Sunday, May 08, 2016

How Trump Could Win This Thing

We’re all but officially starting the general election fracas now that Donald Trump has averted a brokered convention and Hillary Clinton is on the verge of sewing up her nomination for president. Overwhelmingly, pundits give Trump zero to less than zero chance to win the election in November.
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Electoral maps based on statewide polling show that Clinton should win the states Obama did in 2012 and perhaps even expand on it.  Some maps indicate that she starts off already exceeding the 270 electoral votes to nail down the victory.
Nonetheless, this has been an odd election cycle, to say the least, and accordingly, I don’t think Hillary is a lock despite the conventional wisdom.  She has major advantages given her experience and the widespread view that Trump lacks the knowledge of government.  Both she and Trump, however, have high unfavorability percentages, which muddy the waters. 
The mogul has the steepest of climbs to pull off the greatest upset ever, but it is possible and all the stars must be aligned for this to occur.
Below are several situations that should they materialize could give Trump the victory. I rate its probability by using stars: one star meaning it is metaphysically impossible for it to occur to five stars making it a certainty.
The GOP unites behind Trump.  Right now the divisions within the Republican Party are broad and deep.  None of the 16 candidates were able to stop Trump even when his candidacy was considered a joke.  He had been able to romp through the primaries despite a ton of money spent against him.  Two former Republican presidents, the Speaker of the House and the previous GOP standard bearer are among those who have not stepped aboard the Trump bandwagon.  More likely than not, the party will get behind him even grudgingly rather than allow Hillary Clinton win the election.  They can’t help themselves. ☆☆☆☆
The Sanders faction doesn’t back Hillary. Bernie Sanders has vowed to remain in the nomination battle up to the convention this summer despite the nearly impossible path needed to defeat Clinton.  Polls show that some 30 percent of Sanders backers stated that they cannot vote for Hillary.  This is problematic in key swing states where turnout will be vital.  Yet, with the prospect of Trump as president, my belief is that most will fall in line at the end if and only if Sanders is granted major influence in shaping the party’s platform.  ☆☆

The E-mail controversy will harm Hillary.  While buttons are already out there depicting Hillary behind bars, there is little reason to believe she had done anything to break existing law that would trigger an indictment. Rather than try to defeat Clinton on policy, Trump supporters are using this diversion instead.  Expect to hear a lot of “Crooked Hillary” in the next 6 months but it is grasping at straws.  ☆☆
Making Bill a winnable campaign issue.  Though he is not a candidate, Bill Clinton is already being attacked by Trump and his forces.  Calling Hillary an enabler to Bill’s sexual “abuse” of women, Trump is re-litigating the impeachment proceedings of 1998.  Her approval ratings soared after those proceedings and Trump’s promise to bash her with this history will likely backfire because it will bring sympathy to Hillary from women voters and reinforce Trump’s challenges with that same group.  Plus, she can fire back at Trump for his three marriages as not exactly the right person to cast aspersions.
Trump will start to act “presidential”.  Some of the greatest arguments against Trump are his temperament, extreme narcissism, crassness and bullying.  All these traits and more render him unfit to lead the free world and deal with unexpected complex problems.  When told he needed to be more presidential, Trump simply mocked the idea and turned into more of a buffoon. He can never change because this is who he is and this is what his supporters wanted when they voted overwhelmingly for him. This lack of filter is costly. 
A terror attack against the U.S. Though many believe Hillary Clinton is more hawkish than Trump in most cases, the Donald’s chest-pounding bravado has convinced his supporters that he can wipe out ISIS and protect our borders.  Should there be a terror attack on U.S. soil prior to the election, this could work in Trump’s favor as he has insisted all along that the U.S. military has been downgraded, we are weak and never win. ☆☆☆
Trump will mend fences, er walls.  Donald Trump’s path to victory is predicated on the notion that he can make nice with Muslims, Mexicans, Latinos, women, African-Americans, the disabled and other groups whom he has offended this past year.  Unless he pulls this off, the number of states he can win shrinks big time.
Picking a good running mate. Though political experts will tell you that it is the top of the ticket that wins elections, Trump can improve his lot with a good choice that could offset his perceived lack of judgment.  Who that will be is anyone’s guess right now.  Keep in mind that Sarah Palin was an early backer.  Hmm. A smart choice would indeed be for him to select a woman to offset Hillary’s “playing the woman’s card.”   Is the Donald capable of smart choices? ☆☆
History is on Trump’s side. It is rare that a political party can hold the White House for three successive terms.  Trump can argue that it is time for a Republican to break the gridlock in Washington, and change the direction of the country.  ☆☆☆☆
As you can see, those stars are not likely to be aligned—Trump needed 5 stars in each—to forge an upset.  In this crazy political season, however, nothing can be taken for granted.




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