What we know about how Trump’s “law and order” message is going

Written by on June 8, 2020

Polling shows Joe Biden leading Trump as protests continue.

By Li Zhou | Vox.com

President Donald Trump is betting that his support for law enforcement is going to help him this November.

“I am your president of law and order,” Trump said last week in his first formal address on the subject of protests against police brutality. “Where there is no justice, there is no liberty. Where there is no safety, there is no future.”

It’s a strategy that resonated with some in 2016, but new, early polling raises doubts about whether it’ll be as effective a message as it was four years ago.

It’s worth noting that it’s too early to draw a definitive conclusion about how the current demonstrations will affect the 2020 election, which is five months away. But here’s what we know so far….

Based on the voter turnout rates between the 2014 and 2010 midterms, Charles Ellison, a political strategist and correspondent for WURD Radio, suggested that Democrats need to take serious steps to engage with protesters — and consider policy reforms that would energize them this fall — in order to prevent declines in turnout. He pointed to such decreases in 2014 as an example; that same year, Republicans retook the Senate and won a larger majority in the House.

“Following Ferguson, voter participation rates dropped several percentage points between the 2010 and 2014 midterms,” he told Vox. “It seems counterintuitive for turnout to fall like that, but it reflects many people assuming traditional pathways of political and civic engagement aren’t working for them.”

Between 2010 and 2014, voter turnout for the general election declined from 41 percent to 36 percent.

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