Can Donald Trump Be Stopped?
Donald Trump hasn't hit the point of inevitability yet, but time is running short if Republicans are going to stop him.
When the Donald Trump phenomenon began, it was easy for many pundits and, especially, many Republicans to dismiss him as a mere showman who was attracting support mostly because people found him to be entertaining. As time went on though, it became clear that there was more than just showmanship going on here. Not only did Trump’s lead in the polls continue far longer than that the temporary fad that many thought it would be, but it survived time after time when Trump did or said something that would seemingly doom any other candidate, whether it was insulting Mexicans, John McCain, Megyn Kelly, Carly Fiorina, Ben Carson, a disabled New York Times reporter, or Muslims. Each time Trump did something that was supposed to doom his campaign, though, he only seemed to rise in the polls. Similarly, when Trump’s position at the top of the polls was challenge, whether it was by Ben Carson in November or Ted Cruz in December, he managed to deftly launch attacks on both candidates that brought them back down to Earth and sent his numbers soaring again. Even as Trump entered the sixth month at the top of the polls, though, the doubters continued to play down his campaign, wondering if polls were overstating his support and whether he could translate support in the polls into votes on the ground. Once the voting began, all those questions were answered.
Over just the past three weeks, Trump has finished a strong second in the Iowa Caucuses and pulled off big wins in primaries in both New Hampshire and South Carolina. Tomorrow, he seems poised to win big in the Nevada Caucuses tomorrow. Additionally, he holds the lead in the Republican Delegate Count and has received more popular votes so far than any other candidate. Now, instead of wondering if the Trump phenomenon is for real, pundits and Republican leaders are wondering if Trump can be stopped:
Donald Trump leads nationally and in most state polls, but both Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio will likely be armed with the rationales and the resources to stay in the race through at least March, if not right up to the Republican National Convention in July.
Despite Trump’s polling lead, there are significant obstacles to his running away with the nomination in the coming weeks. With Rubio buoyed by momentum, Nevada’s organizing-heavy caucuses set for Tuesday, and the first half of March weighted toward states where Cruz is poised to finish strongly, there is little space for Trump to translate that lead into a certain nomination in the coming weeks.
“We’re still in February. We’re three states in to this. Trump’s off to a good start but the dynamic of the race is changing after tonight,” said Republican strategist Henry Barbour, a critic of Trump’s.
Meanwhile, Rubio’s strength makes him the standard-bearer of center-right Republicans and their deep-pocketed backers as Jeb Bush’s departure from the race frees resources for the Florida senator and clears out a cluttered field before the real action begins.
“Until it clears out, it’s an advantage for Trump,” said one person close to the New York billionaire.
After that, Republicans seeking to block Trump from the nomination believe the polarizing businessman will struggle to bring new supporters into the fold.
“He has a low ceiling that’s going to make it hard for him to close the deal as the field narrows,” said Barbour. “His core vote’s going to stick with him, but I have serious doubts that he can grow it to where he needs to to get to 1,237 delegates.” Trump, for his part, maintains he will pick up a healthy chunk of the supporters freed up as his rivals drop out.
Time will tell. The results so far have only been a prelude. Including South Carolina, 4 percent of delegates have been awarded up to this point.
Frank Bruni at The New York Times is more sanguine about the matter:
It was going to happen. Of course it was going to happen. You just had to be patient. You just had to be strong.
But in the wake of his victories in New Hampshire and now South Carolina, the question is no longer “when.” It’s “if.” And the answer isn’t clear at all.
Consider this: From 1980 forward, no Republican presidential candidate has won both the New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries and gone on to lose the party’s nomination.
And this: Over that same time period, only one Republican victor in South Carolina failed to become the nominee, and that was Newt Gingrich, in 2012. But Gingrich didn’t have Trump’s durable (and sizeable) lead in national polls. He didn’t dominate the race’s narrative and capture an exasperated electorate’s mood the way Trump has.
Going forward, Rubio is probably the bigger threat to Trump than Cruz, who won only 26 percent of South Carolina voters who identified themselves as evangelical or born-again Christians despite having campaigned as narrowly and fiercely as possible for their favor. More of them chose Trump, who got 34 percent of the evangelical vote, and plenty of them chose Rubio, who got 21 percent.
That potentially spells trouble for Cruz in the Southern states on Super Tuesday that he’d hoped to dominate. Rubio, meanwhile, is better positioned than Cruz to pick up former supporters of Jeb Bush, who ended his candidacy Saturday night, and to compete well in states outside the South.
And in the days and weeks to come, Rubio will get even more help and money than he has so far from Republican bigwigs who are desperate to see someone less truculent and divisive than Trump or Cruz burst into the lead. His South Carolina showing redeemed his New Hampshire embarrassment and renewed their faith.
But Rubio hasn’t notched a single victory yet. Trump has notched two, and whether they fully lived up to the advance polling is irrelevant. They’re victories, plural. They’re no fluke, no fad.
Naysayers can’t claim that he’s just a bad gaffe or an ugly revelation away from doom. There have already been gaffes aplenty—if you can call them gaffes. There have been revelations galore.
All Trump’s fans see is someone barreling forward without apology and with a largeness that makes them feel a little less small. They see a winner. And it’s no longer an illusion.
And Larry Sabato notes that, if Trump is going to be stopped then the time to do so is running short:
Most mainstream Republicans will sooner or later move to Rubio, but will it be soon enough? He can’t keep on finishing second or third — or fifth, as he did in New Hampshire. You have to start winning, but where?
Trends from Iowa and New Hampshire manifested themselves once again in South Carolina. Trump did better among voters with lower education levels, while Rubio did better among the more educated. Cruz did well with the most conservative voters, but he doesn’t show much appeal outside of the hard-liners. To have a shot, Cruz must do well in the most religious and conservative states. Unquestionably, South Carolina is one of them, yet Cruz didn’t get a single delegate. Cruz is well-funded and has some theoretically promising states coming up on Super Tuesday — like his home state of Texas — but his hopes of winning the nomination seem to be dwindling, at least at the moment.
Let’s make no mistake: Trump, amazingly, is in a commanding position to become the Republican presidential nominee. The fact that he won about the same share of the vote in New Hampshire and South Carolina — two wildly different states — shows the broad appeal of his campaign among a significant portion of the Republican electorate. As we noted in the Crystal Ball on Thursday, we’re rapidly approaching a critical point in the Republican primary process: After Florida, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina, and Ohio vote on March 15, nearly 60% of the Republican delegates will have been won. If someone is going to beat Trump, Rubio probably has the best shot, but the hour is growing late for all of the non-Trump candidates.
Sabato’s analysis, not surprisingly, seems to be spot-on. At the moment, all of the momentum in the race for the Republican nomination lies with Donald Trump and that he stands to run away with the race unless something changes relatively soon. As it stands, of course, the biggest obstacle to stopping Trump is the fact that the non-Trump vote remains divided among a number of other candidates to an extent that allows Trump to run up wins, and grab the majority of delegates even in states where they are largely awarded proportionally, simply because the opposition is not united. The religious conservative vote that isn’t going to Trump, for example, is split between Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Ben Carson. Rubio also splits the ‘establishment’ or mainstream GOP vote with Ohio Governor John Kasich. And the generally “anti-Trump” vote is split up between four different candidates at this point. If Trump were only facing two challengers to Trump left in the race, or preferably from the point of view of those in the GOP who want to see Trump stopped, just one candidate, then it would arguably be harder for Trump to continue racking up victories and collecting delegates and it would give Trump opponents a single candidates on whom to focus their support.
As things stand, though, there’s little sign that the field is going to shrink any time soon. Notwithstanding the fact that he has failed to follow up on his win in the Iowa Caucuses, which seem to be continuing their trend of being utterly meaningless in the race for the GOP nomination regardless of the year, Ted Cruz seems convinced that he is far better organized in the Super Tuesday and subsequent states and that this will work to his benefit. Other than Texas, though, there don’t appear to be any states in which Cruz is dominating in the polling. Despite this, he appears unlikely to pull out of the race any time soon. Ohio Governor John Kasich’s campaign seems intent on playing through to the primaries in Midwestern states such as Michigan and, of course, Ohio, where they believe Kasich can do well enough to pull off wins that will make him a player in the delegate count going forward. Marco Rubio’s campaign will likely get a financial boost from the withdrawal of Jeb Bush, so he’s unlikely to drop out as long as he believes he can hold on long enough to be the only candidate left in the race other than Trump. As for Ben Carson, it’s hard to understand what motivates him but he seems intent on staying in the race and may only change his mind in that regard if they stop inviting him to debates at some point. There is, in other words, no reason for any of the men left in the race not named Trump to drop out of the race at this point and as long as that’s the case it will work to Trump’s benefit and make it much harder to stop him as the race goes on.
