Donald Trump Within 102 Delegates Of Clinching GOP Nomination

With the field before him now clear, Donald Trump is now assured to win the Republican Presidential Nomination. After that, though, his plans don't seem to make a lot of sense.

Donald Trump Victory

With everyone else but Donald Trump out of the race, the remaining primaries in the race for the Republican nomination are, of course, a mere formality Nonetheless, the contests went forward as scheduled and Trump won in both West Virginia and Nebraska easily. In West Virginia, Trump walked away with  76.9% of the vote, which was sufficient for him to win at least 31 of the 34 delegates from that state. In Nebraska, Trump won with 61% of the vote, which was good enough for him to win all 36 of the delegates up for grabs in that state. This puts Trump at 1,135 delegates as of this morning, just 102 delegates short of officially clinching the Republican nomination. If everything goes according to schedule, Trump should accomplish that task with a win in the New Jersey primary on June 7th, and will add to the delegate total with wins in the remaining states scheduled for that day as well. This is really happening folks, whether the Republican Party wants it to or not.

Meanwhile, as the Trump campaign and the Republican Party shift focus toward the General Election, Trump is telling reporters that he doesn’t foresee changing the brash, arguably offensive, tone that he became known for during the primary campaign:

Donald Trump says he won’t change his tone as he turns toward a general election match-up against Hillary Clinton, likening his appeal to a winning baseball team or a hit Broadway musical.

“You win the pennant and now you’re in the World Series — you gonna change?” the presumptive Republican presidential nominee said in an interview with The New York Times published Wednesday. “People like the way I’m doing.”

Doubling down on that notion, the real estate mogul said he had a “mandate from the people” to continue being who he is, a free-speaking political outsider who’s drawn historic turnout and knocked out 16 opponents in the Republican primary.

“The people are tired of incompetent leadership at the highest level,” he said. “They’re tired of trade deals that are ripping our jobs apart and taking their wages.”

The reality TV star’s rallies have drawn thousands of supporters, and he likened the response to such events to “Broadway theater.”

“In a Broadway theater, the best, the best, absolute best sale is called ‘word of mouth.’ If people love a Broadway show, it’s better than if you write a good review,” Trump said. “Word of mouth is the No. 1 thing. And the word of mouth at my rallies is like, ‘You’ve got to go see it.’ And, you know, one person goes and they talk about it to 20 people.”

Ordinarily at this point in a race for President you’d start to see a Presidential candidate who has effectively wrapped up their party’s nomination start to move to the center politically to some degree and to begin to moderate the tone of their campaign in an effort to appeal to voters beyond the party base that they have campaigning to for the past ten months. Only by doing this, the conventional wisdom maintains, can a candidate hope to attract the voters they would need to actually mount a winning campaign that does appeal to voters that are likely to support them in any case. Donald Trump isn’t a conventional candidate, though, so I suppose it’s not surprising that he might not follow the traditional path. Nonetheless, one has to wonder how successful Trump is going to be if he directs the same kind of insults at Hillary Clinton and her eventual running mate as has did at opponents for the Republican nomination such as Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and Ted Cruz. For one thing, those candidates largely failed precisely because they didn’t fight back against Trump’s rhetoric until it was far too late to make a difference and Clinton’s campaign is unlikely to make that mistake in the fall. For another, it’s arguably the case that voters outside the Republican Party may not react quite as enthusiastically to Trump’s brash style as GOP primary voters, apparently including most of those that did not support him, have. This is especially true given the fact that, this time, Trump will almost exclusively be attacking a woman and that he already has a reputation as someone who says brutish and inappropriate things about women.

Trump is also saying that he doesn’t plan on changing campaign tactics either and will continue to rely on big rallies, Twitter, and free media:

But in a break from recent major party nominees, Trump does not plan to invest heavily in a data-driven effort to target voters in the fall campaign. Despite pressure, the billionaire businessman also doesn’t expect to release his tax returns before November, citing an ongoing audit of his finances. He said he will release them after the audit ends.

