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Sunday, January 17, 2016


It looks as if Trump is persuading his detractors

From the Washington Post via Instapundit.

Donald Trump, as I tell anyone who asks, defies virtually every political rule I thought I knew.

There's no better encapsulation of Trump's up-is-down-and-down-is-up effect on presidential politics than a new number from the just-released NBC/Wall Street Journal poll.

The question asked is a simple one: Could you see yourself supporting [fill in the blank candidate] for the Republican nomination for president? When NBC/WSJ first asked GOP voters that question about Trump last March, fewer than one in four (23 percent) said they could see themselves voting for him.

To say that things have changed since then is an understatement on the level of saying Tom Brady is a pretty decent quarterback. Witness this chart built by the indispensable Philip Bump.

It's hard to overstate how remarkable it is that the number of Republicans who could see themselves backing a Trump nomination rose 42 — FORTY TWO — percentage points in 10 months. It's all the more remarkable when you consider that Trump was already totally known by the GOP electorate last spring, meaning that his gains since that time are almost entirely the result of him changing peoples' minds. And it's something else entirely when you consider how Trump got here — a mixture of bravado and anger sprinkled with a dose of controversial statements and seeming gaffes that would have felled lesser candidate many times over.

Trump's improvement on the "could you see yourself voting for him" question is amazing enough in a vacuum. When you compare his rise on the question to, say, how Jeb Bush has fared on it, you begin to appreciate the true remarkableness of what Trump has done. Again, this chart comes courtesy of Philip Bump.

If you need a single chart that tells the fact-really-is-stranger-than-fiction story of the Republican race to date, that's it.

What a race. I can't even begin to wonder what's coming next month when voters actually start voting.

There are still a lot of haters and doubters out there.  But it appears that Trump is proving another old adage about elections wrong.  It was said that you could not overcome high negative ratings.  If people start off disliking you they will not change their minds.  This appears to be another political rule that Trump is about to break.  If this continues, in the Fall we will have a Democrat rout followed by a Trump Presidency.  

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The Trump phenomenon is definitely interesting. My take on the question of could you vote for him: early on I said no; as time went along, I thought maybe, but he's probably not serious and today my answer is that I am moving back to no because he is really irritating. For a while I found myself laughing at some of the stuff he said, but the longer he goes on I try to imagine him being president and having to listen to his ego for four years and I'm thinking my reaction to him is like my reaction to the present occupant of the White House. Turn him off.

The cult of personality thing also really bothers me. Like Obama, his supporters laud everything he does. Trump supporters are not daunted by anything he says no matter how obnoxious. They don't care. That's okay if we had a monarch and the king is the absolute ruler and above criticism, but America isn't supposed to be ruled by dictators.

Contrasting Reagan and Trump, Reagan could put someone down, but he did it with humor and it wasn't personal. I never recall him slicing and dicing anyone.

The thought came to me that if George Washington would have had a Trump personality at the founding of the nation would he have accepted the colonists making him king? Thinking about the answer to that is kinda scary.
I think that there is a big difference between campaigning and governing. During a campaign the object is to finish first. Unfortunately that often means that you have to throw a block against the guy trying to catch you. Trump has one way of doing it, by highlighting a personal defect. It’s not the way I would do it but it’s surprisingly effective. Consider: Jeb = Low energy. Fiorina = face. Cruz = not natural born. Trump is using the polls and references to his wealth as a way of convincing people of his inevitability. And it’s working. Keep in mind that literally no one except Trump himself was going to blow his horn; he had to do it all by himself.

I just finished “The Art of the Deal” and in it he, of course blows his own horn, but does it by emphasizing all the great buildings he has constructed. At this point I believe that as President he will brag on an America that he has “built” on the rubble of the America that Obama destroyed. That I can go for.

The problem with Obama’s ego is that it is totally disconnected with his accomplishments. I can handle someone bragging about doing great things even if it gets tiresome. But Obama brags about achievements that are illusionary. THAT’S what irritates me about the Obama ego.

One last reason that I continue to lean toward The Donald is that I have become convinced that he’s the one Republican candidate that can beat Hillary and her allies. I emphasize her allies because they include all of the organs of the culture: the press, academia, entertainment, etc. Trump appeals not just to the traditional conservative base, but to the kind of people who are the Reagan Democrats. Keep in mind that relatively few people are really true blue conservatives. The fact that Trump is not “severely conservative” (in Romney’s unfortunate comment) is actually going to help him in the election. I remain much more conservative that Trump, but I think that he can begin doing some of the things that need to be done before we can do the things that conservatives have been promising but not delivering for many, many years.
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