In addition to the incentives keeping the other candidates in the race, it’s important to remember Trump’s advantages. He continues to lead in the national polling, and presently leads in polling in ten of the fourteen states that will hold primaries or caucuses over the next three weeks. Additionally, it’s worth keeping in mind that contrary to the assertion Marco Rubio made yesterday, it’s a mistake to assume that every voter who has voted for a candidate other than Trump, or told a pollster they support a candidate other than Trump, is automatically a vote for one of the other candidates running against Trump. At least some portion of this non-Trump support will go to Trump himself, if only because the general tendency seems to be that voters end up getting behind the front-runner out of a desire to end the race and avoid further damage to the party that might result from the party. It may take longer for that to happen in Trump’s case because of his higher negatives, but if he keeps winning it will happen.
So no, we have not reached the point where Donald Trump is the inevitable Republican nominee but time is running out and the current trends continue to be all in Trump’s favor.
One thing is for certain: there is no stopping Trump; he will soon be president. And I for one welcome our new Trump overlord. I’d like to remind him that as a trusted Internet commenter, I can be helpful in rounding up others to toil in his underground Twitter caves.
I’m trying to imagine any of these three with the nuclear codes. Terrifying.
Wishful thinking, that is.
The worlds most terrible comb-over is the personification of every lie and pander that Republican establishment has told it’s base but never ever delivered on. Your prayer that somehow he is now going to be stopped is naive.
There is a way to stop Trump ….
Vote for Hillary!
Worse: according to Trump, amnesty shill Rubio may not be eligible to run for President. Is Gang of 8 Rubio a natural-born citizen? Worth looking into. If not, that may explain Rubio’s love of illegal immigration. Bernie voted against Ted Kennedy’s amnesty bill in 2007. Rubio is to the left of Bernie Sanders on immigration and probably not eligible to run anyway.
Trump can’t be stopped.
And smart people (saw Tyler Cowen doing this) are adjusting their thinking accordingly.
What prayer? Donald Trump as the Republican nominee would be a political pundit’s dream come true.
It’s not my party, so if the GOP wants to go down that path who am I stop them?
Just look at this list of people lining up to be part of Trump’s inner circle of advisers.
You keep saying that.
These two pieces were adjacent to each other on Real Clear Politics this morning.
First, John Fund at National Review:
The Myth of Trump’s Inevitability
Now, Chris Cillizza at the Washington Post:
Trump has a stranglehold on the GOP nomination. So why isn’t he getting credit?
I think Fund is missing what Cillizza is seeing: that at a certain point Trump’s apparent ceiling in support will break, as more Republicans perceive him as the inevitable nominee and move to support him. Fund seems to think that ceiling is far more firm than it actually is.
At this point I don’t see how Trump loses the nomination. Yeah, I know, only some small percentage of delegates have been awarded, we still have Super Tuesday, proportional award of delegates until after March 15, etc. But the guy has said things–dozens and dozens of things–that even taken individually would have obliterated a normal campaign. And he’s been utter Teflon. His is not a normal campaign, and this is not a normal election, and the normal rules…may not apply. The saner among us may hope for a return to normalcy, but hope isn’t always enough.
To figure this out, you would really need to do a state-by-state breakdown and the allocation of delegates, including those who aren’t pledged to a candidate. The overall delegate count tends to skew in favor of the less extremist GOP enclaves (which is one reason why Romney won in 2012), but those states haven’t yet voted.
If Rubio can win a state such as Florida, then that should help him because Florida GOP delegates are winner-take-all.
And if no one candidate has half of the delegates, then there will be a haggle at the convention. Winning a plurality of delegates is not enough, and I suspect that this is the best tool that the GOP establishment has for dealing with Trump. But if Trump can win over more moderate Republicans and win the larger more moderate primary states, then the leadership could have a problem.
Obviously, I’ll never convince you otherwise until I start writing obsequious bootlicking pro-Hillary propaganda. Which I’ll never do. Because there are more choices out there than just Republicans and Democrats.
You mean like Ohio? Where so-called moderate John Kasich has just proudly de-funded Planned Parenthood;
Moderate and Republican is an oxymoron.
Thanks for missing the point. (It’s not as if I’m going to be voting for any Republicans.)
C’mon…you carry so much water for Republicans your biceps have to be the size of cantaloupes.
All your crap about both sides doing it?
Missive after missive about the alleged failures of Obamacare, and about zip on it’s myriad successes.
You wrote yards of copy about how Republicans are legally justified in obstructing a SCOTUS nomination, and about zip on how it is an irresponsible and tectonic shift in the traditions and norms that actually make our government work.
Your track record is pretty clear.
Then you pull out this patronizing crap when confronted about it…maybe it fools you…but no one else.
No…I got your point…my point is that there is no such thing, anymore, as moderate Republicans. Everyone talks about Kasich being the voice of moderation. But he’s just as radical as the rest. So winning them over isn’t necessary for Trump to win the nomination.
Outside of the court cases,I haven’t written about the PPACA in a long, longtime. And I gave my legal opinion about the SCOTUS issue and we had a long discussion about that in other comment threads. There’s no point in rehashing that stuff here.
I’m not going to get into this into a comment thread again and, I’ll again remind you of our comment policies.
That’s about what I expected.
I’m talking about the voters, such as Northeastern Republicans who tend to be more urban and less populist.
Trump still appears to have a low ceiling, never exceeding 35% of the vote. This means there may be a potential of 65% of Republican votes that could support one good opposition candidate if the field quickly narrows…
Well…I will admit that in talking to some of my Republican friends they do seem flumoxed by Trump and Cruz. On the other hand I’ll also remind you that New Hampshire is in the North East and Trump won over the so-called moderate Kasich by almost 20 points.
Donald Trump will probably be President. Say what you will about the Republicans, at least they are probably going to nominate the candidate that is getting their side excited. While the Democrats of course are going to take the “safe” route and nominate a candidate who nobody really even likes all that much.
Hillary Clinton will spend the entire general election campaign on the defensive. Not only will every 3rd word out of Donald Trump’s mouth be “emails”, but he’s also taken positions that make it likely two issues that have dogged her in the primary, wall street donations and the vote for the Iraq war will remain salient through the general election campaign as well.
Downvote me all you want, but then just watch in horror as it unfolds this summer and fall. 🙁
Poor Doug. All he wanted was a nice, conservative blog to bloviate in. Then all these others showed up. He must be wondering what he did in a previous blog to deserve this.
Well, no, because that analysis assumes that none of the Cruz/Rubio/Carson/Bush etc. voters are potential Trump voters.
I rather think that Trump has a floor, not ceiling, of 35%, and that as more of the other GOP candidates drop out some of their voters will move over to Trump’s camp, pushing him over 50%. Many Cruz/Rubio etc. voters, remember, are already embittered/racist/angry/stupid/evil etc., and denied the ability to vote for their preferred candidate will then vote for the short-fingered vulgarian.
New Hampshire is a retail politics state with primary voters who have a propensity for choosing firebrands. It isn’t typical of the Northeast, let alone the US.
This seems to be leading us toward a scenario where a Trump-__________ ticket loses in the general election, and base conservatives complain that yet again they were sold out by ____________, who gave them another RINO ticket.
Yes, but not where any of us are remotely comfortable with. Worst case scenario is he wins, does something predictably stupid that’s impeachable (and you know he will, prob in 30 days or less) and the Repubs join forces with the Dems to impeach his ass and let their “acceptable” choice, the VP, take over. Watch who’s names get floated for VP – that’s your real next President if the Dems don’t take it.
Romney, McCain, Bush43, Buchanan, Bush41, Reagan, Ford, Nixon.
Buchanan is the single outlier in that list.
Much of New Hampshire is just North Boston.
That’s an interesting idea, but it might be more likely that Trump would get about 2-3 months into the presidency and, when his fans start turning on him like rabid jackals because there’s no wall being built and no Muslims and Mexicans have been rounded up and deported, resign.
He would have gotten all that he wanted: the ego gratification of being elected.
@Todd: I actually agree with you that Trump is the best bet for the GOP in the general. I’m not as pessimistic about Clinton’s chances, though; the SC fight is certain to put some sails in the Democrat rolls, if not Trump’s continual provocations to Latinos. Still, it’s close — I would call it 65-35 in favor of Hillary. (That’s a good deal closer than I would like, FWIW.)
I think the prospect of President Trump will get some intelligent people, D and R, fired up.
Trump favorables with the American populace (according to RCP’s average):
In 2012, Ron Paul won 23% of the GOP primary vote. Romney had a plurality, but not a majority.
In 2000, John McCain won the NH primary, and Steve Forbes won 13% of the vote. NH was not in sync with the rest of the GOP.
in 1992 and 1996, Buchanan won a plurality.
And it seems forgotten that Reagan was a fringe candidate until he wasn’t — in that case, NH actually was ahead of the curve and played a role in turning him into a serious contender. George HW Bush was leading early on in the 1980 primary until Reagan managed to turn it around.
