March 20, 2016

The Inevitability of a Decaying, Beached Whale..

(I posted this over at HotGas.Net in the early morning of their 20 March Quote of the Day.)

..allow me to to add to the QOD:

Being compulsive and possessing a small bladder, I was wandering around the interwebs this morning and came up with an interesting article on the "inevitability" Hillary Clinton as POTUS. It is a pretty thorough analysis and not a lot of its points are the three-corner bank shots that that comprised similar wishcasting of the Romney over Obama pieces that appeared four years ago. Here is an excerpt (emphasis added):

Delegate Map, Clinton v. Trump
Again, what matters in a general election is who wins swing states and who turns out their base. So let’s see how things look in a head-to-head between Clinton and Trump:

Remember the majority of swing states that Hillary has either decisively lost or tied in? Six of these have voted on the Republican side, and Trump handily won half of them (New Hampshire, Nevada, Florida). Trump also carried all of the swing states that Clinton won in except Ohio–and in that case, he nearly defeated a sitting governor with an active campaign infrastructure still intact from his recent re-election. Kasich only managed to pull off a victory at the 11th hour, after Rubio instructed his voters to vote for the governor instead. In Florida Trump managed a landslide victory over Rubio on his own turf in the process and secured an endorsement from current Florida Governor Rick Scott. As for the solidly-red southern states that comprise most of Clinton’s pledged delegate lead–guess who carried all of these rather decisively on the Republican side, and often with record turnout? That’s right, Donald Trump.

That is, Trump is likely to decisively beat Clinton in virtually all of the states that she has performed strongly in so far, and seems poised to win many of the states she lost as well. This leaves her relying heavily on the solidly blue states, which overwhelmingly voted against her in the primaries, suggesting that enthusiasm will not be high with her base. Forget national polling. When one takes a sober look at the electoral map—at who can turn out their base in solidly partisan states and appeal in swing states, based on how the primaries have turned out thus far, the edge is cleanly with Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton.

But it gets worse:

Trump has a large and passionate base. And while many Republicans are not comfortable with Trump, they passionately hate Hillary Clinton–and faced with such a stark choice, most would vote for Trump if only to deny Clinton the White House. Reports of Republican elites who say they’d vote for Hillary over Trump are more-or-less meaningless in terms of indicating how most voters will perform: the entire Trump phenomena is a testament to how far out of touch these party elites are with their voting base (meanwhile, endorsements of Hillary Clinton by prominent neocons would only further alienate her from the Democratic base). Make no mistake: Republicans will rally around Trump (or against Clinton), and they will turn out in large numbers to do so.

The same cannot be said on the other side:

A large number of Democrats cannot bring themselves to vote for Hillary Clinton under any circumstances—and while many of these are unlikely to vote for Trump, they may well stay home on Election Day. Already, in the primaries so far, Republican turnout has been far outstripping that of Democrats. If this holds up in the general (or gets worse), it would be damning for Clinton’s candidacy: Democrats rely heavily on uncharacteristically-large left-leaning turnout in presidential election years to win national races. Absent this, they stand no chance–particularly in light of the advantage Trump already seems to have in swing states and with his base.

But the reality of the matter is that many Sanders supporters will not only abstain, they will actually vote for Trump if Hillary wins the nomination. For some, it would be a vote to punish the DNC for its anti-Democratic coronation of Clinton (via the superdelegates). For others, it’d be a nihilistic act: an attempt to burn down the establishment, or to give America “the candidate it deserves.”

But from exit polling we know that many others, particularly in swing states with open primaries, were legitimately torn between Sanders and Trump as the best candidate to direct their anti-establishment sentiment. And if Sanders loses the Democratic nomination, those who voted for him for this reason would not turn around and vote for someone like Hillary Clinton in a general election—they would vote for Trump. And to top it all off, there are a number of other Democrats who staunchly support the Donald over all the other candidates regardless–in fact, they are an important component of his support base.

All of this bodes ill for Hillary Clinton in a general election.

The two emphasized graphs above go to the relative enthusiasm that characterize the two candidates' primary voting. This is often poo-pooed by those who say primary voting turnout is not predictive of general turnout voting turnout. But those arguments are largely based on conventional election years; this one is exceptional because, if anything, Sanders' and Trump's successes are driven by a high degree of voter/citizen dissatisfaction. (There was a nice series of rebuttals/ripostes to one of our lesser-intelligent trolls who was extolling the virtues of Sanders over Trump to the effect that Trump's positions were the same as Sanders except that he did not advocate "free stuff". Forgive if I have improperly paraphrased.)

I dunno know what will happen. (Hell, I'd be up at Santa Anita or Hollywood Park, laying my ranch deed on the trifecta if I possessed that acumen.) All I know is that the horrible human known as HRC grates on my ears 20 seconds after she begins to talk, my bowels churn when I think of her prosecutable, treasonous, reprehensible acts during Benghazi, and I feel in dire need of a prolonged shower and bleach wipe when contemplating the sewage that she and her husband have been swimming in to get to this point.

Will Trump benefit from similar revulsion among other voters?

..I don't know and I ain't sayin'; I'm just sayin'.

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