The numbers that reveal why Trump is America’s next president

Trump is also making progress with young people who are motivated by debates on abortion – an issue on which he has avoided taking a traditional Republican pro-life stance.

Bowman said that young people and female graduates may have softened on Trump because he has not expressed support for a nationwide abortion ban.

“He doesn’t want to be seen as an extreme on the issue of Roe v Wade, and that too could solve the problems that he’d have with college educated women in particular,” she said.

Rather than discuss abortion directly, Trump prefers to talk in political terms about the effect of abortion on his campaign.

“We’re living in a time when there has to be a little bit of a concession one way or the other,” he said at a Fox News town hall in Iowa earlier this month.

“You have to win elections, otherwise, you’re going to be back where you were, and you can’t let that ever happen again. You’ve got to win elections.” And small numbers could make all the difference. In 2020, the closest state, Georgia was decided by a margin of less than 12,000 votes – 0.23 per cent of almost five million voters who cast a ballot there. Biden engineered similarly close wins in Arizona, Michigan and Nevada.

Trump 2.0 in office

The conventional wisdom in presidential elections is that candidates campaign from one wing of their party in a primary election, capturing as many partisan supporters as possible, before tacking to the centre for the national vote.

In office, the need to placate Congress requires presidents to be even more conciliatory, building consensus and passing bills in their first term to ensure they are reelected for another four years.

Trump, who can only serve one more term under the provisions of the 22nd amendment, does not have this constraint.

Nor does he have concerns about upsetting moderate Republicans in Congress, having largely transformed the congressional wing of the GOP and won over its leadership, including the new House Speaker, Mike Johnson.

Trump, an amateur politician back in 2016, has also learnt from his first term and intends to bring back many of the policies that were blocked last time by the civil service – known to his supporters as creatures of “the swamp”.

It was not until the last year of his first presidency that Trump introduced Schedule F, a controversial executive order that gave him the power to gut the federal workforce, sacking employees that obstructed his policy plans and replacing them with loyalists.

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