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Norman Bernstein
12-03-2015, 10:13 AM
According to this poll, at least....


Overlooked from yesterday: A new national Quinnipiac poll (http://www.quinnipiac.edu/news-and-events/quinnipiac-university-poll/national/release-detail?ReleaseID=2307) finds that 73% of Republican voters say Donald Trump would have a good chance of winning the general election.

Thatís compared with 63% who say the same about Marco Rubio, 59% who say it about Ted Cruz and 55% who say it about Ben Carson.

The real question is just what defensive posture we all take, in preparation for a 'President Trump'?

Paul Pless
12-03-2015, 10:16 AM
oh god, please yes let this happen :)

Keith Wilson
12-03-2015, 10:17 AM
Jonathan Chait again, with some clear thinking.


What Happens If Donald Trump Wins the Republican Nomination?
By Jonathan Chait

After dismissing Donald Trump as a passing summer phase, one that lingered uncomfortably long into autumn, as winter approaches, a chill of fear has descended upon the Republican Establishment. The Washington Post and the New York Times have both reported on the Republican elite’s response to Trump’s continued polling lead, and the general picture is long on trepidation over the rising prospects of a Trump nomination and short on action to prevent it from happening.

1. Can Trump really win the nomination? My long-standing conviction that Trump stands little chance of winning the Republican nomination has softened slightly, but not nearly enough for me to credit him as an authentic front-runner. (I’d peg Trump as the third-most-likely nominee, behind Marco Rubio, the runaway leader, and Ted Cruz. Trump may be frightening enough to the party to render the once-unthinkable Cruz thinkable.) Trump has hung around long enough and survived enough assaults from the Establishment that it is possible to imagine him prevailing. If Trump can consolidate the majority of Republican voters who favor mass deportation and closing off entry for Syrian refugees, he could prevail. But the key fact to bear in mind is that most primary voters make up their minds at the last minute. Trump’s lofty poll standing may show that nothing he has done has irrevocably poisoned him in the minds of his supporters, but it hardly proves that he has won the loyalty of a plurality, let alone a majority, of the voters.

2. He’s no Goldwater. The explicit or implicit point of comparison for worried Republicans is the landslide defeat of Barry Goldwater in 1964, or George McGovern in 1972 — instances where the opposition party nominated an ideologically extreme insurgent candidate and went on to lose, respectively, 44 and 49 states.

But the sorts of landslides that could occur four or five decades ago could probably not happen today. Polarization has set a floor beneath both parties’ support. The Republican Party could swing from less than 39 percent of the vote in 1964 to more than 61 percent of the vote in 1972 in no small part because the party of Lyndon Johnson and the party of Richard Nixon had a great deal in common. Johnson was a Cold War hawk who massively expanded the Vietnam War; Nixon hiked Social Security benefits, founded the Environmental Protection Agency, and proposed a national health-care plan. The pool of persuadable voters has shrunk dramatically since then, as the two parties have sorted themselves into hardened blocs with coherent worldviews. Trump would have a higher floor of support than either Goldwater or McGovern because Republican voters simply loathe the Democrats too deeply to contemplate voting for one.

3. Trump is still a really bad candidate. In this polarized atmosphere, Democrats have a generalized demographic advantage. Political loyalties are tied closely to tribal identity, and the tribes composing the Democratic coalition — nonwhite voters and secular whites — are accounting for a steadily growing share of the electorate. This is not to say that Republicans cannot win a presidential election, merely that they require specialized conditions to do so: a recession or a major scandal during a Democratic administration, or something else that causes Democratic voting to fall off well below normal presidential levels.

Trump, at best, narrows the GOP’s already-thin margin for error. Everything about his persona would inspire Democratic-leaning voters to rally around their nominee, however uninspired they might otherwise be feeling. As a racist, a nativist, an astonishingly crude misogynist, and an almost comical anti-intellectual, Trump cuts the perfect villainous figure in the Democratic imagination. He is the ultimate anti-Obama. (A fact that no doubt helps explain his Republican support.)

4. Worse, Trump is the wrong kind of bad candidate for the Republican elite. Parties always face a trade-off between the risks of alienating swing voters and the benefits of campaigning on an ambitious version of their ideal platform. Trump provides the GOP elite with an especially unattractive trade-off. His platform is not notably ambitious on the issues they care most about, like deregulation of finance and energy, a more regressive tax code, and reduced spending on social insurance programs like Medicare, Social Security, and Obamacare. Trump instead “spends” his popularity on offending minorities and women in general, and on restrictive immigration policy in particular — the issue where the GOP elite is most willing to pragmatically accommodate Democratic voters. Even worse, Republicans justifiably regard Trump as completely unreliable. His pronouncements on politics may lean rightward on the whole, but they splatter all over the map. At times, he has endorsed universal health insurance, higher taxes on the rich, and even praised leading Democrats — including Obama!