“There’s nothing to learn from them,” Trump told The Associated Press in an interview Tuesday. He also has said he doesn’t believe voters are interested

Trump’s comments came as he begins to prepare for a long, expensive general election campaign. His two remaining Republican rivals suddenly dropped out of the race last week, anointing him the party’s presumptive presidential nominee faster than even the confident candidate expected.

(…)

In the interview, Trump outlined a general election campaign that banks heavily on his personal appeal and trademark rallies while spurning the kind of sophisticated data operation that was a centerpiece of Barack Obama’s winning White House runs.

“I’ve always felt it was overrated,” Trump said. “Obama got the votes much more so than his data processing machine. And I think the same is true with me.”

He also ruled out for the first time the option of taking public financing for his campaign, money that would have saved him the time-consuming task of raising vast sums but would have dramatically limited the amount he would have been able to raise.

“I don’t like the idea of taking taxpayer money to run a campaign. I think it’s inappropriate,” he said.

Trump stunned the political world at every turn during the Republican primary season, prioritizing large rallies over intimate voter interactions in early voting states and operating with a slim campaign operation. Even as he brings in new staff for the general election campaign, he says his emphasis will continue to be on raucous rallies to put him in front of thousands of voters and generate free media coverage.

“My best investment is my rallies,” Trump said. “The people go home, they tell their friends they loved it. It’s been good.”

The businessman said he’ll spend “limited” money on data operations to identify and track potential voters and to model various turnout scenarios that could give him the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the presidency. He’s moving away from the model Obama used successfully in his 2008 and 2012 wins, and which Clinton is trying to replicate, including hiring many of the staff that worked for Obama.

While it’s hard to argue with the success that Trump had during the primary campaign, it’s also true that General Election campaigns have always been far different in character from primary campaigns and the assumption that what worked in the primary is going to work in the General Election is most likely mistaken. During primary campaigns, for example, the primary calendar itself tells candidates which races they generally need to focus on the most at which point during the race. In the General Election, with every state in the Union voting on the same day, there is no similar guide and it’s simply not practical for any campaign to assume that it makes sense to spend as much time in, say, Michigan as it does to spend it in Virginia, where there may be a stronger likelihood of pulling off a win. Similarly, without the kind of data driven campaign that President Obama ran in 2008 and 2012, and which Mitt Romney and the Republicans sought to replicate in 2012, any candidate is going to be at a disadvantage if they go up against a candidate with a world class data operation. As I said, it’s hard to argue with the success that Trump’s unconventional primary campaign, but given the considerable obstacles Trump already faces in a General Election campaign choosing to disavow traditional campaign techniques in favor of what may have been a fluke seems odd indeed.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2016, Donald Trump, Politicians, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. KM says:

    *shrug* Haters gonna hate, Trump’s gonna Trump.

    It is the way of things, Doug. A little Zen might be what the GOP needs to survive this sh^tshow. Or Xanax. Lots of Xanax. Talk to Rush, he’ll hook y’all up.

  2. Mu says:

    So, Nebraskans really wanted Cruz to join the race again.

  3. Mark Ivey says:

    I’m still watching his hairspray rant to coal miners, fabulous stuff..

  4. C. Clavin says:

    Jon Chait on the phenomenon that is Trump:
    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/05/heres-the-real-reason-we-all-underrated-trump.html
    Key take-away…

    He is several orders of magnitude more clownish and uninformed than the dumbest major-party nominee I’ve ever seen before. (That would be George W. Bush.) As low as my estimation of the intelligence of the Republican electorate may be, I did not think enough of them would be dumb enough to buy his act. And, yes, I do believe that to watch Donald Trump and see a qualified and plausible president, you probably have some kind of mental shortcoming.

  5. CSK says:

    @C. Clavin:

    It’s not unexpected that boobs,boors, and oafs would identify so closely with a boob, a boor, and an oaf.

  6. C. Clavin says:

    Trump claims a mandate…because Jenos, and other white bigoted men, support him.

    “…I think I have a mandate from the people…The people are tired of incompetent leadership at the highest level. They’re tired of trade deals that are ripping our jobs apart and taking their wages…You win the pennant and now you’re in the World Series — you gonna change? People like the way I’m doing…”

    FYI…Clinton has almost 2 million more voters to date than Trump…so she has a bigger mandate….and bigger hands.

