elections (11 points in 2000),” Clement reported. 

The polling numbers on the limits of Trump’s appeal are consistent. But many of the Republicans feeling the need to get in line behind Trump have bought into the myth that he has widespread support — including from women and Hispanics. 

If Trump’s claims about his own political appeal were summed up in a song title, it would be a choice between Carly Simon’s “Just Not True” and “You’re So Vain.” 

Juan Williams is an author and political analyst for Fox News Channel. His latest book, "We The People: The Modern-Day Figures Who Have Reshaped and Affirmed the Founding Fathers' Vision of America," published by Crown, is out now.