For both Trump and Clinton, Orlando motivates base supporters

Modern US electioneering is not about persuading swing voters. Instead, it is about turning out those voters who are predisposed to support your campaign.

By
June 14, 2016 03:53
2 minute read.
Trump and Clinton

Trump and Clinton. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

WASHINGTON – After enduring unprecedented devastation and carnage on September 11, 2001, the American people experienced a genuine moment of unity over national values that had come under attack, and over the proper response to those behind it.

Sunday’s massacre in Orlando – on a far different scale than 9/11, but the deadliest terrorist attack on American soil since that day – has provided the country no such unifying moment, because the motives and the circumstances of the attack are layered, touching on a host of decades-old American culture wars.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


The complex causes behind the shooting means the attack is unlikely to strongly sway November’s US presidential election in one direction or another: both party bases have since constructed reductive narratives of what happened, which reinforce long-held political views of the world.

The conservative base of the Republican Party likely to turn out for Donald Trump, their presumptive nominee, has focused on the attack as an example of metastasizing Islamic extremism both at home and abroad.

The Orlando massacre, to these voters, represents a dangerous failure of the Obama administration to mitigate this threat as it has slowly grown over the last eight years.

Liberal voters in the Democratic Party, on the other hand, are outraged at the perception that Republican leadership has characterized Orlando as an indiscriminate terrorist attack, focusing exclusively on the Muslim identity of the perpetrator without acknowledging the gay identity of his victims. They scoff at “thoughts and prayers” from elected leadership, and instead seek policy reform – or at least an attempt at reform – on access to firearms.

Voters on both sides may be motivated to participate more actively in the campaign, but those passionate enough to vote based on the event in Orlando were likely voters anyway. And any visceral voter response to Orlando is likely to dissipate in the four and a half months between now and Election Day, during which several other potential news events may reshuffle their priorities.

JPOST VIDEOS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU:


Modern US electioneering is not about persuading swing voters, who as it is rarely rank national security, gun control or gay rights among their top issues. Instead, it is about turning out those voters who are predisposed to support your campaign in the first place.

And those voters are viewing the tragedy in Orlando through completely different lenses.

A conventional terrorist attack– involving a foreign-born agent or a citizen linked to a foreign-based terrorist organization, utilizing mass casualty weapons not widely accessible on the US marketplace– would likely focus the national conversation on homeland security and have a direct impact on the November election. But Orlando does not represent such an attack. The complex nature of what happened makes it easier for both campaigns to suitably politicize the event in the months to come.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Christian friends of Israel take part in the Feast of the Tabernacles celebrations in Jerusalem
September 26, 2018
Friends of Zion Flood Jerusalem

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF