Jannus TH Siahaan

To Beat Joe Biden, Donald Trump Should Attract Silent Majority

Based on the latest Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll survey, there is a strong majority of voters viewing Biden as better equipped to lead the country through the coronavirus pandemic and racial turbulence. The poll found Biden at 55 percent support, against Trump at 45 percent. That’s effectively unchanged from June, when Biden led by 12 points. Biden has support from 91 percent of Democrats, compared to 87 percent of Republicans who back the president. Independents break for Biden by a 56 percent to 44 percent margin, although 38 percent of independents said they could still change their minds in the 100 days before the election.

Trump’s job approval rating is at 44 percent positive, slightly above his all-time low in the poll of 41 percent. Sixty percent of independents disapprove of the job the president is doing. Forty-seven percent of voters have a favorable view of Biden, compared to 42 percent who view Trump positively. Overall, two-thirds of voters say the country is on the wrong track, including 83 percent of Democrats and 69 percent of independents. Fifty percent of Republicans say the country is on the right track and 50 percent say it’s on the wrong track.

Not much different from that, CBS News / YouGov and NBC News / MARIST survey results also show something more or less the same, Biden: 51%, Trump: 41% and Biden: 51%, Trump: 44%. From the CBG News YouGov Battleground Tracker category, there are three main issues that have a very strong preference for voters, namely the Economic and Class 61% issues, National Security 66%, and Health-Well Weing 69%.

From an economic standpoint, because of pandemic effects, Trump obtained a pretty bad level of approval. Only $ 6 said the state of the American economy was very good and 25% fairly good. Whereas, Gallup discovered that President Trump’s financial approval rating was 63% in January, a unprecedented quantity given the president’s general disapproval score of 51%. Mr. Trump still get good credit before pandemic because of American economic achievement. 44% percent believe that Donald Trump will be able to improve economic conditions and 47% for Joe Biden. 43% thought Covid 19’s handling of the pandemic was good (very good and somewhat good), 57% considered bad (very bad and somewhat bad).

Regarding the economic stimulus for the community and business sector, 83% agreed. 54% percent said the stimulus was given to large businesses, only 17% agreed the stimulus was only given to small businesses, while 29 percent agreed to give to both. Furthermore, 79% agreed to have additional unemployment benefit for those who lost their jobs, 21% disaproved. Of the 21% who were not disaproved, 72% agreed that if the stimulus continued to be provided would make them lazy to find work, 19% thought the government had spent too much. And up to the survey for August, the difference in vote shares between Joe Biden and Donald Trump has started to narrow.

Almost all survey results show facts that are unfavorable for Donald Trump, but the accuracy of the survey results only applies to respondents who are willing to express their opinions and answer honestly the surveyor’s questions. While on the other hand, the results of the latest Cato Institute survey stated that 62% of voters are reluctant to express their political views (self-cencor) given the political climate of America which has not been so friendly lately. The share of Americans who self-censors have risen several points since 2017 when 58% of Americans agreed with this statement. Majorities of Democrats (52%), independents (59%) and Republicans (77%) all agree they have political opinions they are afraid to share.

In detail, 6 in 10 (58%) of staunch liberals feel they can say what they believe. However, centrist liberals feel differently. A slim majority (52%) of liberals feel they have to self‐​censor, as do 64% of moderates, and 77% of conservatives. This demonstrates that political expression is an issue that divides the Democratic coalition between centrist Democrats and their left flank.

Strong liberals are the only group who feel they can say what they believe, the share who feel pressured to self‐​censor rose 12 points from 30% in 2017 to 42% in 2020. The share of moderates who self‐​censor increased 7 points from 57% to 64%, and the share of conservatives rose 70% to 77%, also a 7‐​point increase. Strong conservatives are the only group with little change. They are about as likely now (77%) to say they hold back their views as in 2017 (76%)

Self‐​censorship is widespread across demographic groups as well. Nearly two‐​thirds of Latino Americans (65%) and White Americans (64%) and nearly half of African Americans (49%) have political views they are afraid to share. Majorities of men (65%) and women (59%), people with incomes over $100,000 (60%) and people with incomes less than $20,000 (58%), people under 35 (55%) and over 65 (66%), religious (71%) and non‐​religious (56%) all agree that the political climate prevents them from expressing their true beliefs

Actually, the results of the Cato Institute survey give Donald Trump room to speak directly to the silent majority. With the increasing aggressiveness of the Black Live Matter movement and chaotic situations in several cities in the US, the personal decision of voters to conduct self cencorship can be understood.

But, if the Donald Trump government is wrong in responding to BLM actions, silent majority has the opportunity to remain silent and hold themselves until the seconds before the election. That is, the direction of their choice could be headed to Joe Biden. So, Donald Trump should be quite serious in addressing these silent majority, because they are one of the keys for Trump to balance the votes in the popular vote arena

Based on the survey results, there are several opportunities for future policy options to take. The reopening policy followed by the budget allocation for the provision of personal protective equipment, government recommendations for the use of masks, and transparent efforts in administering vaccines could be policies that would lead to the silent majority voice to Donald Trump.

The policies will be more slick if carried out simultaneously with the extension of stimulus for those who lost their jobs, for small businesses and affected corporations. But the decision to disperse the demonstrators with the army could have a negative impact on the government’s image because it contradicts the American values ​​that have been championed by all elected leaders. The decision to reduce the fascist image of the government is actually the right choice politically.

The reopening policy, especially for business, will ease the fears of workers who are overshadowed by the fear of losing their jobs and provide hope for job opportunities for those who have lost their jobs. While continued stimulus for unemployed people will make room for those who have lost their jobs to survive while looking for new job opportunities. Meanwhile, a strict health protocol policy along with an adequate budget to implement it will provide a guarantee of a sense of security for the community to reactivate. And not to forget, the American people also continue to monitor the development of normalization of relations between Israel and several Arab countries, which will give Donald Trump a good credit point. These policies will probably widen the opportunity for Donald Tump to steal the attention of the silent majority.

About the Author
Doctor of Sociology from Padjadjaran University, Indonesia. Defense and Environment Observer.
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