So no, NH is not really normal by GOP standards.
Yeah, like Hillary wouldn’t use her access to the codes to “encourage” donations to the Clinton Foundation?
Oh…I thought we were talking about winning…not first loser.
That’s true, but remember we still need a majority….
From the NYT article above:
Trump has won both.
May there be shenanigans at the convention? Who knows? It’s not like today’s Republicans care about accountability…so anything is possible.
Trump really would be a political pundit’s dream as he doesn’t seem to have any hardcore ideology toward either side. He could be more pragmatic after the election and his statements are presented more as negotiation starting points.
Well, I think there’s really only one conclusion we can draw from all of this drama — this is really good news for John McCain!
@Doug Mataconis: “It’s not my party, so if the GOP wants to go down that path who am I stop them?”
‘Democrats fall in love; Republicans fall in line.’
Right…like the way he negotiated Megan Kelly off the debates. Obviously he is a terrific negotiator. It’s obvious why Mexico would pay billions for the dumbest idea in history.
@Peacewood: I’m closer to 60-40 myself. Clinton is intensely disliked by the right, so you have the “vote against” faction out. Trump is a carnival barker, so you get the base. It’s an open seat the incumbent party is hoping to keep. From all this, Republican turnout will be higher. Deprived of the young’s passion and stronger knees for canvassing, as well as a presumed “sexist vote” disadvantage similar to the “racist vote” disadvantage that lowered Obama’s victory margin*, she goes into the general with intrinsic weaknesses. This is all before any debate, in which I’m more in line with Todd’s thinking that Trump will exploit issues with Clinton that Sanders has been more nuanced about. Clinton’s going to appeal to people’s thinking at those debates; thinking people aren’t the majority of votes.
So why 60-40 then? Hope. 🙂
* It’s important to note that was the total effect of people voting for Obama because he was black and people voting against him because he was black. I imagine a similar effect will take place genderwise with Clinton on the ticket. Some “Blue Dog” Democrats/Independents might switch their vote over genitalia, rationalizing it into something that comes off less stupid.
I wonder if those guys think they’ll actually be advising Trump (a naive idea, I’d think) or if they just want to be close to that winning glow.
(Bret Easton Ellis, author of American Psycho, tweeted this yesterday: “Just back from a dinner in West Hollywood: shocked the majority of the table was voting for Trump but they would never admit it publicly.” He was shocked last night. His sense of reality has since been readjusted.)
While I’m not sure Donald Trump will be our next president, I’m pretty sure he’s going to the be the GOP nominee.
And that gives him a better than even chance that he’ll be president. It’s something we should be prepared for.
I want to put a big caveat on my dire predictions about Hillary Clinton: I would be absolutely thrilled to be proven wrong in the end.
I can even go along with the idea that she probably should still be considered the favorite against Trump (but that’s before we see how the campaign takes shape). What worries me is the Democrats who seem to relish the idea of running against Trump, as if because he’s said a few outrageous things he’ll somehow be “easy” to beat in the fall.
If two primary campaigns have shows us anything, it’s that Hillary Clinton is just not a naturally gifted campaigner. If she wins in the end, it will be anything but “easy”. And on a side note, if (as looks likely after NV, and what’s probably coming in SC) she does get the nomination, Clinton supporters gloating and making condescending remarks towards and about Sanders supporters is only going to make that task even more difficult. Young voters being “unreliable” about showing up to the polls could very easily become a self-fulfilling prophecy for Democrats.
At the same time, Clinton is going to use issues that Trump’s republican competitors didn’t use against him, either because they are afraid of him running as third party candidate ,or because they are cowed by fear of being denounced as PC police: his bankruptcies/scams (Trump University!), his anti-vaxxerism, birtherism, racism, just to top things off.. In fact, there were nearly zero negative campaigning conducted against him by anyone!
Also important to consider: the only time in which Trump took serious water and had to apologize is when he attacked Carly Fiorina’s looks. What are the odds he will be goaded by the Clinton machine on that front?
Another important factor: in the primary, the Clintons’ agressive instincts are a downer, because the people they are appealing to like their opponents. They are extremely useful in the general (compare the effect of Bill Clinton campaigning in the primary in 2008, to his devastating attacks on Romney in 2012).
The truth is that Trump is a perfect reality TV: he is really good at fashioning a product fit to the tastes of a particular group: GOP primary voters with race anxieties and anger issues. However, everything (with the exception of the Iraq War stuff- on which he was just exposed as a liar) he said in that primary had had the proven effect of making him intensely disliked by 60% of the American public. In the internet era, and with a billion dollar attack machine going after him ,there is no pivoting from that.
In a general election, presuming no other shoe falls re: Hillary’s email, i’d give him 20% chance, and that’s being generous.
The truth is that in the end, there is no “Trump phenomenon.” He just injected verve and media skills to a message Santorum (straight up racism combined with economic nationalism) and Gingrich (anti-corporate speak) and even Romney (“self-deportation”) all flirted with in 2012- and he wouldn’t let ideological commissars to let him stray from it. That is no mean achievement- but its a dead end in the general.
That data is here. For some reason they are not including recent polls. HuffPo has summaries with more recent polls:
Trump – Favorable 36.4%, Unfavorable 57%
Clinton – Favorable 40.8%, Unfavorable 53%
Her numbers are better than his, but not by much. Also, the trend favors him. He looks better than he did a year ago. She looks worse.
Also see here. Clinton leads Trump by only 2.8%.
As I just noted, the latest numbers seem to indicate that this problem he has is not that much worse than Clinton’s problem. Also, he has proven his ability to make his numbers better. She has proven her ability to make her numbers worse.
He should be easy to beat in the fall. I’m confident that if he were running against Barack Obama, Obama would have already clowned him back to the Trump Towers by now.
But he’s running against Hillary Clinton, and many Democrats just don’t like her. Half to just over half of all Democrats, when presented with an alternative to Hillary Clinton, prefer the alternative.
And that’s been true since, at least, 2008.
@humanoid.panda: I think you underestimate the populist mood of the country. For instance, the part about how everything he says makes him unfavorable with three-fifths of the country? That’s the end result of the slide it was on from the beginning of the candidacy last summer to that fall, and we’re still not at the point when the majority of voters are paying attention. (As an aside, I’d wager the lion’s share of people he’s offending aren’t by and large in states he has to win in the general.) At debates, you’ll have a he-said-she-said situation with attack ads playing video from the primaries, and Trump as Republican nominee will have the easiest answer for that: “it’s the liberal media.” Birtherism won’t be an issue for his voters, anti-vaxxerism will bother some but my bet is tribalism beats the doubts.
I’m not saying Clinton will be incapable of getting underneath his skin, but after the reactions to his other crazy ideas I’m not persuaded that he’s doomed by his past like Romney was.
This is my reply to Jukeboxgrad- which I think fell into the weird bug that surrounds his name
Yes- Trump showed some ability to consolidate republican support (yet if you look at the slope of his curve, you will see it actually flat since summer- when he got to 30% of the republican electorate), while Hillary lost some support on the Democratic side, because she actually has competition now, and she was hurt by the email, and came to the ground from her insane numbers during her years outside partisan politics. . Presuming they are both nominees, both their numbers will shoot up, as people tend to like their party’s nominees. However, Hillary has some important advantages.
– Her unfavorables are around 50%, his around 60%. That’s a huge difference in a two people race- and indicates it much easier for her to get back to neutral territory. Remember- she doesn’t need to be popular- just MORE popular.
– She was under fire all year, while Trump received basically zero negative attention.
– She definitely has some personal weaknesses (emails+Wall Street) but her primary opponent didn’t force her to say anything that’s repugnant to middle of the road voters. Trump ran his whole campaign on themes that are general election death.
First off, her favorability amongst Democrats is around 80%- meaning that even people who vote Sanders like her.
Second, don’t underestimate the benefits of partisanship, vouchers (both Sanders and Obama will campaign for her) and negative polarization.
I would look at the favorable / unfavorable numbers in the recent Bloomberg poll from SC before worrying too much. Obama, Clinton and Sanders all have very good numbers among Democrats.
The populist mood of the country is a big deal, but its also important not to overstate it. Obama’s approval rate is about 48%- not what you would expect in a country primed for pitchforks.
As I said before- if you look at the chart you posted closely, you will note it had been totally flat since September- when Trump consolidated his share of the electorate- an alienated everyone else..
Yeah- people are not paying attention yet, and already dislike him. Imagine how will he look like after a billion dollars of advertisement was poured on him. As for the voters he is alienating- they include not only minorities, but also college educated Whites, especially women. No republican can hope winning the general without doing well in that group. Also the key state of Florida, which no Republican can lose and win the general, is chock-full of people he is alienating.
The republicans lost the popular vote 5 of the last 6 presidential elections. The block of votes to whom “lol liberal media” is a good reply is a minority, and a shrinking one. Again- you seem to fall into the trap of thinking that somehow, Republicans represent the American vox populi.
Sure- but his voters are not a majority of the electorate! He needs to expand the republican electorate and shore up its weaker precincts (say, suburban folks for voted Obama in 2008 and Romney in 2012), and those kinds of things are deadly for those purposes.
His current number is 57. Her current number is 53. I don’t know why you’re trying to make a 4 point difference sound like a 10 point difference.
“Zero negative attention?” Surely you are joking. Every day, there are articles attacking Trump in the strongest possible terms, from sources right, left and center.
Because her number is not out of the ordinary for a partisan politician running in a primary, and his numbers are.
You are confusing coverage- which, even if it has negative tone, is nearly universally useful in a primary, with negative advertising, which almost no one conducted against him. In other words -media coverage allows him to choose his terrain, while sustained negative advertising shifts the terrain.
I don’t know your basis for claiming that 53% is “not out of the ordinary for a partisan politician running in a primary,” while 57% is.
Also, your assertion does not explain why you’re reading her 53 as 50 and his 57 as 60.
You’re citing one poll. I’m citing an average of polls.
I have no idea what that’s supposed to mean. Also, editorial content is generally more trusted than advertising, which is another reason why the torrent of articles attacking him are not correctly described as “zero negative attention.”
In this case, I am citing a poll with a huge sample, as opposed to an average of polls with various quality- but I will concede your point that the dissaproval rates are different in quality and not in quantiy. Still- those 5% are huge in an election with only 2 people.
What I am saying (and this is backed up by research is that in a primary, basically all coverage is positive coverage, when it follows the candidate’s cue. For instance, when Trump says “build a wall”- that shifts the conversation towards immigration issues, which is something about which Trump’s supporters feel strongly about- and that’s good for him , even if the coverage is negative. This goes doubly for republican audiences, because they hate the media. Good negative advertising shifts media coverage to topics a candidate prefers not to talk about (Gingrich and then Obama hits on Bain are a classical example). And so far, there had been no negative advertising on Trump, letting him fight the battle on terrain favorable to him.
Let us not underestimate how thin-skinned Trump is…concentrated attacks from Democrats will cause him to respond in ways unhelpful to himself…and his misogyny is well-known…I can just imagine the ridiculous things he’ll say about Hillary that will hurt him…I’m reminded of her first election for the Senate, when her opponent got a little too aggressive with her in a debate and that turned out to help her immensely…I can see Trump doing the same thing…
@An Interested Party: I heard last week on one of the right wing AM talk shows that Roger Stone is putting together a PAC for the purpose of injecting into the campaign all of the women Hillary has [allegedly] attacked or undermined for accusing Bill of philandery/sexual predation.
With stuff like that added to what I expect will be some inevitable misogyny from Trump himself, the campaign promises be extremely unpleasant.
On the page you cited I cannot find a sample size, so I hope you’ll tell me how you know the sample size. Also, that poll is from 1/27. The polls I cited are more recent.
The difference between her number and his number is 4%, and I don’t consider that “huge.”
The article you cited says that getting coverage is good. It doesn’t attempt to consider the difference between positive coverage and negative coverage, and it doesn’t say anything about “when it follows the candidate’s cue.”
There is nothing Clinton can say in a negative ad that hasn’t already been discussed endlessly in news articles and editorials, which are generally more influential than ads.
And if I were Sanders or Clinton I would keep my powder dry until the general.
Gallup interviews 1,000 people daily, and that poll is a composite of 3 weeks polling. So- 20,000 sample.
On other stuff, we clearly are not going to agree, but this is a howler.
Pleas show me any coverage, from this year, of Trump’s birtherism. Or saturation coverage of Trump University, with close attention to the personal stories of the victims of the scam, on media which voters who don’t care about politics follow.
Like seriously- if your argument was correct, why would campaign waste billions upon billions on negative advertisement every campaign?
@C. Clavin: Right. I was talking about Trump’s republican opponents.
To put it simply for a lot of people, Trump is more intensely disliked than HRC.
She will have establishment support; Trump will be lucky to escape the convention with the nomination.
Trump has blatantly insulted Latinos, women, and African-Americans (they remember the birther BS).
Trump probably doesn’t know the name of any down-ticket Republican. He’s on the Me parade, and doesn’t have time to mention anyone besides himself and his opponents.
At this point, we don’t know how many people would sit out the election, but I think far, far more registered Republican voters would sit out if Trump were the nominee than registered Democrats.
If Trump is the Republican nominee or runs 3rd party, it will be a bloodbath for the 2016 Republican ticket.
The ultimate whammy will be if Bloomberg decides to run. Then we could end up with a 4 way Presidential race, with roughly a quarter of the electorate going each way.
Not just the establishment: she will have the support of anti-establishment Democrats, like Warren and Sanders.
Here’s what I am talking about
There are congressional races out there where more money is spent on negative advertising than this.
To put it another way, Hillary Clinton has been in the public eye as a politician for decades. Even people who pay little attention to politics know about her and probably have an opinion about her.
Donald Trump was, from a public perspective, a reality TV star who wrote some books about business. You would expect people to like him because he is essentially a celebrity who lacks political baggage.
Yet he has already done quite a bit to get many people to dislike him, including the leadership of the political party that he would lead if elected president. Things could get even worse for him as the politically disengaged start paying more attention, whereas they probably won’t for Clinton.
The one advantage that Trump does have is that he is media savvy. Notably, he does an outstanding job of setting the agenda and getting people to talk about what he wants them to talk about, which invariably leads back to him.
I suspect that he will probably reinvent himself if he wins the nomination, as he knows that he will need to make an effort to address these deficiencies in a general election — GOP Nominee Trump might be a different product from GOP Primary Trump. If so, then that’s what would make him a unique candidate: treating the general as an entirely different campaign instead of an extension of the persona developed during a primary would be unique. (On the other hand, appealing to xenophobia and our lowest common denominators has been quite normal in American politics; how quickly we forget about the Dixiecrats, George Wallace, Strom Thurmond, etc..)
The Dems will have to think carefully about how to attack Trump. I would suggest that they borrow from “A Few Good Men” and use his ego against him. Trump uses his bluster to intimidate but it is also his Achilles heel.
My bet is he wins the nomination and a lot of people come around. Conservative punditry have been laying the ground for a month now. Clinton has her own faction of “will grin and bear it” voters; Trump will have his.
We just watched Jeb Bush, one of the most cash-flush primary candidates in history, lose to rhetoric. The amount of people persuadable by advertisement is a vanishingly low number. You also can’t claim the Internet will save Dems by immortalizing Trump’s buffoonery and yet ignore how it fragments the kind of media the ads are going to pour into.
When Sanders folds, Trump’s in the position to do so. Clinton is losing blue collar Dems to Sanders, partly from sexism and partly from his populist message. Trump is poised to inherit a lot of those votes. Right now, Clinton is winning blacks and higher-educated, richer whites.
I think some effective ads can come out of Trump’s birtherism and the Trump University scam (its not his only scam, he also promoted something called ACN, which is a pyramid scheme). I would like to see some ads where they put juxtapose his comments on free trade with his “Made in China” line of Trump brand clothing. Also remind people of what he said about a certain Vietnam POW, and how a draft-age Trump was traipsing around Europe during that period. The key is to go for the jugular, remind people of what apiece of crap he is. Maybe an entire ad featuring the woman he tried to force out of her home in Atlantic City to make way for a limo garage at one of his casinos.
I think that in the era of the internet- and billion dollar ad campaigns, this is just not something one could pull. Also worth noting- Democrats do employ some of the best people in the business. I am pretty sure that the people who scripted Obama’s destruction of Trump in 2012 are at work as we speak..
Sure- he might get to the numbers of a generic Republican nominee. But that’s not enough to win the general!
First off, Jeb lost not only to rhetoric, but also because his last name is Bush. No less importantly- there aren’t many people persuasable by negative ads, but ads can be used to a)shore up your weakes supporters and b) pull your opponents weakest supporters. Maybe it moves 2-3% of the voters- but that’s all you need.
You know who else lost blue collar Democrats in a primary? Barack Obama, and he did rather wll for himself. Put otherwise: you would have to show me some significant evidence that people who voted for Barack HUSSEIN Obama twice are suddenly going to swing to Donald Trump. So far, there are a lot of suppositions about this, but polls show that Trump is has lower favorability rankings among Democrats than any other GOP nominee.
@humanoid.panda: My best proxy for this kind of stuff are Marquette university polls from Wisconin, both because they are legendarily accurate, and because Wisconsin is the kind of state where you would expect WWC defections to Trump. So far, its polls show Trump doing worse than any Republican candidate, by a mile:
Now, polls at this point are not predictive, so things might change, but as I said, there is a lot of talk about Sanders/ Trump voters, but very little evidence for anything of the sort.