Trump has brought his policies fairly closely into line with the Republican platform. But he does not surround himself with conventional Republican policy advisers, and he is egomaniacal enough to give Republican elites good reason to doubt his reliability. If elected, would Trump continue to put himself behind the Republican agenda, even at the expense of his own public standing? Who knows?

5. A nominated Trump would be a different figure. It is difficult to judge just how badly Trump would fare in a general election, since the conditions under which he would present himself to America as a nominee would look very different. Right now Trump divides the Republican Party and its allied media. He is the subject of withering attacks from many conservative commentators. This, in turn, frees up the mainstream media to assess Trump’s lies in fairly blunt terms. Rigorously down-the-middle reporters can call Trump a liar without fear of jeopardizing their nonpartisan credibility because they are echoing arguments made by many Republicans.

But a world in which Trump had won the nomination would look very different. In that scenario, the Republicans who currently have a strong incentive to tear him down would instead have a strong incentive to rally around their nominee and salvage his standing. A nominated Trump would bring onboard some Establishment advisers currently working for his rivals. Conservatives who insisted during the primary they could never support him would see in their nominee a different, more sober and thoughtful figure than the demagogue they had lambasted months before. And because Republicans would now be rallying around him, Trump would enjoy far more latitude for his wild claims. Fear of partisan bias would then dissuade the media from labeling Trump’s lies as lies.

The different media context facing Trump as a hypothetical nominee would translate into a more positive image. He would remain deeply polarizing, but his profile would more closely approach that of a regular Republican candidate, as opposed to one absorbing the unified disdain not only of liberals but of the mainstream media and half his own party. Trump’s favorable ratings, currently in the mid-30s, would probably rise into the low-to-mid-40s, while his unfavorable ratings, in the mid-50s, would decline a few points.

In the aftermath of the 2012 election, it was obvious to nearly every analyst outside the Republican Party, and to quite a few of those within it, that the GOP needed to get immigration reform off the table to give it a chance with Latino voters. All House leaders had to do in order to accomplish this was to bring up an immigration-reform bill that had passed in the Senate, and it could have passed with just a few dozen Republican votes. Anger by the base paralyzed them from acting, and they muddled through instead. Not long ago, the prospect of Trump heading the ticket in 2016 was utterly unthinkable. Now it is thinkable, and it is possible to imagine the party absorbing yet another blow to its public standing and simply once again muddling through.

Curtism
12-03-2015, 10:18 AM
Defensive posture? You guys are already laying the ground work to blame those of us who voted for Bernie Sanders, lol.

RonW
12-03-2015, 10:19 AM
Well this poll seems to line up with the poll that says 60% of the general population doesn't trust or believe hillary clinton....

Norman Bernstein
12-03-2015, 10:20 AM
Defensive posture? You guys are already laying the ground work to blame those of us who voted for Bernie Sanders, lol.

Hehehehe...are you laying the groundwork for trying to get out of the responsibility for nominating him? :)

ccmanuals
12-03-2015, 10:29 AM
Well this poll seems to line up with the poll that says 60% of the general population doesn't trust or believe hillary clinton....

Which translates to 40% of REPUBLICAN voters do trust Hillary Clinton. Wow, that seems like a big number.

Curtism
12-03-2015, 11:21 AM
Hehehehe...are you laying the groundwork for trying to get out of the responsibility for nominating him? :)

Not at all. If he wins the primary it will take a lot more than my one vote to make that a reality, ya know. Should that happen though, can we anticipate a day where you admit that perhaps Hilary never had the gunpowder necessary to win the popular vote in a general election?

:D

SullivanB
12-03-2015, 12:13 PM
Defensive posture? You guys are already laying the ground work to blame those of us who voted for Bernie Sanders, lol.

Norm's already promised us a stern talking to, should Bernie win the nomination but lose the general. Oh, the horror!

John of Phoenix
12-03-2015, 12:24 PM
oh god, please yes let this happen :)Amen.