  7. al-Ameda says:

    Well, I listened to conservative talk radio on the commute drive home last night, and they’re (conservative media) already trying to talk themselves and their audience of Fox-oriented conservative voters into mobilizing to do all they can to keep Hillary out of the White House. The host recited a litany of Obama Administration failures, the usual “sky is falling” litany.

    By the time the hour was up, a conservative pollster was saying that he was pretty certain Trump would easily defeat Clinton, given the failures of the Obama Administration and Hillary Clinton’s negatives. All of this was reminiscent of 2012, when the conservative opinionista were convinced that, polling was wrong and biased, that Mitt Romney was on his way to certain victory over Barack Obama.

    Trump can win, he has to run the table on swing states, not likely but … Democrats should not be complacent.

  8. MBunge says:

    Data and analytics are useful but modern people tend to cling to them the way their forefathers did religion, as totems that allow them to think they understand and have control over the world when neither are true.

    Or to put it another way, if you need data-driven political maneuvering to beat someone like Trump, you are ultimately doomed.

    Mike

  9. Scott says:

    I found it interesting that there were about 40000 more Democrats than Republicans voting this primary in WV. WV is a semi-closed primary. were there many switching party voting? Was there more interest in the Clinton/Sanders fight? Seems like every state has its own quirks and required some peeling back to reveal what really went on.

  10. MBunge says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Chait is lying to himself. He ALWAYS thought Republican voters were idiots. That’s why he never thought they would ever stop swallowing the garbage being fed to them. Race and fear are certainly part of Trump’s appeal but it is also that GOP voters are sick of being lied to and promised things that their leaders never intend to do. They may not believe Trump will do them but at least he’s not part of the same crowd.

    Mike

  11. CSK says:

    @Scott:

    I read somewhere this morning that 4 out of 10 Sanders voters in WVA said they’d vote for Trump against Clinton in the general. Apparently 22,000 registered Democrats in Massachusetts changed their registration to Republican to vote for Trump in the MA primary.

    I still can’t see Trump winning the general.

  12. Neil Hudelson says:

    @MBunge:

    , if you need data-driven political maneuvering to beat someone like Trump

    I’ve never heard of voter activation and GOTV (which is the purpose of data operations) described as “political maneuvering.”

    Genuinely curious, what do you think Obama used his data operations for?

  13. C. Clavin says:

    @MBunge:
    Sure…I’ve long thought Republucans to be stupid. Who ignores science? Who thinks tax cuts pay for themselves? Racists, by definition, are ignorant.
    I doubt anyone thought Republicans were actually retarded enough to nominate Trump.

  14. Bob@Youngstown says:

    OT, but The Donald now says he may NOT release his tax returns before the November election.
    Why am I not surprised he would pivot away from what he said earlier?

    BTW, how does anyone know that his publicly released tax returns are accurate? Or do we just take it “on faith”?

  15. James Pearce says:

    @al-Ameda:

    Trump can win, he has to run the table on swing states, not likely but … Democrats should not be complacent.

    Yep. Mockery is fun and all, but it won’t do the job.

    Or as Dave Weigel tweeted out during the WV vote:

    Don’t these voters realize that John Oliver called him Drumpf???

  16. C. Clavin says:

    @Bob@Youngstown:

    The Donald now says he may NOT release his tax returns

    Which is par for the course based on his record of hypocrisy.

    Previously, Trump blamed an ongoing audit for his failure to release returns, an excuse that was questioned by tax experts. As recently as Sunday, Trump pledged to release the returns “as fast as the auditors finish.” Last October, Trump said he would release his tax returns once Hillary Clinton released her emails. Now, Trump adds that he’s not planning to release them because “there’s nothing to learn from them” and voters aren’t interested in the information.

    It’s also a sharp break from Trump’s own advice to Mitt Romney. In January 2012, Trump told Greta Van Sustren that Romney “was hurt really very badly” by his initial refusal to release his tax returns. He advised Romney to “release them now.”
    Romney released his 2010 return and a summary of his 2011 return later that month. After Romney released his full 2011 tax return in September, Trump praised Romney for releasing his returns and said they were “very honorably done.” Although Trump now claims no one is interested in reviewing tax returns, he said he personally reviewed Romney’s, calling them “absolutely beautiful and perfect.”

