Thanks to sky-high political polarization and geographic distribution combined with the anti-democratic slaver vestige known as the Electoral College, a dwindling voter bloc comprising the least-informed and most noncommittal motherfuckers on the continent increasingly determine the outcome of U.S. presidential elections: swing voters.
Is that assessment harsh? Yes. But I stand by the description for anyone who would vote for President Obama in 2012 and then turnaround and vote for Donald Fucking Trump in 2016.
Trump’s nutso base gets all the attention because they are loud and stupid, make ghastly fashion choices and dabble in armed insurrection on behalf of an angry, bloated Circus Peanut. That rabble grew in number between 2016 and 2020, which is worrisome for all kinds of reasons.
But so did the share of Democratic voters who participated in the 2020 election, giving President Biden an enormous popular vote victory. Still, it wouldn’t have mattered if swing voters in key states hadn’t swung Biden’s way, according to analysis from the UVA Center for Politics.
So, why did those voters swing? Because Trump went hard-right in office after running as an angry, bloated Circus Peanut of less definitive political provenance:
Many political observers have argued that Donald Trump transformed the Republican Party during his four years in the White House. That is clearly true. Trump moved issues that he cared about — especially xenophobia — from the periphery to the center of the party.
What is not recognized nearly as often is that during his four years in office, the Republican Party transformed Donald Trump. The Donald Trump of 2016 lacked a clear ideological identity. While he was generally seen as some sort of conservative, he frequently took positions at odds with conservative orthodoxy including pledging to oppose cuts to Medicare and Social Security and to replace the Affordable Care Act with something providing more generous benefits at lower cost…
A variety of factors undoubtedly contributed to Donald Trump’s defeat in 2020, including his gross mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic. However, the growing perception of Trump as a far-right president, along with the nomination of the relatively moderate Joe Biden by the Democrats, very likely cost him enough support among swing voters in key states such as Wisconsin, Georgia, and Arizona to shift those states and their crucial electoral votes into the Democratic column.
I’ve sort of viewed Trump as a Frankenstein’s monster who escaped the Republican Party lab and rampaged beyond their control, but if this theory is true, politically speaking, it was the monster who was ill-served by the mad scientists. They drove him further right than the tiny portion of the electorate that counts in America could bear.