As the US elections approach closer, the American mainstream media is learning from the mistakes that it made during the 2016 US Presidential elections. After predicting a massive lead for the Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden, the pro-Democrats media, including the CNN, has now started showing a hike in US President Donald Trump’s approval ratings.
Donald Trump himself is surprised. He tweeted, “What’s with @CNN POLLS increasing me by 10 points in a short period of time. Maybe they want to take over from @FoxNews!” Trump is trolling the CNN, but the American liberal media is very carefully building a perception here that can alter the upcoming US Presidential Elections on November 3.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 17, 2020
CNN has learnt its lessons from the previous Presidential polls when it had predicted a landslide victory for the Democrat nominee Hilary Clinton. Its predictions had struck a sense of complacency in the minds of the Democrat voters while creating a sense of fear amongst the Republican voters. Consequently, Republicans voted heavily for Trump while many Blue voters let it go, which had led to what was described as a shocking defeat for Hilary Clinton in the last presidential elections.
This time around the liberal media is following a different strategy, by instilling a sense of complacency amongst the Republican voters to eliminate Trump’s ‘silent majority’. At the same time, the liberal media’s message to the Democrats loud and clear- get your act together or else Trump will come back for a second term. The idea is to bring down the voter turnout among the Republicans and subsequently shoot up the voter turnout amongst the usually unenthusiastic Blue voters in the coming elections
The changing trend can be particularly significant in the twelve Super States (or Swing States), which flip between red and blue in each election cycle. These Swing States include Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin. Within the US, there are 50 States out of which 15-20 are slated to go to Republicans and Democrats each. The Swing States will, therefore, make all the difference.
Within the US, what the CNN describes as the ‘narrowing margin’ between Biden and Trump is becoming a major talking point. Both Democrat (or Biden) supporters and staunch Republican (or Trump) supporters are bound to get influenced by the change in media perception.
It is alright for Trump and his supporters to casually target the liberal media and poke at the CNN, but the United States must realise that there is a strong undercurrent behind Trump’s rising approval ratings. The US should take a lesson from India’s General elections in 2004, 2014 and 2019.
Much like the changing opinion of Trump’s popularity, even amongst the fiercest of his critics like the CNN, the former Prime Minister of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee was also being projected as a frontrunner ahead of the 2004 Lok Sabha polls. Most of the opinion polls from all sections of media had then predicted the victory of Vajpayee-led BJP government.
Vajpayee himself was a visionary, right-wing leader who had lent political and economic stability to India. He still remains popular with the people of India for his initiatives like the Golden Quadrilateral to connect all corners of India with world-class highways, PMGSY to connect unconnected Indian villages with all-weather roads and elementary education reforms.
There was no reason why Vajpayee should have lost the 2004 polls, except the enthusiastic opinion polls that set in a complacency syndrome in the core BJP voters. 2004 General Elections had themselves witnessed a very low voter turnout at 58 per cent.
But the Indian electorate didn’t let the liberal media fool it again. When the country again went to polls in the year 2014, a clear majority wasn’t being predicted for yet another charismatic BJP leader, Narendra Modi- the present Prime Minister of India. However, most of the liberal media outlets predicted that Modi would be the frontrunner in the Prime Ministerial race. Still, the electorate did not become complacent.
India itself was witnessing a major Modi wave and an anti-Congress sentiment. Therefore, PM Modi was voted in with a historic mandate in 2014 for his first term. Five years later, when India again went to elections, a big victory was being predicted for PM Modi much like a landslide win was being predicted for the former Prime Minister of India, Vajpayee in the year 2004.
However, the talking point in India in 2019 was to avoid making the same mistake that was made in 2004. India did not wish to lose a development-oriented visionary yet again. Thus, PM Modi returned with an even bigger mandate than the one he got in 2014. The US can learn from BJP’s one defeat, two grand victories and lots of liberal propaganda.
American voters must not allow themselves to get overwhelmed by what the liberal media has to say. Trump has a silent majority and the popular sentiment in his favour but it would not translate into anything unless the Republican supporters exercise their franchise in the upcoming elections.