The assumption is that he will make good on the wink, just as blacks made good on the nod by supporting him in record numbers.
It was another of the nudge, nudge, wink, wink jokes that summed up the entire enterprise.
Cultural conservatives will put up with a certain amount of pandering to more modern mores with a nudge and a wink.
Old English wincian "to nod, wink," from Proto-Germanic *wenkanan (cf. Dutch wenken, Old High German winkan, German winken), a gradational variant of the root of Old High German wankon "to stagger, totter," Old Norse vakka "to stray, hover," from PIE *weng- "to bend, curve." The meaning "close an eye as a hint or signal" is first recorded c.1100; that of "close one's eyes to fault or irregularity" first attested late 15c. Related: Winked; winking.
c.1300, from wink (v.); meaning "very brief moment of time" is attested from 1580s.
v. winked, wink·ing, winks
To close and open the eyelid of one eye deliberately, as to convey a message, signal, or suggestion.
To close and open the eyelids of both eyes; blink.