Tag Archives: 2016 election

Hillary’s 12 point lead shrinks down to just ONE POINT

November 8th cannot come soon enough as the Hillary campaign watches its lead, once as high as 12 points, evaporate to just two:

And this was before the Friday email story, so it’s possible Trump may be ahead by a few points by now. Nine days is an eternity in an election this close and with so little time left…and the timing could not have have been worse for her…a definitive link between the Clinton Foundation and breach of law, and it may be over.

Come Tuesday, millions of Americans of all socioeconomic backgrounds, from home makers, to while collar professionals, to contractors who drive pickup trucks, will converge at their local polling place, and from the privacy of their voting booth give their metaphorical stamp of approval to the one who will (or at least try) to make America great again, Donald J. Trump. And maybe he will win. And if he does, it will be a major repudiation of big-state liberalism. Goldman and other donors will not be pleased.

First it was Brexit and now this. Maybe we’ll look back fondly at the tranquility that characterized pre-2014 society, that ended when the damn that held decades of national angst finally burst. People having enough of trade deals they neither like nor understand. Tired of a recovery that may have lifted the boats of Wall St. but not theirs. Or nothing happens an this all blows over as it always has in the past, which I think is a more likely possibility, but the former has increased in odds. I don’t want to fall into the doom and gloom/sensationalism trap of declaring a ‘new paradigm’ just because the ‘status quo’ suffers a small setback here and there.

According to 538, Hillary’s odds have fallen – sightly- from as high as 85% last week to now 78%.

One reason her odds are still so high as to do with the electoral map, which still favors Clinton:

As it stands (assuming the polls are correct), Trump needs Florida, North Carolina, Nevada, and Colorado.

The ‘nightmare’ scenario is if the results for these states are too close to call and are challenged. It would be like Florida in 2000 but multiplied by five. The recounts would take months, and then if Hilly gets indicted it gets much more complicated. There is possibility Hillary is undone not by people voting for Trump, but by her own malfeasance.

Liberal Media Trying to Prematurely Declare Hillary Winner

In the days following the release of Trump’s 2005 comments, something unexpected (at least for the left) happened – people suddenly stopped caring, but more importantly, Trump’s polls did not budge.

This happens all the time – the liberal media tries to fan outrage – and initially people are outraged ‘omg Trump said the p-word! He must step down’, but then it fades, much to the disappointment of the left, who hoped it would have staying power.

The comments were quickly subsumed by ‘pop culture’ and people find it funny more than offensive. Ironically, the left, through their own doing, has made the public inured to remarks that perhaps many generations ago would have been more shocking (back when Bruce and Carlin pushed the edge of the envelope), but now it’s like ‘whatever’.

And same for the media’s efforts to equate Trump with fascism, which also didn’t stick despite the left’s best efforts.

A few days ago, on the heels of Trumps ‘lackluster’ third debate performance, the media created a narrative that Trump had resigned himself to losing the election, and that Trump contesting the results should he lose, a sign of ‘instability’ or an ‘affront to democracy’ on his part:

GOP braces for Trump loss, roiled by refusal to accept election results

At charity roast, Donald Trump delivered what might as well be a campaign eulogy

Campaign eulogy? A little presumptuous you think. The left is so desperate for Trump to lose, why bother with the actual…um…election and counting of the votes. Screw that. Let’s just just say Trump lost.

The left has to invent reasons for Trump ‘falling behind’ as if these reasons are revelatory or important, when it’s old news.

Now Trump is coming back, just a day later:

Trump gains on Clinton, poll shows ‘rigged’ message resonates

Trump knew what he was doing all along…he knows that many Americans share his suspicions of the integrity of the voting process. Even Gore, a favorite of the left, contested the results of Florida in 2000.

The reality is, the people who are ‘appalled’ by Trumps’s demeanor or comments about women were never going to support him. That’s why these ‘horse race’ polls are meaningless. 95% of the country is decided, as is the case in every presidential election at this time. It boils own to the 5-10% undecided – those in swing states – who matter. Despite 24-7 media coverage, the polls have been in a 10-point band since July, which is pretty remarkable given all the stuff that has happened, and is further evidence that minds tend to be made up long before the voting actually begins:

This is just like Brexit, where for months there was only a 5-10 point difference between ‘exit’ and ‘remain’ all the way until the vote (‘exit’ won by 4 points).

This is why elections and politics is mostly a waste – inordinate amounts of time and resources are spent trying to woo no more than a million or so swing and undecided voters, who hold the ‘fate of the nation’ in their hands. This is somewhat analogous to the 1955 Issac Asimov short story Franchise, in which a a single voter “Voter of the Year” represents the entire electorate.

From Nate Silver Clinton Probably Finished Off Trump Last Night:

That’s not to say that a polling miss is impossible. Our polls-only model still gives Trump a 14 percent chance and our polls-plus forecast a 17 percent chance, although that’s before accounting for any impact of last night’s debate or some of the other circumstances I’ve described.

So a five point difference equals 82% chance of winning. Yeah, the electoral map slightly favors Hillary, but to assign an 85% chance of Trump losing based on a five to seven point difference in the polls seems absurd.

