Sunday, May 8, 2016

Trump vs Hillary - It's On!

Yeah yeah, far too long without a post and all sorts of excitement.

Bottom line  - Donald Trump is the nominee of a fractured Republican Party. Hillary Clinton will be the nominee of a contentious, but I believe eventually unified Democratic Party.

How did Trump do it?

Against all odds and most predictions, Trump is a political brand unto himself. He has successfully channeled voter anger at the GOP establishment, the Obama administration, immigrants, and Wall Street. Trump was also able to sell his brash, unconventional style and his constant tweaking of the media and GOP establishment - which play well with economically disenfranchised voters.

The way delegates are apportioned with a split field. Trump was able to turn consistent 30% vote totals into state wins and build momentum and the perception that he was unstoppable. The GOP was unable to unite behind an "anti Trump" as all of different factions were unable to come together.

A word on Marco Rubio: on paper he had the qualifications (young, Hispanic, from a swing state), but came across as stiff and woefully unprepared for the mud that was the GOP primary, His getting into the dirt as well (comments on Trump's hand size) sealed his fate. This shows that candidates have to perform and can't just have qualifications that have yet to be tested.

However, many in the GOP are not warming to a Trump candidacy. The repudiation of his nomination from figures such as Mitt Romney, both former President Bush's, and Speaker Paul Ryan. There is considerable concern that Trump will not only lose the presidency, but this will translate into massive GOP losses in the Senate and House.

Movement Conservatives who backed Cruz are concerned with Trumps liberal stances on some social issues. hose in the neo-conservative wing are concerned with his isolationism. And many are concerned with his brash and oftentimes incorrect statements that only serves as a goldmine for Democratic campaign ads. The GOP is clearly divided at this point and bringing the factions together with the hardline Trump supporters is going to be very difficult indeed.

How did Hillary do it?

Clinton was able to use the power of the Democratic establishment and the loyalty of the Superdelegates to cross the nomination threshold (likely to happen before the end of May). However, Senator Sanders has galvanized the youth and left wing of the party and has managed to throw a scare into both Hillary and the party establishment. But, unlike the GOP, it seems that the Democrats are more likely to coalesce by the party convention, as many in Sander's camp are pragmatic enough to support Hillary to prevent a Trump presidency.

And onto November...

As of today (May 9, 2016) Hillary is the presumptive favorite to win perhaps a landslide victory in November. This is based upon early polling and individual state voting histories. Additionally demographic shifts will favor the Democrats.

  • Both Trump and Hillary have very high "very unfavorable" ratings (45% and 55%) respectively. These candidates are already known and defined, thus changing these perceptions is unlikely. The result is two candidates viewed negatively by a majority of the electorate. This increases the possibility of a relatively low turnout election. Low turnout will help Trump as groups who are less likely to vote appear to be supporting Clinton.
  • VP picks - will have to do a Veepstakes post soon - the VP pick will not greatly help each candidate, but a poor pick can further depress already poor approval ratings.
  • The economy over the next  months, an economic downturn helps Trump. Clinton as the defacto incumbent benefits from a recovering economy.
  • Expect a negative campaign from both sides - this will further depress turnout and gin up partisans of each candidate.
  • Does Hillary get indited based on the email issue? I do not this she does, but on the off chance it happens this will have grave effects on her future Is Joe Biden waiting to parachute in?
In a future post I will take a closer look at the Electoral College map.


The Prof


Anonymous said...

I love the blog Brad. Keep it coming. I consider myself a Hybrid Republican. Here are my predictions.

Donald Trump will be the next President of the United States. I do not believe in the polls that the media is giving us. A good example is what was said before the five state primaries held on April 26. Trump ran away with it, the polls weren't even close. Then the Indiana primary was landslide also. It was so bad that Cruz and Kasich both dropped out. His momentum is growing more and more every day.

Ted Cruz- We haven't seen the last of him yet. My crystal ball says he has already contacted Donald Trump and he has a chance at a Supreme Court Judge nomination. He gets a job for life and it keeps the Conservatives happy.

John Kasich- By far, the most qualified candidate that was left in the field. I don't see him as a Vice President, but I do see him as the head of the budget committee or in some other capacity.

Carly Fiorina- Very impressive also. She said some bad things about Ted Cruz, but jumped on board as his VP. I would love to see her write her four page tax code. I see her as Head of the IRS.

Dr. Ben Carson- A brilliant man and surgeon. It was obvious during the debates that he had already made a deal with Donald Trump. Not going to be VP, but I can see him as Surgeon General or even better yet, the man who will fix the VA health care system.

Chris Christie- It is obvious he has been coaching Donald Trump on some issues. He definitely has a place in the new administration. I give him a 25% chance as the VP choice.

Trey Gowdy- Will be the new Attorney General and will charge Hillary with the Benghazi cover-up and the use of her private email server for Classified information.

Hilary Clinton- Will get the Democratic nomination. She is so close right now. She will not get prosecuted until after the election because if it is before the election, it opens up the door for a Presidential pardon. Benghazi happened in 2012, more than enough time for an investigation. Everyone is just stalling until after the election.

Bernie Sanders- He is on fire and will get a lot more states and delegates but will come up a little short. He is starting to steal some of Donald Trumps talking points. He wants to bring jobs back to the US that have gone overseas due to bad trade deals, just like Donald. He will run as a third party candidate and split the Democratic vote just like Ross Perot did to the Republicans back in 1992.

The Wall- It will get built. Newsflash, it is already complete in California, more or less. Duncan (Lee) Hunter finished it during his term as a Representative from California. He ran for President in 2008, but nobody knew his name. Look him up, a brilliant man. His son has now taken over from his dad and is also a great man. Former Gov. Jan Brewer has been trying to raise funds privately to complete the Arizona section, but with Donald in office, it will get done. Former Gov. Rick Perry said a border wall was not needed on the entire border of Texas. This hurt him when running for President. Being a red state with the largest section of the border with Mexico, that will also be finished. The New Mexico portion will be the hardest to finish being a blue state with only 179 miles.

Thanks for reading !!!

Brad said...

A different take on things - we shall all find out in six months!