Summary: The great and wise believed that Trump was a sideshow fool. Now that he decisively leads in the Republican race, they believe he might get the GOP nomination, but has no chance against Clinton. A simple example shows why that is not correct. If the polls are even roughly accurate, an easily imaginable event could put Trump in the White House.
- The GOP contest: Trump on top.
- Hillary vs. Trump: it’s close.
- Trump’s hope: a recession.
- More about the Trump revolution.
- For More Information.
(1) The GOP contest: Trump on top
Trump’s ratings have risen despite opposition of the news media and the GOP leadership. Now he has to translate that into votes in the primaries. Civis Analytics, a Democratic data firm, has published detailed demographic data about Trump’s supporters. It is quite broad, showing that he has the necessary base. His ability to build the necessary organization remains unknown.
The message of the polls is clear. See the timely and comprehensive data at RealClearPolitics.
(2) Hillary vs. Trump
Hillary’s lead over Trump is only slightly larger than these polls’ typical 3 percentage point margin of error with a 95% level of confidence. The most recent three polls show Clinton’s lead as +7%, +2%, and then +1%. This makes the confidence of the great and wise in Hillary’s victory seem exaggerated. The election could be close if Trump builds a campaign machine and just maintains his current strength in the polls. But he might need a lucky break to win…
(3) Trump’s hope: a recession
The Atlanta Fed’s GDPnow model forecasts Q4 GDP at 1.3%; the estimate (green line) is falling. Updated graph as of Jan 6: their forecast is now +1.0%.
Real GDP has been running close to “stall speed” since 2010. Only repeated bouts of stimulus and good luck prevented a recession, which shows the deep weakness of the US economy. The red line on the following graph adds the GDPnow forecast of 1.3% for Q4. Continued slowing could easily give us negative GDP in Q2 or Q3 — for maximum effect on the election,
Many things might tip the election to Trump — such as a serious scandal or a terrorist strike — but a recession seems the most likely of these.
Predicting recessions 6 – 9 months out is beyond the current state of the economic art. With only 17 presidential elections since WWII, we have too little evidence to determine the effect of the economy on election results (see this article by Nate Silver).
But we do know a few things. A recession is quite possible in 2016. Given the the economy’s weakness after this slow recovery, we might get a severe downturn. The economy in the year before the election clearly has a large impact. Hillary, as the candidate of the incumbent party, would suffer most from a recession. So if Trump retains his strength in the polls, this might put Trump in the White House.
This election has been a series of unexpected events. We might look back at it as the beginning of a A Series of Unfortunate Events.
(5) Other posts about the new populism
- From August: The Donald Trump revolution, dismissed as all revolts are in the beginning.
- Background: Scary lessons for America from pre-revolutionary France.
- Donald Trump leads us back to the future, to the dark days of US history.
- A New America arises, perhaps with Trump as its first leader.
- Two scary graphs about the rise of Donald. Fear fascism. Act now.
- Look to the Left to see the force powering Trump and Carson.
- The numbers about immigration that fuel Trump’s campaign.
- New York shows how Democrat-run cities & states contribute to the rise of Trump.
- Good news: we begin to see that we are sliding towards fascism.
- Next phase of the Trump revolution: rise of the new populism.
- Important: Trump’s hope: a recession might put him in the White House.
- The four keys to a possible Trump victory.
(6) For More Information
A rare mention (quickly dropped) in the major media that Trump is a populist candidate: “The Great Republican Revolt” by David Frum in The Atlantic — “The GOP planned a dynastic restoration in 2016. Instead, it triggered an internal class war. Can the party reconcile the demands of its donors with the interests of its rank and file?”
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