“It’s the Economy, Stupid.”
That’s a famous Carville dictum (from Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign). It could sum up Trump’s chances, too, given the well-documented stagnation of America’s middle class and the possibility of another economic slowdown.
Some Republicans and conservative commentators are warning Republicans that they face a “Joe McCarthy Moment,” in which they must repudiate Trump or risk the wrath of history’s judgment.
But GOP leaders such as Chairman Reince Priebus are more interested in immediate peace than their place in history, and amenable characters such as former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman have said that nominating Trump is no big deal.
It comes in two flavors. One is false equivalence. Reporters have yet to fully examine Trump’s record, especially the details of his business dealings and personal life, but soon enough his story will be yoked with and compared to Clinton’s, which will make it easier for Trump to slide by in the resulting din.
The second flavor is the media’s hunger for an audience. The closer Trump gets to the White House, the more frightening he becomes, the more desperate his enemies become – the more eyeballs are focused on smartphones and TV sets.
That means more billions in “free” media for Trump.
Hillary the “Incumbent.”
As much as Clinton talks about new ideas and a fresh start, she will be attempting the difficult task of holding the White House for the same party for a third-straight term. That last happened in 1988.
More important, Clinton and her husband represent a force in the Democratic Party that is a kind of incumbency within an incumbency, and that is a perilous place to be at a time when voters so despise Washington.
Shockingly – given his outrageous, race-baiting and even violence-tinged rhetoric – Trump is not that far behind in the horse race as the “fall” campaign informally begins.
With the possible exception of Arizona, there are few, if any, red states that he would likely lose. There are also at least five large blue states in which he could compete. Together, they represent more than enough electoral votes to send Trump to the White House.