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The coming Trumpslide | Blog of a Country Priest

The coming Trumpslide

The coming Trumpslide

A full year has passed (hard to believe) since I blogged about Donald Trump: clown or genius?

Back then, the first primary elections were still four months away, but already Scott Adams, creator of the Dilbert cartoon, was predicting that Donald Trump would win in a landslide. Trump certainly did win the Republican nomination — setting a new record for the most GOP primary votes. But the primary election polls always presented Trump as the Republican front runner. The general election polls have him lagging behind Hillary Clinton, where he’s been for many weeks now.

So does that mean that Trump will lose the general election after all? Scott Adams doesn’t think so, and neither do I. First, here’s a 3 minute clip presenting Scott Adams’ case. Donald Trump, he says, is a master persuader who has manipulated people’s emotional responses and will achieve “one of the biggest margins of victory in history:”

But what about all those polls predicting Hillary Clinton’s victory? There are reasons to doubt them. (This is my own analysis now, not Scott Adams.) The polls presume more Democrats will vote than Republicans. In 2012, Democrats who voted outnumbered Republicans who voted. But this year, all the energy is on the Republican side:

  • The last open primary was in 2008. Compared to that contest, this year the Democrats attracted 8 million fewer voters while the Republicans attracted 10 million more.
  • In August, both candidates held large rallies to energise supporters. That was the plan, anyway. Trump held 29 events, attracting 168 thousand people. Clinton held 11 events, attracting 10 thousand people.

Given these contrasts, I’m not convinced pollsters are wise to apply 2012 figures to voter turnout.

Then there are the “October surprises,” which can reshape the race. As Scott Adams argues, Trump has forward engineered his campaign to exploit a number of possible developments. If terrorists attack, or the economy tanks, or a political scandal breaks, it fits into Trump’s narrative and he benefits. The only October surprise that benefits Clinton is something directly implicating her opponent.

So I maintain that Trump is still on the way to a landslide victory in November. Of course I could be wrong. This is just for fun. Aussies don’t get to vote!

  • Fr Joel

    Interesting. Though I remember you predicting a McCain win back in 2008 which, sadly, didn’t materialise. Different time, different factors of course.

    The length of these campaigns is exhausting.

    • That’s true, I did tip McCain – at this point in the cycle. McCain’s bounce after the Republican convention was greater than Obama’s bounce after the Democrat convention, and Sarah Palin was monopolising media coverage all through August. Adding her to the ticket negated McCain’s ability to warn against inexperienced and unknown quantities, but she energised the base and – critically in a “change election” – enabled him to sell the “Maverick” brand to Independent voters. For the first time in the campaign, Republicans were shaping the narrative. By early September, the McCain-Palin ticket was outpolling Obama-Biden.

      But then a “September surprise” intervened. Financial bubbles burst up and down Wall Street, and the Global Financial Crisis was born. McCain fumbled badly – he suspended his campaign, rushed to Washington to workshop legislative remedies, and then did nothing. It probably didn’t matter – in the new economic environment the incumbent was irrevocably destined to lose. McCain’s lead evaporated and the rest is history.

      Generally, I think US opinion polls give a good insight into the election outcome. When I tipped McCain, the polls tipped him too. By November I expected Obama to win because the polls suggested as much. So I’m on shaky ground this time, tipping Trump and consciously repudiating the polls. But I’m convinced the polls are wrong. Clinton has lost this already.

      Not exhausting. Captivating! 😊

    • That’s true, I did tip McCain – at this point in the cycle. McCain’s bounce after the Republican convention was greater than Obama’s bounce after the Democrat convention, and Sarah Palin was monopolising media coverage all through August. Adding her to the ticket negated McCain’s ability to warn against inexperienced and unknown quantities, but she energised the base and – critically in a “change election” – enabled him to sell the “Maverick” brand to Independent voters. For the first time in the campaign, Republicans were shaping the narrative. By early September, the McCain-Palin ticket was outpolling Obama-Biden.But then a “September surprise” intervened. Financial bubbles burst up and down Wall Street, and the Global Financial Crisis was born. McCain fumbled badly – he suspended his campaign, rushed to Washington to workshop legislative remedies, and then did nothing. It probably didn’t matter – in the new economic environment the incumbent was irrevocably destined to lose. McCain’s lead evaporated and the rest is history. Generally, I think US opinion polls give a good insight into the election outcome. When I tipped McCain, the polls tipped him too. By November I expected Obama to win because the polls suggested as much. So I’m on shaky ground this time, tipping Trump and consciously repudiating the polls. But I’m convinced the polls are wrong. Clinton has lost this already.Not exhausting. Captivating! 😊

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