Predictions

« May 2016  
SuMoTuWeThFrSa
1
2
5
7
8
10
12
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31

Memo to me: THIS IS PROBABLY DUMB.

Man, that moved fast. The last 48 hours have basically been a nature documentary about ape dominance starring the Republican Party. Cruz and Kasich became the fourteenth and fifteenth candidates to roll over and show their bellies to Donald Trump. And while it's shocking that 16 Republicans winnowed down to one faster than three Democrats could, I think we all know this is heading for Trump-Clinton. And so I'm going to do something that everyone says you shouldn't do in an election involving Trump. I'm going to make some predictions.

DONALD TRUMP WILL LOSE.

Modern presidential elections aren't about the issues. They're not about convincing the mythical undecided independent voter who looks at the candidate and makes a clear, rational decision of who they think would be the best person to run the country. Elections are tribal gatherings, and the winner is the one who convinces more members of their tribe to show up. Turnout isn't everything, it's the only thing.

So what effect does having Donald Trump at the top of the ticket have on turnout? Well, he's clearly a motivating force in getting out Democratic turnout. Voting against Trump will be very, very popular. Democrats also have the Historical Election factor driving turnout in their favor. What they have working against them is Clinton's general unlikeability, and a potential Nader Effect if Sanders goes too far and can't convince his supporters that, if they can't have President Sanders, it doesn't matter whether or not they have President Clinton or President Trump.

But on the Republican side, all we have is a bunch of voters who don't like Trump having to force themselves to vote for him because the lies they've been fed about Hillary Clinton make them think she'll be worse than the Trump they've been watching for the past year. That's a tough sell, even for the clinically reality-challenged. Religious people have to convince themselves that Trump's marital history is somehow less sordid than Hillary's, even though he's the perpetrator and she was the perpetratee.

Now, there's a lot of talk about all these "new Trump supporters" that he's bringing to the party, but I've seen them. They're just rebranded teabaggers. And we know how many of them there are, and we know the number is "not enough to stop a black man from being elected and re-elected". So what I'm seeing is a big net turnout motivation advantage for Democrats, which generally means winning elections.

IT WILL BE CLOSER THAN IT SHOULD BE.

Some pundits have suggested that Republicans might essentially "throw" the 2016 election in the hopes that a crushing defeat of Donald Trump will bring the rubes back under the party's thumb four years later. If anyone really thinks that idea will win out over the delusion that they can win the election and co-opt and control Trump and his supporters, well, they're probably pundits who love getting shit wrong.

What I said in the first prediction doesn't preclude a shit-ton of Republicans sucking it up and convincing themselves they can vote for Trump. Because Hillary, because Supreme Court, because Libruls Are Evul. Just because Trump will drive enough of them away and bring out a lot of Democrats doesn't mean he'll drive as many away as they should and we will all ultimately be horrified by how many people convince themselves to vote for Trump. People are awful, and the numbers will reflect that.

TRUMP'S VP PICK WILL BE A HORRIBLE MISTAKE.

Not Carly Fiorina bad, mind you, but there's no way Trump, with his ego, being advised by a bunch of different political hacks and weirdo hangers-on and Cories, doesn't end up with someone that makes perfect sense to Trump and therefore zero fucking sense to the rest of the country.

Basically, we're talking Trump's version of the Palin Gambit. Trump is Palin with a dick, so it won't be someone like Palin, but the decision will be the warped mirror of McCain's decision to pick Palin. They'll look for someone who checks off boxes Trump is missing, and the result will be complete madness.

TRUMP WILL BRING UP VINCE FOSTER.

Of all these predictions, this is the one I'm most confident of. Trump is a product of, and is informed by, all the crazy conspiracy theories that emerge from wingnut fever swamps. He's a birther, a vaccine denier, and clinched the nomination less than 24 hours after implying that Ted Cruz' father helped kill JFK.

And he's running against Hillary Clinton. And wingnuts have been telling themselves that Hillary was involved in Vince Foster's "suicide" for the entire 23 years since it happened. It's a deeply ingrained wingnut conspiracy theory, and no matter how many times his advisers tell him not to say it, between now and Novermber, it's gonna slip out. Probably after some bad polling numbers are released.

Syndicate content