Ann Coulter staunchly supports Donald Trump. That’s because, as Ann has said, she’s a single-issue voter: ending illegal immigration and heavily restricting legal immigration. Ann and I have talked at length about the issue (you can view an hourlong interview I did with her on her book, Adios America, here). I think Trump is lying with regard to his supposedly solid anti-illegal immigration platform; she doesn’t. I think Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) has an actual record of opposing illegal immigration; she prefers Trump’s promises. Fair enough.
Her latest argument in favor of Trump, however, is that only Trump can win the election against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
This is demonstrably false.
Ann’s argument goes something like this:
Start with the fact that, before any vote is cast on Election Day, the Democrats have already won between 90 and 98 percent of the black vote and 60 to 75 percent of the Hispanic and Asian vote. Unless Republicans run the table on the white vote, they lose. If there’s still hope, it lies with Trump and only Trump. Donald Trump will do better with black and Hispanic voters than any other Republican. But it’s with white voters that he really opens up the electoral map.
Let’s begin with the peripheral statistics here: according to the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll, Trump has an unpopularity rating of 85 percent with Hispanic voters, and an unpopularity rating of 80 percent among blacks; just 14 percent of Hispanics view him favorably, and just 17 percent of blacks do. That’s overperforming Romney among blacks by approximately 11 percent, and significantly underperforming Romney among Hispanics by 14 percent.
Now to Ann’s real argument: the white voters will win it for Trump. Here’s what she says:
Romney lost the white vote to Obama in five crucial swing states: Maine (42 percent of the white vote), Minnesota (47 percent), New Hampshire (48 percent), Iowa (48 percent) and Wisconsin (49 percent). He only narrowly beat Obama’s white vote in other important swing states — Illinois (51 percent), Colorado (52 percent), Michigan (53 percent), Ohio (54 percent) and Pennsylvania (54 percent).
I agree with Ann’s argument that Republicans must drive out the white vote even better than Romney did if they are to win the White House. I’ve made that argument here. But Trump won’t do that. First, Hillary will do better among whites than Obama did.
Second, Ann has no state-specific data that suggests Trump will do better than Romney did among whites in these states. On a national level, there’s no evidence to that effect. Romney won 59 percent of white voters. Trump doesn’t come close to those numbers. That Washington Post/ABC News poll shows Trump underwater with white men (51 percent unfavorable), non-college whites (52 percent unfavorable), and white evangelical Protestants (56 percent unfavorable). And those are his strongest groups. He’s running 74 percent unfavorable among white college graduates 68 percent unfavorable among white women, and 80 percent unfavorable among young people.
All of which would explain why Trump has dropped radically against Hillary Clinton in the general election polls.
Ann’s electoral strategy isn’t the problem. The problem is that Trump is incapable of carrying out that strategy. He isn’t the only Republican who can win. He’s just the one who’s pretty much guaranteed to lose barring a massive change in events.