Friday, May 06, 2016

The Source's Mouth

My ears are burning.  ColumbusGuy has been talking about me, explaining what I believe.  Why bother to speculate?  I'm right here.  You can just ask.  So let me respond to what he said.

Now, would Cruz have beaten Hillary? LAGuy thinks not, and he might be right. (Or maybe LAGuy thought Cruz wasn't going to stay in the early primaries, I don't know which.)

ColumbusGuy believes it's obvious Cruz would have won if Kasich had dropped out earlier.  I don't think it's obvious. In fact, I think he would have lost.  We'll never know.

ColumbusGuy is correct that I believe Cruz would lose to Hillary.  And lose big. (I could explain why at great length, but why bother at this point--I'll just give you my conclusions.)  I admit once it's one-on-one, anything can happen--and I don't mean if there are catastrophes like a major illness or jail time or a serious third-party candidate, I mean just day-to-day campaigning.

Nevertheless, the two most likely losers in the GOP field were Ted Cruz and Donald Trump, and it's the kind of a year where the primary voters wanted them.  I think Trump is even more likely to lose than Cruz--he's the most disliked candidate by far the Republicans have nominated since I've been following politics (and it's not like he's an unknown, or can easily change his spots)--but since he's more of a wild card in that he's never held office, never run for anything, and has political beliefs all over the place, his possibilities are more volatile. (Well, in that he can lose really, really big.  The odds of him winning really, really big are so small I wouldn't bother with them.)

The GOP did have some pretty solid candidates, but, as noted, the voters weren't in the mood for that right now.  The party has some splits in its coalition and Trump has built his candidacy on those fault lines.

Many conservative fool themselves into thinking Hillary will be easy to beat. (I'm not sure why.  Maybe it's because they can't imagine why anyone would vote for her, and then attribute their beliefs to others). The GOP has to pick up 63 more electoral votes than Romney got, and that won't be easy.  The candidate who had the best chance of doing it was Marco Rubio, and I wouldn't have put his odds at more than 40%.

I do expect Trump to beat Hillary. No one likes her, not even her own voters. I suppose LAGuy's thinking is the Democrats have essentially a permanent lock on the electoral college, and that's a good thought. I don't quite buy it, but it's certainly the trend, just as the loss of the supreme court was inevitable. What Trump will do if he does win, God only knows.

I would never say the Dems have a permanent lock on the Electoral College.  There is no permanent victory in politics, and the second you start believing that is often when you lose.  I remember when Reagan and Bush won three major victories in a row and some (conservative) pundits started saying the GOP had a lock on the White House--even then I wondered why anyone would say something so stupid.

But I wouldn't even say they have a lock this year. It's just that Trump, like any Republican, will have to jump through a lot of hoops to make it, whereas Hillary can make many mistakes and still win.  (Just nominating Trump might be a big enough mistake to hand it to Hillary.  Yes, I know he won all those primaries, but the very things that made him popular with a subset of Republicans make him unpopular with the population at large, and for every new voter he brings in, he turns off two.)

So, LAGuy, not to spend too much time chatting on the blog, but last time I remember you mentioning Trump it was because you were uncertain about his affect on the race. I suppose you've advanced significantly since then. Is Hillary measuring curtains? If so, to put them in the White House, or wear them?

What I recall saying was Trump will do one of two things--seriously harm the Republican party, or destroy it.  I'm still waiting to see which one.  I do believe, however, that Hillary is gleeful at what's going on. Sure, Trump is unpredictable, but there were "predictable" candidates she had much more reason to be worried about.


Anonymous Denver Guy said...

I think, as has been the case the last couple decades, Trump and Clinton will start off each with a stock of states they are heavily favored to win. Barring as masive misstep by one or the other, or the entry of a viable third party candidate, you can assume Clinton will win most of the States Obama won, and Trump will win most of Romney's.

Thus, the contest will rage over the handfull of states that were won weakly by Obama and Romney. The good news for Republicans is there are only 3 Romney states that are perhaps easy to flip - Georgia, Arizona and North Carolina. The bad news, of course, is that just holding these three still loses, so Trump has to focus on holding those 3 and flipping almost all of the following states:

Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Trump might be able to make one or two other states flippable with a targeted VP pick (New Mexico with Suzana Martinez, or maybe Wisconsin with Walker?). We'll see whether Trump really has the skills to win folks over, or the ability to make Clinton appear so loathsome that he wins by default. Or - due to a third party candidate, no one gets a majority of the electoral vote, and the current House of Reps (Ryan) gets to pick the next President!

I think Iowa and Ohio are quite doable. Florida has a disagreeable Republican Governor right now, so that may not be too hard. Colorado will be hard fought, and Norh Carolina may be hard to hold.

2:02 PM, May 06, 2016  
Blogger ColumbusGuy said...

Sure sounds like a de facto electoral lock to me--hold your three easily losable states, AND pick up five truly constestable and/or the other side's easily losable states.

3:34 PM, May 06, 2016  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't see how a third-party candidate can win any electoral votes. On the other hand, a third-party candidate could easily be a spoiler. (I guess there is a scenario where Trump does something so obnoxious and drops so far in the polls, some conservative runs and becomes the de facto GOP nominee, but in that case I don't see Trump getting any electoral votes.)

8:53 PM, May 06, 2016  

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