Trump Win? Reasons to Think Yes and No

Will Donald Trump Win?Will Donald Trump win? The inconceivable looks more and more conceivable. I’m not just talking about the polls. Or the media coverage. The economic fundamentals of this race are basically tied. And I suspect that is where we will end in November. Sadly, the American voter doesn’t pay much attention to politics. We go with our gut. And in the gut department, Trump is doing pretty well. It’s very easy to see Trump win the presidency.

On Friday, I listened to a bit of Majority Report. Sam Seder poo-pooed a recent poll that found that 58 percent of Trump voters were enthusiastic to vote for him while only 46 percent were similarly inclined toward Clinton. Seder noted that he wasn’t enthusiastic to vote for Clinton, but he was still going to trudge to the polls and vote for her.

This is the wrong way to think about this. Of course a political junkie is going to vote regardless of their low enthusiasm for a particular candidate. Where a 12 percent point difference in enthusiasm hurts is on the margins. Right now, Real Clear Politics has Clinton up by only 1.1 percentage points in a 4-way race. It doesn’t take many people just not caring to make Trump win.

Could Trump Win the Debates?

Liberals are now hoping that Hillary Clinton can turn things around in the debates. Could be! But I’m not very hopeful. Everyone already knows that Clinton is competent in the extreme. The supposed problem with her is that you just can’t trust her because of “lingering questions” and the “appearance of corruption.” Donald Trump’s well documented dishonesty is mostly a nonissue now. It is dog-bites-man. The people may not know, but the journalists do, so why cover it?

Hillary ClintonBut I don’t know what liberals think Donald Trump is going to do at the debates. Do they think he’s going to bark like a dog? Or say that women shouldn’t vote? Do they think he will actively insult Clinton? No. He will do his “presidential” act. Clinton has real policy proposals? Trump will have policy-ish proposals. Most people won’t be able to tell the difference. And given the “expectations game” that the media play, it will very likely make Trump win.

Good News for Clinton

There are things that bode well for Hillary Clinton. One is simply that even with all the bad press, she’s still ahead. We get a very skewed view of things when we look at the polling trend. The truth is that Clinton’s support after the DNC was always soft. Her support for the last month has been steady. It’s Trump’s support that has gone up. And I think that’s just Republicans falling in line. We all knew that would happen. It always happens. It happened with Romney.

There is also a over a month and a half left of this campaign. I don’t see things getting worse for Clinton. What’s more, I think that liberals have done a good job of working the refs. Even though the press is pushing back, saying that they are just following the facts, knowing that your fact-free anti-Clinton innuendo stories are going to be savaged will change the coverage. What’s more, I think (Hope?!) as we get closer to election day, a lot of third-party “I just can’t vote for Hillary” types will see the reality of the situation.

Finally, Clinton is good at the nuts-and-bolts of political campaigns. Donald Trump is not. The Clinton campaign has an army spread out across the country to get people to the polls. Is that enough for her to defeat Donald Trump? No, not alone. But it is a major advantage.

Will Trump Win?

The fact that Trump has any chance at all of winning is terrifying. I’ve said for a long time that this election really will come down to a generic Republican versus a generic Democrat. The truth is that Donald Trump is a typical Republican. The only thing that sets him apart is that he’s vulgar. I’m not worried about him starting World War III. I’m worried about him filling the Supreme Court. There are many other things that I worry about as well. But the Supreme Court alone is enough to terrify me.

We can’t let Trump win!

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

11 thoughts on “Trump Win? Reasons to Think Yes and No

  1. I think the critical effect of Trump, win or lose, is to have cemented the “post-truth politics” we’ve been heading for since…well, definitely since the Dawn of Reagan and probably since the “Boys on the Bus” back in the Seventies. The transition from “news” to infotainment is complete, along with the requisite disregard for inconvenient “facts” and “reality” and “stuff”. Truth is what You the People believe it is and facts are whatever you believe most strongly.

    So, in my mind, Trump has already “won”. You’re right that politically he’s just a bog-standard Republican; oligarchy for those who can afford it, feudalism for those of you YUUUGE losers who can’t…tax cuts and bombing darkies. But his arrant disregard for anything approaching veracity – and by that I mean not that he’s calculatedly lying on certain issues or under certain circumstances but that he just says…well, whatever blerps into his hindbrain and he doesn’t immediately get massively slammed by every report covering him – has lighted the path for the NEXT authoritarian demagogue that the Republican “base” has been primed for and the fringe of low-information, conspiracy-theory nitwits (i.e. the people that Gene Wilder tells Cleavon Little are “the little people…the people of the earth…you know…morons.”) will flock to.

