Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Trump CAN Indeed Win The Republican Nomination... And Bernie Can Beat Trump In The General


Tuesday was the first time I actually came to grips with how the sheer, colossal stupidity and ugliness of the Republican primary base is likely to nominate-- despite the Kochs and Adelsons and despite the Party Establishment-- Trump for the president. Yes, it's not just freaky and funny; it's also very real.

In his column in The Hill this morning, Markos Moulitsas seems to be trying to tell Beltway purveyors of conventional wisdom (i.e., journalists) that they've covered Trump inadequately and misleadingly from the start. The key fact is that the collective lizard brain of the GOP base, regardless of the party power-brokers, recognize their own inner selves in Trump. Even if they don't love him, they feel he's theirs-- far more so than McCain, Romney or any Bush will ever be.
For years, conservatives had to listen for “dog whistles” from their politicians. As the GOP’s star strategist Lee Atwater once explained, “You start out in 1954 by saying, ‘Nigger, nigger, nigger.’ By 1968, you can’t say ‘nigger’-- that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states’ rights and all that stuff.” From Ronald Reagan talking about Cadillac-driving “welfare queens” and “strapping young bucks” buying T-bone steaks with food stamps, to contemporary conservatives beating up on the African-American president with claims that he was born in Kenya or that he “doesn’t love America,” euphemism has largely replaced outright bigotry.

But all that dog whistling is exhausting. Conservatives have convinced themselves they’re the silent American majority, so why should they tiptoe around their actual beliefs? Why are they so afflicted with Republicans afraid to shout their conservatism loud and clear?

And that’s the void Trump now fills, saying what Republicans think but are generally too smart to say out loud. And the base loves him for it.

So whether it is “investigating” President Obama’s birth certificate, painting all Latinos as rapists or claiming that “you won’t see another black president for generations” because of Obama and that’s bad for “all the African-American people” (no one claims George W. Bush ruined the presidency for “all the white people,” do they?), Trump has replaced the dog whistle with a solid-gold bullhorn.

That’s why his favorability rating among Republicans is now at 50 percent to 33 percent, even though it is at 27 percent to 59 percent among all Americans. The gap between conservatives and mainstream America has never been wider. And the more The Donald speaks and the crazier he sounds, the better his numbers among the GOP faithful.

And we're not the only ones who recognize that Trump could actually ultimately win the Republican nomination. Tuesday Jeff Greenfield, writing for Politico, asked his readers to contemplate a Trump victory. The party establishment may have decided on Jeb, and the Kochs and Adelsons may have decided on puppet candidates Scott Walker/Marco Rubio as their team, but the disenchanted Republican masses want Trump. Greenfield, in fact, doesn't just contemplate Trump winning the Republican crackpot primaries, but the whole enchilada. He feels if Jesse Ventura could have gone all the way in Minnesota... why not Donald Trump?

I suspect even as fatally flawed a candidate as Hillary Clinton would beat Trump in a general. But a Trump win in the crackpot primaries could certainly set up a Bernie Sanders presidency, as a Quinnipiac poll from last week showed.
With 20 percent of Republican voters, Donald Trump is the clear leader in the crowded Republican presidential primary field, but he trails any of three leading Democratic contenders by wide margins in general election matchups, according to a Quinnipiac University National poll released today.

Trump’s 20 percent is the largest tally for a Republican contender in any national poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University. Behind Trump are Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker with 13 percent and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush with 10 percent. No other Republican tops 6 percent and 12 percent are undecided.

Trump also tops the “no way” list as 30 percent of Republican voters say they would definitely not support him. New Jersey Gov. Christopher Christie is next at 15 percent with Bush at 14 percent.

...Matchups among all American voters show:
 Clinton thumps Trump 48 – 36 percent. She gets 41 percent to Bush’s 42 percent and gets 44 percent to Walker’s 43 percent.

 Biden tops Trump 49 – 37 percent. He gets 43 percent to Bush’s 42 percent and ties Walker 43 – 43 percent.

 Sanders beats Trump 45 – 37 percent. Bush edges Sanders 44 – 39 percent and Walker slips past Sanders 42 – 37 percent.
Trump has the worst favorability rating of any Republican or Democrat, a negative 27 – 59 percent among all voters... Trump is not honest and trustworthy, voters say 58 – 33 percent, and he doesn’t care about their needs and problems, voters say 63 – 31 percent.
Interested in helping? Bernie is a public servant, not a self-serving billionaire-- and his supporters (unlike Bush's, Walker's, Rubio's, Hillary's, Cruz's, Santorum's, etc.) don't include any billionaires. He's counting on small donors, lots of them. And no contribution is too small. If you can... please contribute what you feel comfortable giving.

POSTSCRIPT: Bookies Aren't Betting On Trump Yet

Paddy Power is very skeptical that Trump's going to be the next President. They're offering odds that Hillary, Jeb, Koch puppet Scott Walker, Bernie, Marco Rubio and Joe Biden all have a better chance of winning in November 2016. Trump, however, is a better bet than Rand Paul, John Kasich, Elizabeth Warren, Andrew Cuomo, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz or Kim Kardashian.

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