LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – It appears that Donald Trump will not try to expand the number of voters that he currently has with hopes of depressing the vote on the Democratic side.
It is an abnormal strategy.
Normally in elections both sides try to get as many people to the polls as possible but this is not a normal campaign for Donald Trump.
The Republican presidential nominee continues to draw great crowds but he has done nothing to add other voters to his side and therefore the popular wisdom is there are not enough of these folks to send him to the White House.
But here’s a theory: If Mr. Trump can depress the vote, that is, if lots of Democrats stay home, there might be enough of his backers to win this thing. It’s a long shot, but many believe it’s the only shot he has left.
You depress the vote by continually attacking your opponent with hopes that the Clinton supporters will lose heart and stay home.
And you impose restrictions on voting such as requiring a picture ID and Republicans have been successful in doing that in 17 states but not here in Michigan.
A problem for Ms. Clinton is overconfidence.
With a double-digit lead some of her supporters could conclude, “she doesn’t need my vote” so they might stay home.
“There was a classic example of low voter turnout in 1990 when many of Jim Blanchard’s black supporters stayed home and Republican John Engler won by 17,000 votes,” explains Republican consultant John Truscott.
Truscott was at Mr. Engler’s side when the results were announced and he thinks that could happen with Mr. Trump vs. Ms. Clinton.
“So that could be a factor. If they stay depressed in certain areas, among Democrats, we could see what happened in 1990 with John Engler.”
And Mr. Truscott believes Ms. Clinton has a problem in urban areas despite a massive lead with African-American voters.
“There is a factor there where hillarys turnout could be hurting her in urban areas as she does not poll well with especially urban women,” adds Truscott.
“The Nation” magazine argues the only way for Trump to win is to “create chaos at the polls, do negative campaigning and demobilize the Democrats.”
The Trump camp has not confirmed this depress the vote strategy but its clear they are not being aggressive about bringing other voters into the Trump camp.