Republicans need to find a way to connect with younger voters ahead of the 2020 election, according to advice given by Charles Cook Jr., editor and publisher of The Cook Political Report, at the Council for a Better Louisiana’s annual meeting today at L’Auberge Casino & Hotel.
Voters between the ages of 18 and 29 voted Democrat by a 35-point margin in the past election, Cook says, while voters between 30 and 40 years old voted Democrat by a 19-point margin.
“Of the voters that were born ‘72 or earlier, Republicans basically broke even and won by a little bit, but the ones born after ‘72 got destroyed, just destroyed,” Cook says. “And Republicans need to be thinking about that as they look down the road and they better start connecting with younger voters.”
He also says those registered as Independent can also drive election outcomes. While Independent voters backed Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential campaign by a four-point margin, Democrats, he says, this year won the Independent vote by 12 points.
While Cook says he doesn’t believe Trump expected the job to be so complicated, he assumes Trump will run for re-election in 2020, saying he doesn’t think Trump’s DNA would let him run from a fight.
“Think about how little tolerance there is for dissent in the Republican Party,” Cook says. “Sen. Jeff Flake, from Arizona, wrote a book that came out last year that was highly critical of President Trump. That book amounted to a 160-page political suicide note. …Dental records will be of little use identifying the remains of whoever tries to run against Trump for the (Republican) nomination.”