    I ask again…what do Trump supporters think they are supporting…given the fact that he has been on both sides of every issue and virtually nothing that comes out of his mouth is true?

  17. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @C. Clavin:They’re supporting a white GOP-convert whose name isn’t Clinton. What else do they need to know?

  18. C. Clavin says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker:
    he’s not white…he’s orange.

  19. Scott F. says:

    @MBunge:

    That’s why he never thought they would ever stop swallowing the garbage being fed to them. Race and fear are certainly part of Trump’s appeal but it is also that GOP voters are sick of being lied to and promised things that their leaders never intend to do. They may not believe Trump will do them but at least he’s not part of the same crowd.

    Chait’s commentary is too glib by half, but isn’t it fair to be surprised and disappointed in the reaction of GOP voters?

    You can think rank and file GOP voters are fools as they continue to accept being lied to by the GOP elite, yet still hope that eventually they’ll get wise and either demand their needs be addressed by those they elect or give their votes to elect someone else. But, GOP voters have responded to being sick and tired of being lied to by the GOP by choosing to be lied to by The Donald.

    Perhaps you could argue that Trump’s deliberate vagueness has allowed GOP voters to fill in the blanks with honest hopes for a better life for themselves. (Trump is unquestionably playing it that way.) But, the snake oil Trump is selling is pretty obviously vacuous (Make America Great Again for who? Destroy ISIS forever without military adventurism how?), so that argument is a hard sell.

    What are they telling themselves? “I’m proud to stand up and stop swallowing the garbage I’m being fed. Instead, I’m going to swallow some new garbage. It’s still garbage, but at least it’s fresh?”

  20. MBunge says:

    @Neil Hudelson: I’ve never heard of voter activation and GOTV (which is the purpose of data operations) described as “political maneuvering.”

    I’m not sure how I can make this more clear.

    IF YOU NEED A MASTERFUL “GET OUT THE VOTE” OPERATION TO BEAT DONALD TRUMP YOU ARE ULTIMATELY DOOMED.

    It’s Donald Trump. The joke. The clown. The buffoon. The racist. The sexist. The loudmouth. The guy who Hillary Clinton is supposed to whip so soundly that Republicans also lose control of the Senate and maybe the House. If Hillary still has to sweat what’s happening with single woman between 35 and 45 who drive pickup trucks and eat eggplant once a month, she’s in very serious trouble.

    Mike

  21. MBunge says:

    @Scott F.: What are they telling themselves? “I’m proud to stand up and stop swallowing the garbage I’m being fed. Instead, I’m going to swallow some new garbage. It’s still garbage, but at least it’s fresh?”

    Baby steps. The elites these people trust have been lying to them and telling them no one else can be trusted for almost two generations now. What can you realistically expect?

    Mike

  22. KM says:

    @MBunge:

    IF YOU NEED A MASTERFUL “GET OUT THE VOTE” OPERATION TO BEAT DONALD TRUMP YOU ARE ULTIMATELY DOOMED.

    Very well. If she’s in trouble, how do you propose to help? What exactly is your solution?

    Let me see, could it be Sanders? The guy who couldn’t get enough people out to vote to beat “doomed” Hillary right now? He’d make a great VP to balance out the ticket! Maybe he should be talking to her about that, make sure Trump doesn’t get any closer then the White House tour?

    Disaster averted and no data analytics were hurt in the process. Win-win.

  23. C. Clavin says:

    @MBunge:
    Well…they’re idiots…who have been being duped for years…so expectations should be low.
    What’s fascinating is that after being made the fool for so long…they now think they have it all figured out.
    I’ll go back to Chait…

    …to watch Donald Trump and see a qualified and plausible president, you probably have some kind of mental shortcoming.

  24. MBunge says:

    @KM: If she’s in trouble, how do you propose to help?

    I don’t know if she’s in trouble. Some polls could come out next week showing her 8 to 10 points ahead.

    My point is that if you think political data-mining is going to matter in this election, than either Trump is a hell of a lot stronger candidate or Hillary is a hell of a lot weaker candidate than the conventional wisdom holds. And if you’re THAT wrong about what’s going on, it eventually comes back to bite you in the behind.

