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August 21, 2015

57% of Republicans Expect Trump to the Be the Nominee, Says Rasmussen

Rush Limbaugh made a point a month ago: You have to watch how savagely you attack Trump, because, end of the day, a party needs to be able to re-unite even after a difficult primary.

A lot of people seem to think Trump won't win because it is inconceivable that such a "coarse and vulgar man" could win -- which is actually really dressed up way to say "He can't win, because I strongly, strongly desire that he not win; ergo, his winning is a moral impossibility to me."

The trouble with that is: Um, that doesn't work. It was morally impossible to me that Obama should win over Mitt Romney in 2012, and yet, that's precisely what seems to have happened.

(Though, like Karl Rove, I am still awaiting better numbers out of Ohio.)

I watched Trump's performance at the town hall in New Hampshire, because I was bored, and because it was easy. And as I said in the podcast, Trump has some real natural political chops. Despite the fact that he is a billionaire with suspect taste and gold-plated ostentation, he actually has, preposterously, a common touch with people. He is not bothered by rowdy crowds; he interacts with them naturally.

I am not prepared to say Trump will be the nominee -- I think there is a chance of some negative information about him that he even he can't rise above, and there's always the possibility he will say something that horrifies Republican voters -- but I have to say at this point that I can't see why he shouldn't be at least considered the most likely candidate.

"Most likely" doesn't necessarily mean likely (likely being defined as 50+% likelihood). But as far as I can see he has a better chance than every one else.

Say, his chances are 25% (about what his polling is), and Scott Walker's chances are, say, 18%. While neither can be said to be outright "likely" at this stage, you'd have to say Trump is more likely.

A lot of people just seem to be considering this an outright impossibility, and ergo, since they know, with full certitude, that Trump will never be the nominee (and, indeed, must not be the nominee), they feel free to engage in nuclear-level attacks on him.

I would call this unwise. Because I think people have to start pondering, seriously, the gut-check scenario: If Trump is the nominee -- a possibility that must not be discounted, as there's a reasonable chance of it -- do you want to actively prevent him from winning the presidency, and give the Democrats a third term to lock in their policies, and appoint more justices?

Now, people can answer that different ways. Some people may say "Absolutely, if Trump is the nominee, I am out of this party, and the hell with it all."

Which is an acceptable answer -- I'm no party loyalist myself. No judgements from me! I can barely make myself care which asshole is president.

But I think people have been avoiding even considering what they would do in this Gut Check scenario, which is a mistake -- one should always think about possibly distasteful future possibilities and game out one's response. No one wants to think about dying, but that doesn't mean they should blind themselves to their own mortality and not buy life insurance for their family, and maybe buy a burial plot early to spare the family of the hassle of doing so during a period of great grief, or of drafting a will, or a living will.

One can't just say "Well I don't want to die so I'm not going to bother thinking about it," and one shouldn't say "Well I consider Trump so egregious I'm not even going to consider my plan of action should the very possible eventuality of his nomination occur."

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posted by Ace at 02:36 PM

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