In the 1990’s, Clinton strategist Dick Morris developed an idea for Bill’s use that proved very successful. Given the differences between the right and the left, the strategy was to adopt a position that picked the better options between the differences, enabling Bill to be the moderate in most cases. Often times, he took the middle ground, came away with the better of the argument and won a number of battles in the arena of public opinion. It became known as triangulation, splitting the differences to gain political advantage and make progress toward policy goals.
Consider the campaign and policy positions that Trump has taken that are designed to appeal to conservative voters, especially as compared to policy goals of liberals:
- Rebuild US military, restore capacity to defend our nation
- Build the wall across the southern border
- Enforce immigration laws, stop the flow of cheap foreign labor
- Deport 2M criminals who are in the US illegally
- Close Department of Education, de-fund Common Core, use funds for block grants to states for School Choice, help families escape failing school systems in major cities
- Reduce corporate income tax, help US companies to compete in global markets
- Reduce burden of federal regulations
- Repeal Obamacare
- Build Keystone Pipeline, enhancing US energy independence
- Opposes Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)
- Repeal law that bans Faith Based Organizations from engaging in political speech, enabling fuller participation of FBOs in public life, appealing to faith-based voters
Now consider the campaign and policy positions that Trump has taken that are designed to appeal to independents and liberals, with some appeal to conservative voters as well:
- Extensive speaking engagements and outreach to Black and Hispanic communities, resulting in gains in polling of both groups of voters
- Outreach to the LGBT community, assuring them of his commitment to the security and safety of their communities as well as equal treatment under the law
- Commitment to tax reform that favors family budget, with tax deductions and credits to assist middle class, both two parent and single parent families
- Adoption of policies that are pro-business, such as lower taxes and less regulations, enabling a return of jobs to the US economy and job growth
- Opposition to actions by federal government agencies that destroys jobs, such as the EPA and its actions against the coal industry, resulting in job losses of 80,000+
- Policies for paid leave of up to six weeks for maternity period, day care assistance with tax deductible options, and increases in child care deductibles to assist families with costs of raising a family
- Commitment to improve care for veterans with reforms of VA health care system, create options for care in private sector, escape VA system
Candidate Clinton has no message, no outreach to any voter groups outside the Democrat Party base of unions, government workers, liberals with no place else to go, and the Black and Hispanic communities. Clinton’s efforts to rally support from women for her “first woman” candidacy has been a total failure.
Meanwhile, voters across the spectrum are being courted by the Trump campaign, with policy ideas and goals that match up well with one or more of their concerns. Candidate Trump has adopted an array of policy positions that diversify his appeal, often encroach on traditional Democrat policy or voter turf, and put groups of voters in play that may have been unreachable by any other candidate. Examples of results are Trump’s polling in swing states (FL, NC, OH, PA) as well as some blue states (Minnesota). His polling with Black and Hispanic voters is comparable to or better than Mitt Romney in the 2012 election.
Candidate Trump has successfully branded himself as a pragmatist, focused on ideas and policies that will work, while minimizing his identification with the Republican Party. From the outset, he has engaged in deliberate messaging of all of the policies noted, intent on appealing to both voters within the base of the Party and a diverse range of voters outside of the base who may be open to voting for a Republican.
In his effective use of a triangulation strategy, Trump is confounding the media pundits, and greatly annoying liberals, as he builds a new coalition of voters who really do want America to be Great Again! Be sure to vote!Tags: coalition of voters Conservative Liberal policy goals Trump