    Mike

  25. Mikey says:

    @MBunge: I think the Clinton campaign doing “political data-mining” and pushing hard to GOTV is simply a matter of doing their due diligence.

    Sure, it might not be necessary in the end, but if it were and they didn’t do it, they’d certainly be falling down on the job, wouldn’t they?

    Or, as I often put it: “it is always better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.”

  26. MBunge says:

    @Mikey:

    You should always cover all the bases and Hillary doing so is an example of why you should probably support her over Trump.

    I’m just responding to the attitude you also see in sports over analytics, that these numbers are some kind of magic that can predict the future or protect you from failure.

    Mike

  27. PJ says:

    @KM:
    I don’t want Sanders anywhere near the ticket. I want someone as VP who can run in 2020. Sanders will be 83 in 2020, 87 in 2024, and 91 in January 2029.
    Also, I wouldn’t want him anywhere near the Oval Office even if some kind of general anti-age via**a is created in the next eight years…

  28. Kylopod says:

    @PJ:

    Sanders will be 83 in 2020, 87 in 2024, and 91 in January 2029.

    Say what…? Sanders was born in 1941. He’s 74. He’ll be 78 in 2020, 82 in 2024 and 87 in 2029. Sure that’s still old as Methuseleh, but there’s no need to exaggerate.

  29. Jen says:

    On the GOTV efforts: you always, always need to bring your A game to GOTV. Even if your opponent is as lousy as Trump.

    People are not generally compelled to vote. It can be a pain for the average voter, who is trying to coordinate school, work, kid pickup and after school activities, and who knows what else added to the mix (for younger voters it’s generally long work hours and/or out with friends, etc.) with trying to get to a polling station, possibly in rainy, yucky, cold weather.

    GOTV efforts find your supporters and then get them to the polls. Targeted identification can personalize this effort even further, which is critical for Clinton as a part of her voting bloc — young women — do not have landlines anymore, so they can’t be turned out to vote via that pestering device.

    Extremely negative campaigns can have one of two effects: they can be motivating (e.g., “I’m going out to vote to make sure X doesn’t get *near* the White House”) or they can suppress the vote (“I can’t stand politics, I’m staying home”). Low turnout elections (think midterms) generally favor Republican candidates. Of course Clinton is going to need–and use–her strong data-driven GOTV efforts. Whether it’s to ensure a victory or a blowout, I don’t care, but if she has the resources (and she does) she’d best use them.

    Trump and Sanders have both relied on large rallies, but in sales terms these are events that raise awareness, not ones that seal the purchase. They are great for photos but not great at motivating the party regulars to get out and pound doors, volunteer, or talk to their friends. I’m a bit baffled by it honestly, and think that it shows that neither camp has a deep team of campaign experts. If Trump has been collecting email addresses at these rallies, sending those participants an email to get out and vote isn’t going to cut it. It’s too easy for life to get in the way, especially for people who don’t care about or follow politics.

  30. Jenos Idanian says:

    Looking through this thread, I finally have an answer for a question for the ages:

    “What goes through the world’s smartest mosquitoes’ minds just before they get hit by the windshield?”

  31. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian:
    When Trump loses will you finally agree to STFU…or are you going to insist on continuing to spout your inane gibberish?
    You seem convinced there are more white male bigots, like you, than anyone else in this country.

  32. Neil Hudelson says:

    @MBunge:

    I’m not sure how I can make this more clear.

    IF YOU NEED A MASTERFUL “GET OUT THE VOTE” OPERATION TO BEAT DONALD TRUMP YOU ARE ULTIMATELY DOOMED

    I’m not sure how I can make this more clear.

    YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND HOW PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS WORK. IF YOU ARE FORGOING GOTV AND VOTER ACTIVATION OPERATIONS YOU ARE A COMPLETE FOOL. IN A RACE WITH TWO CANDIDATES WITH INCREDIBLY HIGH NEGATIVE RATINGS, GOTV IS PROBABLY GOING TO BE THE BIGGEST SINGLE FACTOR THAT DECIDES THIS RACE. EVEN OBAMA, THE GREATEST ORATOR WE’VE HAD IN THE LAST 30 YEARS, AND WHO WAS RUNNING AGAINST A PARTY WITH INCREDIBLY HIGH NEGATIVE RATINGS, DUMPED MASSIVE MONEY INTO GOTV.

