Thursday, August 20, 2015

Trump vs. Bush in New Hampshire

Yesterday Donald Trump held his first presidential event in New Hampshire, scheduling it on the same night as one of Jeb Bush's events. Bush drew 150 people, Trump ten times as many. He told his boisterous crowd,
You know what’s happening to Jeb’s crowd right down the street? They’re sleeping.
And reports are that they certainly weren't very enthusiastic.

I get it that Trump is "not electable," that all the experts say he can't really compete in the primaries, that the 25% or so of voters he attracts now may be his ceiling. But if not Trump, who? The establishment candidates -- Bush, Walker, Rubio -- are sagging, not gaining. Compared to Trump they look lackluster, without any cleverness or passion. Paul and Perry are already being forced out. Ted Cruz is hanging in there, but can't get the attention he needs with everyone's attention on Trump. Trump has stolen the anti-immigrant fervor that Cruz would need to catch fire.

With Bush and Walker running two of the worst campaigns in memory, and Rubio still mostly hidden in the background, I don't have any insight into how this race will unfold. But I think it is a mistake to keep writing Trump off as a joke.

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