To the editor: I sincerely hope Jon Wiener is right in predicting that President Trump will not be re-elected, but I fear he has made two fatal mistakes.
First, he wears overly rosy glasses when he points to the precipitous fall in Trump’s approval rating in the three states that gave him victory in 2016, ignoring recent polling of potential head-to-head matchups that puts Trump either ahead of or tied with the Democratic front runners.
Second, Wiener faults Trump for making no effort to expand his base. In fact, Trump’s strategy is transparently simple: Keep his voters so pumped up that they will all turn out and make so much noise that his opponent’s voters will stay home. It worked in 2016, and the whole Ukraine imbroglio shows that he is already planning a repeat this year.
Will it work again? Look at the way independents have responded to impeachment: Only 41% percent approve, according to fivethirtyeight.com’s current polling average.
Sorry, Mr. Wiener, but fancy footwork is not going to work against a gorilla.
Hal Drake, Santa Barbara
To the editor: Wiener’s optimism about 2020 is belied by U.S. electoral history itself. The pattern is clear: Ultra-liberal purist voters have sabotaged Democratic presidential candidates, resulting in the election of George W. Bush in 2000 and Donald Trump in 2016.
Most notably, in 2016, 12% of Bernie Sanders supporters in Democratic primaries voted for Trump in November. The swing of Sanders voters to Trump in the decisive states of Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin was greater than Trump’s margin over Hillary Clinton in these states. Likewise, the number of votes cast in these states for Green Party candidate Jill Stein exceeded Trump’s margin in each.
Similarly, in 2000, 97,000 ultraliberals voted for Green Party candidate Ralph Nader in Florida (25 electors), where Bush won by a mere 537 votes. Al Gore fell just four electoral votes shy of the presidency.
Mark E. Kalmansohn, Santa Monica
To the editor: Wiener maintains that Trump doesn’t want to spend the rest of his life as a “loser” and therefore wants desperately to be reelected.
The real reason Trump seems to be fighting like a caged animal to stay in office is that he fears being indicted. If Trump leaves office after one term, the statute of limitations will not expire for some of his conduct that could result in criminal charges.
Is anyone naive enough to believe that he wants to be reelected so that he can attend to unfinished business? To build the wall? Reform healthcare? Perish the thought.
I wonder if Trump realizes that the stupidest decision he ever made was to run for president.
Carol Levin, Woodland Hills
To the editor: Like Wiener I am optimistic about Trump being defeated, but cautiously so.
The reason I feel this way is not solely because of the Democrats’ recent electoral victories, but because of the fact that some Republicans have a spine. Unfortunately, they are not the ones currently in Congress.
There are now two independent groups, Republicans for the Rule of Law and the Lincoln Project, dedicated to ending Trump’s presidency. The latter group is spear-headed by George Conway, who is White House counselor Kellyanne Conway’s husband, and Steve Schmidt, a respected advisor to the late Sen. John McCain during his 2008 campaign for president.
These Republican patriots restore my faith and optimism.
Bonnie Flamer, Sherman Oaks