Overcoming the Unwelcome
Polling shows Independents feel unwelcome in the Democratic Party. Statements from the DNC show why.
Trump critic and former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson dropped out of the GOP primary this week after registering 0.2% of the vote in Iowa.
The last two presidential elections have been decided by fewer than 80,000 votes. In 2020, there were 159,633,396 votes cast and the race was decided by 44,000 votes - or 22,000 people flipping their votes.
In other words, far, far, fewer than the share of the vote won by Asa Hutchinson.
You can imagine the potential responses from the DNC to this news. Reach out directly to Hutchinson seeking a Biden endorsement? Start negotiations on buying his list of anti-Trump supporters? Send a welcoming message directly to his supporters?
Here’s what they went with:
What kind of campaign was Hutchinson running? Here’s a taste, via Politico:
During the first primary debate, he was the only candidate on stage who did not raise his hand when asked if he would support Trump as the Republican nominee if he is convicted of a crime…
Hutchinson, who served as the youngest U.S. attorney under President Ronald Reagan, was also the only candidate to prop up the controversial legal theory that could keep Trump off the ballot in some states.
“Over a year ago, I said that Donald Trump was morally disqualified from being president again as a result of what happened on Jan. 6. More people are understanding the importance of that, including conservative legal scholars,” Hutchinson said during the first debate in Milwaukee — a comment that elicited both applause and boos from the audience.
What is the DNC’s message to those were those cheering?
Where everyone knows your name
In 2020, we polled independent voters in South Carolina on if they perceived the Democratic and Republican parties to be welcoming. They found the Republican Party more welcoming than the Democratic Party, but an interesting gap emerged when asked if Democrats they knew personally were more or less welcoming than the party overall.
Independent voters thought Democrats they knew personally were more welcoming than the Democratic Party overall, but that Republicans they knew personally were significantly less welcoming than the Republican Party overall.
The official DNC statement, dripping with condescension, did not laud Hutchinson for telling the truth about Trump. Nor did it welcome his supporters.
Days after this poll of South Carolina voters, Joe Biden won the presidential primary with a unifying message that would (barely) welcome in enough Republicans and former Republicans to win back the White House from Trump.
Four years later, the message is different. The DNC statement was attributed to a recent Harvard College graduate who worked on Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign, the $127m juggernaut that earned 7% of the vote in that South Carolina primary.
It has been said that Biden won the primary, but Warren & Sanders won the administration. Biden still has another campaign to win, though.