Trump maximized his voter turnout in 2016.
True it is that Mr. Trump has no more growth in his base. But here is what my math says: Polls give him an approval rating of about 40%. Multiply that by 250m voters, and that means 100m votes cast his way. He didn’t get that number in 2016. A lot of his support is still very soft: they can be convinced to stay away on election day. They did stay away in 2016, but they may be more motivated to cast a ballot in 2020. Who knows?
My understanding of the 2016 election that the Republicans did not have much of a ground team in 2016. A good ground team could have brought another 5m R supporters to the voting station, giving Mr. Trump a more clear victory. This additional voter support is still possible even though Trump’s base has not grown in the past four years.
Instead, the R’s put campaign resources to Facebook in 2016, designed to convince various kinds of the soft D support to stay away from the voting stations. I estimate half to two million voters did stay away because of this FB campaign, giving Mr. Trump the coin toss victory.
I don’t think there are many swing voters in the USA anymore. There is little any campaign or personality can do to convince a citizen to switch from D to R or vice versa. But campaigns can solidify the soft support for a party — and convince the soft support of the opponents to stay away from the ballot box. That is what campaigns have mostly done for decades.
I’m surprised at how few Medium readers understand how soft support plays in the final electoral result. Political junkies from both sides tend to believe that all votes are cast with a lot of commitment to them. The people in the back rooms of all political parties fully understand this political force. I have written about them in Medium:
Sorry for being hard on your article. But a Trump victory is still very possible. So many variables need to be played out — and some of these variables are unknown to all of us, including the party strategists.