In looking through articles about Donald Trump’s candidacy, I ran across one from March 14, days after the violent protests in Chicago which shut his rally down.
Bloomberg’s ‘How to Steal a Nomination from Donald Trump’ notes that delegates going to the Republican convention in Cleveland in July must pay for their own transportation and lodging, costing upwards of $3,000. The article says that seven of Trump’s Illinois delegates are on low incomes or none:
Could some of them be tempted to flip their votes if a generous campaign, super-PAC, or individual donor picked up the costs of their week in Cleveland?
Perhaps the two pro-Trump super PACs will help. Ed Rollins, who worked on Ronald Reagan’s 1984 re-election campaign and on Richard Nixon’s in 1972, is fundraising for the Great America PAC. The other, the Committee for American Sovereignty, has Ben Carson’s campaign team, Republican strategists, former military officers and businessmen behind it. Most of the money will be used for advertising to counter Hillary Clinton’s.
New York magazine reported that casino magnate Sheldon Adelson is now supporting Trump, which will help the PACs enormously. Even more interestingly, the article said that Nebraska governor Pete Ricketts — of the mega-wealthy family financing the #NeverTrump movement — was supporting the presumptive nominee.
While the PAC fundraisers were on the phone garnering support, some everyday Trump supporters spent time analysing his tweet and photo of May 5 for Cinco de Mayo.
The photo was taken by someone standing while a smiling Trump was sitting, ready to dig into a taco bowl in stylish crockery resting on a pile of magazines and newspapers. The camera angle gives him a paternalistic look, as one forum noted:
Photography 101- this makes your subject look more powerful and dominant …
And it completely changes his look. In this photo, Trump looks…
Adorable … That’s the face of a man who pulls quarters out of little kids ears, and is always ready to play catch, even when his lumbago troubles him something fierce.
There is no way- no way in hell- that a man as aware of his image and physical presentation as Donald Trump allows this photo to be taken- let alone tweets it out without a reason. This is a deliberate choice of image to soften his image …
This man is a genius.
That same day, The Washington Post‘s Chris Cillizza charted five possible Electoral College scenarios, each of which show Trump winning the general election in November. They are the Midwest Sweep, winning Florida, losing Iowa but gaining New Hampshire, Wisconsin as lynchpin and the close shave, whereby two electoral college votes separate him from Clinton, similar to the 2000 scenario between George W Bush and Al Gore.
After Trump’s resounding win in Indiana that night, more anti-Trump publications and pundits followed WaPo in changing their tune. Michael Moore said the billionaire has a good chance of winning since his campaign team are planning to put a lot of time and energy into Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Fortune agreed, echoing the Midwest strategy and adding the Rust Belt as another key region. The magazine noted the similarity between Michigan’s Bernie Sanders voters and their Republican counterparts:
In the exit poll after the Democratic Primary, which was won by Bernie Sanders, 57% said that trade deals take away jobs from Americans. In the Republican Primary, 55% of those polled felt the same way.
The Guardian went into overdrive that week with three articles predicting a possible Trump victory. One advised a reality check for readers who are certain Trump can’t win. Another said that the electoral map could be scrambled this year. A third stated that the ailing US economy could definitely help Trump clinch the November election. Once again, a comparison was drawn between the presumptive GOP nominee and Clinton’s rival:
Trump, despite being a billionaire, has managed to tap into a seething well of discontent. So has Bernie Sanders.
This indicates that Trump is likely to pick up a lot of support from Bernie’s people post-convention. Now that he has been travelling across the nation, Trump has a better idea of the woes of working Americans. On May 3, he said on NBC’s Meet the Press that he doesn’t know how people get by on $7.25 an hour. He has changed his mind about the minimum wage, which he once thought was too high, and says he would support ‘an increase of some magnitude’, although he acknowledges that individual states should make that decision.
Veteran pundit Larry Kudlow, a specialist on the American economy, is another who thinks that Trump could win. He had been watching the post-Indiana polls and predicted that Trump would catch up with Clinton. Quinnipiac’s polls proved him right a week later.
WaPo‘s Fred Hiatt warned Democrats to fear a Trump nomination. Trump can’t win?
Did you predict his nomination? If not, we don’t want to hear your certainty about his November defeat.
Nor is it reassuring to read how happy the Clinton camp must be to be facing such a weak opponent. They need to be running scared — smart, but scared — now and for the next six months.
FiveThirtyEight’s Harry Enten admitted he got Trump wrong and wrote an interesting article explaining why. He concluded:
I don’t know whether he’s built a new political coalition or the Trump phenomenon is sui generis, but whatever the guy did, it worked.
Whatever happens with Trump in the general election, it was a humbling experience for the guy writing these words to you now. The lesson I take from it is you shouldn’t dismiss polling data, even when it doesn’t line up with your priors. That’s especially the case when your priors are informed by a small number of elections.
My recommended article of the week is Keith C Burris’s editorial for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. He reminds Americans of how they and the media got former presidents wrong, from FDR to Obama. They’re doing the same with Trump:
… we dismiss him at the risk of missing what is happening in America.
I remember when Ronald Reagan was called an “amiable dunce” and the most ignorant man to enter the Oval Office. He was neither. We got him wrong.
On May 10, Trump steamrolled his way to victory in West Virginia and Nebraska. He got 77% of the vote in the former and over 61% in the latter. He won nearly all the delegates. One in West Virginia was allocated to John Kasich.
Oregon’s Republican primary takes place on Tuesday, May 17. It is closed and delegate distribution is proportional. Trump is leading in the polls — yuuugely.