    I HOPE MY CAPSLOCK HAS MADE MY POINT SUFFICIENTLY CLEAR, AND IN NO WAY MADE ME SEEM LIKE AN ASSH*LE WHO IS COMPENSATING FOR HIS INABILITY TO ARTICULATE HIS POINT. IN FACT I’M SURE THIS MADE ME LOOK SMARTER.

    *Pats you on the head.*

    There. Doesn’t it feel better when we yell?

  33. MBunge says:

    @Neil Hudelson: YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND HOW PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS WORK.

    So, how many times were you left back in school because of your problems with reading comprehension? Or does that only happen when you become hysterical, a reaction Trump seems able to provoke with great effectiveness.

    I never said that GOTG or data-mining has no value. I said if that’s the stuff you’re relying on to beat Donald Trump, you are screwed. Because that stuff only becomes really important when elections are close. If you are 10 points up the day before the election, you don’t need to worry about your GOTV operation. You only really need to worry about that stuff if you are 2 to 4 points up or so.

    Well, if Hillary is only 2 to 4 points up on Trump in October, it’ll be great that she has a top notch GOTV operation. It will also mean that she turned out to be a horrible candidate who ran an awful campaign and that she, you and practically everyone else in politics spent the last year and a half being COMPLETELY WRONG about this country, its people and its problems.

    But thanks for proving my point about religion. I dared to question the holy sactity of GOTV and you react like I just took a dump in the baptismal pool.

    Mike

  34. Neil Hudelson says:

    @MBunge:

    Or does that only happen when you become hysterical

    […]

    I dared to question the holy sactity of GOTV and you react like I just took a dump in the baptismal pool.

    Yes. It is apparent to everyone reading the thread that this scenario you describe is exactly what happened.

    If you are 10 points up the day before the election, you don’t need to worry about your GOTV operation.

    You’re right. Let me just compare that to…oh that hasn’t happened in 40 or so years?

    Do you also want to explain to me how totes accurate head-to-heads are right now?

    In case it isn’t obvious–well it is, but in case you aren’t able to comprehend what is obvious–my ‘tirade’ was aping your automatic switch to ‘yelling mode’ as soon as someone called you out for your idiocy. Doubling down idiocy, while giving further proof of your inexperience with presidential politics (I mean, seriously, you are quoting head-to-head polls in early May, for Pete’s sake), only makes your original comment look even more foolish.

  35. Neil Hudelson says:
  36. Jenos Idanian says:

    @C. Clavin: When Trump loses will you finally agree to STFU…or are you going to insist on continuing to spout your inane gibberish?

    I’m going to break my boycott of you because 1) you obviously miss me and it’s sad how much you miss me, and 2) that comment is filled with mil-spec stupid, it needs to be addressed.

    A) Reciprocity: if Trump win, will YOU “finally agree to STFU…or are you going to insist on continuing to spout your inane gibberish?”

    A1) That is not an offer, just curious.

    B) I’ve made no predictions about the election, and here you are saying absolutely that Trump will lose. What makes you so confident?

    B1) I already know the answer — “the invincibility of stupid” — but I’m morbidly curious about how you rationalize it.

    C) I decided to personally blacklist you months ago when you made it clear that 1) you have no respect for the posted rules of this site, and 2) no one is the least bit interested in requiring you to follow the posted rules. And I’ve been quite happy to ignore you. Why can’t you just quit me?

  37. KM says:

    @MBunge:

    It will also mean that she turned out to be a horrible candidate who ran an awful campaign

    Does the opposite mean that 5+ points means she’s an awesome candidate and you were wrong? Or will it be attributed to #TakeDownTrump instead of her? Somehow I get the strong feeling she’s not going to get props for victory, regardless of her lead…..

    and that she, you and practically everyone else in politics spent the last year and a half being COMPLETELY WRONG about this country, its people and its problems.