Politico, Politica

The 2016 election news cycle can be likened to a broken record attached to one off those antique megaphones, that blares the same outrage over and over, in a loop. We’re supposed to get worked-up about whether Trump or Hillary will win. The genius (or perhaps travesty) of the system are its multiple layers of redundancy that keep it self-sustaining and indestructible, no matter the outcome. You could put a wind-up doll in the Oval Office, or, as in the case of Obama, an empty suit with an earpiece and a teleprompter, and power is still conserved – but it’s not concentrated. Instead, it’s dispersed.

That’s not to say I’m agnostic about the outcome – I want Trump to win – but let’s keep our expectations realistic. In the case of Trump, congress is not like a boardroom. The odds that much will change are slim, and it will take years to get stuff through. Perhaps there will some form of immigration reform, but, again, these things take years, especially if it’s challenged by the courts.

Right now, Hillary’s health has become a concern. If elected, there’s a reasonable likelihood she may not survive office or may become incapacitated, and this makes her VP choice especially important. But for some reason, I don’t take as much delight in making fun of her as I did with Obama in 2008 and 2012, or Sanders in 2015. It seems like everyone on the ‘left’ (or at least everyone online) hates her, so her winning balkanizes and weakens the resolve of the left. Even if she wins, it’s still better than Sanders, who is much further to the left. One can make the libertarian argument that because Hillary is so rotten and avaricious, that in her effort to gain power she’ll leave everyone alone, focusing only on self-preservation and her own personal material gain (the opposite of the meddlesome do-gooder). Or that she is so inept and feeble (both mentally and physically) that she won’t do much.

Trump skipping the debates: a smart move

The mainstream liberal and conservative media cannot fathom why Trump would want to skip the Iowa debate, but if Trump is smart he will continue to abstain from GOP debates. There is no ‘rule’ that says candidates must debate. But the main reason why candidates debate is not to pitch policy but merely for exposure. However, Trump has more than enough goodwill and exposure, making further debate unnecessary.

By not debating, everyone will be talking about him. ‘Where’s Trump?’ ‘Why is not not debating?’ Hence, he steals the spotlight, which is really what matters in the end.

By not debating, Trump controls the message and the platform. He can leverage the media attention from his refusal to debate to explain why he’s not going to debate, arguing correctly that he would not have gotten a fair shake.

A debate without Trump is otherwise forgettable. As Mike argues, Trump is so effulgent and charismatic, he lifts his competition, too. Without Trump, no one is going to remember what Rubio, Jeb, or Cruz has to say. Some have likened Trump to a rodeo clown, but he’s much smarter than that.

The final debate is probably unavoidable. Debating Sanders should be a cakewalk. All Trump has to do is point to the Soviet Union and Venezuela as examples of why socialism doesn’t work. Sanders will try to explain why higher taxes and more regulation is good for the economy, and Trump using his extensive business experience will articulate otherwise. Trump unlike Sanders, has experience in the private sector, lending credibility to his side. It will be like the October 2012 debate when Romney obliterated Obama.

A debate against Hillary will be harder, owing to Hillary’s superior intellect and policy experience. Hillary has waited decades for this moment, and she’s not going down without a fight. Trump will have to emphasize his charisma and private sector experience and avoid the semantic traps Hillary will likely lay.

The Trump PR Machine

Trump has momentum. The question is, will he follow through or drop-out as he as done every time before.

IMHO, Trump is an establishment candidate pretending to be anti-establishment. It’s possible he is helping Jeb by making the ‘establishment’ seem more electable by comparison. People assume his one comment about immigration makes him a rebel, but it’s probably marketing and hype. His campaign is like the Apprentice, but on a grander scale. His strategy is making attention seeking remarks for publicity to boost his brand. Like how Coca Cola constantly advertises to remind people it exists, Trump does the same. I don’t begrudge that as a business matter, but let’s not pretend he’s a serious candidate or that he has much of a chance. Mitt Romney in 2012, by contrast, was a serious candidate.

In the extremely unlikely event Trump becomes president, he will probably continue the Bush doctrine, leaving the anti-establishment Republicans who voted for him disappointed. He has also flipped-flopped on several issues such as drug legalization, eminant domain, and abortion. He’s also very litigious. But flip-flopping has become so commonplace in politics though. Nowadays among some Republicans, unlike as recently as a decade ago, being for drug decriminalization is ‘cool’, supporting controlled legalization of marijuana and shorter sentencing for drug offenders. The GOP definitely seems to be moving to the left on social issues.

As for his net worth, is he broke? Proabably not. His assets are held in The Trump Orgasnization, a holding company for Trump’s multitude of businesses.

AXA Financial Center 1290 Avenue of the Americas, New York City and 555 California Street, in San Francisco: When Trump was forced to sell a stake in the railyards on Manhattan’s West Side, the Asian group to which he sold then sold much of the site for $1.76 billion. Trump ended up owning 30% of the two buildings. Based on the sales price, Trump’s stake was valued at $486 million.[6]

That alone is worth half a billion dollars. If Trump were to sell his entire holding company at once, including unconditional rights to the name ‘Trump’, he would probably get more than the sum of the parts. The question is, if Trump the brand were a public company, what outlook would investors give? If people stop caring about Trump, obviously the value would fall, so this is probably why publicity is so important. His whole business model is taking ordinary stuff and slapping his name on it; it’s not like most businesses, which have patents and tangible products.

There is a still a long way to go. As I said before, it comes down to the primaries. Everyone is in a frenzy, like the election is tomorrow. If Trump does badly in Iowa and New Hampshire, he will probably dropout, as candidates who do badly early on tend to do. It will be interesting to see what happens next.