What Voters Did NOT Vote for in South Carolina

The minute the polls close following a contentious election, the first question on everyone’s mind is: who won? The question that is obviously never asked is: what won? That is because issues are never on the ballot; only personalities are on the ballot.

There are three indelible factors in politics that are often overlooked by those of us who live and breathe this stuff for a living. 1) Perception is reality, even if the reality is antithetical to the public perception of a candidate; 2) voters ultimately cast ballots for individuals based on persona, not a coherent set of principles; and 3) name ID is the single biggest determinant of success.

As a result, political commentators all too often think that because, in their minds, candidate A believes in one set of principles and candidate B believes in another set of principles, voters who chose candidate A desired those policies and principles over candidate B’s. Unfortunately, elections don’t work that way. Many voters have no idea where a candidate really stands on the issues and often think their candidate believes the very opposite of his real position.

Consider the following: By a margin of 70-20%, Trump supporters in South Carolina, according to a PPP poll, want the Confederate Flag to fly over the state capital. But here’s the kicker: Trump himself supported Nikki Haley’s decision to remove it! Again, perception is reality, even when the reality is antithetical to the perception.

More than 55% of South Carolina voters picked Trump and Rubio combined. But it’s quite evident from the exit polling and the mood of the electorate that voters did NOT vote for the following (positions taken by at least one of the aforementioned candidates):

Single-payer health care

Eminent domain

Women in combat

Being an “honest broker” between Israel and the Palestinians

Open borders

The homosexual agenda

Judicial supremacy

Abortion and funding Planned Parenthood

Raising taxes on the wealthy

Cutting deals with the Democrats and establishment Republicans

In fact, it’s quite evident that voters want the exact opposite. The GOP electorate is larger, more conservative, and more religious than ever. And the 800-pound gorilla in the room is immigration. You can’t have a party that ignores its base on such a critical issue for over 20 years and get away with it forever. Whether Trump is sincere or not will be determined in the future, but his initial decision to jump on this issue has forever cemented his perception as the anti-establishment candidate who will fight political correctness. Three-fourths of the voters support a temporary ban on Muslim immigration, an issue we were proud to spotlight early and often here at Conservative Review – long before Donald Trump ran for president.

In addition, among voters to whom “shared religious beliefs matter,” Trump won a plurality, despite the fact that, in reality, he is not very religious at all. But he still won in a record turnout among Evangelicals. Again, perception is reality. And although Cruz won a plurality among self-described “very conservative” voters, Donald Trump still placed a close second, which means he is clearly siphoning off large numbers of the core base in addition to non-ideological and new voters.

At this point, Donald Trump is the clear front-runner. But what is also the front-runner are the principles and issues we’ve spotlighted for so long and will continue to do so, irrespective of who wins the nomination. Men are fallible, but principles endure. (For more from the author of “What Voters Did NOT Vote for in South Carolina” please click HERE)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.

  • MikefromNC

    In short, SC voters bought they hype and ignored the substance. They didn’t support the candidate that most closely reflects their own values and positions.
    Sounds like the monolithic voter blocks in the democrat party. I used to think conservatives were a little smarter than that.

    • Nels

      Speaking of “reflecting their own values,” isn’t that what 0bammy has done to the liberals? He has been a mirror, showing them what they thought they wanted. That’s what all politicians do, isn’t it? Show folks what they want to see on the surface, while keeping quiet about what’s really going on behind the shiny surface?
      Trump gives the appearance of showing us the real Trump. It may be cleverly bogus, but the constant stream of apparently uncalculated comments surely sounds like a regular guy spouting off about the topics of the day … and then learning more and changing his mind when he gets the facts.
      One thing that Trump has done for us this election season is to kick PC to the curb. He has talked about the things we all know, but too many of us were afraid to say. Illegals are a crime problem. All lives matter, not just black lives. The solution to terrorism is more guns in private hands, not more gun control. Hillary is a nasty old shrew. “Free trade” is destroying our nation. Mohammedan immi-vasion is importing terrorists, and will destroy our culture if it continues.
      Trump might not be a good president, but he might be our first American president in many years. Progressives aren’t Americans, and the Republican and the Democrat parties have been stuffing progressives into the oval office since the first Roosevelt.

