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“Democracy Trumped”: Could Trump Actually Win The Election?

I’ve been having incessant conversations with friends, family, and colleagues about politics, and they all boil down to the same question. Could Donald Trump be our next president?

Here is an amalgam of the conversation. See which side you’re on:

—I think Trump might actually win.

—You mean the Republican nomination?

—No, I mean the election.

—Get serious. For starters, the Republican leaders would never allow that. They’d be much better off with Rubio-Kasich or Kasich-Rubio.

—Maybe they would. But there are no smoke-filled rooms anymore. Leaders don’t make these decisions. Primary voters do, and they love Trump. The more outrageous he is and the less connected to facts, the more his support grows.

—Yeah, but he’s a media phenomenon. He is such an egomaniac that he hasn’t even bothered to build an organization. He has no ground game. That’s why Cruz has pulled ahead on Iowa.

—Iowa is a special case because it’s a caucus state. In a society where people are increasingly disconnected from politics, Trump can motivate people just as a media candidate. If he needs an organization to get out his vote, he can buy one.

—He’s already peaked.

—Maybe, but under the new Republican rules that were put in place in 2014, all of the primaries after March 15 are winner-take-all. He only needs to come in first and he gets all of the state’s delegates, even if he has 25 percent of the vote and, say, the runner-up has 22 percent. The Republicans did this to get an early nominee. They didn’t foresee Trump.

—It’s still unlikely that he will get 50 percent of the delegates. If he gets less than 50 percent and it’s a brokered convention, all of the others will unite to prevent Trump from being the nominee.

—Think again. Trump may be a fool and a demagogue when it comes to actual policy, but one thing he’s good at is making deals. Suppose he comes into the convention with 45 percent of the delegates. All he has to do is offer the vice-presidential nomination to someone who controls at least 5 percent of the delegates, and he’s over the top. Can you imagine all of the other candidates, who really hate each other, somehow uniting to block Trump?

—Even if by some miracle he’s nominated, he can’t win. He has just alienated too many groups—women, blacks, Muslims, immigrants.

—That depends. If we have a few more terrorist incidents, or if some more skeletons come out of Hillary’s closet, all bets are off.

—Mainstream Republicans will vote for Hillary in droves.

—Yes, such as they are. But Hillary is not producing much enthusiasm, whereas Trump’s base is really fired up.

—But imagine the debates. This is complicated stuff. Hillary is so much better informed on the issues. He just makes it up.

—Right, but that doesn’t seem to hurt him. She is hawkish for a Democrat, but there is no way she will be tougher than Trump. And the fact that this is very complicated stuff and Hillary really understands the complexity—that doesn’t necessarily play to her advantage. A lot of voters want simple. And there is one more element.

—What’s that?

—Trump is already the most populist of the Republican candidates, and the most appealing to working-class voters. He doesn’t hate government the way the others do. You can count on him to move left after he is nominated, posing as the defender of Social Security and Medicare, and demanding higher taxes on the rich. Hillary, long allied with Wall Street, is less than an ideal opponent. She may take some Republican votes, but he may take more Democratic ones.

—That’s sobering. Do you happen to know the rules for emigrating to Canada?

 

By: Robert Kuttner, The American Prospect, December 29, 2015

January 2, 2016 - Posted by | Democracy, Donald Trump, Establishment Republicans, GOP Voters | , , , , , ,

4 Comments »

  1. I’m on the “yes he can” side.

    Like

    Comment by List of X | January 2, 2016 | Reply

    • There are probably some people out there who might vote for him just for the “fun” of it. The next morning they will see the headlines and say to themselves, “What, he Won?”

      Like

      Comment by raemd95 | January 3, 2016 | Reply

  2. I find it interesting that we have had all this happen before any votes are taken. I think he has created his Waterloo a few months ago for the General Election. Let’s see if the GOP voters have caught on (to his history of exploitation, lack of substance, lack of truth telling and inflammatory name calling) by the time the voting starts.

    Like

    Comment by Keith | January 2, 2016 | Reply

    • Yes, Election Day will be the Day of Reckoning!

      Like

      Comment by raemd95 | January 3, 2016 | Reply


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