Donald Trump’s presidency has been wildly unpredictable and divisive, and predictions regarding his reelection next year range from ‘certain loss’ to ‘easy win’. Both of these predictions surely have merit, but there is one recipe that seems to stand out to me – a Trumpian caliber crazy strategy that just might work to defeat the bombastic and unconventional president. The strategy entails nominating two rising stars in the Democratic movement, each of whom brings precious assets and experience to the table. Here’s how Tulsi Gabbard and Julian Castro could defeat Donald Trump – by taking the battle to Texas.
Anyone even vaguely familiar with the American electoral college understands that if the Democrats ever win Texas, they would win the presidency. If the Democratic nominee wins Texas, they would enjoy an all but certain victory, possibly earning double the electoral votes of incumbent president, Donald Trump.
If the win were anything but a fluke, it would spell the end of the Republican party – at least in terms of the presidency.
Julian Castro, whether on top or on bottom of the ticket, would be an invaluable asset for the Democrats in Texas. Castro earned a BA from Stanford in Political Science & Communications. He then attended Harvard Law School, and began to work for a firm after graduating before starting a firm with his twin brother (who attended Stanford and Harvard with him).
Castro was elected as mayor of San Antonio (the 2nd most populous city in Texas) in 2009, and was reelected in 2011 and 2013. He left in 2014 to become President Obama’s youngest cabinet member, leading the Dept. of Housing & Urban Development (HUD). One of the catalysts to his stardom may have been the 2012 DNC convention, when he became the first ever Hispanic to deliver the Keynote address.
Julian’s brother, Joaquín has been a member of the US House of Representatives since 2013. With support from his brother, Obama, and the millions of energized Hispanics, enough Texans could be encouraged to vote against Trump to turn the state blue in 2020.
How Latino is Texas? According to the US Census, Hispanic growth in Texas increased by 15% (9,460,960 to 10,881,124) from 2010 to 2016, while growth of whites in Texas only grew by 3.9% (11,429,004 to 11,872,926). As of the 2010 U.S. Census, Hispanics and Latinos of any race were 38.2% of the state’s population. 39.6% of Texans are of Mexican descent. Hispanics will outnumber whites in TX by 2020 according to state demographer. As reported by Huffington Post, “Voto Latino, a national nonprofit that aims to propel younger Latinos into the political process, has registered more than 200,000 voters this election cycle, including 52,000 in Texas.”
In 2014, 4.9 million hispanics in Texas were American citizens of voting age. Only 48.4% of them voted. 59.3% of white people voted. Based on those estimates from 5 years ago, increasing hispanic turnout to 68% would gain them around a million more votes.
Beto O’Rourke only lost to Ted Cruz by 215,000 votes in a statewide election. Beto O’Rourke was a weak candidate who campaigned as a far left gun-grabber and looked and acted white while desperately wishing to appear Hispanic. It is worth noting that A) Cruz (a trained debater) demolished Beto in the debate right before the election and that B) Cruz is Hispanic as well (and yes, he does speak Spanish), meaning that Beto certainly did not have the advantage among Hispanic voters that a Castro ticket would have over Trump. Incumbents also enjoy a massive reelection advantage. Being that Cruz only beat Beto by 1.6%, it could easily be assumed that Beto could have won if Cruz were not Hispanic or if Cruz were not an incumbent. While Donald Trump would be the incumbent president, presidents do not enjoy nearly the same incumbency advantage as senators and Trump is hated by so many left-leaning voters (and conservative voters – we’ll get to that later) in Texas that we will not grant him any incumbency advantage in our analysis of the 2020 Texas reelection. That being said, he could earn that advantage if his policies between now and the election make Texas prosper significantly.
Castro supports Medicare-for-all, universal pre-K and liberal immigration reform. He is quite young, but at 46 years old, he would only be one year younger than Obama was when he was elected president.
The Female Vote
Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard took office at the same time as Joaquin Castro. As I mentioned years ago, she would make for a formidable presidential candidate. A member of the Hawaii National Guard, Gabbard served in combat in the middle east with the 29th Support Battalion medical unit. While deployed, she seemingly earned a Combat Medic Badge and a Good Conduct Award (though little background on her awards could be found online outside of Wikipedia and some forums). Show me one person who hates (good looking) women, veterans, and medics, and I’ll show you a liar.
A woman of principle, Gabbard stepped down as vice chair of the DNC in 2016 to support Bernie Sanders – whom the DNC actively conspired against in their effort to anoint Hillary Clinton to be the presidential nominee. Additionally, the Hawaiian was the first ever Samoan-American and the first ever Hindu member of the US Congress. She was also the youngest female ever elected to a state house, winning her election for the Hawaii state house at the age of 21. Gabbard has been vocally anti-intervention, which is the morally correct position – and the opposite of what the US military has been doing for the past few decades. She also seems to be less enthusiastic about the use of drones and domestic surveillance by the US government than her Republican and Democratic colleagues. Gabbard aligns with mainstream Democrats in her support for universal healthcare, a $15 minimum wage, strong abortion rights, gun control, and ‘banking reform’.
More women vote than do men, (women outvote men by 4 to 7 million) and an increasing amount of women are voting each cycle. According to Rutgers University, 73.7 million women reported voting in the 2016 presidential election. In 2004, that figure was 67.2 million. In the 1996 presidential election, only 56 million women reported voting.
In 2014, Reference.com found that 4,606,000 males and 5,340,000 females were registered to vote in Texas. Despite this, only around 41% of female Texans voted around that time frame. Simply put, Gabbard could easily gain 500,000 to a million votes in Texas by increasing female voter participation by 10 to 20 percentage points.
Statistically speaking, being a woman gives Gabbard the greatest potential advantage (being that over half of US voters are female). In a poll of 2,030 registered voters conducted by FiveThirtyEight about gender preference in a presidential candidate, 28% of Democratic women said that they are more likely to vote for a female over a male. Only 13% of democratic women said that they were more like to vote for a male than a female. One of the greatest ways to get the female vote is by being a female. Again, Hillary Clinton may not have captured this advantage due to being a career politician, infamous for corruption, and supportive of a serial sexual criminal. Seemingly a model citizen and a brave and principled woman, Gabbard would enjoy this advantage. Upon assuming the presidency, she would be the youngest ever US president (by only three years) and the second youngest US vice president, at the election-day age of 39.
If the two young superstars could increase female voter turnout in Texas by a few percentage points, they could flip Texas blue.
Much like they did to Bernie, the Democratic establishment has already begun trying to take her down.
A Gabbard-Castro ticket could also win Florida, where over a quarter of the population is Hispanic, according to the US Census. In 2016, Trump won Florida’s 29 electoral votes by only 113,000 votes or 1.2%. President Obama won Florida by 2.9% in 2008 and 0.9% in 2012. Among Hispanics, Florida currently, has over 50% more registered Democrats than Republicans, according to Pew Research Center. In 2006, more Floridian Hispanics were registered Republicans than were Democrats. In 2018, Democratic candidate for Florida Governor, Andrew Gillum – an open socialist like Castro and Gabbard – beat the Republican nominee, Ron Desantis by 14% among Hispanic voters. Florida is also home to over 1.5 million veterans, so Gabbard helps the Democrats immensely in Florida, as well.
Socialism & Young Voters
The concept that the government ought to take money from people and redistribute it to others (generally to those declared to be in ‘need’ of it according to the government) is rising in popularity throughout the US. Even when presented with this concept and the conspicuous term ‘socialism’, wealth redistribution and high taxes are quite popular in the US, as evidenced by many polls and the policies throughout the nation. (The average American worker seems to have around 40% of their income taken by the government, and they continue to elect the same politicians). Among Americans aged 18-29, socialism is significantly more popular than capitalism, according to a Pew Research Center poll. Being that they are new-age, attractive, likeable socialists, Castro and Gabbard could win Democratic support in the primary and easily energize millions more young voters than Hillary Clinton did. This KQED article explains that Obama energized young voters and won both of his elections, and Clinton did not excite young voters and lost because of that failure. The Democrats could win by simply nominating candidates who seem relatable to young voters.
While Donald Trump is the first president that I have ever seen keep some of his campaign promises, he continues to disappoint his conservative base in critical ways. Without writing an entire book about President Trump – who seems to have no solid principles – suffice it to say that he is not cutting spending, not criminalizing abortion (or even decreasing federal funding of Planned Parenthood) and he is enacting more gun control than President Obama did in his 8 years as president.
The Democratic Party has a winning strategy sitting right in front of them. Will they learn from their mistake in 2016 and finally reject the establishment, career politician? Do they have the courage to nominate younger, more energetic candidates (who support the same authoritarian socialist policies as they do) and take out Donald Trump? The answer is obvious: They will nominate Joe Biden, the oldest, whitest, most establishment, seasoned politician in the whole arena. Maybe they’ll anoint an establishment woman to be his VP. Perhaps Kamala Harris or Elizabeth Warren. If Democrats continue to ignore the hateful, Marxist movement that is consuming their party, the nation will continue to push back against their radical agenda. And Trump will crush them.