Saturday, May 21, 2016

Trump as a Regular Republican

Trump has been surging in national polls lately mainly because Republicans have unified behind him:
Gallup has been tracking the candidates’ images among their own partisans — and interviews over the past week, conducted May 12-18, find Trump as popular among Republicans (65 percent favorable/30 percent unfavorable) as Clinton is among Democrats (66 percent favorable/29 percent unfavorable). 
There is also news that Trump's transition team – the people tasked with staffing the White House and cabinet should he win – is "reaching out to" veterans of Romney's transition team, including former Utah governor Mike Leavitt.

Most Republicans outside Washington sense that Trump is enough of a generic Republican for them to support him over any Democrat. Republicans inside Washington remain divided, but more and more of them seem to be reconciling themselves to the notion of a Trump administration, I suspect because they think real power would rest with Republican veterans in posts like Chief of Staff or National Security Adviser. There are Republicans sworn to never vote for Trump, but whether there are more than a handful of them remains to be seen.

Of course Hillary is pretty close to a generic Democrat. Which means that the election is shaping up to be a pretty normal election. Early polls show the same basic map, with the same states strong for one side or the other and the same battleground states in contention. Personally I think this gives the advantage to Hillary. The maps seems on the whole to favor the Democrat, the country is only getting more diverse, and she should get the same very high margins among blacks, Latinos and Asians as Obama. Plus she is going to have a billion dollars to hammer him with negative ads and tons of material to work with; whereas it looks like enough of the top Republican money men are going to sit out the Trump campaign to leave him short of funds.

But I still say that Democratic fantasies of some kind of landslide sweep are wrong.

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