You Can Relax: Trump Will Never Win

Everyone needs to chill. Donald Trump has absolutely no chance of ever becoming president.  Not only is his racist fantasy, designed to do, well, something (I don’t know what, to be honest…).

I know… some of you think back to 2000, when Al Gore couldn’t lose and yet, he did, but a lot has changed since then, and this election is shaping up to be pretty much the opposite of that one.  For example, if there will be a “Third Party” candidate, it’ll be Trump and the Tea Party maniacs he is attracting with his nonsense will essentially kill even the slight chance any Republican has of winning the presidency next year.

TrumpholeThere are still about 14 candidates and, out of those 14, Trump is the only one besides Jeb Bush with anything approaching 100% name recognition. Despite that, he still barely polls 30% of those who are not afraid to self-identify as Republicans. But keep in mind, not a single primary vote has been cast and that changes everything. Polls right now are part of the silly season; they are fodder for “the media” and “political junkies” and nothing more. And frankly, if you think the people who respond to pollsters have any decision-making powers when it comes to the GOP nominee, then you haven’t been paying attention. Even voters only have limited say in who wins the GOP nomination. This is something that even “political junkies” have a problem understanding; the primary process is not like a standard election; it’s the party itself choosing who should be its standard-bearer and while they like the democratic process, for the most part, it leaves too much to chance. For example, consider all of those states in which “political junkies” worked hard to create “open primaries,” which is the dumbest thing ever created. Imagine you’re the DNC or the RNC; do you want members of the other party strongly influencing the choice of nominee? Of course not. You don’t want that any more than you want teabaggers choosing a nominee who can’t possibly win a General Election.

If Trump stays at 30 percent, or even climbs to a whopping 40 percent, he may possibly get a significant number of delegates; he may even get more primary delegates than the other candidates. But it’s virtually impossible to say he’ll win the nomination with anything approaching certainty. Those who think it’s possible have not read the latest version of the primary rules perpetrated by the RNC, which they enacted to not only prevent a protracted primary fight, but to prevent people like Trump, Carson and even Cruz, from even having a chance. Seriously, if your second-place contender was Rick Santorum in 2012, wouldn’t that scare you, too?

Primary voters have never really chosen the nominee in previous elections, truth be told; the Party has, and they do it in a really tricky way. You know those blue states, most of whom haven’t voted for a Republican in the General Election since Reagan in 1984? Well, did you know that the districts in those states have the same number of delegates as those in the red states full of right wing teabaggers who are crazy about Trump. That’s right; the district containing Harlem and the one covering Compton and the south side of Chicago, districts in which the Democrat usually wins with 70-80% of the vote in the general, hold the same sway in the GOP primaries as the most redneck districts in Alabama or Mississippi. The RNC has a lot more sway in those states and districts than they do in the Tea Party South; they choose the delegates and they will almost always be far more pro-Party and moderate and they will actually have more influence at convention time than the teabaggers. It also means it is almost impossible for someone to win whom the national party hates. Hear that, Ted Cruz? Cruz may be surging in the polls lately, but he only has a slightly better chance of winning than Trump or Carson.

trump-eagleLook at the numbers; it will take 1,237 delegates to win the nomination, but there are 1,247 delegates at stake in states Obama won in 2012, whereas there are only 1,166 in states Romney won. Not only that, but only 832 delegates are chosen at the Congressional district level anyway. Even in red states, a large number of delegates are chosen through other methods, which the RNC controls. And then there are the caucuses, which choose approximately 200-300 of the delegates, and which do not favor someone like Trump or Carson at all, and which barely favor Cruz over them. Funny thing about caucuses; they depend on organization more than anything and without the aid of the RNC, organization is difficult to come by.

None of this should surprise anyone; while crazy pulls in a lot of votes in the primaries, it kills the party in the General Election and the RNC knows it. Given the states who make up the 30% or so that seem to support Trump, and the extent to which he is pissing off every decent person in the country, he will be lucky to come out of the primaries with 300-350 delegates. That means he may have a say as to who wins, if no one else has a majority of delegates, but there is virtually no scenario in which he gets the Republican nomination.

If you look closely at FEC filings, what you’ll find is that blue-state Republicans strongly prefer Rubio, Bush, Fiorina and Christie when it comes to financial support, so they will have an advantage in those places. I know that money doesn’t really translate to votes, but it does indicate support. You see, candidates don’t become popular because of money, they get money because they’re popular. Consider; blue state Republicans support moderate candidates and they have outsized influence in the primary process.

The nominee will be Bush, Rubio or Christie (or maybe even Romney) because the Republican Party wants it. They control a lot more of the process than people think. While “political junkies” assume that, because the teabaggers in the party have outsized influence with the media, they also run the party, they would be wrong. The RNC runs the party, and while they know they won’t win the presidential election next year, they will not allow someone at the top of the ticket who will completely destroy them in all down-ticket races. Say what you will about Romney, but while he was a crappy presidential candidate, he didn’t completely destroy the entire party. Nondescript and boring is far better than a complete train wreck, which is what Trump and Carson are and what Cruz will be. If you’ll recall, in 2008, McCain’s campaign was dead in the water by the end of 2007; he had to lay off a bunch of campaign operatives and he was out of money. And yet, he ended up winning the nomination. In November 2011, Herman Cain looked like a shoo-in for the nomination, but when the votes started pouring in, the presumptive nominee, Romney emerged and swamped all the pretenders and crazy and ended up with roughly 80% of all delegates, even though he received about 52% of primary votes.

Trump 2If a miracle happens (and it really would take divine intervention) and Trump did get the nomination, the result would be something resembling the 1964 election. It would not just mean a landslide win for the Democrat for president, but it would also result in a Democratic supermajority in Congress and likely huge losses at the state level, because it would certify the Republican Party itself as completely batshit, all the way down the line. There is a very good likelihood that, when Trump loses, he’ll run as an independent or third party and the GOP will be guaranteed losers of the White House, but that would not be as bad for Republicans as if Trump were the nominee because they may be able to salvage other races. But if they nominate Trump, they will be done as a party.

Therefore, relax and enjoy the bullshit that comes out of that man’s mouth. What he’s saying isn’t really that unusual; he’s spouting Republican orthodoxy. Make sure voters know that, and encourage them to support Democrats, no matter what.

About Milt Shook

A writer with more than 45 years in the political game (and let's face it, it is a game). I am a liberal because facts have a liberal bias, and I really like facts. If you like facts, you'll like this blog. If not, you'll have a hard time.

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