Posted by Curt on 28 November, 2017 at 10:29 am. 3 comments already!



The political verdict seems out on Trump’s current political future.

His supporters have won four special congressional elections. Yet, more recently, Republicans lost more local and state offices. Pundits argue about the degree to which these surrogate campaigns are referenda on Trump’s future.

Trump still polls between 39 percent and 42 percent approval, occasionally higher in supposed outlier surveys. Yet most concede that such polls did not in the past, and do not in the present, fully account for the “Trump Embarrassment Factor.” That is the strange phenomenon of a sizable minority of Trump voters — including Democrats and independents — proving reluctant to express support even to anonymous pollsters. Ask independent or moderate Republican voters whether they really voted for Trump: If they hesitate for more than three seconds before they answer, they probably did.

Registering dissatisfaction with Trump, the person, is also not the same as stating a preference for Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, or Kamala Harris in a two-way presidential poll. Trump may be off the ballot in 2018, but in 2020 he will be opposed one-on-one by a real, progressive candidate.

Trump’s fate in the 2018 midterms — aside from the fact that first-term presidents always seem to lose congressional seats after about two years of exposure — and his reelection in 2020 supposedly hinge on whether Trump’s popular message trumps the unpopular messenger (more on that below).

If the economy grows at over 3 percent or even more from the last quarter of 2017 to November 2018, if unemployment dips below 4 percent, if the stock market holds at its record levels, if business, consumer, and corporate confidence keeps soaring, if illegal immigration continues to plummet, if construction and manufacturing stay on the upswing, if Trump’s national-security team brings a new deterrence to foreign policy without a war with North Korea or Iran, and if energy production reaches ever-record levels, then voters will put up with a lot of Trump’s downsides.

And that “lot” supposedly can include mercurial firings, continuous tweeting that results about every three weeks in a detour spat with some obnoxious nonentity, some ungracious comment about a rival, or an indiscretion that is perceived to be another embarrassing straw on Trump’s sagging camel’s back.

Or Trump’s message may overshadow the hemorrhaging from Robert Mueller’s leaky “collusion” charges. (The Javert investigation unfortunately will end only when the police are policed and Congress learns exactly what Mueller was or was not doing during his tenure in the Obama administration when the Clintons, with assumed exemption, finessed special-favor deals with foreign interests, including and especially Russian uranium concerns, and exactly what the complex relationships were between the self-righteous James Comey, the FBI and intelligence communities, the FISA courts, the unmasking and leaking of classified intercepts of private-citizen communications, and the Steele smear dossier.)

Besides tensions between the Trump record and the Trump persona, what other factors will play out in the next two critical elections to decide Trump’s fate?

A lot depends on whether the Democratic party continues down its suicidal path of income redistribution and identity politics (embracing illegal immigration, sanctuary cities, Black Lives Matter, the Colin Kaepernick take-a-knee movement, the Antifa alliance, the new iconoclasm, and other polarizing issues that turn off two out of three Americans). Assassination chic — hanging, dismembering, blowing up, decapitating, or stabbing Trump — got old quickly. In their Pavlovian hatred of Trump, mainstream reporters have exposed their bias and nearly emasculated themselves as progressive political allies of the Democrats.

Trump conceivably could be the first president to be elected twice without winning the popular vote. For now, he has overturned the conventional wisdom about the new demography. His die-hard opponents live in states that he probably would never have won anyway; his fervent supporters live in swing states where their votes count more.

So far, Trump’s base seems as firm as his opponents’ base. Before 2016, the conventional wisdom was that Republican presidential candidates (who had not won 51 percent of the popular vote since 1988) were increasingly doomed, given that they supposedly had lost for good old battleground states such as Colorado, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, while they were fading in purple Florida, Ohio, and North Carolina.

Read more

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x