Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel warned his fellow Democrats against turning too far to the left in an op-ed he penned for The Atlantic, saying too many socialist ideals will cost them the 2020 election against President Donald Trump.
EMANUEL: Trump’s going to spend the next two years using the bully pulpit to convince voters that Democrats are big believers in “government coercion, domination, and control.
Emanuel noted Trump’s surprisingly low approval rating — according to a recent Gallup poll at least — in 13 states he won in 2016, including Texas, where is barely above 40 percent, according to Gallup’s latest poll.
Trump’s popularity is is 50 percent or higher in states that only have 102 electoral votes while he’s underwater — below 50 percent approval — in states that have 201 electoral votes. Though, the election is still a long way off and we’ve seen how accurate polling can be after pre-2016 election polls mostly had Hillary Clinton winning big.
According to Gallup, Trump is only above 50 percent in 14 states, and right at 50 percent in three others. He’s currently underwater in 33 states.
Per The Atlantic:
But Democrats haven’t won the 2020 election yet—and we’ve got a long way to go. At this stage in the 1992 election cycle, President George H. W. Bush was riding high, buoyed by America’s success in the Gulf War. Less than two years later, Bill Clinton moved into the White House. Trump might prove incapable of engineering such a dramatic reversal of fortune. But if the economy continues to hum and he racks up a couple of wins on foreign policy, the public’s perception of his presidency could shift. Democrats can’t bank on voters being more dismayed by him than they are enamored of us.
For that reason, Emanuel says, Democrats need to be more strategic before they blow their chances entirely with far left socialism from the likes of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., that seems to be gaining in popularity.
“Tonight,” the president said in his State of the Union address, “we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country.” That was a tell. Trump’s going to spend the next two years using the bully pulpit to convince voters that Democrats are big believers in “government coercion, domination, and control.” He’s making a bet that if he labels Democrats “socialists” frequently enough, he’ll be able to drive a wedge that scares swing voters out of the Democratic fold.
If 2016 proved nothing else, it demonstrated that Democrats ignore Trump’s antics at our own peril. In much the same way Democrats shouldn’t paint his supporters with a brush so broad that it alienates convincible voters—anyone else game to banish the word deplorable from the 2020 campaign?—the last thing we should do is serve him slow pitches over the plate that allow him to define us on his terms. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what Democrats have been doing since he went before Congress in early February. It’s almost as if we’ve been duped into reading from his ready-made script.
Earth to Democrats: Republicans are telling you something when they gleefully schedule votes on proposals like the Green New Deal, Medicare for all, and a 70 percent marginal tax rate. When they’re more eager to vote on the Democratic agenda than we are, we should take a step back and ask ourselves whether we’re inadvertently letting the political battle play out on their turf rather than our own. If Trump’s only hope for winning a second term turns on his ability to paint us as socialists, we shouldn’t play to type.