Friday, August 12, 2016

When Will Commentators Start Describing Trump's Campaign As Off The Rails-- Or Even Moribund?


It's not likely that Señor Trumpanzee will be campaigning in WA-08 this year. The Seattle suburbs and exurbs aren't fertile ground for him and, to put it mildly, the Republican congressman in the district, Dave Reichert, doesn't want Trump getting anywhere near the any media markets where his constituents will have reason to connect the two of them. Yesterday, in fact, Reichert announced he may vote for Libertarian Gary Johnson but he's definitely not endorsing The Donald. Besides, Hillary is going to clean up in that district. Obama won it both times-- and he wasn't running against a deranged narcissistic sociopath.

Democrats have had their eyes on the district for a long time but have never been able to dislodge Reichert, although Darcy Burner came close in 2006 when Reichert scraped by 51-49%. Last time, he won with 63%. This year the DCCC screwed up again and the candidate, longtime popular KING-TV sports anchor Tony Ventrella-- who was running on a platform of getting big money out of politics-- dropped out before the primary but beat the other two Democrats in the primary and is now, reluctantly, back in the race. Reichert seems safe to me even there is an anti-Trumpanzee tsunami in Washington state.

Trump was was clear across the country August 4, campaigning in Portland, Maine. It was a disaster as he tried fomenting racial and ethnic antagonisms with between whites and Maine's peaceful Somali population. Senator Susan Collins disavowed him immediately after and yesterday a Gravis poll came out showing Hillary beating him by 10 points in the state:
Hillary- 43%
Trumpanzee- 33%
Johnson- 10%
Stein- 5%
Clinton is the choice of 74% of Maine Democrats and 15% of them prefer Trump. 68% of Republicans support Trump and 19%supporting Clinton. She leads him among independents 43-31%.

Yesterday's big news stories of the morning were how Trump is wrecking both parties and how forces within the GOP are agitating to cut him loose. Many commentators are catching up with Thomas Frank's thesis in Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People? that the Democrats have given up the working class to become the party of the white collar professionals along with women and minorities (identity politics)-- the splintering of the FDR coalition. Thomas Edsall in the Times:
Trump is competitive among the less affluent and those without college degrees, among whom he is behind by 3 and 4 points respectively. But Clinton is crushing him among college graduates (57-34) and among those making $50,000 or more (55-37).

The current education and income patterns reflect a reversal of the way Bill Clinton first won the presidency in 1992. Bill Clinton beat George H.W. Bush by double-digit margins among voters making less than $50,000, but lost among voters making $100,000 or more, 54-38. In 1992, Clinton won by similarly large margins among those with high school degrees or less, while losing college graduates 41-39.

The larger conclusion from the data is that the Trump campaign-- both through the support Trump generates among working-class whites and the opposition he generates among better educated, more affluent voters-- has accelerated the ongoing transformation of the Democratic Party. Once a class-based coalition, the party has become an alliance between upscale well-educated whites and, importantly, ethnic and racial minorities, many of them low income.

...If current trends continue, not only will there be a class inversion among the white supporters of the Democratic Party, but the party will become increasingly dependent on a white upper middle class that has isolated itself from the rest of American society.

Instead of serving as the political arm of working and middle class voters seeking to move up the ladder, the Democratic Party faces the prospect of becoming the party of the winners, in collaboration with many of those in the top 20 percent who are determined to protect and secure their economic and social status.

...From this vantage point, Trump and the pro-social insurance populist right that has emerged in much of Europe are as much the result of the vacuum created by traditional liberal political parties as they are a function of the neglect of working class interests by conservatives.

You can look at the populist insurgency spearheaded by Donald Trump as either a corrective or a threat to mainstream Republican orthodoxy.

But GOP insiders are losing patience with Trump, as his narcissistic personality gets in the way of successfully navigating the realignment and his flailing, floundering campaign puts their down ballot candidates at increasingly grave risk. Alex Altman and Zeke Miller reported in Time about a tough phone call between Reince Priebus and Trumpanzee. Although Trump denies the call ever took place, they reported that "Priebus told Trump that internal GOP polling suggested he was on track to lose the election. And if Trump didn’t turn around his campaign over the coming weeks, the Republican National Committee would consider redirecting party resources and machinery to House and Senate races... Polls show that Trump has failed to grasp one of the essential truths about this extraordinary contest: in a race between the two most unpopular major-party nominees in modern history, it’s in each campaign’s interest to train the spotlight on the other. Clinton wants the race to be about Trump. Which is what the publicity-addled Republican wants too." The result is what we're seeing in the polls now, which are showing Trump not only failing to win targets like Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin but possibly losing red bastions like Georgia, the Carolinas, even Utah!
With their candidate mired in self-sabotage, Republicans could only watch and wince. “I don’t think we’ve seen anything like this since George Wallace,” said retail mogul Art Pope. Sitting at a lakeside hotel in the Colorado Rockies on July 31, the conservative megadonor wondered how his party had wound up cowering in fear of the latest tweet from a former reality star. “My concern is Donald Trump will depress the Republican vote and hurt down-ballot candidates,” said Pope, a close ally of North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory. “We’re going to lose races because of him. I just hope it’s not all lost.”

