Why Trump Has to Remain an Immigration Hawk and Shun Amnesty to Win 2020
President Donald Trump is where he is today because of his immigration and economic, America First positions.
On the day of his announcement that he was running for president, Donald Trump was destined to be President of the United States. He was destined because he was in sync with the Republican party base and not the small minority of individuals in key positions of authority within the party apparatus who actively disdain and fight with them. The positions that the Republican base supports is also largely popular with the United States at large, as a right leaning country.
Donald Trump would have been a footnote in history had he not espoused the fiery, commonsense language surrounding the immigration and by extension, the economic issues facing America today.
If Trump came down the escalator at Trump Tower and gave the boilerplate response that Republican candidates have trotted out for the past twenty years, he would not have been the Republican nominee. His positions drew support from both ideological sections of the party, the conservatives and the liberal republicans who agree on the basic economic principles that he made as his platform.
President Trump wasn’t running as the ideological preacher like Ted Cruz. He was not running as the establishment, moneyed plutocrat who had a moderate, passion-free platform like Jeb Bush. He was not running as a nation building neoconservative in the vein of the Marco Rubio, Hillary Clinton wing of the establishment.
He was running as an America First candidate who believed in ending illegal immigration and controlling legal immigration abuses. Part of his plan included a southern border wall, not a fence.
Exit polls showed this to be winner for Trump throughout the primary, and likely ended up tipping the balance of many of the races in his favor. The immigration positions allowed him to build his momentum that even when the establishment engineered wins in states, it momentarily slowed his race to the top.
For those who are asking, what was Donald Trump’s immigration policy?
He advocated that we deport all illegal aliens, eliminate anchor baby status for children of illegal aliens, build a southern border wall, control and reduce legal immigration, make sure legal immigration is needed where we allow it, increase border patrol officers and immigration judges, end catch and release, and end President Obama’s illegal executive orders granting work and education visas to illegal aliens.
Let us take a look at some pivotal races that got Donald Trump the nomination and what would have happened if he decided to go the Jeb Bush route with his immigration positions.
Immigration and the Economy/Jobs were the most important issues for about 40% of the caucus goers in Iowa. Both were and continued to be Trump’s strongest issues that propelled him to victory in state after state.
Iowa and the upper midwest were some of the weakest states in the primaries for Trump and yet, immigration was likely the issue that saved him from even poorer showings in these states.
Immigration was the most important issue for about 13% of the voters present. Trump won nearly 50% of them. The next closest candidate was Ted Cruz with 34%.
Cruz displayed a remarkable ability to produce nearly the same policy positions that Donald Trump pioneered as the debates and primary raged onward. This, of course, always came after Ted Cruz excoriated Donald Trump for staking out those policies.
Trump (24.3%) lost Iowa to Ted Cruz (27.6%), with Rubio coming in third (23.1%). Now this came as a result partially due to Ted Cruz’s dirty campaign at the precincts telling Ben Carson’s supporters that their candidate was dropping out, among other things.
However, had Trump not staked out the immigration positions he did, Ted Cruz would have likely benefitted from their support. Or, more likely, they wouldn’t have showed up since he won a third of the nearly 50% of the caucusgoers that had not attended a caucus before in that state.
Approximately 6% of Trump’s support came from immigration only supporters. As his strongest issue, those voters not showing up would have shoved him to a poor and distant third place showing.
Trump took that second place 3% deficit finish in Iowa and blasted his way to first in New Hampshire. He took the state with a nearly 20 point margin between himself and his second place challenger, John Kasich.
Immigration as a primary issue comprised 15% of the electorate. Trump won this category at 53%. This became a recurring theme throughout the Republican primary. Trump continued to dominate the immigration voters choice in every state.
If those voters did not turn out? Trump would have still won with a 12 point margin. Of course, this assumes that the rest of his support would have remained the same as he would have lost Iowa by nearly ten points to Ted Cruz several days before.
Trump also won South Carolina by 10 points. He again won over 50% of the immigration voters and immigration voters comprised around 10% of the total voters.
Trump loses those, he wins by 5 points. If they went to Cruz, Trump would have lost the state.
This is how important the immigration positions of Donald Trump were in the primary. A flip of five percent of the vote leads to Trump losing 50 delegates in South Carolina.
What About Where it was Close?
The primary map would have been different had Trump not won the immigration voters. Several states and contests would have flipped to Cruz or another candidate had he lost the 5-10% of the vote that went to him on his immigration positions.
Now would this have stopped Trump from winning the nomination? Probably not. He would have been considerably weaker by the time Indiana’s fateful primary came into view.
