March 10, 2016 by Chris Kite
The two big questions on the minds of all politically interested people right now are, can Donald Trump win the GOP nomination and if he does, can he win the general election?
Almost universally, the experts told us throughout the run-up to the start of the primary elections that there was no possible way Donald Trump could win the nomination. They are starting to look dead wrong. That is not at all comforting.
Let’s assume Trump is going to win the nomination. Because I honestly see very few scenarios that can play out and cause Trump to lose. Cruz winning? That seems completely unlikely. Rubio winning? Not looking likely. Kasich? Doesn’t seem possible. A brokered convention? Maybe. But I don’t think so.
So now the question is, can Trump beat Hillary Clinton (or, in some people’s dreams, Bernie Sanders)?
Again, the experts tell us why it is unlikely. It does seem that as long as moderate and Democratic Party voters show up, Trump will be defeated in the general election. The attached link talks about why that is. It is all very logical and sound thinking. And Mr. Marshall concedes that it is not a sure thing.
But it also appears pretty much all normal political thinking no longer applies.
So why aren’t I so confident that the Democrats can beat Trump?
First, he seems to be able to convince people he has skills he absolutely doesn’t. Second, he seems to have an almost mystical power over some people. Both the far left and far right are generally angry. They are tired of establishment politics. The right is tired of all the things talked about in the linked article. The left is tired of pro-big business, pro-trade deal politics.
Based on what I see, even voters on the right that claim to completely dislike Trump will vote for Trump before they vote for Clinton or Sanders. Heck, they would vote for Nixon again. They might even vote for Adolph Hitler as long as he was running on a “conservative” or Republican platform. Because the right has been very, very good at selling fear to the type of people that believe that kind of stuff. And fear drives people to make illogical decisions.
I think the problem with Hillary Clinton and the Democratic vote is that she will not inspire large turnouts. Too many left leaning voters either purely don’t like her, or she does nothing for them. Bernie Sanders would likely get huge turnouts.
But the key in general elections is usually the centrist, slightly right, and slightly left voter. Hillary Clinton has so many false scandals that Republicans have been very successful at selling as real, that I’m worried about the centrist voter either voting for her over Trump, or showing up to the polls in November.
And Bernie Sanders? If he could ever win a general election, this seems like the perfect time. And while I don’t think his proposals are terribly radical, many have sold them as such and it is obvious that voters in America are susceptible to this type of propaganda. Remember. George W. Bush won re-election after allowing us to be attacked by terrorists and being in office during a recession. People actually believe that Barack Obama is a far left President.
But I also think it is quite possible the Republicans are making a huge mistake with their refusal to even meet with or vote on a Scalia replacement for the Supreme Court. This could have a strong positive influence on Democratic turnout and centrist voters in November.
I am not without hope. I believe that Hillary Clinton will win the Democratic nomination and think it is still quite possible she wins in November. But I am not exactly brimming with confidence.