Thursday, March 3, 2016

"Never Trump" + Pitiful Turnout for Hillary = a Glimpse of November

Two must-read stories -- Nicholas Confessore's Beneath Hillary Clinton’s Super Tuesday Wins, Signs of Turnout Trouble and "‘Never Trump’ Movement Dealt Setback After Super Tuesday" by Jonathan Martin and Maggie Haberman -- clearly show what is in store for us on our way to the November general election.

Confessore calls attention to the 900-lb. gorilla in the room: Clinton is not drawing voters to the polls in robust "Obama coalition" style. Yes, she is winning among African Americans, but black turnout is way down from 2012 and 2008. Hillary's people say the reduced numbers are due to a lack of excitement because her nomination is assured. Really? What about Bernie Sanders raising tens of millions of dollars month in and month out?

Anyhow, the Democrats can't win a general election at the current level of participation. And what is particularly troublesome for the DNC brain trust is that Trump is drawing voters to the polls like P.T. Barnum to a three-ring circus.

So what is to be done? The GOP has the answer. It is "Never Trump." The current plan, articulated by Martin and Haberman in their story, is to prevent Trump from winning in Ohio and Florida on March 15. The thinking is that without wins in Florida and Ohio, Trump will be unable to sew up the 1,237 delegates prior to the national convention in Cleveland. Republican elites will then broker the convention, raising up a candidate of their choice. If Rubio loses Florida, it won't be him. I'm thinking Paul Ryan will be the one, reprising the role he performed when Boehner resigned as House Speaker.

It is a long shot, but it has already begun in earnest with anti-Trump groups pledged to spend over $7 million on attack ads in Florida.

I am skeptical. Look at the record of Crossroads GPS over the years. But the word is that anti-Trump PAC ads cost The Donald a win in Iowa and helped Cruz triumph in Oklahoma and reduced Trump's margin of victory in Arkansas.

My takeaway from these two stories is that the Republican establishment appears at this point to be truly committed to Trump destruction. If this commitment remains even after the billionaire wins Ohio and Florida, then we will be looking at a general election where the Democrats and Republicans unite in a campaign to drive Trump's turnout lower the cadaverous Hillary. It is a picture of an upside down world, but that's the world we live in.


  1. After sitting them out for a while, I am heading over to a friend's house to watch the debate tonight. I think Trump is going eat them alive. By "them" I mean Cruz, Rubio, Kasich, the moderators, the cameramen, the audience, the guys watching the doors . . .. It's going to be like watching a Godzilla movie.

  2. I'm with you, J.O. I plan to watch the debate tonight too. My assessment of Trump is that he is a quick learner. He was rocked a little last go-round by Little Marco's taunting him on his health care proposal and his penchant for hiring cheap foreign labor. But I think tonight, you're right. Trump will be focused and ready to devour everyone whole. For Romney to "level" with the folks out in TV-land and say, "Hey, watch out; this guy is a phony, a fraud" takes some real chutzpah. Both parties exist to commit fraud and having been doing so for generation upon woeful, benighted generation. What Romney is really saying is that only the Republicans and Democrats are permitted to be fraudulent.

  3. Hmm. I only lasted an hour, but I think I saw Trump take some hits. The whole thing was such an embarrassment though it's kind of hard to tell who the biggest losers were. Judging a debate like this requires metrics that I don't have.

    1. It was basically a repeat of the last debate. Trump took some shots, particularly on those off the records comments he made to NYT on immigration. He has proven bulletproof in the past because there is no other place for the majority of GOP voters to go. Cruz? Rubio? No. So it is Trump or bust.