Trump Versus Clinton?
Yesterday’s primaries in Florida, Ohio, Illinois, North Carolina, and Missouri may have revealed the Democrat and Republican standard bearers for the November general election. Based upon stronger than forecasted performances, it looks like it will be Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Two New Yorkers, two centrists (most issues), and two candidates who will have to overcome large negative approval numbers. Hmmm.
Clinton’s candidacy has attracted a broad coalition of Democrats and Independents and most importantly large pluralities among ethnic and racial minority groups.
Trump, now being called a “populist”, has attracted a loyal following who find the rest of the Republican Party (and Hillary too) simply lacking in skills, interest, or motivation to implement policies that will improve their lot in life. Trump’s supporters and potential supporters can be found in both parties, largely but not exclusively with blue collar workers.
There remains the possibility that either or both Trump and Clinton might not receive their party’s nomination, but after yesterday’s primaries, the odds favor their success.
- Here’s some events to look for:
- Clinton and Sanders will campaign together with indications Sanders would have input into a Clinton Administration.
- Conservatives are absolutely perplexed. They are appalled at Trump and do not trust his conservative credentials. Even worse, conservatives are apoplectic about Hillary and feel a certain rage about her getting the upper hand. As a consequence, many republicans won’t vote.
- Trump will go into overdrive to steer the campaign conversation to Hillary’s character and trustworthiness. His scorched-earth approach will harden his “unfavorables” and deepen social conservative unease.
- Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell will be sorely tested. While both are accomplished politicians and more than able to endorse Trump while privately disgusted, they face the problem of what type of a platform to support, a standard fiscal and social conservative one, or one that is more silent on social issues.
- Trump will need some magic with Hispanic voters. His double downed positions on deporting the 12 million or so undocumented immigrants, while philosophically consistent with an anti-immigrant policy is totally impractical to image how deportation could happen. Unless he backs away from this extreme position (which appeals mainly to ultra-conservatives who won’t vote for him anyways), his chance of gaining Hispanic voters is a pipe dream.
- The FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email server will most likely end with a cloud of uncertainty. The FBI may go silent and the Justice Department, through authorized leaks, will say it has long been policy to remain “non-partisan” during major elections. If Hillary is elected, the Justice Department will permanently end the investigation and if she loses, the Justice Department will end it because there is no further interest in stopping her candidacy.
- Thanks to Mitch McConnell and his refusal to consider a Supreme Court nominee, there will be a growing number of Congress members whose seats are at risk if Democrat victory appears likely. Voter adverse reaction will not be limited to Congressional candidates. Look for Trump to speak out and urge Republicans to cease being obstructionists. Trump will act this way in an attempt to build an image of consensus builder.
- At he end of this Presidential campaign, expect a sizable number of Tea Party and Conservatives to announce the formation of a new Party. The new party will openly hold the rest of the Republican Party hostage seeking full control, The rump Republican Party will seek Independents to join, and Congressional control will lie in whether they are successful.
I wonder whether this speculation will be enough to keep the 7/24 news media busy?