The Trump Campaign: A Pre-Mortem


The Trump campaign went into the Republican convention virtually tied with Hillary Clinton in most national polls. Whether the show in Cleveland helped or hurt Trump will be known in coming days, but poll numbers in July mean nothing for November. And in November Trump will go down, possibly in a landslide.

To this point Trump has shown an almost magical ability to overcome obstacles (many of them self-generated) that would have destroyed any other candidate for the presidency. On the road to Cleveland he vanquished no fewer than 16 rivals, including some of the biggest names in the GOP. Yet it seems clear that he has no more chance of stopping Hillary than Merlin had of stopping King Arthur’s marriage to Guinevere.

Statistics don’t lie when it comes to presidential politics. Demography is destiny. In 2012 Mitt Romney won 59% of the total white vote, and 62% of white males, yet was easily beaten by Barack Obama. The white portion of the electorate is continually shrinking; there just aren’t enough whites who support Trump to put him over the top. And the shrinking white vote is bad news for future Republican candidates as well.

Trump has no more chance of stopping Hillary than Merlin had of stopping King Arthur’s marriage to Guinevere.

George W. Bush barely won the presidency twice (or should I say once?) while taking about 40% of the Hispanic vote. Romney won 27% of Hispanic voters. Trump currently has the support of 13% of likely Hispanic voters. Contrary to popular belief, Hispanics are not all that important in deciding elections, because so many of them live in noncompetitive states like California, Texas, and New York. But about 15% of Florida’s voters are Hispanic, and Trump must carry Florida if he is to have any chance of winning the election.

Trump has virtually no support among African-American voters, even by modern Republican standards. The 18 black delegates who attended the Cleveland convention will probably vote for him in November, but whether he can find another 18 African-Americans to do so is unclear. True, African-Americans have voted Democratic by large margins for decades, but it appears possible that Trump will get even fewer black votes than either of the two Republican candidates who ran against Barack Obama.

Among women voters, Trump currently trails Clinton by 15 points. Trump will win the male vote, but he must do considerably better among women in order to have a chance of beating Clinton. This analyst doesn’t see him closing that gender gap.

Conservatives are by no means united behind Trump. Economic conservatives in the Paul Ryan mold clearly have their doubts, as do many social conservatives. The selection of Mike Pence as the VP nominee (reportedly not Trump’s first choice) does something to unify conservatives behind the ticket, but clearly there are many people on the right who will stay home, or write in a name, or vote Libertarian.

The white portion of the electorate is continually shrinking; there just aren’t enough whites who support Trump to put him over the top.

Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson is currently at around 8–10% in the polls. He’s hoping to reach the 15% threshold and make it onto the debate stage with Trump and the Dragon Lady. That would be fun, but don’t hold your breath, Liberty readers. Johnson is peaking now. In November the LP will likely about double its 2012 vote — which will give it a 2% slice of the pie. It amounts to doubling down on irrelevance.

Meanwhile the Left will unite around the Democratic candidate, partly because Bernie will urge his followers to do so, and partly out of pure loathing for Trump. Some no doubt will go Green despite the Sanders endorsement, but the numbers will not affect the outcome. A repeat of 2000 is not in the cards.

It’s simply a fact, Trumpites. Your guy is going to lose on November 8.

* * *

An element of tragedy hangs over the Trump campaign. Tragedy in this sense: Trump alone has highlighted real problems that no other national political figure really wants to confront — problems such as the failure to control our southern border, and the corrosive effect of political correctness on discourse and thought. But his “solutions” are confabulations in every sense of that word. His buccaneering style is going to lead to defeat in November, which in turn means that these important issues will probably never be dealt with in a constructive way.

There is tragedy also in the fact that Trump’s candidacy ensures the election of Hillary. A Clinton presidency means at least four years of left-wing nonsense on the domestic front, combined with a neocon-like foreign policy — the worst of both worlds. Be prepared for your teenage sons and daughters to become unemployable once the $15 per hour minimum wage is enacted. Be prepared for more debt, more regulation, and more speech codes constricting public debate. Be prepared for the possibility of war in Syria or even eastern Europe.

