Summary: Inevitably, Trump’s support crumbles as he becomes a more serious candidate. Millions like him as a fun fantasy football-like candidate, but not as a potential president. If the GOP nominates Trump (as seems likely), this will be a landslide — almost as large as Goldwater-Johnson in 1964 (nowhere near the record set by Nixon-McGovern in 1972). But the forces of populism have been unleashed. Next time a stronger candidate will harness these forces, for good or ill.
Is this a surprise? No.
Match-up polls show both Clinton and Sanders crushing Trump. Sanders has the larger lead over Trump, although Clinton’s is increasing faster…
How Trump can win
In January I described four steps that could bring Trump to victory. He has accomplished two. In the next few months he will have to move to the middle, gaining respectability in his message and advisors. The clock is running and he shows no sign of starting this transition.
And he’ll need luck, events that put him into the White House (i.e., bad luck fora America). An ugly Hillary Clinton scandal. A recession, although it would have to be a fast crash to hurt before the election. A large terrorist attack on America might do it. These are shockwaves: high impact but fortunately low probability scenarios.
Update — To win Trump must pivot to the center quickly and decisively, doing things like this: “Donald Trump berates Scott Walker for not raising taxes in Wisconsin“, The Guardian, 29 March 2016. Watch to see if this is a blip or start of a new phase in his campaign.
The results might look like this, but with more red
See the interactive map at the American Presidency Project showing results for every presidential election.
For More Information
- What the press won’t tell you about Trump and populism — See Walter Russell Mead’s famous essay about Jackson.
- Trump wins because he says some sensible things which journalists can’t conceal — You must not see populism!
- Racism is the dark side of populism. Will it divide and defeat us?
- Populism arises amidst workers abandoned by the Left, seeking allies.