Norman Bernstein
12-03-2015, 12:43 PM
Not at all. If he wins the primary it will take a lot more than my one vote to make that a reality, ya know. Should that happen though, can we anticipate a day where you admit that perhaps Hilary never had the gunpowder necessary to win the popular vote in a general election?


Yes, you can anticipate it... on the day she loses, should she end up being the nominee.

However, if that happens, we'll never know if Bernie would have done any better.... or how much worse. :)

John of Phoenix
12-03-2015, 12:43 PM
Chait's article:
This is not to say that Republicans cannot win a presidential election, merely that they require specialized conditions to do so: a recession or a major scandal during a Democratic administration, Well it's not from lack of trying that they don't have them.

Gerarddm
12-03-2015, 01:00 PM
Norm's already promised us a stern talking to, should Bernie win the nomination but lose the general. Oh, the horror!


Except that a very recent poll shows Bernie beating every Republican candidate so far.

Norman Bernstein
12-03-2015, 01:07 PM
Except that a very recent poll shows Bernie beating every Republican candidate so far.

You can calibrate the merit of 'hypothetical matchup' polls by looking at how they shift, week to week. They don't, IMHO, mean a damn thing.

RonW
12-03-2015, 01:10 PM
And what is the moral of the thread......Well of course if you vote for Bernie, Hillary will lose and we will be stuck with Trump or Cruz....god save the liberals,,

Curtism
12-03-2015, 01:28 PM
Norm's already promised us a stern talking to, should Bernie win the nomination but lose the general. Oh, the horror!

There's something that Norman and the rest of the "let the perfect be the enemy of the good" crew seem reluctant to factor into their theories, and that would be the hordes of Republican voters who will come out and vote to prevent a third Clinton administration.


Yes, you can anticipate it... on the day she loses, should she end up being the nominee.

However, if that happens, we'll never know if Bernie would have done any better.... or how much worse. :)

It COULD happen. (See my comment above.) ;)

Norman Bernstein
12-03-2015, 02:27 PM
There's something that Norman and the rest of the "let the perfect be the enemy of the good" crew seem reluctant to factor into their theories, and that would be the hordes of Republican voters who will come out and vote to prevent a third Clinton administration.

That could happen, as well.... but, of course, it presumes that these hordes of Republican voters would consider a Sanders presidency to be an OK outcome, as long as Hillary doesn't get elected.

Is what you're smoking, legal in your state yet? I'm thinking of moving.... :)

John of Phoenix
12-03-2015, 02:30 PM
5. A nominated Trump would be a different figure. It is difficult to judge just how badly Trump would fare in a general election, since the conditions under which he would present himself to America as a nominee would look very different. Right now Trump divides the Republican Party and its allied media. He is the subject of withering attacks from many conservative commentators. This, in turn, frees up the mainstream media to assess Trump’s lies in fairly blunt terms. Rigorously down-the-middle reporters can call Trump a liar without fear of jeopardizing their nonpartisan credibility because they are echoing arguments made by many Republicans.


But a world in which Trump had won the nomination would look very different. In that scenario, the Republicans who currently have a strong incentive to tear him down would instead have a strong incentive to rally around their nominee and salvage his standing. A nominated Trump would bring onboard some Establishment advisers currently working for his rivals. Conservatives who insisted during the primary they could never support him would see in their nominee a different, more sober and thoughtful figure than the demagogue they had lambasted months before. And because Republicans would now be rallying around him, Trump would enjoy far more latitude for his wild claims. Fear of partisan bias would then dissuade the media from labeling Trump’s lies as lies.


The different media context facing Trump as a hypothetical nominee would translate into a more positive image. He would remain deeply polarizing, but his profile would more closely approach that of a regular Republican candidate, as opposed to one absorbing the unified disdain not only of liberals but of the mainstream media and half his own party. Trump’s favorable ratings, currently in the mid-30s, would probably rise into the low-to-mid-40s, while his unfavorable ratings, in the mid-50s, would decline a few points.


In the aftermath of the 2012 election, it was obvious to nearly every analyst outside the Republican Party, and to quite a few of those within it, that the GOP needed to get immigration reform off the table to give it a chance with Latino voters. All House leaders had to do in order to accomplish this was to bring up an immigration-reform bill that had passed in the Senate, and it could have passed with just a few dozen Republican votes. Anger by the base paralyzed them from acting, and they muddled through instead. Not long ago, the prospect of Trump heading the ticket in 2016 was utterly unthinkable. Now it is thinkable, and it is possible to imagine the party absorbing yet another blow to its public standing and simply once again muddling through.

