Swing State Pres

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Post-Indiana: It's His Party, We Can Cry and We Want To

May 3, 2016 was the day the illusion died, that somehow Donald Trump could be denied.  It was the day that Donald Trump became the “presumptive nominee” of the Grand Old Republican Party.  BTRTN is scrupulously non-partisan when it comes to the numbers, but I will say I find it a very sad reflection on the state of our union when a major party nominates an unprepared, underqualified, racist misogynist for the highest office in the land, with a chance to become the leader of the free world next January.  What have we come to?

But for those of you who think Trump’s nomination is simply an accident of celebrity, think again.  As Steve pointed out in his recent piece here, “The Party Formerly Known As Republican,” Trump cleverly found a message that appealed to the portion of the electorate that controls the primary process, and then some, and delivered that message in blunt, terrifying and effective language.  His basic themes – anti-immigration, anti-trade and, ultimately, anti-Washington (including GOP) Establishment – strongly resonated with a considerable portion of the Republican Party.  While the brand, the fame, the hair and the money played their roles, the message and its delivery won the nomination for Donald Trump.

Nor did he “come out of nowhere.”  The numbers make it clear.  Donald Trump flirted with the Presidency in 2012 (actually in 2011).  And for the brief time he was included in the polls – until he announced he was not running in May, 2011 -- he topped the field.  (As Yogi would say, “You can look it up.”)  And by early July, 2015, not long after he announced he was indeed running in 2016, he surpassed Jeb Bush and was at the top of the GOP polls again, remaining there ever since.  It has taken nearly a year for that reality to sink in – to me, to the pundits, to the GOP establishment, and almost certainly to Trump himself.  But the numbers – cold as they are – have been clear.

Those same cold numbers also point to a huge challenge for him to defeat Hillary Clinton.  For polls in the month of April, she leads head-to-head by an average of seven points.  That, as Trump would say, is a huuuuge gap to overcome. 

Trump won Indiana easily, as we predicted, and Ted Cruz promptly withdrew from the race.  It was a very good call for BTRTN:

Indiana
BTRTN Prediction
Actual
Trump
53
53
Cruz
35
36
Kasich
12
8

Trump also well exceeded BTRTN’s “Trump Tracker” for Indiana, winning 51 delegates versus the conservative pace of 37 that I had set out a month ago.  He thereby cleared the way to the 1,237 he required to win the nomination outright.  Cruz saw this math clearly, and dropped out accordingly.  Even California was becoming an impossible hill to climb for Cruz; Trump led in the polls there by ~20 points even before the Indiana win.


        THE TRUMP TRACKER

Date
State
Trump Pred.
Trump Actual
Diff.
Cum.   Diff.
5-Apr
12
6
-6
-6
19-Apr
86
89
3
3
26-Apr
24
28
4
4
26-Apr
16
16
0
0
26-Apr
29
35
6
6
26-Apr
17
17
0
0
26-Apr
13
9
-4
-4
3-May
37
51
14
14
10-May
0



10-May
34



17-May
13



24-May
4



7-Jun
129



7-Jun
27



7-Jun
51



7-Jun
9



7-Jun
0



TOTAL

1238

17
1255

We did not do as good a prediction job on the Democratic side.  Bernie Sanders trailed in every Indiana poll leading up to the primary, almost invariably by single digits, but he pulled out an upset.  True to form, though, he won by a close margin (typical for his few primary wins) and came away with only a net +10 delegates, which of course pales in the face of the 300+ unpledged delegate gap he faces. 

Indiana
BTRTN Prediction
Actual
Clinton
53
47
Sanders
47
52
  
Bernie admits that his only plan is to convince Hillary’s superdelegates to change their allegiance.  What people (including Bernie) seem to miss is that even if he convinced all the superdelegates in the states he won to switch, he would still fall well short…and therefore he would have to convince superdelegates in the states he lost to switch as well.  Why exactly would they do that?

I give Ted Cruz credit…when there was no logical path he could find to the nomination, he got out.  Today John Kasich exited as well.   It is time for Bernie Sanders to do the same, and rally his supporters behind Hillary Clinton, and do everything he possibly can to prevent Donald Trump from ever getting close to the Oval Office.

BTRTN has been saying the following for months now:
  • That the Democratic race was over, Hillary Clinton’s margin was insurmountable, and...
  • That Donald Trump would secure the nomination outright.  
Most prognosticators (including Nate Silver) thought Trump would fall short of the 1,237 and could thus face the possibility of an open convention.

Both of our assessments look to be on target.



No comments:

Post a Comment

Leave a comment