Friday, April 15, 2016

No, Trump Isn't Polling "Better Right Now" Than Reagan Was In 1980

by JASmius

Just a reminder for all you fabulist Trumplicans out there: This boast is bovine scatology as well:

Whenever Donald Trump and his followers are confronted with his evidence of his abysmally terrible polling numbers on personal favorability and versus Hillary Clinton, they typically respond with a pair of deflections. First, they say that Trump "hasn't even started" attacking Hillary yet.

Well, actually, that isn't strictly true; he's been taking pot shots at her for months.  I think what they mean is that he hasn't been carpet-bombing her on a daily basis like he has been Ted Cruz for the past six weeks.  Which is true, I suppose; but how would doing so help Trump?  His polling numbers on personal favorability and head-to-head versus the Empress aren't in the toilet because he hasn't been attacking enough; they're in the toilet because attacking is all he ever does.  Boorishly, dishonestly, and viciously.  Donald Trump is 100%, wall-to-wall, 24/7/365 negativity.  Trumplicans may jack off to it, but it turns off the vast majority of the general electorate like Mrs. Clinton showing up at her next presser in nothing but a smile and a thong.  You can't make yourself likable to more than a small portion of voters by pissing in the faces most everybody else.

But here's the question that never seems to get asked - or rather, hasn't yet because the Obamedia is still trying to foist Trump on the GOP as its nominee, after which they'll start asking with a vengeance: What is Donald Trump for?  What's his positive, proactive agenda?  Does he have anything to say that isn't attacking somebody else?

Wait, I take that back, Trump has gotten asked such questions to a certain extent; the problem is that, like the conman he is, he never gives the same answer twice but tailors it to whatever audience he's addressing.  He wants to build a border wall and force Mexico to pay for it and deport all thirty million illegals.....but then let back in all the "good" ones.  He wants to cut taxes by a trillion dollars but wants to impose a 14.25% wealth confiscation tax that would seize the same amount in a single year.  He wants to defund Planned Parenthood but staunchly defends what PP does for "women's health".  He's "the best friend Israel could ever have in the White House" but would be "neutral between Israel and the Palestinians".  He would repeal ObamaCare and replace it with single-payer.  He would stand up to America's adversaries but leave Obama's Iran nuclear "deal" in place and has a man-crush on Vladimir Putin.  And so on and so on and so on.

Nobody, in short, knows what "Trumpism" is as a coherent worldview, which is why "Trumpism" isn't a worldview at all, but a personal "brand".  "Trumpism" is Trump.  And Donald Trump is a [BLEEP]ing asshole.  And everybody outside of his personality cult can see it with crystal clarity, and don't like it, or him.  Which is why his favorability numbers are so godawful.

We #NeverTrumpers, moreover, understand that all that Trump flip-flopping is indistinguishable from Hillary Clinton's, and arises from the same hard-left instincts.  She just doesn't have to work as hard to conceal them.

One other thing to consider: Given Trump's cavernous gender gap, how would dropping a beat-down on a female opponent that would only reinforce it and everything that has tanked his favorable numbers help him whatsoever?

The next rationalization we often hear is that it's silly to worry about bad polling at this stage of the race. It's way too early. Just look at 1980! Jimmy Carter was crushing Reagan in the spring, yet all we know how that election turned out. Trump himself loves this argument, which he advanced at a rally in New York this week.

Um....not quite.  The current RCP average has Mrs. Clinton up 49%-39%....

And at this point in 1980?  Reagan was doing....much better:

We didn’t find many questions on favorability in the Roper database, but one April 1980 poll from Cambridge Reports found Reagan at 39% favorable, 44% unfavorable. That’s five percentage points "under water" -- favorable minus unfavorable. By contrast, Trump’s poll averages for favorability in 2015 and 2016 have - at their best - been seventeen points under water. Currently, they are at 64% unfavorable, 30% favorable, according to HuffPost Pollster. That’s thirty-four points underwater, far worse than Reagan’s in the spring of 1980. [emphasis added]

And remember, Reagan's much smaller unpopularity at the time stemmed from the caricatured image the Left had given him as a "warmonger" and "mad, nuclear bomber" and "greedy lapdog of corporate America", etc.  People liked Reagan personally but weren't sure about his policy platform, which was what he was most known for because it had been rock-solid consistent for his entire adult life.

What, by contrast, is Donald Trump known for?  Being a [BLEEP]ing asshole and very little else.  Which is why the Gipper was able to rise up and bring down Mr. Peanut, and why The Donald can only continue to drown himself, hopefully right out of the GOP nomination itself.

Exit punchline:

Trump donated to Jimmy Carter in his bid for president in 1979. 

UPDATE: I don't trust myself to comment on this.... I'm just going to leave you with Allahpundit's take, which manages to avoid profanity lapses:

[S]o this is how Carson 2016 ends — with cheap analogies between Colorado and segregation-era racism, on behalf of the alt-right’s favorite candidate no less, then noting half-heartedly to cover himself that they’re not analogous.

Typical Trump rhetorical template, BTW - say something viciously stupid, then throw in a passive-aggressive token gesture of walking it back.

If he didn’t mean to draw a comparison, he could have made this otherwise basic point, that just because everyone knows the rules in advance doesn’t make them good rules, without the Jim Crow nonsense. As it is, it’s more common ground between Trumpism and its left-wing equivalent, the SJWs: Both are consumed with their own perceived victimization, and if that requires reaching for an outlandish metaphor, so be it.

UPDATE II: Trump under New York?  According to one poll, yes, he is - by a whisker (48.75%).  This needs to manifest itself in more than one survey to be an actual late-breaking trend, so we'll have to see if that develops over the weekend.  But if it does, Red State may not be exaggerating the implications:

Every district where Trump falls below 50%, he loses a delegate. Optimus has him below 50% nearly everywhere outside of New York City. As a result of that, this poll has Trump losing twenty delegates to John Kasich and Ted Cruz, according to Phil Kerpen.

The way this works is that New York’s districts only will give all three delegates to the winner, if the winner gets a full 50% of the vote. Otherwise, the delegates are handed out proportionate to the vote. If Trump gets 49% and Kasich or Cruz gets 25%, then Trump gets two and Kasich or Cruz gets one. However if Trump can claw up to 50%, then Trump takes all three delegates. As this repeats Statewide, it has a huge effect on Trump’s ability to avoid a runoff at the national convention.

Trump is going to win a majority of New York's delegates regardless.  But the given how the momentum of the campaign has turned against him the past few weeks, and how clear it's become that he can only win on the first convention ballot, he really does need a clean sweep in his home State.  If he doesn't get it....well, he's not going to make it up anyplace else.

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