This is really a key point. The question is that a product of Trump’s strength, or his opponents unwillingness/inability to go after him. The answer is clearly a combination of both ,but I think that in a general, when the oppponents will attack him with boatloads of cash, and will have plenty of political talent on the attack (Bill Clinton and Barack Obama are pretty good surrogates), this advantage will dissipate.
Have you been following this primary? The best people in the business have managed to let a 74 year old socialist from Vermont who is Larry David make a sure-fire coronation a symbolically competitive race. The only reason he isn’t winning is due to party organization and the legacy of Obama regarding black voters.
Clinton can obviously beat Trump. He’s run a campaign against morons and militaristic nuts. It may be that he will go down in July and never catch up. But look at the numbers that are coming in. She’s doing worse than Obama in turnout and unspeakably bad with younger voters. It probably can be turned around. Most Sanders supporters will end up going out to vote for her. And there’s no way to know bad Trump wlll be on his side. But I’m not getting the confidence.
And yet they would rather vote for Sanders…
The benefits of partisanship?
Trump has more ability to peel off voters from “the other side” than Hillary does. Partisanship leads to no benefit for Hillary.
Well, it depends upon the audience. I would say that those who are inclined to like someone will forgive, excuse or ignore inconsistencies, while those who dislike someone will use those inconsistencies as further justification to dislike them.
So if Trump can get people to like and/or trust him, then this problem may fix itself. If the Dems can get people to dislike him or if he allows his ego to get in the way and makes a key mistake, then yes, reinvention would be a problem.
If Trump gets the nomination, then it will be important that the Dems not look too shrill in the process of attacking Trump. I realize that it might be tempting to focus on the issues that outrage the left (xenophobia, sexism, etc.) but that message needs to be segmented, with a different angle of attack that can be used to appeal to the middle in swing states — Republicans do a better job than Democrats with channeling outrage. The Dems would also need to run attack ads that encourage establishment Republicans to boycott (references to Trump hijacking the party, etc.)
Trump would predictably run a “Democrats made you eight years of promises, I feel your pain and will give you results” campaign. In that respect, the GOP should have an inherent advantage because it is the party out of power, and Americans are fond of switching horses after eight years.
And the reason for that is simple: in a primary, you can’t really attack your ideologically purer opponent ,out of fear of alienating his fans (see under: the campaign on the other side). This is simply not how a general election looks like.
There is simply not a shred of evidence that this is true.
I have to keep pointing out that some of our most successful primary winners have been general election losers. There is no correlation between the margin of victory in a primary and the general election result.
Historically ,this is true, but note that in the 2 of the 3 last times the election was after a 2 term presidency, the incumbent party won the popular vote (and the exception was in 2008..). And since those 3 elections, the electorate grew both more polarized and more diverse, both favoriting the incumbent party.
Now, if between then and now, a recesion will hit, then things would be very different.
Yes! This whole conversation about weakness with WWC in primary= loss in the general kinda pretends that 2008 never happened.
I think this paragraph kinda points towards a meta-issue that’s hovering around the conversation. I think that a lot of commenters here kinda presume that Democrats are a herd of bambis out to be eaten by the big bad wolf. I,on the other hand, am looking at the absolutely brutal job the Dems did to win the 2012 election, don’t understand the panic. If those guys where so good in dismantling Romney, a formidable candidate in some ways (and very weak in others)- and took 20 minutes to absolutely destroy Trump, why presume that they will totally fail this time around?
Seriously, the only reason Bernie isn’t winning is because black voters support Obama? What does that even mean?
When typed accurately, your sentence reads as “The only reason Bernie isn’t winning is because Hillary has more support among institutional Democrats and minorities.”
In that case, yes, Hillary is winning because she is more popular.
If we’re arguing that Hillary Clinton will get all of the votes that went to Bernie Sanders, there is still the problem that overall turnout is down. This is why I don’t get the confidence. The coalition that Obama put together is not the same with lower turnout. And Clinton is not Obama. Otherwise she would be getting younger people to vote for her without having to run supposedly-effective negative attacks on Sanders.
@Modulo Myself: Primary turnout is not predictive of general election turnout. (for instance, its quite plausible many people are not bothering to vote, because they presume Hillary will win easily, while in 2008, the outcome was genuinely uncertain). And, no less importantly, 2012 saw neither the enthusiasm nor the turnout of 2008- and yet Democrats won easily (hell, there we hundreds of thought pieces back in 2012 on how the Obama coalition fell apart, and the enthusiasm gap between Obama and Romney.)
@Neil Hudelson: As I said above, there are plenty of Democrats who kinda buy the Republican line that unless you win working class white men, you are not *really* winning.
I mean, compare Modulo’s statement to this, from Politico in October 2012
“If President Barack Obama wins, he will be the popular choice of Hispanics, African-Americans, single women and highly educated urban whites. That’s what the polling has consistently shown in the final days of the campaign. It looks more likely than not that he will lose independents, and it’s possible he will get a lower percentage of white voters than George W. Bush got of Hispanic voters in 2000.
A broad mandate this is not.”
In other words- winning with minorities is winning unfairly!
Well, I’m not actually inclined to believe that the two-term curse is an advantage for the GOP in this particular race, either, although it probably did scare off some Dems who might have considered joining the fray.
In this case, I’m more inclined to start with the 2012 map and figure out where the Dems are vulnerable. (I doubt that there are many opportunities to convert Romney states into Democratic states in 2016.) I’m sure that one reason why the establishment favored Jeb and would back Rubio (albeit not with much enthusiasm) in a brokered convention is because of Florida.
It’s not a terrible accusation that Hillary Clinton has benefited from factors outside of her own popularity as a candidate. It’s not even an accusation. It’s just a fact–people are voting her and politicians are supporting her because it’s in their best interest to do so because the Clintons have put themselves in the middle of the Democratic party. It’s called machine politics.
Clinton had more popular votes than Obama in 2008; in essence, they tied. Didn’t prevent Obama from having an electoral vote landslide.
Primary results are based upon a lot of factors that are irrelevant to a general election. Not to say that Clinton is a terrific candidate, but Sanders’ second-place showing merely tells us that the Democratic party’s progressive wing prefers progressives.
@Pch101: Yep. I see two possible paths of vulnerability for Dems. One is a national rise of of Republican share of the vote- and that should give them Florida and Ohio, and that brings them awfully close to 271. The other one is basically a sudden transformation of Northern Whites (45-47% of whom vote for Democrats to Southern Whites (where maaaybe 30% of Whites vote Democratic). In this case, GOP could win states like Wisconsin, Iowa,and Pennsylvania-while losing traditional purple states like Virginia and Colorado.
There are few candidates who are not beneficiaries of something outside their own popularity as candidates. Obama is the best campaigner of the last 30 years- and without the Iraq War issue AND John Edwards imploding AND Hillary’s people misreading the rules of the nomination fight, he would have soundly lost in 2008.
In a FPTP two major party system like ours, there are only two choices: Dem, GOP. Otherwise, you are abstaining which is effectively a vote for your less-favored option if you are in a swing state – and you are.
If Trump gets the nom, Doug, the question you will have to face in November is whether you are willing to risk a President Trump. Because while you disagree with HRC on a ton of policy issues, you don’t have the same type of fears you do of her that you assuredly do of Trump. They are not the same level of risk.
If Virginia is close, are you willing to risk Trump taking up residence in the White House?
I think he will do worse than a generic Republican. Now, some people exaggerate this point, especially with all the repeated references to Goldwater ’64. This comparison misses a few things.
First, partisan polarization is much higher than it was in 1964, and it’s probably safe to say that both parties come into every election with a floor of 15-20 states, maybe 45% of the popular vote. Routs on the order of 1964 or 1972 just aren’t in the works, no matter how bad a candidate gets nominated.
Second, Trump’s coalition isn’t a standard far-right one. In contrast to someone like Cruz, who draws his support from evangelicals and Tea Partiers, Trump has been doing well among Republicans who call themselves “moderate” as well as independents. And while it’s purely anecdotal, I’ve seen both from personal experience and some articles I’ve read that there’s a surprising overlap between Trump fans and Sanders fans.
However, it’s also easy to exaggerate all those points, as some doomsaying pundits have been doing as of late. Trump’s coalition is eccentric, but all the evidence suggests it isn’t very large in the general populace. And while I fully expect a majority of Republicans to get on board in the event that he’s nominated, there will likely be a lot of high-profile defections, just like in 2008 after Sarah Palin was announced.
There’s only one wild card in all this: Bloomberg.
