It is becoming horrifyingly clearer by the day, Donald Trump will be the Republican presidential nominee. Trump is on a roll having won three of the first four Republican primary contests. If Trump has a good showing on Super Tuesday, March 2, and continues to win afterward — even by small margins — he will most likely win the nomination.
About the only way Trump can be stopped is if he wins most of the delegates but not enough to put him over the 1,237 needed to secure the nomination at the GOP convention in July. In such a case, it’s anybody’s guess what might happen then. Could Mitt Romney be trotted out by the Republican establishment as the Party’s savior? How about Paul Ryan?
Republicans find themselves in this predicament because they underestimated Trump’s staying power. Except for the pathetically inept Jeb Bush, few establishment candidates attacked Trump in any aggressive, sustained way early in the race. Now we have Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz going after the front-runner with guns blazing. But it looks like a case of “too little too late.”
Democrats are salivating over the prospect of facing Trump in the general election. The thinking is their likely nominee, Hillary Clinton, will eat his lunch. Unlike Republican primary voters, Americans will come to their senses and elect the more experienced, and tested, Hillary.
Or will they?
Hillary’s negatives among all voters are just slightly below those of Trump. A large group of Democrats, mostly Progressives, have vowed to sit out the election or vote for Trump if Hillary becomes their party’s nominee. Trump voters are an enthusiastic bunch. They’ve had their fill of politics as usual. They want radical change even if that change borders on anarchy.
Hillary does not engender Trump’s passion among today’s anti-establishment voters. A low Democratic turnout due to a deficit of enthusiasm for their candidate could very well lead to a President Trump.
One-on-one match ups between Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders favor Sanders in larger numbers than they do Hillary. Democratic enthusiasm, the kind that brings out voters, is squarely with the Sanders camp.
It’s ironic, the electability argument has nearly always favored Clinton over the democratic socialist Sanders. If Democrats get their wish of a Trump nomination, the electability meme may have to be revisited.
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