That is a very accurate, thoroughly disgusting description of the way the republican party lies to its members. No wonder the base hates its own party.

Curtism
12-03-2015, 03:04 PM
That could happen, as well.... but, of course, it presumes that these hordes of Republican voters would consider a Sanders presidency to be an OK outcome, as long as Hillary doesn't get elected.

Is what you're smoking, legal in your state yet? I'm thinking of moving.... :)

I thought you said you didn't like Florida, phunny guy.

And I didn't say Republicans would support Sanders but the ones I know, discouraged as they are with the current field of Republican candidates, would gladly brave sleet and snow to vote for Howdy Doody if they thought his wooden ass would prevent another Clinton from being president. Yea, I know it's anecdotal . . . but most of the registered Democrats I know, including myself, agree with that notion.

It's time for someone other than another Clinton or Bush. (And don't start that ruse with me about voting for Trump, that's not what I'm suggesting at all.)

SullivanB
12-03-2015, 03:11 PM
If Clinton is the nominee,

there will be a super sized turnout on the right,

there will be a less than enthusiastic turnout on the left and,

maybe most importantly, the admittedly very early polling suggests that the independent voters are even less enthusiastic about her than I am.

All that said, I'd still expect the American voters to reject Trump, choosing to elect a corporate shill over a crazy thug but, just in case it I'm wrong,
I've renewed my reading up on all the countries where one supposedly can live reasonably well on a modest, fixed income and, these days, be a lot less likely to be gunned down on the street.

Norman Bernstein
12-03-2015, 04:04 PM
I thought you said you didn't like Florida, phunny guy.

You're right, I DON'T like Florida. Hate the place, in fact. Sorry.


And I didn't say Republicans would support Sanders but the ones I know, discouraged as they are with the current field of Republican candidates, would gladly brave sleet and snow to vote for Howdy Doody if they thought his wooden ass would prevent another Clinton from being president. Yea, I know it's anecdotal . . . but most of the registered Democrats I know, including myself, agree with that notion.

Yeah, it IS anecdotal, so it falls into that classification called 'opinion'. I respectfully disagree.

However, the latest Iowa polls show Hillary with 60%, Sanders with 30%. Unless you're going to pull a RonW and trash polls you don't like, it doesn't appear that Iowa voters, at least, are agreeing with you.

Osborne Russell
12-03-2015, 04:27 PM
Jonathan Chait again, with some clear thinking.


Nixon hiked Social Security benefits, founded the Environmental Protection Agency . . .

The EPA was an executive reorganization of various bodies and offices which Nixon favored because it consolidated his authority, I mean the authority of the President.

It was rational in the sense of efficiency. He didn't give a * about nature and neither do Republicans today. He got away with it then because Reds didn't realize what it would mean. Now that they do, they call for the abolition of the EPA.

It was the beginning of the anti-factual Republican Party. Putting the brakes on enslaving the earth is right up there with abortion. They found they couldn't win the factual arguments.

S.V. Airlie
12-03-2015, 04:39 PM
So, to hell with signing the Clean Water Act and others. So, he signed them because he didn't care. If that's the reason, I'm only sorry he didn't sign other environmental acts to protect not destroy it.

Curtism
12-03-2015, 04:56 PM
You're right, I DON'T like Florida. Hate the place, in fact. Sorry.



Yeah, it IS anecdotal, so it falls into that classification called 'opinion'. I respectfully disagree.

However, the latest Iowa polls show Hillary with 60%, Sanders with 30%. Unless you're going to pull a RonW and trash polls you don't like, it doesn't appear that Iowa voters, at least, are agreeing with you.

Yea well, feel free to disagree, since that's what I was doing to you. And lord knows we've heard your opinion on how this race should shake out enough times. So I was compelled (for some damn reason) to point out what I see as some serious flaws in your theory. I'm not about to trash your sources since they are mostly based on the opinions of polsters and pundits, which, as you've pointed out several times, have about as much chance of being right as the next bunch of guesses.

Sullivan condensed my feelings about this elections quite well and if you have any thoughts on his angle, I'd be interested in hearing it.


If Clinton is the nominee,

there will be a super sized turnout on the right,

there will be a less than enthusiastic turnout on the left and,

maybe most importantly, the admittedly very early polling suggests that the independent voters are even less enthusiastic about her than I am.


Of course this is also opinion, so by all means treat it accordingly, but to disregard what he's saying without some consideration seems foolhardy.