That’s it! It’s that bleepin’ simple. But instead of heeding that seemingly sage advice, the collective response from that giddy gaggle of goofs known as the Democratic primary field is “Hold my beer!”
Beto O’Rourke is coming for your AR-15s, Elizabeth Warren wants you to pay for inmates’ sex change operations, Bernie Sanders believes the Boston Marathon bomber should be allowed to vote, Corey Booker thinks Barack Obama wasn’t liberal enough, Kamala Harris thinks Joe Biden wasn’t liberal enough – in the ‘70s, and Marianne Williamson believes we can change a hurricane’s path with the power of our minds.
But my all-time favorite Democratic proclamation is Julian Castro defending transgendered women’s abortion rights. Ummm, Julian! Please tell me you knew that transgender women can’t get pregnant?
And this is supposed to be the cream of the crop?
For purposes of full disclosure, I did purloin a couple of those examples from Bill Maher and last week’s dead-on ‘New Rules’ finale. But the truth is, I’ve been explaining this truth to candidates for eight long years which is why my campaign track record sits somewhere north of reasonable.
Put very simply, it’s pointless to pander to people WHO ARE ALREADY GONNA VOTE FOR YOU! And the failure to heed this conspicuously simple advice is why so many candidates, and especially novices, lose.
Unless you’re a “movement candidate,” and, trust me, you’re not (nor is any current presidential contender) or you wouldn’t be reading this. Diehard Democrats always vote Democratic and diehard Republicans always vote Republican. With the right message, leaning Republicans can be convinced to vote for a Democrat, and vice versa.
And this political reality is as eminently predictable as death, taxes, and Democrats blowing presidential elections.
Generally, I’d be loathe to blurt out one of my best kept professional secrets, but I’m not too worried because 98 percent of candidates are so convinced they hold the keys to the electoral kingdom they’ll never listen to me anyway.
If you’re a 2020 Chicago Collar Countywide Republican candidate, given the impending Trump effect, here’s what you can count on:
- Diehard Republicans WILL vote for you
- Diehard Democrats will NOT vote for you
- Leaning Democrats will NOT vote for you
- Leaning Republicans will LIKELY NOT vote for you
Since Collar County Republicans continue to outnumber the Democrats, the only group that matters to our fictional countywide GOP candidate is leaning Republicans, and thus, their entire focus should be on bringing back these all-important swing voters.
Conversely, if you’re a 2020 Collar Countywide Democratic candidate, here’s what you can expect:
- Diehard Republicans will NOT vote for you
- Diehard Democrats WILL vote for you
- Leaning Democrats WILL vote for you
- Leaning Republicans will LIKELY vote for you
That means, the only group that matters to this imaginary countywide candidate is leaning Republicans, and thus, their entire messaging focus should be on them, because swaying one leaning Republican away is the equivalent of getting two votes!
And nothing, not even your gloriously gleaming visage is going to change that reality.
This dynamic is even more pronounced at the presidential level where swing voters always make the difference. It was the Rust Belt that got Donald Trump elected, after all.
So, when O’Rourke says he’ll confiscate assault rifles, something near and dear to Democrats’ hearts, but certainly not to leaning Republicans, will that get him votes, or lose him votes?
Worse yet, Sanders’ stance on mass murderer voting rights and Warren’s position on taxpayer funded inmate sex-change operations are so far beyond the political pale that I can’t even begin to comprehend what they or their campaign teams could possibly be thinking.
Because even if you claim they’re pandering to the far left in an effort to win the primary, you’d be wrong. Only 46 to 48 percent of Democrats identify themselves as liberals, and if I’m Donald Trump’s team, I’m gonna be harping on how “those crazy Democrats” want you to pay for prisoners’ sex change surgery from here to eternity.
That’s the kind of visceral message that sticks with those all-important swing voters, too.
It’s such a simple concept that even an ADHD fourth grader would get it. All the Democrats have to do is be less crazy than Donald Trump – the guy who changed a hurricane path map with a black Sharpie – and they win in 2020.
But they can’t even handle that. Now I understand why their Party symbol is a jackass.