Monday, August 8, 2016

Did I Miss Anything?

As you can see, it has been a long time since I've written.

Has anything interesting happened in the electoral landscape? I kid.

A few random thoughts to get us re-started ...

  • Trump Fatigue - Donald Trump needs to stop saying crazy things every day if he wants to be elected president.  I know this seems elementary (let's start slowly) but I emphasized "every day" rather than "saying crazy things" for two reasons.  First, Trump can't stop saying crazy things.  It is who he is.  But second, and more importantly, his bigger problem is not so much the crazy things he's saying as the frequency of them.  I'll expand on this point later but voters really make a decision in a presidential election about which reality television show they can stand to watch for the next four years.  Right now, they are suffering from "Trump Fatigue" and are feeling concern about watching this particular show every day for four years.  It is too much and too often.  Part of the reason he's dropped so quickly in the polls is the sheer number of crazy things he's said and done in a short period rather than the actual, substantive insanity of those things.
  • Trump Republicans - I've been surprised by how few Republicans have withdrawn their endorsements of Trump (Late Update: Sen. Susan Collins just dis-endorsed).  I get some of the reasons why they are loathe to do this (it makes them look like flip-floppers and they are scared Trump voters will punish them at the polls).  But those negatives have to be weighed against the costs of sticking with Trump.  Those costs may be both short-term (challengers might point out that you're supporting Trump) and long-term (challengers might point out that you supported Trump).  I'll come back to this point later on too.
  • Math - I would call this next point "back-of-the-envelope calculations" but that would be too generous.  Here's a riddle that puzzles me:  We know that Trump is doing quite well (better than Romney) among un-educated white males.  But he's doing badly (worse than Romney) with African-Americans (this is hard to do actually), Hispanics, college-educated voters, and ... women (that's a lot of people).  Romney lost by about 4 points in 2012 and Trump is currently polling about 7 points behind Clinton in national polling averages.  Shouldn't he be doing worse based on the various pieces we add up above?