On more than one occasion lately, Rush Limbaugh has been hanging on to the rather thin reed that never mind the polls, there may be a group of secret Trump voters out there who haven’t voted, are not being polled, and may pull through a surprise Brexit like victory for Trump in November. This is based on a comment that Washington Post Reporter Robert Costa made on the Charlie Rose Show about this alleged hidden Trump vote:
“It’s wider than any party. I mean, it includes some Bernie Sanders supporters. It includes some libertarians. The most important voter in this movement, uh, when I travel around the country, is the previously disengaged voter. They’re almost a nonpartisan voter, but they’ve given up not just on the political process, but they’ve disengaged from civic society. They don’t really follow politics. If that’s a real coherent voting block, then Trump — regardless of the polls — will have a shot in November — and regardless of all the mistakes — because that’s a huge block. There’s so much of this country that rarely, if ever, votes, and if — for some reason — they come to the polls in droves, that changes everything.”
That seems to make sense. The primaries saw a surge of Republican registration and the largest number of Republican primary voters ever. So who knows, could there be a group of maybe working class types who dropped out of politics out of disgust years ago but now are raring to go for Trump? Nobody knows about them because they haven’t been voting, so they have not been polled. They’re just out there waiting for the moment…
But I think we’ve had enough elections since then to test that proposition and to me, it seems to come up wanting.
Paul Ryan’s Wisconsin primary challenger Paul Nehlen, a pro Trump activist, was easily beaten by Ryan by an astonishing 84% of the vote.
In Arizona John McCain beat challenger Kelli Ward 55% to 35% in spite of Ward linking herself to Trump.
And in Florida, “Little Marco” Rubio, a long time Trump nemesis, beat pro Trump businessman Carlos Beruff 72% to 18%, in spite of joining the race late and being markedly unenthusiastic about returning to the Senate, so much so that he couldn’t even promise to stay for a full 6 year term. Beruff put himself squarely in the Trump corner. Interestingly, the Republican Senate primary race had 3 Hispanics and 1 African American; no WASPs to be seen.
But the point is that if there was a secret Trump vote, there was ample opportunity for them to show and support the candidates who were counting on Trump coattails to win their races.
They didn’t show, so it’s possible they don’t exist.