Sunday, May 29, 2016

Teflon Candidate? Hardly

Lots of folks talking about Trump and how nothing sticks to him.  Please.  The man has the worst unfavorables of any modern candidate.  He is widely detested.  Sure, white men might be divided about him, but the rest of the population (the majority of the voting public) finds him to be awful, awful, awful.

Yes, the polls have narrowed, as they do when one candidate has sown up the nomination while the other candidate has all but done so.  The basic reality of the American electorate is that more than forty percent will vote for any Republican candidate, even Trump, especially against someone who the party has demonized since before I finished my dissertation (a long, long time ago).  Sure, Trump gets heaps of free media coverage, but much of that coverage is, indeed, quite critical.  More and more outlets are fact-checking and pointing out that Trump is a lying sack of arrogance. 

The Republicans had two problems that Hillary Clinton does not: they wanted to appeal to the same white supremacist/xenophobic/misogynist groups as Trump so they could not call him out on those things; and they could not criticize Trump's policy stances since he was mostly outbidding them.

Yes, Trump presents some challenges that other candidates would not, but he has no experience as a politician other than competing in a very large field of weak candidates (who are now proven cowards [Rubio and Christie, I am talking about you guys]).  He alienates people quite easily as he is thin-skinned, defensive, offensive, and ignorant.  Yes, that plays to some audiences, but it hurts him elsewhere.

There will be no convincing move to the center to appeal to Democrat-leaners or Republican-leaners, as he cannot discipline himself to stick to a message, especially a message that reaches out to people who are not white males.  I expect far more misogyny as he attacks HRC, and I don't expect him to say anything more convincing than "I love Hispanics" one day and then attack a judge for being an Mexican the next.

So, teflon candidate?  Please.  That might have been Bill Clinton, a draft-dodging, multiple-affair having governor from the 49th most successful state.  And geez, that drove the GOP crazy.  But Trump?  No.  Widely reviled.

Things may go wrong and he could win if Bernie Sanders and his supporters betray their values and don't support Trump's opponent.  But not teflon.  He reeks of hate, fear, and failure. So, NYT, stop making him appear to be something that he is not.


Anonymous said...

Trump winning the election requires a perfect storm of the following:

1) Bernie Sanders declining to endorse (unlikely, given the absolute necessity of working with the DNC to further his movement);
2) A controversy which dents Obama's rising popularity to the point that he cannot campaign on behalf of Clinton;
3) HRC alienating older women, black and Latino voters, constituencies which have broken their backs to get her to this point;
4) Trump running a semi-coherent campaign to the point that his negatives match Clinton's, making it safe for vulnerable R legislators to at least reference him by name;
5) HRC does shitty at the debates (if Trump even agrees to any);
6) An "October surprise" terrorist attack and/or economic crash which somehow makes Trump look good at the expense of Clinton;
7) Registered Dems getting overtly complacent to the point that they won't go out on Election Day to stop Trump (LOL); and
8) Last, but not least, Hillary getting indicted by the emails.

What is more likely, the above or a continuation of the dumpster fire we've had over the past year? The current polls, which have caused this ridiculous freakout (ah, it's Rob Ford 2014 and Stephen Harper 2015 again!) are only useful as a snapshot of the electoral situation if the Democrats don't consolidate. And even then, Hillary still wins.

Anonymous said...

Also, can Drumpf prevent a third-party candidacy by an 'independent' Republican? So much for teflon.