This is the Monday Line (on Wednesday)
by Denis G. Campbell
Donald Trump brings website clicks, reality television show viewers and sells newspapers. The more the media talks about him, the stronger he becomes. When we stop talking about him, he does/says something bat shit crazy to get us talking about him again. While he could win the Republican/Tea Party nomination but there are substantial roadblocks in his way.
1. Fitness aside, the Donald is just not Presidential
The Donald’s doctor declared him the healthiest man to ever stand for the US Presidency.
Josh Earnest, WH Press Secretary wryly questioned the good doctor’s research methods on Thomas Jefferson (3rd US President) since there have been 44 men to hold the office…
2. Will Trump win the Presidency?
The Donald has successfully turned the US Republican Tea Party nomination process into a racist, xenophobic, media clown car because… that is what happens in primaries. Parties lurch towards the lunatic right wing fringe of their base because… they vote! The problem is they are the only ones who do vote in the primaries.
Candidates then retreat back to centre to win over the rest of their party and prove to the country they are not the crazy man or woman you saw and heard on the telly three months ago.
3. Will a Republican win the US Presidency in November?
Also, no (unless they steal it using ancient and vulnerable Diebold ballot computer scanning machines, an issue for another column).
The USA’s demographics move daily further and further away from the Republican’s core demographic… angry white men (and women). The growth of Hispanics, African Americans, Asians and women concerned about reproductive freedoms make the GOP a non-starter for many. Demographics will bury the GOP in this and future elections.
4. Iowa is not for lovers nor is it for Trump supporters
It’s a caucus state. It requires organization and discipline vs bloviating and opinions. There is a reason Barack Obama and Ron Paul did so well there. You win by being able to motivate and organize your community and ‘buy the vote’ by ‘buying the best organisers.’ Caucuses are places where you go and sit and debate for 2+ hours before ever casting a vote. Each party precinct captain brings along 20 of his closest friends. They sit around and talk and then everyone votes.
It also is a place where you go to die if you are a Republican. Between their straw poll and caucuses Iowa has selected candidates such as Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee. None went on to win a single delegate in any other primary state.
5. New Hampshire is independent, not bat shit crazy.
The Donald could eke out a win amongst this loyal band of unpredictable anti-establishment ‘go our own wayers.’ And they often pick the winner, thus the inordinate amount of attention paid there.
Neighbour state governor and part-time native son (he has a holiday home on Lake Winnipesaukee) Mitt Romney won in 2012. John McCain won in 2008. George W. Bush won as the incumbent in ’04. But… way back in 2000, the state went for John McCain over ‘W’ in a big way because he was seen as ‘individual.’ The previous primary went to the racist firebrand, Pat Buchanan.
So all bets are off in a non-GOP incumbent year like 2016.
6. If Trump wins in South Carolina and Nevada? The party will freakout!
Ted Cruz is hot on Trump’s heels. The scariest candidate for Democrats Marco Rubio is in third place (he has never lost an election he has contested and is playing this very cleverly). The problem is Rubio’s finances continue to tick like a bomb in the background.
7. Will there be a serious 3rd Party Challenger?
Ben Carson and/or Trump could bolt and lead a third party effort which would doom the GOP nominee. But yes, a Trump third Party run would siphon up to 20% of the vote away from the Republican nominee.
8. Trump’s support is a mile wide and six inches deep.
He is pulling huge numbers of new voters. The problem is will they show up? And if they do what is their endgame beyond the irrational ‘tear Washington down and burn it’ crowd? Key numbers still show that 60% of his own Party does not support him.
9. The delegate math gets brutal after the first four states
The establishment stacks delegate rich states like Michigan, New York and even California much later in the game and decidedly for the establishment candidate. And this is before one factors in Republican Super-delegates.
10. RNC Chairman Reince Preibus fears a brokered convention more than anything.
If it goes to a second ballot and all delegates are released, throw the toys out of the pram and the cards up in the air. Trump could become the nominee.
So last night’s debate aside. This election is like every other one before it. The non-incumbent party has a rotating series of front runners and… the full body scan vetting process winnows out pretenders. Even those like The Donald who never thought they would get this far.
Watch this space…