The way I like to think about it is that Trump represents a very wide large tail distribution. In other words, if you take a Cruz or Rubio, they are both limited to 47-52 of the popular vote- at best, they can take just enough vote to squeek in, like W in 2004, and at worst, they lose like Romney in 2012- without creating much of a downballot risk. With Trump, the odds are that he loses, but there is a real chance that he gets a historical blow out (what if he simply refuses to debate Hillary, or goes on a tirade about her being a frigid lesbian who drove her husband to adultery?) BUT also a chance he basically campaigns to Hillary’s left on many issues and somehow scrambles partisan lines. I struggle to see how that takes shape, but you can’t discount it as a zero probability event.
I don’t believe that Bloomberg runs, unless its Sanders vs. Trump.
I recall this very differently.
State after state said “We want Barack Obama” and Hillary Clinton and her team were saying “I’m still in this thing” even after it was clear that, well, she wasn’t. Maybe my memory is fuzzy.
Anyone remember what “PUMA” stands for?
That’s an important point too, and it’s an underrated one. Despite how appalled GOP elites have been, there’s really been no sustained attempt to take Trump down. I’m not talking about a lame series of columns from National Review, I mean an expensive ad blitz like what Jeb did to Rubio. Of course it’s entirely possible it won’t work. But the fact it hasn’t even been attempted is a mark of GOP elites’ paralysis this season.
I’ve seen several theories to explain it, but two bear special attention. First, the elites have worried that a defeat by Trump will lead to victory by Cruz, whom they loathe just as much, if not more so. Second, the elites are absolutely petrified by the possibility of a third-party run by Trump.
Neither of those things will be factors in the general election. No Dem is going to be afraid to attack Trump.
Sorry, that’s a myth.
Here are the basic facts: It is true that the official popular-vote count was higher for Hillary than for Obama. But this was a meaningless technicality, because it was based on including the results in Michigan, a state where Obama wasn’t on the ballot.
What happened was that in 2007, the DNC penalized Michigan and Florida for rule violations, and the punishment was that they wouldn’t get any delegates placed in the convention. All the candidates, including Hillary, agreed not to campaign in those states, and in Michigan several of the candidates, including Obama but not Hillary, had their names removed from the ballot.
So if you count Michigan, a state where Obama wasn’t on the ballot and which was preemptively taken out of the contest, Hillary technically leads in popular votes; take it out, and Obama leads.
The canard that “Hillary won the popular vote in the 2008 primaries” was basically invented by Hillary herself. In 2007 she had accepted the DNC’s decision to strip Michigan and Florida of delegates. She didn’t utter a peep of protest until January, after Obama had scored his surprise win in Iowa and was closing in on a huge victory in South Carolina. Then, suddenly she began arguing that Michigan (which she won even though nobody campaigned there) should have its delegates placed. Her position smacked of desperation, which of course it was. And later in the race, shortly before she conceded to Obama, she kept repeating that she’d won the popular vote (without explaining the context) and insinuated that it was a repeat of Bush v. Gore. (That, of course, had to do with voting irregularities and a recount in Florida, not with Gore’s popular vote lead, which was a separate issue.)
It was not one of her finer moments; it was the essence of a “Clintonian” lie where you state something that may be technically accurate but still deliberately misleading.
You’re missing the point, which isn’t really about Clinton at all but the fact that Obama did quite well in the general election even though he essentially tied in the primaries.
It is not necessary to have a landslide result in a primary in order to win a general election. Nobody is envious of John Kerry’s primary win; the primary is just a means to an end.
@Pch101: I didn’t miss the point. I corrected a factual mistake you made in the course of making your point.
Obama did not have anything close to a landslide win in the primary. Yet he had an electoral vote landslide in the general.
The former does not detract from the latter. It’s only the general election that matters.
As I recall, basically, people plugged in into the process knew Hillary was dead after South Carolina, but the voters didn’t think so..
Also: Party Unity My Ass. And remember- those people were so prominent back then that Palin was picked to appeal to them!
Keep tellin’ yourself that, Doug. In the meantime, the rest of us will continue to apply the duck test.
@Doug Mataconis: Ya know Doug, it’s been 40 years since I voted for either a Republican OR a Democrat in a Presidential election. So far, the only one of my candidates that even came close was “the little jug-eared whacko.” There are more choices out there than Democrat and Republican? No, not really; there aren’t.
It’s very possible the Republicans end up with a brokered convention as Trump may have the most delegates, but still falls well short of a majority. I am predicting “Chaos in Cleveland.” (TM)
Get your t-shirts folks, it’s going to be a wild ride.
@Pch101: I wasn’t disagreeing with any of that. I was simply reacting to the fact that you repeated a canard–that Hillary won the popular vote–that has been a PUMA talking point ever since Hillary’s defeat.
And by the way, even though Hillary’s “popular vote lead” is an utterly meaningless stat for the reasons mentioned above, I don’t think Obama’s popular vote lead (sans Michigan) was very meaningful either, since it depended on several caucus states where the popular vote wasn’t reliably counted.
The fact is that “popular vote” is a nebulous concept when it comes to primary season. It’s not like the general election, where the popular vote may not ultimately determine the winner, but it is meaningful in the sense that all the voters in the nation go to the ballot on the same day to voice their preferences. In contrast, the primaries are a process of numerous mini-elections spread over several months, where the results of one contest tend to affect the next ones through a voter bandwagon effect, and where even the exact candidates change as more and more drop out. In January of 2008, Hillary would almost certainly have won a single nationwide primary; by April it would likely have been Obama.
I do happen to think the primary process is a chaotic mess that could use some pretty steep reforms, but it isn’t an analogue to the Electoral College where there is a clear-cut “popular vote winner.” I wish primaries did better reflect the popular will, but the way they’re done now, “popular vote” is a next to meaningless concept.
Oh my…perhaps Modulo Myself and Todd are right…
Wow, I did not realize how ‘scared’ the establishment is. I’ve already read in a pundit web site that the liberals are considering registering as Republicans and voting for Rubio so as to prevent Trump from becoming the nominee.
GLWT (Good Luck With That)….
Most conservatives and I believe moderates are sick and tired of the endless parades of politicians and their lies over the many, many years. Why not give a business individual a go at it?
Umm, where did you read that? Where’s the proof that any Democrat is scared of Trump?
The “U.S. Daily survey” is politics, so the correct number is 500, not 1,000.
2 weeks, not 3 weeks.
More like 7,000. The average I cited is here. 10 separate polls, all in February, with an aggregate sample size of 16,435. I don’t know why you would consider this data less meaningful than a single poll that is older and with a much smaller sample.
On the list of negative things to say about Trump, I don’t think those two are close to the top. Which is why there have been tons of negative stories focusing on the negatives that are more important.
It is not always the case that your opponent has been the target of a vast amount of negative press coverage. Trump, however, has indeed been the target of a vast amount of negative press coverage. So ads which repeat that same material are going to have limited impact. And your claim that “Trump received basically zero negative attention” is divorced from reality.
The difference is that Obama is an outstanding politician, as you pointed out yourself in another comment. Clinton is not. That’s why he was able to come from nowhere and beat her.
Yes. They are both seen as outsiders, and that concept seems to be a key force in this election.
Here’s some data from Pew, 1/20/16. On the question:
The result is this:
So your statement is correct, but not by an overwhelming margin.
There are 9 candidates in the poll, and Clinton’s poor/terrible number is higher than anyone except Trump.
And they were the first birthers:
@Thomas Weaver: Several months ago, this Democrat admitted to wanting to vote for Trump if I lived in a state with an open primary like NH. I feel the same way now.
People in this thread (and several pundits) have twisted themselves out of shape to avoid admitting the obvious, which is that Trump would in all likelihood be an unusually weak general-election candidate who would practically guarantee Hillary the presidency.
No, it’s not impossible he could win. And if he does win, it would be a disaster. But the fact is that all the Republicans would be a disaster. And I’m not sure the others would be a worse disaster than he would be. In some ways a politically successful president like Reagan is a scarier prospect than one who falls flat on his face. A Trump presidency is far likelier to be the latter than the former.
People who have called him a fascist give him way too much credit. Actual fascists like Hitler and Mussolini were real politicians who understood how to build and maintain coalitions. Trump’s basic strategy is to launch all-out war (figuratively, so far) against anyone and everyone standing in his way. If he was Hitler he’d be calling the Japanese slant-eyes and tweeting about how Italian food sucks.
Judging from experience, we’re going to keep hearing it.
Seriously? You’re linking to Breitbart? About what I would assume is some sort of Drudge Report online poll? That has no value at all.
If that’s your evidence, then just give up.
Here’s a link to the result.
Notice that Clinton got 0.88%.
It’s an online poll on a partisan site. The number of people voting means nothing. It’s deeply flawed.
Not all lies are created equal. I’ve been much happier with (moderate) Obama’s lies than with W’s lies.
Um, because running a business is the least relevant experience imaginable for being President? I would rather vote for someone who ran a volunteer organization; at least they would have practical experience at coalition building and motivation…
Ok- I’ll concede your point about Gallup. However, Hillary doesn’t need to outrun the bear, she needs to outrun Trump.