If he did not take his immigration positions, I also doubt the Republican base would have seen the all out effort by the establishment to stop him either.
Amnesty is the establishment’s litmus test, they cannot abide someone getting power who disagrees that we have to grant illegal aliens amnesty. If Trump had not come out with his immigration positions, he would have been exactly like the other dozen candidates. Ted Cruz would have continued with his pro amnesty, doubling of legal immigration positions that he held since his statements on the last amnesty bill before the Senate.
What About the 2016 General Election?
What if Trump took the advice of the consultants, the “betters” in the Republican party, conventional thought from people who have accepted the “new reality” of America, and those who follow the polls incessantly and decided to pivot to the “moderate” position of amnesty first in conjunction with a failed virtual border wall and no enforcement?
Remember, the wisdom of the people who support for the Democrat agenda and want to start with amnesty first always boils down to an unimaginative support for “reality” citing a need for “compromise.”
The argument that was used by conservatives during the 2016 primary elections to support Trump was that immigration and his economic agenda will push Trump over the top in the rust belt states.
1. The Big Three – Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania and Their Opinions on Immigration
In Wisconsin, Trump won by 23,000 votes. Over 250,000 votes were cast by people who listed immigration as their top issue, 75% of them voted for Donald Trump. Trump received almost ten times (200,000 votes) his 23,000 vote margin of victory in Wisconsin from these voters.
Should he try shunning those voters to get the 50,000 who wanted Hillary Clinton?
In Michigan, Trump won by 10,000 votes. Nearly 600,000 votes were from people who listed immigration as their top issue, 71% of them voted for Donald Trump. That is over 500,000 votes that Trump got in Michigan.
Should he try shunning those voters to get the 100,000 who wanted Hillary Clinton?
Donald Trump won by over 40,000 votes in Pennsylvania against Hillary Clinton. He won nearly 80% of the 10% of voters who felt immigration was the most important issue. About 500,000 votes were cast for Donald Trump in Pennsylvania as a result of his immigration positions.
Should he try shunning those voters to get the 100,000 who wanted Hillary Clinton?
2. So Should Trump Gamble to Lose Hundreds of Thousands of Voters to “Make It Up In Volume” by Supporting Amnesty?
Let’s look at what happens if he were to appease the “it’s time to accept reality” and “BUT MUH POLLZ!” and “we need to compromise!” commentors:
At the very least he likely loses Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and definitely loses Michigan. If they switch parties to “punish” Trump, the next Democrat to run against him will win the presidential election handily.
Nationally, he won the immigration issue by over 30 points. But he won in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan by over 50 points. This almost got Donald Trump Minnesota as well.
Hillary Clinton cannot blame black voters, they turned out and voted for her at nearly the same clip they did for Barack Obama.
What did not happen was white voters turning out to support her like they did the first black president, they voted for Donald Trump. And it was lower and middle class white voters, which many of the rust belt states have lots of living there.
Over 5 million nationally voted for Trump’s immigration policies, which included deporting every last illegal alien.
How does granting amnesty to 800,000 DACA illegal aliens or the even larger 10-30 million illegal alien general population outweigh 5 million American citizen voters?
3. Why Should We Cave on Immigration When the Republican Establishment Never Wants to Cave on Taxes, Trade, and Foreign Wars?
And why does this argument repeatedly surface when the very same people ignore the fact that nearly a majority of Americans wanted complete socialized medicine, Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy, and a judicial system that dispenses social justice vs actual justice. Why does amnesty become the one issue in the Republican party that those in its power structure allow to repeatedly be run as a wedge issue?
Has anyone seen Bill Kristol renouncing neoconservative, aggressive nation building to compromise with Trump on other issues? Let me answer for you: No.
What about Democrats and abortion?
Democrats and funding for government?
Democrats and amnesty?
Democrats and (now) guns?
Disregard anyone who begins their argument with amnesty for illegal aliens as a baseline, because many, if not all, of these people would not compromise on their own personal policy issues.
Donald Trump won’t win the next election by losing Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan. And he will if he follows the advice of the amnesty crowd in the establishments, intelligentsia, and the corporatists.
It is long past time that the Republican base cast down this insane accepted wisdom that the Republican party must suicidally and repeatedly run towards the amnesty train. It is time to make this the red line for the party and forcibly remove as many of the members as possible to ensure that along with guns, immigration policy will only move rightwards in this country.
There is one thing that the Democrats have done right over the last 50 years, they have dragged the country leftward by never ever giving up on their core issues. Republican voters need to learn that lesson to do the same.