Monday, January 18, 2016

Can Trump Win It All?

When famed statistician Nate Silver crunches numbers, people pay attention.  More so since Silver is relentlessly unbiased. He never takes sides, but only reports on what the numbers are saying.

Today, Silver wants us to pay attention to the fact that Donald Trump is deeply unpopular. If you think that Ted Cruz is nasty, the American people are persuaded that Donald Trump is far nastier.

Silver sounds a note of caution for the Republican “donor class.” He sees it starting to move toward Trump, because it has convinced itself that Trump might be a general election winner.

Silver has his doubts:

One theme in these stories is that the GOP “donor class” seems to have persuaded itself that Trump might not be such a bad general election candidate.

On that point, the donor class is probably wrong.

It’s hard to say exactly how well (or poorly) Trump might fare as the Republican nominee. Partisanship is strong enough in the U.S. that even some of his most ardent detractors in the GOP would come around to support him were he the Republican candidate. Trump has some cunning political instincts, and might not hesitate to shift back to the center if he won the GOP nomination. A recession or a terror attack later this year could work in his favor.

But Trump would start at a disadvantage: Most Americans just really don’t like the guy.

How unpopular is Trump?

Silver offers this:

Contra Rupert Murdoch’s assertion about Trump having crossover appeal, Trump is extraordinarily unpopular with independent voters and Democrats. Gallup polling conducted over the past six weeks found Trump with a -27-percentage-point net favorability rating among independent voters, and a -70-point net rating among Democrats; both marks are easily the worst in the GOP field. (Trump also has less-than-spectacular favorable ratings among his fellow Republicans.)

Here are the Gallup results:

Note that Cruz is seen much more favorably than Trump by Republicans, Independents and Democrats.

This does not date to yesterday. The numbers have been unfavorable from the beginning of the Trump candidacy:

This is not just a recent phenomenon; Trump’s favorability ratings have been consistently poor. It’s true that his favorability numbers improved quite a bit among Republicans once he began running for president. But those gains were almost exactly offset by declines among independents and Democrats. In fact, his overall favorability ratings have been just about unchanged since he began running for president in June:

How does Trump fare on the favorability scale against Hillary? Silver writes:

We’ve got an unpopular set of presidential candidates this year– Bernie Sanders is the only candidate in either party with a net-positive favorability rating — but Trump is the most unpopular of all. His favorability rating is 33 percent, as compared with an unfavorable rating of 58 percent, for a net rating of -25 percentage points. By comparison Hillary Clinton, whose favorability ratings are notoriously poor, has a 42 percent favorable rating against a 50 percent unfavorable rating, for a net of -8 points. Those are bad numbers, but nowhere near as bad as Trump’s.

Ted Cruz has significantly better favorability ratings, but, Silver says, is perceived as extreme. Silver believes that that fact could work against Cruz in the general election.

So, if you were reserving hotel space for the Trump inauguration, it might be worthwhile to pause and take a deep breath.


Ares Olympus said...
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Ares Olympus said...

We're agree the Republican "donor class" should leave Trump to self-fund his own campaign. I suppose the harder question is who they should fund to help beat him.

And maybe that's the whole game going on with republican voters? In part Trump is popular because he's rich and he doesn't need million dollar sweetheart deal loans from Goldman Sachs so they have a foot in the door when he's elected.

Imagine poor Jeb, barely holding water for a positive approval rating from republicans after spending tens of millions of dollars from the "donor class". Can Jeb last even another month? I understand in politics patience can be a virtue, and "let your rivals self-destruct" is a legitimate strategy, but when do you let reality sink in?

It is so curious to imagine any common interest between the "cut all regulations, reduce all taxes, and reduce the government to the size that it can be drowned in a bathtub" wealth and the people who don't even have a college education and whom will never make it big unless they win the lottery. But maybe that's where Trump comes in, since his supporters are more lower income republicans. Still, its curious they think President Trump can do anything for them.

OTOH, I wonder how a JFK would do these days, saying "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country?" At least Trump's passionate defense of New York after 9/11 showed some sense of what "common sacrifice" looks like under adversity. And perhaps similar stories can be shown in the 10 years since Hurricane Katrina flooded New Orleans.

And now Flint Michigan has its own manmade disaster, and Obama reluctantly declared it a federal emergency to help people have drinking water until the corroded pipes can be cleared of toxic lead. If Obama and Trump were not opposite parties, Trump could unite in common interest with the poor of Flint, and say "We can do better. We must do better.

Trump could even quote his favorite book, the bible and say "Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me."

Who knows if Trump couldn't become the voice of the people, and see his billions aren't just for his own Self-aggrandizing, but like his run for president, it could become his will to "give back" and serve the greater good.

And for all I know Trump's speaks true "I am a conservative Republican but with a very big heart."

And after eliminates his republicans from contention, he can swing center-left with his big heart, and promise to raise taxes on the top 25% so cities like Flint never have to poison their children again. Who knows if Michael Moore himself might not endorse Trump's open heart once Hillary is anointed by the left?

Politics is a strange place. Moses never wanted to lead his people, but God spoke, and he climbed the mountain and was given the voice that the world needed.

Religious folks and liberals alike can have their dreamy idealism on how the world works, with "subtle voices for compassion" always ready to talk to people in power, and show them what the real needs are in the moment.

But none of that really exists in political discussion, fully outside reason and good sense of how power can work. Gradiosity from divine voices may be 90% self-deception, but still God may work in mysterious ways with the final 10%, at least for people with big hearts.

On the other hand, W tried following "Compassionate conservatism" until he decided he needed to become a war president and follow the Neocons "Nation building" plans for a new world order. So Trump might also become a war president however big his heart, and finally help us follow the USSR's path into bankruptcy, trying to defend us from boxcutters.

Maybe it all depends on who Trump picks as his VP for advice when he finds out he's over his head in the first year.

vanderleun said...

"When famed statistician Nate Silver crunches numbers, people pay attention. "

Which he knows and which might, just might, make him look at things with less than a detached attitude.

Sam L. said...

Why is Cruz perceived as extreme? Couldn't (ISN'T) it due to the NYT and WaPo and the networks all saying he's extreme?

Leo G said...

Well I lost all my respect for Silver when he buckled to pressure from the SJW's regarding his deletion of Roger Pielke Jr. from his sight.

I don't think he is after the truth anymore.

Anonymous said...
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A-Bax said...

Sounds like Mr. Schneiderman is just about at "bargaining" re The Trumpening. Definitely past denial, and this post doesn't sound as angry as the last few were re the Teflon Don.

Expect a lot of "disappointed"-style blog entries over the summer 2016 when The Donald secures the nomination and Mr. Schneiderman enters the depression phase of grief.

Back in August, The Oracle of Silver gave Trump a 2% chance of securing the GOP nomination. That was less than six months ago. There are ten months to go, and Hillary is tanking among her own.

Put not your trust in Silver, nor in the Son of Sanders.

The country is looking for a Wyatt Earp to clean up this here town. An Outlaw Lawman who will put the black boots six feet under. Once order had been restored, the townsfolk will be free to run their Scots-Irish defender out of town, and get them a respectable constable.

Marsh said...

Agreed, A-bax!

Phyllis Shlafly and now Sarah Palin!


Marsh said...

Don't look now, but Nate Silver is starting go second guess his prediction about Trump. After Bob Dole' s remarks came out about Trump, Silver put out a tweet saying he's WAY less skeptical of Trump' s chances now. LOL

Stuart Schneiderman said...

Which means that Silver is honest... and allows the facts to determine his opinions.