by William Teach | March 16, 2016 8:24 am
It would be an interesting election, would it not? Well, as the NY Times’ Michael Barbaro explains, that’s where we are headed
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump Are Winning Votes, but Not Hearts
The victories were lopsided. The celebrations were effusive. The delegates were piling up by the hundreds.
But Donald J. Trump and Hillary Clinton’s resounding triumphs on Tuesday masked a profound, historic and unusual reality: Most Americans still don’t like him. Or her.
Both major parties must now confront the depth of skepticism, resistance and distaste for their front-runners, a sentiment that would profoundly shape a potential general election showdown between Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton.
Even as they watched the two candidates amass large margins on Tuesday, historians and strategists struggled to recall a time when more than half the country has held such stubbornly low opinions of the leading figures in the Democratic and Republican Parties. (snip)
America has lived with Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton, in a remarkably intimate fashion, for decades, processing their controversies, achievements and setbacks, from impeachment to marital breakdowns, Senate victories to flashy skyscraper openings. Voters’ impressions of them, with few exceptions, are largely formed and fixed. According to Gallup, 53 percent of Americans have an unfavorable opinion of Mrs. Clinton and 63 percent have such a view of Mr. Trump.
At this point, everyone seems to know the negatives of both candidates which leads to those views. Here’s another view
Fewer than half of Republican voters across five states on Tuesday said Mr. Trump was honest and trustworthy. Even in the states where he won, a majority of voters do not view him as truthful.
And while majorities of Democratic voters viewed Mrs. Clinton as honest and trustworthy, she finished second to Mr. Sanders among those who said honesty mattered most in their decision.
Interestingly, Conservatives scoffed at Republican primary candidates who said they were going to not focus on the Conservative base. That’s what Jon Huntsman did. That’s what Jeb Bush did. How’d that work out for them? Yet, Trump is winning by pulling in the moderates, the independents, and, this should tell you quite a bit about his views, a bunch of Democrats. Trump is, at best, a moderate Republican, which one would think would thrill the GOP establishment, which constantly pushes these squishy candidates.
Aides to both predict that a Clinton-Trump contest would be an ugly and unrelenting slugfest, as she pounces on his business practices and personal integrity, portraying him as unscrupulous robber baron, and he lacerates her over ethical lapses and sudden riches, painting her as a conniving abuser of power certain to be indicted in a federal investigation.
One problem with Trump is he’s never been an elected official. He’s never taken votes. What does he stand for? What are his true positions? Is he the guy who was pro-abortion as recent as 2000, or now pro-life in 2011? Is he the guy for gun control and an assault weapons band in 2000 or pro-2nd Amendment in 2011? Is he the guy who was for the Iraq War before switching to opposition at the same time Democrats started using the war to bash Bush? Is he the guy who was for Single Payer before he was against it when he decided to run as a Republican? Let’s be fair, on some issues he has been remarkably consistent, such as gay marriage, some other social issues, crime, support for the police, drugs, and others.
There is a very narrow path for Ted Cruz to win the nomination at this point. There’s little chance Bernie Sanders will hold Hillary back from getting the needed number of delegates. A Hillary-Donald general election season will be a brutal slugfest. On one hand, Conservatives/Republicans should be thrilled, because we’ve been asking for decades for Republicans to attack Democrats back. But, will it help Trump win the general election? It’s been working during the primaries so far. He’s going to have to convince the Republicans who do no trust and/or like him to get out and vote for him, and it might very well come down to making sure that Republican voters understand that Hillary is a worse choice than Trump.
The problem with Trump is, we just don’t know. Is he the dictator in waiting, the next Mussolini, or will he be a CEO type president, asking his subordinates for action plans to Get Things Done for the betterment of the country while offering a Republican direction? Will he be an average president? Will he get the economy on track? What does he do? That’s what concerns a lot of Republicans.
Hillary? We know Hillary. Everyone does. She was beaten by a political neophyte for the Democratic nomination in 2008. She inspires little excitement. We could go on and on regarding her negatives, but, consider, at the end of the day Democrats will get out and vote for her, even if they loathe her. Why? Because that’s what Dems do. They understand that to have power they must have control, and will vote for their candidates almost no matter what.
Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.
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