Wednesday, July 20, 2016

This Presidential Race Has Broken The Mold In So Many Respects . . .

So is it possible that the tried-and-true polling methods and other historic presidential race qualifiers no longer work, or at least should be viewed with skepticism?
My old friend Bob Frump (That’s with an “F,” okay?) made that point on my Facebook page yesterday in opining in response to my prediction of a Hillary Clinton rout: “[I] do not think this race is quantifiable. It has resisted the best quantifiers so far. I would not put much faith in this or feel good or relax.” 
Words of wisdom, and I believe that Bob is correct in general terms. Woe befall anyone — and I’m Suspect Number One in this regard — who applies what worked in 2008 or 2012 or any other year to what may not work in 2016, even someone like myself who is intimately familiar with polling methodology and voter demographics. 
But I have a trump card (pardoning the pun) that levels this particular playing field and, as I have written repeatedly, will level the overall playing field once thing really begin to coalesce about Labor Day: 
Remember that even though Trump ran the tables in the primaries, he never got more than 40 percent of the vote in any state and usually got far less. There are simply not enough Trump supporters, let alone Democrats, Independents and first-time voters who will migrate to Herr Donald for him to grow his base in substantial — let alone winning — numbers. 
The Republican coalition is badly fractured, and this doesn't take into account his self-destructive pathology and inability to take anything or anyone other than himself seriously, his anorexic campaign organization, deep fundraising problems, hands-off approach of many down-ticket Republicans, and the reality that his ability to manipulate the media has become more labored as story after story after story about his perfidies is aired. 
Trump's appeal is messianic, to be sure, but it is extremely limited overall. Clinton has her own problems, but the Democratic coalition is solid and her base will continue to solidify and even grow because, truth be known, there will be appreciable numbers of "closet" Clinton voters whose husbands will vote for Trump. 
Bob’s point is well taken, but I continue to believe that based on simple mathematics, and math is still math in 2016, by golly, Clinton will win in a landslide of historic proportions.

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