Trump alone has highlighted real problems that no other national political figure really wants to confront. But his “solutions” are confabulations in every sense of that word.

2016 almost seems like a rerun of 1972, with Clinton in the Nixon role. Her time in office ought to end the same way Nixon’s did (i.e., by forced resignation), but the elite media will refuse to participate in arranging her downfall, thereby ensuring her political survival and — who knows? — perhaps her reelection to a second term as well.

Welcome to the future. The last best hope of man on earth has become a circus, a farce.

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Scott Robinson

Dear Jon,

I agree that no reasonable person will vote for Trump, but I also thought that it was a snowball's chance in hell that he would win the Republican primary. Before the Democratic convention started, Fox News interviewed a protestor in a wheelchair who summarized the problem with the election well. He said, "Both sides are giving us a liar to vote for." Hillary is a totalitarian who wants the world to be united in great cooperation under her rule. Marco Rubio had the best summary of Trump as a con-man. I guess that just like there are fools who gave large amounts of money to Trump on the promise that he'll teach them how to get wealthy working the real estate market, there are dipshits who think that by voting for him, he will "make America great again." Of course that sales pitch used by Donald Trump should be pointed out to be completely meaningless by Stephen Cox. The first question that should be asked in response is, "Great in what?" Great is a pro-adjective which needs a more descriptive noun or adjective after it. You can be greatly assisted or greatly hindered both are great, but they are at opposite ends of the favorable perspective. Worse would be if by great alone, Donald means great in all ways. If that's what he means, then he is too full of himself. But it sounds good, so that's what makes it good for getting fools to buy your snake oil.

This good sales pitch principle is the embodiment of the strategy used by the Democrats. There is a free movie out right now on, Clinton Cash, which presents good cases of how all of the good sounding things that Bill and Hillary have said were actually how they got fools to give them money, and how they covered for the scumbags they were actually helping. The part about Haiti shows a recent scam which hasn't done a thing for the poor, downtrodden Haitians who were the pawns in the sales pitch.

This is why I'm going to vote for Gary Johnson and Bill Weld. I have to admit that there have been times when I've seen Gary Johnson interviewed and he won't clearly answer questions. This does stand my hair on end and I say to myself that he's a spineless liar who avoids answers because then he has no terms of agreement to hold him to, but, his written platform on his website is good and indicates that he will stand strong for liberty. Since unlike Hillary and Donald, he doesn't have cases of scam, that I know of, which I can hold against him, I will give him the rope that he can hang me with; like a fool.

As Jim Morrison said, "This is the end. duh,duh,duh Beautiful friend, the end." And no, I won't quote the opening song for MASH as advice for how to cure your problems.

Best Wishes,

Jon Harrison

Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. Thoughtful comments are always appreciated.

I don't condemn anyone who decides to vote for Johnson and my former governor Bill Weld. I just don't think the LP ticket will get more than 2% of the vote. I've always maintained that the LP should become an organization that pushes issues, ballot initiatives, backs particular candidates based on those candidates' views, etc., rather than pretending to be a party that has a real chance of winning office. But that's just my opinion.

Scott Robinson

Dear Jon,

I understand that the LP is limited in power. However, I also know that quitters never win, and yeah, I know that standing firm can be analogous to screaming under the water of propaganda in that you drown. I say that it is better to drown standing for your convictions than to think that one of the two main-party candidates is close enough for government work and to vote for them. You do have a good point that the LP should focus on small steps, pushing issues and ballot initiatives. The problem is that when you are self-limiting, it isn't far from being self-defeating (I know, here I'm saying that close is equivalent).


Richard Parker

The Womb (and Immigration) are Destiny.

The Democrats have imported a whole new state in California (from 16 million in 1960 to 39 million currently.) With the Open Primary system, the Republican party will be extinct in California after this election.

Hillary will import a whole New Country from 2017 to 2000. By 2020, the national Republican party will in all essentials be extinct.

Scott Robinson

Dear Richard,

Kind of like the Cherokee after the UK immigrated into Georgia and the other 12 colonies. I wonder where the Trail of Tears for Republicans will lead.

Best Wishes,

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