    THAT’s what galls me about this election. I mean…I know that we’re likely in the last years of the Old Republic. I can see the bridge across the Rubicon in the distance. But I hoped it would be…well, a bit further along the road. I’d like to bide safely in a ditch before my fellow “citizens” decide to put down our collective britches and hand the rod to some bullying braggart of a plutocrat.

    • I think you’re right … this has been a long time coming. I think back to Iran-Contra, and how mostly the public didn’t care. The “infotainment,” as you say, cares whether or not Bill Clinton is lying about a blowjob. The Bush administration lying about WMDs? Who notices? Besides, Americans love wars, as long as our side’s winning. I like to imagine these trends will reverse themselves, but I’m not sure.

    • Certainly, a big concern is that Trump makes a more appealing demagogue possible. If he loses, I certainly think that is what the Republicans will give us: Trump++. If he loses, I expect a good 10% of the voters to wake up on Wednesday, 9 November and give us a great big Arrested Development, “I’ve made a terrible mistake.” I say that because that’s what a great many people in the UK said after the Brexit vote. But Trump will still be president. And the long-term effect will be to help the Republican Party, because these people won’t blame the party — just the candidate. I also think that if we get one term of Trump we are almost certain to get two.

      I think what makes me so bothered by this election is that I see the Old Republic dying too. We are entering a liberal era. But even 4 years of Trump will result in long-standing changes to the federal courts that will stop liberal progress even if the people vote overwhelmingly for it. And that’s what’s annoying me about all this third party nonsense I hear from liberals — most of them to the right of me.

  2. Al Giordano said on Twitter that ground game gives 2-5 pt increase for the candidate with the superior game. So since Clinton does have that army of volunteers who are well trained and everywhere, I don’t think it will be as close as the polls make it seem.

    And of course the debate I am going to MISS because of class *swears* will be a huge factor for once. Trump has super low expectations but at the same time it is the worst of all worlds for him-one on one with someone who is his hated enemy-a much smarter woman who doesn’t fear him.

    • I doubt he’ll do well in debates but that won’t matter to his voters. They don’t like him because he’s smart — they like him because he’s a successful con artist, and they think that’s how the “real world” is, everyone pulling one over on everyone else. They foolishly imagine con artist Trump will be a con artist on their side.

      OTOH, strong performances could be useful to Clinton. It could help motivate Democrats who aren’t as motivated by her as they were by Obama. I basically guess that neither candidate can hurt themselves in the debates, but Cinton can help herself. There’s no zinger or insult Trump can sling to win over anyone who isn’t won.

      Boy, debates are strange theater, aren’t they?

    • I think the problem with the debates will be the same problem as always with Trump; that it’s damn hard to “argue” sensibly with someone who just pulls stuff out of his ass. It’s like Calvinball or mud-wrestling – you can’t really figure out a reasonable way to do it and the biggest goof usually winds up having the most fun.

      Well, I mean…you CAN respond to his nonsense. But it involves laughing hysterically and then just saying (as deadpan as possibly) “Well, I guess that pretty much covers the “poop-flinging monkey” viewpoint…” or something to that effect. Problem is that it doesn’t work in the context of a televised “debate”.

      So I’m not looking forward to anything but getting past this shit rain.

      But…as I noted above; the problem is that it ISN’T Trump. It’s what he’s normalized, and the next autocratic GOP demagogue will do better. Trump is a buffoon. But he’s opened the Hellmouth, and what will come after him has the potential to be truly frightful.

      • I agree. Although the tendency is quite old, Palin really proved something about our modern situation when she just lied through her debate with Biden and got away with it. When Romney’s campaign was faltering, he turned to pure lying. And both got a temporary boost in the polls.

        I doubt it’s an accident that Trump started his birther blather right after Palin’s 15 minutes of fame.

        I agree about the Hellmouth, too. If we don’t present a more appealing alternative, and soon, the next Trump will be worse — and there will be far more of them.

      • Clinton has had to deal with over the top annoying blowhards before-after all she has testified before Congress.

        So I think she will be really good at getting under his skin. And Trump does terrible one on one.

    • Yeah, but Al’s a creepy old man; what does he know?! But that does sound about right.

      On the debates, I must admit to being worried. They are so unpredictable. How is it that Gore “lost” his first debate against Bush even though Bush showed himself to be an idiot? My great concern is that as long as Trump doesn’t pull his pants down and take a dump on the stage, the headline will be, “Trump Presidential in Debate While Questions About Clinton Linger.”

      • I think if he avoids punching her it will be considered a win for him.

        Al is cleaning himself up for his trip to Vermont to do an oral history. I think he might actually be serious about this run.

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