Trump aides say he can't win in 2020 with just his base
Interesting analysis of Trump's chances in 2020.
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The challenge facing Trump’s advisers remains the same as it has been since 2017: The president is among the most deeply divisive leaders in the nation’s history, whose conduct has helped accelerate a realignment of moderate suburban voters toward Democrats. . . .
Trump cannot win a second term without attracting more suburban voters and independents in a handful of states he carried in 2016, but he is highly averse to staying on script and delivering a consistent message aimed at moderate voters rather than his hard-core admirers, or his own need to get things off his chest.
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“I think the biggest problem that he has with suburban women is the part that so many in his base like about him,” Cramer said. “His rhetoric, his punching down at his opponents. It’s so different than anything they’ve seen.”
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. . . suburban women remain difficult to sway, Trump advisers acknowledge. Some messages have moved the dial, if only temporarily: When Trump talks about Democrats wanting to provide government health care benefits to unauthorized immigrants, for instance, Republican officials have seen an uptick of support in their own surveys of the suburbs of Pennsylvania. When Trump paints the entire Democratic field, falsely, as supporting ending private health insurance, his advisers see room for him to grow. But they admit that it’s a difficult line to walk.
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His 62-minute stemwinder of retribution in the East Room of the White House the day after the acquittal was the type of ventilating performance Trump had been craving, but which some advisers acknowledge undermines the carefully-crafted efforts at broadening his appeal.
“Many people are evaluating the president based on his conduct and behavior in office rather than the state of the economy,” said Whit Ayres, a longtime Republican pollster. “It’s his conduct and behavior in office that have kept a foot on his job approval rating. Any other president would be in the upper 50s or even low 60s with this economy.”
Most of the president’s aides concede that his base of supporters is not enough to reelect him, and that he must attract the voters who were repelled by his behavior and voted against Republicans in the 2018 midterms — particularly upscale whites, suburban women and self-described independent voters who polls repeatedly show think the president is racist, or has a troubling temperament, or both.
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What’s unclear, and what could prove decisive, is whether the country is exhausted by Trump and is ready for a so-called return to normalcy, or if voters have grown inured to his eruptions and have effectively priced in his behavior.
A key factor will be the candidate the Democrats eventually nominate. Interviews with more than a dozen Republican strategists, lawmakers and state chairs reveal a consensus that Sen. Bernie Sanders would be the easiest Democrat for them to beat because they believe his avowed socialism would help them reclaim suburbanites and better frame the election as a choice.
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Sanders’ aides, of course, see it very differently and believe that they would tear up Trump’s 2016 electoral map by reclaiming working-class white voters in states like Michigan and Wisconsin, something some Trump advisers agree with. And Trump advisers have been caught by surprise by the success of Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana.”
The OP is actually about twice as long, if you are interested in reading more.
Never quite saw myself as rooting for suburban women, but several analyses I've read recently, like this one, are successfully convincing me that I need to spread my wings wider to include them also. They may well be key to the 2020 election.