Wednesday, November 18, 2015


The political establishment keeps lulling itself to sleep with the soothing fairytale that Donald Trump and Ben Carson will fade eventually. The new twist is that the November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris will be the catalyst for a reassessment of the two non-politicians on the part of GOP voters.

Um, I don't think so. Two new polls have been conducted entirely after the attacks -- and Trump leads both. First, New Hampshire:
After losing a few percentage points in a WBUR survey two weeks ago, Trump is more firmly on top in the latest poll ... with 23 percent of likely GOP primary voters choosing him or leaning his way.

... Live telephone interviews were conducted Nov. 14-15.
Trump is 10 points ahead of Ben Carson and Marco Rubio, who are tied for second at 13%. Yes, Carson is slipping, but still -- he's in second place, in a state that usually embraces moderates and is cool toward members of the religious right.

And in Florida:
Fla poll: Trump 36%, Rubio 18%, Carson 15%, Cruz 10%, Bush 9%

A newly released poll of likely Florida Republican primary voters by the Florida Atlantic University Business and Economics Polling Initiative shows Donald Trump with a two-to-one advantage over everybody else ...
This survey was conducted November 15 and 16.

And in a national Morning Consult poll conducted mostly after the attacks (November 13-16), it's Trump 38%, Carson 19%, Rubio and Cruz 7%, Bush 6%.

And yet we're still reading the likes of this:
Donald Trump and Ben Carson have demonstrated more staying power than anyone predicted. But now, after the terrorist attacks on an American ally, Republican elders think their party’s flirtation with inexperience is nearing its end.

The reemergence of foreign policy atop the Republican agenda will force voters to reevaluate the outsider candidates, particularly as both Trump and Carson display a lack of knowledge about national security and the terrorist threat, party stalwarts said.

... Indeed, in interviews with current and former GOP chairs, veteran operatives, lobbyists and strategists, the long-held conviction that neither Trump nor Carson will win the Republican nomination has only strengthened since the attacks in Paris last week.
Yeah, keep dreaming.

What has me terrified is the possibility that Ann Coulter might have been right on the night of the attacks:

We all assume that Trump can't possibly win next November, but a few months ago we all assumed he couldn't sustain his lead in the Republican race any longer than Herman Cain did four years ago. "Trump can't win a general election" could be the new "Trump can't win the primaries."

Why am I worried? Look at the Clinton-Trump matchup polling in states with a lot of electoral votes that traditionally choose a Democratic presidential candidate -- like Florida in the poll I just cited:
Hillary Clinton ... continues to trail in head-to-head matchups with the Republican frontrunners, trailing Carson 50 percent to 41 percent, and Trump 49 percent to 41 percent.
According to the Real Clear Politics average, Trump leads Clinton by 2.4% in Florida. Trump and Clinton are tied in Pennsylvania. Clinton has a slim lead in Ohio.

And in a new pre- and post-Paris Quinnipiac poll of Colorado (in which, it should be noted, Trump is in third place, but Carson leads), Clinton trails all polled Republicans by wide margins:
- Rubio over Clinton 52 - 36 percent;
- Carson leads Clinton 52 - 38 percent;
- Cruz tops Clinton 51 - 38 percent;
- Trump beats Clinton 48 - 37 percent.
I'm calling this now: If Rubio is the nominee, Clinton will lose. And if Trump or Carson is the nominee, she'll still have a fight on her hands, one she might not win.


Victor said...

Have I ever told you how much I hate you?

Look, you're driving me to drink - and, I shouldn't, because I'm on Percos... Purrcos...
Codeine, to kill my physical pain.

Booze. helps kill my mental anguish.

Are you going to be buying me a case of vodka?
Because that's what I need after reading this!!!!!


AllieG said...

If this was next October, I'd worry. But it's not.

mlbxxxxxx said...

What AllieG said.

Also, polls, they ain't what they used to be.

2016 is, imo, going to be a very close election -- probably 2000 close -- but Hillary will win barring poor turnout among her base and/or GOP fraud (cause it's going to probably share that characteristic with 2000 as well.)

Unknown said...

I believe that sometime next year people will get the connection that with Hillary we get WJC, and that team in the White House will be a far, far better thing we do than a crap-shoot with some crazy.

Jim Norris said...

How accurate are head-to-head polls this far in advance? It seems likely that many of the Republicans could have higher poll numbers because voters don't know as much about them yet, but I hope that's not just wishful thinking.

Unknown said...

Steve M's shown a continuing proclivity for panic over the course of these oh so late days in THE FULL YEAR BEFORE THE ELECTION.

At some point - and I don't really expect it to show up until sometime around the Dem convention - there'll be a big shift towards the idea of electing the first ever woman president. That card won't be optimally effective until deep enough into the Republican primary season to dispose of Fiorina's candidacy, and by then by far the most attention will be on which one of the clowns will win the R nod.

But inevitably one of them will 'prevail' - and that day will be turn out to be the first in a series of very bad days for the Republican nominee.

Aunt Snow said...

Not a single vote has been cast. Chill.

Last year this time they were freaking out about Ebola.

Steve M. said...

Yes, but Ebola hysteria almost certainly helped Republicans and hurt Democrats in the midterms.