2016 General Election, 2016 Republicans, Counting Delegates, State of the Race, Strategy, Uncategorized, Veepstakes

GOP Convention Preview: Can Trump Keep the Public Awake?

July 18, 2016

The convention is finally here. The last vestiges of the #NeverTrump movement were stomped out last week, so there won’t be the brokered/contested convention political junkies have dreamed of for decades. Even Bill Kristol is about ready to concede Donald Trump will actually become the nominee.

The choosing of Mike Pence takes any VP drama off the table. There were thoughts some delegates would attempt to throw their weight around on that pick, but the goal was to force Trump into picking a Pence-like person. Mission already accomplished. While it’s very possible he’ll give a solid and effective speech on Wednesday, it won’t have 2008 Sarah Palin levels of anticipation. Continue reading

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2016 General Election, 2016 Republicans, Counting Delegates, Trump, Uncategorized, Veepstakes

The Agony of #NeverTrump

July 14, 2016

Until he actually becomes the official nominee a week from now, there’s still technically a chance the GOP nominee could, ever so possibly, be someone other than Donald Trump. You shouldn’t bet on it unless you get insanely good odds though. And only bet money you’re very prepared to lose.

More Republican insiders, delegates, and other elected officials are opposed to the nominee than any time since 1964. There are delegates pledged to Trump who strongly prefer Ted Cruz. Trump has record low favorability ratings. He’s somehow still trailing Hillary Clinton in more polls than not, even after FBI Director James Comey explained in great detail where she went terribly wrong with her email server. Continue reading

2016 General Election, 2016 Republicans, Strategy, Trump, Uncategorized, Veepstakes

Who Should Trump Pick?

July 13, 2016

The decision is imminent. Sometime in the next 48 hours Donald Trump will end our suspense and choose a running mate. CBS is taping a 60 Minutes interview with Trump and his Veep-to-be on Friday. He’ll leak the choice ahead of the interview, which airs on Sunday evening.

If he hasn’t already decided, he’s making the choice now. So we’re looking at a similar chessboard, though likely with different vision. This is not an attempt to guess what Trump will do. We’re asking ourselves what a candidate in Trump’s position, with his proclivities should do. Continue reading

2016 General Election, 2016 Republicans, Counting Delegates, Strategy, Trump, Uncategorized, Veepstakes

Trump Enters the Cocoon

June 28, 2016

Three weeks from today is Day Two of the Republican convention. Three weeks from tomorrow, Donald Trump’s vice presidential nominee will give his/her speech. Between now and then, expect to see quite a bit less Trump. It doesn’t mean he’ll be out of the news, or won’t say anything interesting. He’s not entering the Candidate Protection Program, but he will be a bit under the radar, at least by Trumpian standards.

On the morning of April 6, Trump was in trouble. Ted Cruz had just defeated him in Wisconsin. This came after losing two of three contests in the previous round of primaries on March 22 (he won Arizona, lost badly to Cruz in Idaho, and finished third in Utah.) #NeverTrump was in the ascendant.  Continue reading

2016 Democrats, 2016 General Election, State of the Race, Strategy, Uncategorized, Veepstakes

Bernie Crosses the Rubicon

May 22, 2016

Remember today’s date. Remember the name Tim Canova. Mr. Canova is running in the Democratic primary in Florida for the 23rd Congressional District. He isn’t likely to win. Why worry about someone who will lose a primary? Well, he’s running against DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz. And he’s raised $1 million or so from micro donations, mostly Berners.

This is not David Brat defeating Eric Cantor in Virginia two years ago. Cantor didn’t see the threat coming. The type of Tea Party-friendly GOP voters that turned out in the primary were entirely different from the voters who were returning Cantor to D.C. every two years as he rose up the leadership ranks.

In this case, Wasserman Schultz is the relatively popular Jewish congresswoman running in a heavily Jewish district that preferred Hillary over Bernie 69/30 in the March 15 presidential primary. She does provide solid constituent service and does not take regularly take positions out of line with her electorate. Continue reading

2016 Democrats, 2016 General Election, 2016 Republicans, State of the Race, Uncategorized, Veepstakes

Creating the Maximum Possible Gender Gap

May 19 2016

Men are from Mars. Women hate Donald Trump. Or something like that. It seems there’s a bit of a gender gap in the presidential race. For decades, Republican candidates have run better with men than women. The Donald is simply expanding on a continuing trend.

And expanding he is. You could sail an aircraft carrier through the difference between his support among men and women in the overall electorate. While Trump holds most Republican women, he struggles with Independents and repels most Democrats. This isn’t new. For months, observers have waited to see when he’ll pivot.

But what if he doesn’t? After all, he hasn’t yet, and polls are currently showing him in striking range of Hillary Clinton. While she lacks the distinctive tone of her opponent, she isn’t doing much better with men than he is with women. Trying to win an election by appealing mostly to white men was a great strategy in 1916. In 2016 the math isn’t supposed to work. Continue reading

2016 Democrats, 2016 General Election, 2016 Republicans, History, State of the Race, Trump, Uncategorized, Veepstakes

Finding the Lesser of Two Evils

May 16, 2016

Assuming things stay as they are and Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump actually are the main choices presented to the American public this fall, we should expect an unusual amount of volatility in potential results.

Winning candidates have positive favorability numbers on Election Day. This one won’t. You can argue another six months of campaigning will make Trump and Hillary even less popular. Expecting either to turn around their current standing is fanciful.

So we’re on track to elect someone that at least 55%, if not 65% to 70% of the country actively dislikes. It’s not just mild distaste. Slightly over 1/2 of Americans view Trump very unfavorably. Hillary’s Contempt Index is in the 40s. Continue reading