    We are a large country with a large population, each with their own set of needs and concerns. Be more specific – what are they wrong about exactly? Who are they wrong about? What specific problems? That sounds remarkably like “Take Back Our Country” or “Make America Great Again!” Trite, vague and vaguely threatening; the timeframe is interesting too, like they suddenly started being so very very wrong around a specific event….. Wonder what could have happened?

  38. Jen says:

    @MBunge: She needs a GOTV operation up and running regardless, because a 10 point lead could mean a 2 point lead in a swing state and an 18 point lead elsewhere.

    It has less to do with whether or not one has run a perfect race or is a horrible candidate or a star candidate. It has everything to do with making certain you don’t have people sitting at home thinking “eh, it’s snowing/raining” or “I’m tired from work” plus “she’s got this in the bag”–which then suppresses voter turnout. GOTV is just as important in a perceived blowout race as it is in a tightly contested one because the only thing worse than losing with money in the campaign chest, is losing because no one bothered to vote because they thought you had it in the bag.

    Republicans have the upper hand in low turnout elections. With two candidates who are not, shall we say, universally loved, GOTV efforts are important–regardless of what the polls reflect because a “yes, I’m voting for her” on the phone is not the same as “yes, I voted today.”

  39. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Jen: Here’s a story I heard years ago, and it’s stuck with me ever since. It’s the same message, in a far more personal and accessible form.

    Thomas P. O’Neill, Jr. known by almost everyone as “Tip,” first ran for public office when he was still a college student. He lost his bid for a seat on the Cambridge City Council, but he learned two lessons that stayed with him for the rest of his life.

    On Election Day, a neighbor told him that she would vote for him, “even though you didn’t ask me.” When O’Neill protested that he had known her since he was a child, had shoveled her walk and cut her grass, and didn’t think he had to ask for her vote, she replied, “Tom, let me tell you something. People like to be asked.” The next day, O’Neill’s father ascribed the loss to Tip’s failure to work hard enough in his own neighborhood. His advice became his son’s motto: “All politics is local.” Tip O’Neill never forgot these lessons, and he never again lost a campaign.

  40. MBunge says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    Wow, getting your head that far up your own behind is fairly impressive.

    Just a week ago, literally every single person in politics was talking about how Hillary was going to beat Trump so badly and by such a big margin that it would not only ensure Democrats reclaimed the Senate but taking back the House might be possible. So when a series of polls come out showing an honest to goodness competitive race, only a complete fool ignores the difference.

    Do polls six months before an election tell you who is going to win? Of course not. But if you get enough of them, and I think there’s a new NBC national poll that has Hillary up only five points, that can tell you something about the state of the race right now.

    You can consider Trump a ridiculous buffoon whom Hillary should defeat handily OR you can think of him as a legitimate threat whom Hillary is going to have to pull out all the stop to beat. You can’t think both things are true unless you are really, really stupid.

    Mike

  41. MBunge says:

    @Jen: GOTV is just as important in a perceived blowout race as it is in a tightly contested one

    We have thousands of elections every cycle in the United States. Name me five where the election was won not because of the candidates, not because of the campaigns, not because of the issues and not because of the general economic/cultural/security environment, but because of GOTV. Can we even say that about 2000? Can you really say GOTV was decisive there? More than Nader? More than Gore running away from Bill Clinton? More than Bush the Younger’s “compassionate conservatism?” More than the media bias against Al Gote being worse than anything I’ve seen in my lifetime?

    GOTV is important but its importance is exaggerated because…

    A. Political professionals have to justify what they charge.

    B. They also need to convince themselves, their candidates and the supporters of their candidates that they have more control over the process than they actually do.

    Mike

  42. Mikey says:

    @MBunge:

    Can we even say that about 2000? Can you really say GOTV was decisive there?

    We can say the lack of it did. GOTV in the Florida Panhandle the evening of the election could easily have turned Florida clearly for Gore, eliminating the spectacle of “hanging chads” and the eventual SCOTUS award of the election to Bush.

    Remember, we don’t have a single Presidential election, we have 51 of them, but only about five are actually competitive. This greatly increases the importance of get-out-the-vote efforts in those five.