      • MikefromNC

        The problem with what Trump is saying is that he has been DOING the opposite for most of his adult life. And we aren’t talking ancient history, we are talking about the last 12 months.
        He even said (THIS MONTH) that he can change into whatever he needs to be.
        Amazing that the very people who claim to hate that are supporting the very embodiment of it.

        • Nels

          Yes, in the worst case, he’s just another politician. Unlike all the others, there might be a better outcome than the worst case. If he just builds a wall, we’re miles ahead. If he’s another Cruz or 0bammy, well, what difference, at this point, does it make? We were going to get that if we voted for any of the alternatives – why not vote Trump for the entertainment factor – and for the side effects?

          More importantly than Trump’s wall, there is a very real chance that Trump’s candidacy, win or lose, is going to spell the end of the Republican party. The Republicans have been the party of the previous generation’s liberalism for decades, and they have been chasing the Democrats farther and farther to the left. The Republican’s lock on our vote have made Christians ineffective in national politics, and it’s high time we escaped the Republican plantation. Trump is quite likely to burn down the Republican’s “big tent,” and it’s the prospect of the bonfire that’s drawing a lot of his support. I’m bringing marshmallows, but after the blaze I’m looking forward to a political party that isn’t the party of “me too but less” liberalism.

          • MikefromNC

            ” If he’s another Cruz or 0bammy, well, what difference, at this point, does it make? ”

            Seriously? Obama and Cruz are just about as polar opposites as one can imagine. Of all the people to use as a comparison to Obama, he’s the last one that makes any sense.

            The party you describe (a political party that isn’t the party of “me too but less” liberalism) is called a CONSERVATIVE party. And nobody in the race is eve close to Cruz when it comes to being conservative. Oh, and Trump ain’t even close to being conservative.

          • Nels

            Actually, conservative means conserving what we have. Today, that’s generations of liberalism. If we conserve homo marriage, federal control of education, redistribution of wealth, female suffrage and so on, we are just liberals from the past. My aim is not to conserve the gains of past progressives, but to undo them.

            I’m looking forward to a party which will put American interests ahead of the interests of foreigners, and foreign corporations. I’m looking forward to the political conversation turning to all the things that Republican and Democrat liberals don’t want to talk about, like eliminating rather than conserving the Department of Education.

            Cruz and 0bammy are very different personally. Bathhouse Barry is a hate-filled, homosexual stoner. Cruz isn’t, that we can tell. 0bongo is destroying the US because he hates America, and Americans. Can’t tell why Cruz is set on destroying our country, but it’s probably for profit rather than for fun. However, despite the fact that Cruz is far less personally despicable than Bathhouse Barry, their aim the the same: the destruction of our nation.

            That’s why I keep repeating that Cruz is an internationalist. Like Bush or Pelosi or McStain or Feinstein, he wants to destroy this nation for his own profit. Unlike 0bammy, the destruction is the means rather than the end, but the final outcome is the same.

  • mikecnj

    This guy supports … That guy supports … Blah blah
    Changeable as the wind

  • gracentruth

    The more the elitists (including pope) come against Mr. Trump, the more we the people (regardless of all else) stand with Mr. Trump. It is as if we (through Mr. Trump) are winning against city hall. It feels great. It is great. Peace,

    • MikefromNC

      So Trumps entire life history of making deals with city hall doesn’t count? Are you familiar with the concept of a cult?

  • Daninfla6th

    The framers of these United States knew that democracy would take us to where we are because 50% of the people have an IQ below average and common sense to match. – AND THEY VOTE FOR FREE THINGS!

    • MikefromNC

      Or Trump.