Trump was the recipient of a huge amount of coverage, responding to things he said. He most definitely didn’t receive coverage on topics he doesn’t want to talk about- because nobody actively campaigned against him . In other words, yeah, lots of voters heard about his immigration comments (and that was enough to drive him to record high unfavorability numbers.) No voters heard about, say, his position about vaccinations- which is the sort of thing good negative campaigns trigger.
Trump’s birtherism … Trump University
On the list of negative things to say about Trump, I don’t think those two are close to the top. Which is why there have been tons of negative stories focusing on the negatives that are more important.
The difference is that Obama is an outstanding politician, as you pointed out yourself in another comment. Clinton is not. That’s why he was able to come from nowhere and beat her.
So your statement is correct, but not by an overwhelming margin.
There are 9 candidates in the poll, and Clinton’s poor/terrible number is higher than anyone except Trump.
Ugh. Totally screwed the tags on previous comment. Hope its readable..
Sanders/Trump voters are in 2016 what disillusioned millenials were in 2012: a unicorn the media convinces us is just hiding around the corner.
I stated quite clearly here a long time ago in an OTB thread that I was convinced that Trump (or another loud-mouthed crazy aka Ted Cruz) would win the R nomination. Taylor pooh-poohed me.
My hypothesis was that I saw that the R base was at war with the R establishment in that they were not openly pistol-whipping D Senators and Reps in the streets of DC, and that the cultural zeitgeist in right-wing America slanted heavily towards loud-mouthed belligerence and bellicosity and insurgency towards the R establishment. Not only towards our international threats, mind you (which is mostly window dressing), but also (and most distinctly mostly) towards Democrats and people who vote for D candidates. The authoritarian strain of right-wing has always been there, but now it is unrestrained and is becoming to be the defining characteristic of now Republicanism.
The R red-meat base is primed, pumped and ready for a super-dickish candidate. That is the over-riding principle factor for the 2016 R race.
A year ago I would have bet on Cruz, but it turns out he’s more of the weaselly debate / mock-court dick which may be a bit too nuanced form of dickishness for 2016 Rs. Christie has the goods, but has has two knocks: he’s from NJ and he’s obese. Oh, and he hugged Obama once.
Ah, but Trump. He’s the kind of dick any red-blooded American can get behind. A loud, dim-witted, vulgarian, shameless dick – a loud-mouthed, anti-immigrant, rich, white guy wothout a gram of shame in his soul is *the* guy. He’s like Gingrich x20 with all of the filters disabled. Suprisingly, he has decidely un-Presidential hair: Rs tend to like that.
He’ll lose by a couple hundred electoral votes, but, by God, it will feel like a righteous loss to the base.
2016 – the year of the dick.
Here’s an interesting analysis on why “winnowing” might not lead to Trump’s exit. (Apologies for the auto-play video, I hate those things.)
Four Problems With the ‘Winnowing’ Theory of Trump’s Downfall
When Drudge reports over a million votes in an online poll, that might tell you something about what Drudge readers are thinking. Drudge readers are the hardcore of the GOP base. If you think that knowing what they’re thinking “has no value at all” you’re entitled to your opinion.
It’s an online poll with over a million votes. And “a partisan site” is precisely the point. If you want to know what a certain group is thinking, their favorite sites are the first place you should look.
Among R voters, negative sentiment against Clinton does in fact greatly exceed negative sentiment against Sanders, and I can show you other data to support this claim. This matters, because turnout matters. Clinton’s negative power to drive R turnout is a problem.
Votes for Sanders in that poll: 340,387. This is not the first time in this thread that you’ve had trouble with numbers.
And in the end, I think she will, but it could be uncomfortably close. She could use a few tips from Sanders.
Do you actually believe that 30% of Drudge Report readers have Sanders as their pick for President? That 30% of “the hardcore of the GOP base”, as you put it, wants a Democratic Soc***ist (just trying to avoid the spamfilter) as the next President? Seriously?
Or perhaps the poll was linked to on sites/forum/etc that are pro Sanders? Also, highly doubtful that only US IPs were allowed to “vote”…
The “poll” is nothing but elephant manure.
Argument from incredulity.
I tried to find evidence of this and I could not. Can you?
Occam’s Razor says that the people who voted are people who read Drudge. I’m pretty sure his audience is mostly right-wing Americans.
The tea party base is not really against socialism. They’re just against the government helping people they don’t like. They’re fine with socialism when it means the government helping people like them (‘get your government hands off my medicare’). They can see that Sanders believes in this.
Plenty of people have correctly observed that Trump and Sanders have a similar message. That’s why you see statements like this:
And that’s why all recent polling for general election matchups shows Sanders doing better against Trump than Clinton does.
In short, you have anecdotes, and a Drudge online poll- which at best proves that some Trump fans are open to Sanders, and not vice versa. Givent that yesterday, you dug into poll internals, you know this is BS, so why are you flogging it?
Step no.1: run against Hillary, and republicans will love you! Worked for Obama, until he became the Democatic frontrunner..
Poll samples have to be random if they are to be reliable.
Online polls are generally unreliable because participation is self-selecting. Only a fraction of the audience participated, and you have no way of knowing whether that group is representative of the whole — in fact, you can probably assume that it isn’t because those who actively participate on websites are a tiny fraction of the total audience.
It is also a mistake to assume that all of a website’s readers represent a monolithic bloc. Drudge is ultimately a news curator/ aggregator — virtually all of the content consists of links to articles written by someone else, but with Drudge sometimes sexing up the headline so that it has a right-wing slant. Some liberals read it, too, and it certainly wouldn’t be surprising if some of the Sanders diehards tried to get their two cents in precisely in order to make the claim that Sanders is a contender.
@Pch101: Right. And the problem with party defectors is that even if you get a high number of,say, Jeb-Hillary or Sanders-Trump voters now, the vast majority of them are reliable partisans, and will return to the fold at the end of the primary process- so even if we had good data, it would still signify relatively little.
You’re right, there’s no evidence for that. I did find something else though.
If a poll on a right wing site ends up with 30% support for a Democratic Soc***ist, then Occam’s Razor would be saying that there’s something wrong with the poll.
And … drumroll… We have the answer. Some Sanders supporter(s) decided to use automatic voting bots to influence the poll. Kids today…
As it seems Trump was at 51% and Sanders at 1.9%, then some bots were activated and Sanders started to get 100’s of votes every few seconds. Drudge then shut down voting.
So, this turns out to be even sadder than actual Sanders supporters voting in the poll… just some kids…
This is an even bigger pile of elephant manure than I originally thought.
Look, I know people bring this up every four years of running an Acela Party candidate, but there really is no appetite for that. If there was, something would’ve happened by now, but they don’t even get to the physical stage — they just fizzle. Bloomberg isn’t even going to run, and Trump is likely going to get the GOP nod. Whether that translates into GOP victory in November is an open question, but this stuff about Bloomberg is just nonsense.
It could be that you didn’t notice these words in my original post: “there isn’t any scientific value in the poll.” A scientific poll is more meaningful, but it’s still possible to learn something from a unscientific poll, especially if the response is massive.
If you have any evidence that a substantial portion of Drudge readers are liberals, I’d love to see it.
If you have any evidence that this Drudge poll got substantial attention on any liberal site, at the time, I’d love to see it.
I can’t find the part of your comment where you show evidence to support this claim.
You remind me of Dean Chambers. ‘I know the poll is broken because I don’t like the result.’
You also remind me of all the brilliant Republicans who were sure Trump would never get anywhere because everyone knows he was a liberal until about 10 minutes ago.
The key point is being made over and over again, and someone else just made it again yesterday:
Right now there are a lot of people who are not paying attention to ideological tags, because they are “questioning the traditional liberal-vs. conservative paradigm.” If you are delivering the insurgent message they want to hear, they are going to forgive a lot of ideological sins, like Trump’s liberal past, and Sanders’ association with the word “socialist.”
Of course. It separates those of us who understand statistics from those who do not.
When the data is bad, then you just don’t use it. Even if you are lacking good data, you still don’t resort to using the bad data because it is, well, bad.
Being misled by bad data is worse than having no data at all. That would help to explain why Fox News viewers are less informed than those who don’t watch the news at all: The Fox fans get bad information and rely upon it, fooling themselves into believing that they know more than they do. Instead of helping them to know more, Fox facilitates the Dunning-Kruger problem. It would be wise not to emulate that..
Then I guess all the data supporting your views must be bad, since you generally avoid supporting your views with data.
As I keep pointing out, there is no data to show Sanders after he has been tarred-and-feathered with the communism routine because it hasn’t happened yet.
I really shouldn’t have to explain that it isn’t possible to have historical data for something that hasn’t yet taken place.
Everything in the future “hasn’t yet taken place,” and yet we still try to make predictions. The difference between my predictions and your predictions is that your usual pattern is to make predictions without bothering to support them with facts or data.
