June 18, 2016


Donald Trump Will Be Buried in an Electoral Avalanche : Recent presidential elections have been close, but this is the man to lose bigly. (JEET HEER, June 17, 2016. New Republic)

Clinton, whatever her flaws, is a mainstream politician who has a proven ability to raise huge amounts of money and enjoys broad support within her party. Despite the lingering frustrations of many Bernie Sanders's supporters being reluctant to support her, Clinton's recent upsurge in polling shows that she is already consolidating Democrats behind her.

Trump won't have a solid Republican coalition behind him. When he became the presumptive Republican nominee six weeks ago, he briefly began consolidating Republican support, but that effort has now stalled and indeed is fraying, with two major party figures--Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois and Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin--backtracking from their earlier endorsements. As Kirk tweeted on June 7, "Given my military experience, Donald Trump does not have the temperament to command our military or our nuclear arsenal." 

Far from pivoting to the center and uniting the party around him as a normal candidate would do, Trump has spent the first big sprint of his campaign alienating the Republican elite by continuing with his overt racism (as in his attacks on Judge Gonzalo Curiel and renewed calls to ban Muslim immigrants), and engaging in conspiracy-mongering (suggesting that President Obama is asympathizer of Islamic terrorism).

Trump has the awesome task of running a national campaign with nothing more than his own political instincts and small staff of bootlickers who have shown no ability to reign in his worst tendencies.
Trump's manic, narcissistic, and immature response to the Orlando massacre has been a key turning point--or, looked at another way, a final straw. Just as Republican elites were learning to live with Trump, so long as he kept his promise to act more "presidential," he's now made it clear that he'll continue to be the same old Trump the world has known for decades. The result is that elected Republican officials are starting to un-endorse Trump or say they won't back his presidential bid. Republican governors in Maryland, Michigan, and Massachusetts have all said they won't vote for Trump.

Unable to work with the RNC and most elected officials, barely on speaking terms with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, the country's most powerful Republican office-holder, Trump has to face the awesome task of running a national campaign with nothing more than his own political instincts and small staff of bootlickers who have shown no ability to rein in his worst tendencies. The results have been chaotic, in terms well described by Josh Marshall in Talking Points Memo:

There's a Politico story out today about how the RNC gave him the names of twenty big GOP donors to call. He got bored or frustrated and stopped after calling three. And this comes after deciding that he actually doesn't need to raise a billion dollars.

Almost every day since he clinched the nomination almost six weeks ago has been a surreal tour through Trump's damaged psyche--the insecurities, silly feuds, the mix of self-serving lies and attacks on people he's supposed to be courting or justifying a supposed refusal to do things he finds himself actually unable to do (raise a billion dollars). More than anything he's attacking almost everyone but the person he's running against--and that, not terribly effectively.

The sheer shambles of Trump's campaign is difficult to overstate, and stands in sharp relief to the professionalism of the Clinton team. It's not just that Trump has no ground game or data analysis, but that he doesn't even see the need for them. Clinton, on the other hand, has inherited the legendary Obama team of 2008 and 2012, the undisputed modern masters of national campaigning. As Karl Rove wrote on Thursday, Trump doesn't even have an ad strategy, while Clinton is already hammering away at him with ad buys in swing states. 

Posted by at June 18, 2016 8:56 AM