Texas billionaire and populist presidential candidate Ross Perot’s death Tuesday reminded Sanford's BJ Rudell of how important the Texan’s 1992 presidential campaign remains.
“His political legacy lies with the ideals he set forth -- ideals that no national politician has come close to realizing since,” BJ writes.
“In the summer of 1992, a plurality of the country craved someone different, someone who wasn’t defined by party labels. Today, at a time when political and ideological purity are celebrated among Republican and Democratic leaders, Perot’s passing reminds us that many Americans hate purity. They want authenticity.”
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In December 2017, POLIS Associate Director B.J. Rudell walked through how a slight uptick in voter participation in 2018 could lead one party to a wave election victory:
"Now imagine what would happen if merely 10% of these normally disempowered citizens decided to cast a vote in the 2018 midterms. And suppose the Democratic Party captured two-thirds of these 15 million new entrants. That would mean five million more Democratic votes across the country.
"What’s five million votes? In the 1994 wave election, congressional Republicans won a little over four million more votes than their Democratic counterparts. That equated to a pickup of 54 House seats and eight Senate seats."
According to the just-released U.S. Census Bureau report on the 2018 midterm elections, voter turnout last November was 11% higher than in 2014, disproportionately favoring Democratic candidates:
B.J.'s premise in December 2017 was that with increased polarization comes opportunity in the form of 100 million or more non-voters. Only a few million are needed to help one party dominate an election. Democrats were able to seize the advantage in 2018. It would be naive to think the same can't happen for Republicans or Democrats in 2020.
It all comes down to identifying non-voters and getting them to the polls. ... See MoreSee Less