Republicans groan that the difficult task of keeping their Senate majority gets tougher with each outré remark. Which is why the RNC is considering shifting some cash and staff away from the presidential race and toward down-ballot contests. That plan is already in motion among powerful outside groups that typically spend hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of the party nominee. “There’s going to have to be some resource reallocation,” says a senior Republican official familiar with internal party deliberations. A second senior party official routinely instructs Senate campaign managers to distance their candidates from Trump. “Don’t worry about the appearances,” the official said on a recent conference call. “Worry about winning.”

That explains why Republicans running for office this year don’t meet Trump’s plane at airports or introduce him at rallies. In some places, the avoidance strategy seems to be working. Senator Pat Toomey is in a statistical tie in his re-election bid in Pennsylvania, a state where Trump trails by about 10 points. In the key swing state of Florida, Senator Marco Rubio is running ahead in his re-election bid even as Trump narrowly trails Clinton. But in New Hampshire, Trump’s troubles may be dragging down Ayotte, who plummeted from a virtual tie to 10 points down in a recent poll.
The morning got worse when Politico published a report that "more than 70 Republicans have signed an open letter to Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus urging him to stop spending any money to help Donald Trump win in November and shift those contributions to Senate and House races. "We believe that Donald Trump’s divisiveness, recklessness, incompetence, and record-breaking unpopularity risk turning this election into a Democratic landslide, and only the immediate shift of all available RNC resources to vulnerable Senate and House races will prevent the GOP from drowning with a Trump-emblazoned anchor around its neck. This should not be a difficult decision, as Donald Trump’s chances of being elected president are evaporating by the day."

And by last night, the narrative had moved along to an emergency "come to Jesus meeting" with top Trump staffers scheduled for today at the Orlando Ritz Carlton.
Trump on Thursday night challenged reports that the RNC might shift resources down ballot, warning in an interview on Fox News “if it is true, that’s okay too because all I have to do is stop funding the Republican Party.”

Trump argued that the RNC needs him more than the he needs the committee, asserting: “I’m the one raising that’s funding, I’m the one that’s raising the money and other people are getting to use the money that I raised.”

An RNC member said discontent with the Trump campaign has hit new heights in recent days, describing “major tumult in the building and staff problems and disagreements and RNC staff on the edge of mutiny.”

That’s particularly evident in must-win Florida, the nation’s biggest battleground state, where Trump’s campaign has only one field office and no visible footprint otherwise. It plans to open 25 offices by early September, but rank-and-file Republican Party members and candidates are worried that Hillary Clinton’s team is building a robust campaign across the state.

Republicans started growing more-jittery this week as a Quinnipiac University poll indicated Trump was losing his advantage in Florida over Hillary Clinton and might be dragging down Sen. Marco Rubio’s reelection efforts.

..."We're having a problem," Trump told a group of ministers in Orlando in Thursday, according to the Associated Press. Trump pointed out that the troubles and his potential loss "could cost us the Supreme Court."
And that Politico Insiders poll they take... the Republican insiders have come to the conclusion Dr. Trumpanzee can't win. These are the same men and women who, less than a month ago, were certain that a successful convention in Cleveland had put Trumpy-the-Clown on the path to victory; just a month ago! Republicans are more certain of GOP doom than Democrats, who cited the unpredictability of the 2016 campaign, along with some of Clinton’s own weaknesses. 51% of the Republicans on the panel think it's all over for Trump, who, they feel, has no understanding of electoral politics' mechanisms. Last night, for example, he told Fox News viewers that "I don’t know that we need to get out the vote. I think people that really want to vote, they’re gonna just get up and vote for Trump... We are gonna have tremendous turnout from the evangelicals, from the miners, from the people that make our steel, from people that are getting killed by trade deals, from people that have been just decimated, from the military who are with Trump 100 percent. From our vets because I’m going to take care of the vets." Republican Party communications strategist Matt Mackowiak does't seem impressed-- and let loose an epic twitter storm last night. Here's part of it:

Can the news get any worse for Mr. Trumpanzee? In 2012 Mitt Romney won North Carolina's 15 electoral votes 2,270,395 (50%) to 2,178,391 (48%) and Pat McCrory won the governor's mansion 55-43%. New polling from PPP shows Hillary pulling ahead, 43-41%. They are also showing Democrat Roy Cooper beating McCrory 43-42%. Even more shocking, much redder South Carolina is tightening so that Trump just leads 41-39%-- in a state Romney won 1,071,645 (55%) to 865,941 (44%).

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At 2:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...the Democratic Party...has become an alliance between upscale well-educated whites and, importantly, ethnic and racial minorities, many of them low income."

In other words, the sane educated elites and their domestic servants.


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