I would like to learn from your superior understanding of statistics, but I’ll probably have to wait until you actually post some.
Yes, we should try to make predictions with data that is well suited to the task. You don’t have any such data, and you consistently use data inappropriately, ascribing meaning to it that it doesn’t have.
Here’s something that is far more useful:
But the often overlooked delegate count in the Democratic primary shows Mr. Sanders slipping significantly behind Hillary Clinton in the race for the nomination, and the odds of his overtaking her growing increasingly remote.
Mrs. Clinton has 502 delegates to Mr. Sanders’s 70; 2,383 are needed to win the nomination. These numbers include delegates won in state contests and superdelegates, who can support any candidate. She is likely to win a delegate jackpot from the overwhelmingly black and Hispanic areas in the Southern-dominated Super Tuesday primaries on March 1, when 11 states will vote and about 880 delegates will be awarded.
Since delegates are awarded proportionally based on vote tallies in congressional districts and some other areas, only blowout victories yield large numbers of delegates. And Mrs. Clinton is better positioned than Mr. Sanders to win big in more delegate-rich districts, like those carved out to ensure minority Democrats in Congress, where she remains popular.
“She could effectively end the race in less than two weeks’ time on Super Tuesday,” said David Wasserman, a top analyst for The Cook Political Report, who has been closely tracking the delegate race.
Of course, politics is unpredictable, as this cycle’s presidential campaign has demonstrated. Mrs. Clinton will face questions about her candidacy, including the outcome of an F.B.I. investigation into the use of a private email server while she was secretary of state. And Mr. Sanders has shown an ability to create grass-roots excitement in surprising places.
Still, while Mrs. Clinton is far from reaching 2,383 delegates, she is poised to create the sort of mathematical quandary for Mr. Sanders that she faced in 2008. That winter, Barack Obama used an 11-state winning streak to establish a lead of 100 delegates that Mrs. Clinton was never able to surmount.
I understand your desire to change the subject.
The NYT story is actually useful, because it gives us some insight into what is likely to happen.
What is allegedly “likely to happen” regarding the nomination is not what we were discussing, but I understand your desire to change the subject.
Well, I’m discussing what is likely to happen. You can talk about something else if you like, but you don’t get to decide for me what I am going to talk about.
Sanders isn’t going to win the nomination, so the data that is required to have an intelligent discussion will never be produced because it won’t get that far.
Of course. I’m just noticing that your interest in discussing something different coincided with me asking you questions you couldn’t answer.
You should stop abusing data. There’s not much more to say beyond that.
I can’t stop doing something I’m not doing, and I realize that making unsupported accusations is easier than answering the questions I asked you.
I’ve already explained why your Drudge poll is bad.
In any case, the burden is on you to show that it is a valid poll. Which should be a challenge, since it isn’t.
Your alleged explanation consisted of unsupported assertions. Number of comments you have posted since I challenged you to support those assertions with evidence: 7. I’m sure you can make that number grow while continuing to show no evidence. Keep up the good work.
There is no such thing as a good online poll for the reasons that I mentioned. The entire methodology is flawed. No effort on your part is going to change this.
The reasons to have those polls are to increase clicks, reduce the polling website’s bounce rate and to create media buzz. They are good for building web traffic, but collecting good data is not a motivating factor.
Your ongoing commitment to abusing statistics is not helping your case.
So now you’ve posted 8 comments proving your inability to support your claims with evidence. Might as well go for 9.
Some people need to take a stats class.
The accuracy of a poll depends on how it was conducted. Most of Pew Research’s polling is done by telephone. By contrast, most online polls that use participants who volunteer to take part do not have a proven record of accuracy. There are at least two reasons for this. One is that not everyone in the U.S. uses the internet, and those who do not are demographically different from the rest of the public. Another reason is that people who volunteer for polls may be different from other people in ways that could make the poll unrepresentative. At worst, online polls can be seriously biased if people who hold a particular point of view are more motivated to participate than those with a different point of view.
Honestly, this is basic stuff. The fact that you don’t know it without demanding proof is a hint that you’re not qualified to be citing stats that you don’t understand.
You’re doing a fabulous jobs of answering questions I never asked. This is a good way of making it clear that you aren’t able to answer the questions I actually did ask.
If you understood what Pew was saying, then it would make things much easier. But you don’t, so that isn’t going to happen.
You said this:
“What Pew was saying” has nothing to do with those unsupported assertions you made, so you’re doing what you always do when you get caught blowing smoke: you try to change the subject.
“people who volunteer for polls may be different from other people in ways that could make the poll unrepresentative. At worst, online polls can be seriously biased if people who hold a particular point of view are more motivated to participate than those with a different point of view.”
Yes, a right-wing site is likely to have right-wing readers who have a right-wing “point of view.” That’s precisely what makes the result remarkable. Duh. Drudge readers are not representative of all voters. They are representative of right-wing voters.
And you are still refusing to show evidence supporting your speculation that Drudge has a lot of liberal readers who decided to manipulate the vote. I realize you are able to post an endless series of comments that are devoid of any such evidence.
The poll is poor for the reasons that I stated and that anyone who had a knowledge of statistics would comprehend.
You have no idea of who responded to it and what demographic that they reflect because that data isn’t available.
Going round and round with you won’t make the data any more useful. You obviously aren’t going to acknowledge that you have a poor grasp of statistics, so this is pretty pointless.
Actually, I do, because Drudge is a major right-wing site. Occam’s Razor indicates that it has mostly right-wing readers. And thanks for proving, again, that you cannot show a shred of evidence for your self-serving speculation that the vote was manipulated by liberals.
Go take a stats class. While you’re at it, learn something about survey methods.
You said this:
I challenged you to support that claim with evidence. If you can show me “a stats class” indicating that “some of the Sanders diehards tried to get their two cents in,” please proceed.
You brought up Occam’s Razor, social media savvy Sanders supporters crashing the Drudge poll is the much more likely explanation than Sanders being second choice among die hard right wingers. Take a step back from trying to win the argument and think about that for a second.
It’s reasonable to assume that this would happen to some extent. It’s not reasonable that this explanation would account for 340,000 votes, while also leaving no sign of the poll being discussed on any liberal site, at the time. I have looked for that, and I’m sure I’m not the only one, and none of us can find anything.
Bots are a more likely explanation than right wingers supporting the self avowed socialist Sanders. If you really think there is a groundswell of support among republicans that find Sanders the second best thing to Trump, I think you are harboring some grade A delusions.
“people who volunteer for polls may be different from other people in ways that could make the poll unrepresentative. At worst, online polls can be seriously biased if people who hold a particular point of view are more motivated to participate than those with a different point of view.”
Let’s try this again:
At worst, online polls can be seriously biased if people who hold a particular point of view are more motivated to participate
Nobody who had a basic knowledge of statistics and polling would rely upon this kind of “poll.” The tireless effort to defend it only reflects poorly on the person who reveals his ignorance by doubling down on it.
Drudge is not an idiot. 340,000 automated votes would be obvious on his end and he would shut it down if he saw that. Also not idiots are the people who program online polls. Creating that many phony votes is not as easy as you think, and it’s also not as easy as it used to be.
And if I had told you that right wingers would be massively supporting someone who said ‘Bush lied people died,’ you would have told me that was unbelievable, too. Likewise if I had told you that evangelicals in the south would be massively supporting a foul-mouthed New Yorker who is currently married to his third wife.
To a lot of people, what matters right now is the message, not ideological labels like ‘conservative’ or ‘socialist.’ And I assume you notice that Trump and Sanders have a similar message: the game is rigged, by both parties, and little people are getting screwed. That’s the theme of this election, and there are only two candidates who are running on this theme. And that’s why multiple reporters have noticed multiple people at Trump rallies saying nice things about Sanders. The poll is not the only evidence I cited.
Argument from incredulity, again.
And the right-wing “point of view” in this group is precisely what makes this result interesting. I’m pretty sure I already explained this.
And thanks for continuing to confirm that you are able to show no evidence whatsoever to support your bizarre speculation about how massive numbers of liberals allegedly read Drudge.
You keep assuming, wrongly and naively, that you know the demographics of the “poll.”
When I keep pointing out that you are prone to misunderstanding and abusing data, this is why.
Drudge is a major right-wing site. Therefore it’s reasonable to assume that it has mostly right-wing readers. When you’re ready to show evidence to support your bizarre speculation about massive numbers of liberals who read Drudge, please proceed.
Aside from your insistence on proving that you have zero understanding of statistical methods, I’m not sure what your point is.
That’s your problem, not mine, because I made my point clear a long time ago. At this point it’s entertaining to notice how many comments you can post after saying this:
You’ve posted 10 comments since saying that, and I can see you’re still not done. Carry on.
I’m just aghast at the level of cognitive dissonance. This is like discussing evolution with an evangelical.