Juan Williams: Trump’s incredible shrinking GOP

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.

So let’s take a look at the front page of newspapers after Democrats take the stage in Miami next week for two primary debates.

I’m telling you those pictures will bring me tears.

For the first time in my life, the field of presidential candidates for a major political party looks like America — a racially diverse country.

{mosads}The debates will include a Jewish democratic socialist (Bernie Sanders), an LGBTQ person (Pete Buttigieg), two African Americans (Cory Booker and Kamala Harris), a Latino (Julián Castro), an Asian American (Andrew Yang) and six women (Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar, Kirsten Gillibrand, Marianne Williamson and Tulsi Gabbard).

The GOP debate stage for their 2016 primaries featured one woman, one African American, one Indian American and two Hispanics. They were basically bookends for 12 white men who dominated that stage.

That shocking contrast on the debate stage is only a hint of the divide between the nation’s two big political parties going into the 2020 presidential race.

There’s a Grand Canyon between each party’s voters.

The Trump party suffers from a staggering lack of racial diversity and a dearth of young people. It also fares startlingly badly with educated people.

According to a report released this month by Public Opinion Strategies, based on NBC News–Wall Street Journal data, whites without college degrees now comprise an outright majority of all people who identify as Republicans.

In 2012, 48 percent of Republicans were non-college-educated whites. By 2018, with Trump as president, that figure had risen to 59 percent.

In 2012, 40 percent of Republicans were college-educated whites. In 2018, under Trump’s leadership, that number had fallen to just 29 percent.

In the 2018 midterms, Republicans lost white voters with a college education by 8 percentage points. They won among whites without a college education by 24 percentage points.

By the way, the report notes the current GOP is dominated by white men.

When Democrats won 40 House seats in the 2018 midterms, “women voted Democrat for Congress by a record margin and by a record gap compared to men.”

Republicans had a 4-point edge with men, but a 19-point deficit with women — a “net 23-point difference by gender,” as the report pointed out.

Once again, the gap comes down to white men without a college degree: 66 percent of them voted for the GOP in the 2018 midterms.

And then there is the age gap.

Last year, the Brookings Institution reported “the oldest Americans, those 50 and over, have consistently given Trump his highest approval ratings while young people aged 18-29 have consistently given him his lowest approval ratings.”

In fact, Quinnipiac University polling in May reported 70 percent disapproval for Trump among adults under the age of 35.

Only 8 percent of blacks, 28 percent of Hispanics and 27 percent of Asians identified as Republicans, according to a 2018 report from the Pew Research Center.

That means an overwhelming share of America’s racial minority voters are Democrats.

Recall that 2016 exit polls showed Hillary Clinton carrying nonwhite voters by a huge margin: 74 percent to Trump’s 21 percent. That’s likely to get worse for Trump next year.

The only middle ground left between the divided political parties is occupied by white men in swing states who voted for President Obama in 2012 and Trump in 2016.

“While diverse in many ways, Obama-to-Trump voters are more likely to be white, working-class and to live in the Midwest. Because they voted for Barack Obama in 2012 before supporting Trump in 2016, we can assume that their votes were not informed solely (or even strongly) by racial preference,” Johns Hopkins University Professor Stephen L. Morgan wrote for Bloomberg last week, based on research he recently conducted.

{mossecondads}“On economic matters, Obama-to-Trump voters are centrists, except when it comes to free trade, which they view as a greater threat to jobs and wages than both Democratic and Republican party loyalists,” Morgan added.

Team Trump knows its only shot is to hold as many of those 6 million Obama-Trump voters as it can. That means speaking to their No. 1 issue — opposition to free trade.

In the Democratic field, the most outspoken opponent of free trade is Sanders.

“When people take a look at my record versus Vice President Biden’s record, I helped lead the fight against NAFTA; he voted for NAFTA,” Sanders said on CNN in April. “I helped lead the fight against [trade agreements] with China; he voted for it. I strongly opposed the Trans-Pacific Partnership; he supported it.”

Warren, too, has called for a renegotiation of NAFTA, although she blasted Trump’s combative use of tariffs to start a trade war.

Look for Trump and the Democrats to continue to talk tough on trade to appeal to those white Obama-Trump voters in Wisconsin, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

If Trump can’t win the few middle-of-the road white men watching next week’s debates from the middle, he might be the last Republican president.

Juan Williams is an author, and a political analyst for Fox News Channel.

Tags 2020 presidential election Amy Klobuchar Andrew Yang Barack Obama Bernie Sanders Cory Booker Demographics Elizabeth Warren gender gap Hillary Clinton Julian Castro Kirsten Gillibrand Marianne Williamson Pete Buttigieg Pew Race and politics Republican Party Tulsi Gabbard

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