Banning TikTok Could Have Devastating Electoral Consequences For Trump


Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has floated a possible ban of TikTookay, a Chinese-owned video-sharing social media app with an enormous base of younger American customers, however polling means that such a transfer may have dire political implications for President Trump’s reelection bid.


Amid growing issues from lawmakers of each events over TikTookay’s Chinese ties and alleged harvesting of person information, Pompeo informed Fox host Laura Ingraham that the administration is taking the app “very seriously” and that they’re “certainly looking at” a ban.

But a Morning Consult ballot launched Thursday suggests such a ban may backfire for Trump in November, with 33% of U.S. adults saying they oppose a ban and 29% saying they help it.

A ban can be opposed by crucial voting blocs like independents by four factors, self-described moderates by 6 factors and those that didn’t vote in 2016 by 13 factors, whereas independents and non-2016 voters additionally oppose a U.S. ban of any Chinese social media apps.

But the strongest opposition got here from adults between 18 and 29 years outdated, who oppose a TikTookay ban by an enormous 33-point margin, 52% to 19%, whereas these 35 to 44 years outdated oppose it by a 13-point margin.

Young voters might be crucial in deciding the end result of the 2020 election; youth activism and voter turnout has risen sharply since Trump’s election, based on research from Tufts University, which additionally confirmed that the youth vote performed a serious function in handing Democrats an enormous win in 2018.

TikTookay has ingrained itself into the day-to-day lives of younger Americans in current months, whereas polls recommend voters will not be strongly motivated by points like nationwide safety and worldwide relations, which means a TikTookay ban by the administration may maintain appreciable political threat with out a vital upside for Trump.

Key Background

TikTookay customers have already demonstrated their capacity to mobilize en masse each in pursuit of progressive politics and in opposition to Trump. It has been broadly used to arrange and talk in the course of the protest actions that sprung up within the wake of George Floyd’s demise. It was additionally used to inflate ticket registration figures for Trump’s Tulsa rally in June, with the Daily Mail reporting that as many as 300,000 of the roughly 1 million requests touted by the marketing campaign got here from TikTookay customers. 

Surprising Fact

The Morning Consult ballot additionally urged that many younger voters’ fast response to a ban from the Trump administration could be defiance. 18% mentioned they might be extra probably to make use of the app on listening to that the U.S. authorities was contemplating a ban, whereas 48% mentioned the knowledge would haven’t any affect on their use.

Big Number

37.2 million. The US has 37.2 million TikTookay customers, and that determine is projected to rise to as a lot as 45.four million in 2020, based on Statista, which additionally reviews that round two-thirds of these customers are adults. By comparability, Trump misplaced the nationwide fashionable vote by 2.eight million votes and gained in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, which handed him an electoral school victory, by simply over 100,000 votes.

What To Look For

The looming query is whether or not anti-Trump sentiment would impress votes for Biden. Despite espousing hawkish rhetoric on China and making an attempt to forged Trump as weak on his dealing with of U.S.-Chinese relations, Biden doesn’t share Trump’s oppositional stance in direction of TikTookay. Though the previous Vice President has lashed out harshly at Facebook, accusing them of permitting disinformation to fester on their platform, he has not made any such declarations about TikTookay, regardless of the app’s battle to take away a deceptively-edited video of him in March. Biden even appeared on the Washington Post’s infamous TikTookay to advertise mask-wearing and employed “TikTok Grandma” Mary Jo Laupp, essentially the most outstanding organizer of the hassle to inflate ticket registrations for Trump’s Tulsa rally, to begin a “political hype house” for him on the app.

News Peg

The U.S. has already been reviewing the app from a nationwide safety standpoint for a while. Reuters reported in November that the Committee on Foreign Investment, which evaluations commerce offers for potential nationwide safety threats, was investigating TikTookay’s acquisition of, for which it didn’t search clearance from the CFIUS. In January, the Pentagon suggested army personnel to delete the app from their telephones, and India banned TikTookay and 58 different Chinese cell apps and providers earlier this month amid rising tensions with China.

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