The Corner

Marco Rubio Showed the Better Way to Win

One of the most encouraging aspects of the 2016 election is that a number of Republicans showed there’s more than one way to beat a Democrat. Indeed, in contested states, conservative senate candidates consistently out-polled Trump, taking very different approaches and piling up larger vote totals and sometimes-decisive margins.

Take Marco Rubio, a senator left for dead months ago but is now better described as the Boy Who Lived. Politico has the details:

In terms of his 714,000, 7.7 percentage-point margin in the general election, Rubio won more than 6 times that of Trump in Florida. The billionaire businessman beat the former secretary of state by about 114,000 votes, or 1.2 percentage points. Rubio garnered almost 52 percent of the vote in the U.S. Senate race, while Trump earned a little more than 49 percent in the presidential race.

In all, Rubio received almost 218,000 more votes than Trump.

How did he do it? In part by aggressively appealing to the Democrats’ Latino and African-American base:

For a modern-day Republican in a presidential election year, the bilingual Rubio won historic shares of support from Hispanics (48 percent) and African-Americans (17 percent), exit polls showed. He even carried a majority-black Jacksonville precinct.

And when you fight for black voters, black voters can indeed vote for a Republican

The campaign also had separate programs reaching out to voters of Cuban-American, Puerto Rican, Venezuelan and Colombian descent. It mined for votes in Miami’s Haitian American community and made inroads in traditionally African-American quarters of the electorate.

Rubio’s outspoken criticism of the “slumlord” company that runs the Eureka Gardens housing project in Jacksonville earned him such goodwill that he won the neighborhood precinct by 4 percentage points.

As Patrick Ruffini tweeted, “We win when we show up.”

This is the blueprint for the future – one that doesn’t rely on identity politics but instead on mobilizing citizens as Americans, not interest groups. The Democrats presume their future dominance by presuming their indefinite, overwhelming hold on Black and Latino votes. Rubio’s Florida win showed those presumptions can be wrong.

David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Most Popular

Elections

The Democrats’ Disastrous CNN LGBT Town Hall

A few days after Donald Trump committed the worst foreign-policy blunder of his presidency by betraying America’s Kurdish allies in northern Syria, former vice president Joe Biden, the elder statesman and co-frontrunner in the Democratic presidential primary, was on a national stage talking to CNN’s primetime ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Fox News Anchor Shepard Smith Resigns

Fox News Channel's chief anchor, Shepard Smith, announced on air Friday that he would be resigning from his post after 23 years with the network. “This is my last newscast here,” said Smith. “Recently, I asked the company to allow me to leave Fox News. After requesting that I stay, they obliged.” He ... Read More
NR Webathon

Don’t Let Michael Mann Succeed

I  enjoyed the running joke of Jarndyce v. Jarndyce in the great Dickens novel Bleak House, back when I first read it. Little did I know that one day I and the magazine that I love would effectively be caught up in a version of that interminable case, courtesy of a litigious climate scientist with zero regard ... Read More
Elections

Beto Proposes to Oppress Church with State

Beto O’Rourke’s presidential campaign is within the margin of error of non-existence, but in his failure he has found a purpose: expressing the Democratic id. His latest bid for left-wing love came at a CNN forum on gay rights, where he said that churches that oppose same-sex marriage should have to pay ... Read More