The rise of the “never” voters

Radnor Reports –

Voters are beginning to make decisions about how they will NOT vote in 2020.

Radnor conducts research every two years on which candidate or candidates voters say they plan to vote for – and, perhaps more importantly this election, which candidates they will NEVER vote for.

In July 2016, 37 percent of all voters in the industrial states stretching from Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin told us that – no matter what happened – they would never vote for Hillary Clinton and 26 percent said they would never vote for Donald Trump. Those percentages increased to 43 percent saying “never” to Clinton and 39 percent saying “never” to Trump in mid-October, 2016.

Post-election research showed us that 81 percent of those who said they would not vote for Clinton said they had not voted for either Clinton or Trump – or had written in or voted for another presidential candidate on their ballot while 54 percent of “never Trump” voters did not vote for Trump. However, 14 percent of “never Clinton” Democrats did change their minds and voted for Clinton while 37 percent of “never Trump” Republicans ended up voting for Trump.

The “never Clinton” and “never Trump” voters made it difficult for pollsters to predict the industrial states and, on election night, provided suspense as states presumed to be in Clinton’s column – based on results from past elections – ended up going for Trump.

Will the same thing happen in 2020? The data today indicates that the “never” voters could deny President Trump a second term.

Extracting what people say, and applying it to candidates, Radnor concludes that nearly 97 percent of white voters state for the record that they will vote for candidates regardless of race, color, creed, gender or national origin. The remaining white voters declined to answer or hedged and gave no answer or an answer that could not be interpreted.

Probing further…

White Democrats in 2020: 16 percent are unlikely to vote for an African-American, 12 percent will not vote for a Hispanic and eight percent will not vote for a woman.

White Republicans in 2020: 19 percent will not vote for an African American, 12 percent will not vote for a Hispanic and 14 percent will not vote for a woman. However, Republican women seem to be changing their attitudes toward voting for a woman for president. They are satisfied that women “perform at least as well as men in the Senate, House of Representatives and as governors.” Radnor will continue to watch this small but important trend, which could shift a few states in 2020.

About Radnor Reports

Ken Feltman is past-president of the International Association of Political Consultants and the American League of Lobbyists. He is retired chairman of Radnor Inc., an international political consulting and government relations firm in Washington, D.C. Known as a coalition builder, he has participated in election campaigns and legislative efforts in the United States and several other countries.
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