The general GOP game plan up until now has basically been to turnout a voter base that is more likely to vote: white suburban voters.
President Trump shook up that game plan somewhat by focusing on working class white voters. It wasn’t a complete gamechanger. Reagan had gone after the Reagan Democrats and rural white voters had been swinging toward Republicans. By the time Bush made way for Obama, the South was trending Republican in a huge way.
The Democrats became a majority-minority party gluing together a wealthy white left and minority areas. The shifts in both parties had significant consequences. More so for the GOP which became an anti-establishment party.
That was Trump’s bigger move. And his other move was to engage in sustained outreach to minority voters. And while that didn’t pay off as much in 2016, it had a much bigger impact in 2020.
The three big reasons for that are likely that…
1. President Trump ran as the anti-lockdown candidate.
2. He ran as the anti-establishment candidate while being under sustained attack from the establishment.
3. Republicans seriously began doing the work. And the last time they had really tried to do the work in minority areas, Nixon was running for reelection.
Due to the Democrat rigging of voting practices, turnout jumped. And, in keeping with GOP received wisdom, that helped Democrats, but out of keeping with GOP wisdom, it also delivered a boost to President Trump as a whole lot of voters, especially Latino voters who might not have voted otherwise, backed him.
Take it from, well, the New York Times.
In particular, Chicago precincts with a lot of immigrants saw more people turning out than in 2016, and many shifted to Mr. Trump… Almost all of the precincts with a majority Latino population showed an increase in enthusiasm for the president … including ones with tens of thousands of residents of Mexican descent. Mr. Trump received 45 percent more votes in these areas than four years ago.
It was not just Latino areas. In a belt of suburbs north of Chicago — precincts that are home to South Asian, Arab and Eastern European immigrants — there was also higher turnout, and a shift to Mr. Trump… In Chinatown, Mr. Trump’s vote increased by 34 percent over 2016, while Mr. Biden received 6 percent fewer votes than Hillary Clinton. Mr. Biden still won in precincts with a majority of residents of Asian descent, but the Democratic margin of victory fell 12 percentage points… Meanwhile, areas with more modest red shifts tended to be predominantly Black, with few immigrants. Mr. Biden received fewer votes than Mrs. Clinton in these areas while Mr. Trump’s vote increased slightly.
Thousands of new voters across the country turned out in areas with significant numbers of Latinos and residents of Asian descent — populations whose participation in past elections has lagged. And over all, Mr. Trump, whose policies and remarks were widely expected to alienate immigrants and voters of color, won the lion’s share of the additional turnout.
There are a whole lot of charts and maps breaking down key areas. You can look at those yourself.
Bottom line though is that Biden performed weakly with black voters, and President Trump benefited from a huge burst in enthusiasm from Asian and Latino voters responding to the lockdown and the Democrat descent into socialism. It’s a picture of the election that might have been without the pandemic.
It also does paint a picture of a different Republican voter turnout strategy going forward.
Obviously Job 1 is securing elections. That means not letting Soros and the Democrats take over Secretary of State offices and staying very engaged on things like the Stacey Abrams voting lawsuit push in Georgia. These need to be major priorities for Republicans if they want to have a political future.
But Job 2 has to be rethinking the new game board and how to play on it.
The Democrats bet everything on demographics, they’re nervously coming to the realization that those aren’t going quite as much as their way as they had counted on. They still have a pretty solid lock on the black vote, but the immigrant vote is splitting along the familiar working class to upper middle class lines. The Republicans have taken a beating in the suburbs, in no small part due to “tax reform”, classism, and cancel culture pressure, but the political system is pivoting.
The Dems tried to create a one-party system bolstered by money and power. The reaction against their oligarchy is growing. They can’t both be the party of money and power, and the anti-establishment party, and that contradiction is tearing them apart. A similar contradiction is also fracturing the GOP. Change is coming.