If you’ve listened to Donald Trump or his message at all over the last year and a half, you know that he has touted something known as the “silent majority.” Trump likes to say that this group has been “forgotten” or “left behind.” He has also repeatedly stated that the silent majority is “back.” But what is the “silent majority”?
The term was first used by then President, Richard Nixon, in 1969. The term was used by Nixon to indicate his belief that the great body of Americans supported his policies, and that those who demonstrated against the involvement of the United States in the Vietnam War amounted to only a noisy minority. The context that Trump has used it in basically amounts to the belief that there are many Americans out there who feel burned or even betrayed by Washington elitists, and “political hacks,” but until now, haven’t had anyone as a voice for them. Donald Trump represents a kind of phenomenon that has not been seen in this country. He is a self-proclaimed outspoken outsider, with virtually no inside ties to Washington, who has poured much of his own money into his campaign, and doesn’t accept donations from lobbyists or special interest groups. Because of these factors, many say that Trump “can’t be bought,” meaning he is not beholden to anyone in Washington. When you ask Trump supporters why they support him, overwhelmingly the reason they give is that he’s not a politician.
Due to these different factors, Trump has gained support from many people around the country who have either not voted in years, or in many cases, never voted at all. Now comes the silent majority part. Public opinion polls have been taken for years, and today, they are in fact considered more accurate than ever. Trump in recent weeks had slammed polls that showed him down as many as double digits, calling them, and even the election itself, “rigged.” However, with the latest revelation that the FBI has decided to resume their investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private server, those same polls have tightened significantly. Regardless, Trump still faces an uphill climb, needing to win most of the battleground states in order to cross the 270 electoral vote threshold. The vast majority of projections are still showing a Clinton victory as likely.
However, there are theories that those “new voters” we mentioned are not actually being picked up by the polls. And that could be true. If you have been out of the loop of politics for a while, or have never voted, more than likely, you are not going to get polled. There’s also the entirely real possibility that there are many ardent Trump supporters who are just plain scared to publicly express support for him, due to the fact that Trump and his supporters have been labeled by many as “racists,” “bigots” or “sexists.”
So, the ultimate question is this: could there be a “silent majority” swath of voters, who are finally going to make their voices heard on election day? We will know the answer to that on November 8th.