Monday, May 23, 2016

Austrian Presidential Election A Sneak-Preview Of November?

by JASmius

The parallel isn't perfect - it would be just about dead-on if Bernie Sanders was the Democrat frontrunner - and, of course, the Austrian presidency is more of a ceremonial post, but otherwise the Austrian presidential election does look like a sneak preview of our own - other than that this one was actually close:

Austria elected economics professor Alexander Van der Bellen the country's next president by a razor-thin margin, foiling Freedom Party candidate Norbert Hofer's bid to become the first right-wing head of state in western Europe since World War II.

Van der Bellen, who was backed by the Green Party, took 50.3% of the votes to 49.7% for Hofer, Austria's Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka told reporters in Vienna on Monday. His winning margin over Hofer came down to a little more than thirty-one thousand votes, according to the official result, which is preliminary until June 1st pending possible legal challenges.

Austrian Freedom Party leader Heinz-Christian Strache conceded his party's defeat in a posting on his Facebook page shortly before the official announcement, saying that despite a strong campaign, Hofer had finished "millimeters" short of victory.

There are a three other differences between Van der Bellen-Hofer and Rodham-Trump: (1) as aforequoted,  Hofer conceded defeat, and if anybody thinks the hyper-litigious Trump would meekly bow out after losing by that small a margin, they simply have not been paying attention (the same thing would apply to Hillary); (2) President-elect Van der Bellen promised to "build bridges over the trenches that have been dug, to certainly not dig them deeper, and to make an effort to take everybody in this country with me," which is way more graciousness than a triumphant Empress will ever dispense, both on election night and over the ensuing four years; and (3) Trump is not "right-wing," but a nationalist/statist to Mrs. Clinton's "flexible" Marxian socialist.

And of course, again, Trump won't come that agonizingly close to victory.  Taking the Trump 51-49/Rodham 56-44 range we established yesterday, splitting that difference would yield a five point Hillary win in what will be one of the lowest turnout percentage elections in decades.

After which Trump will try to sue his way to the White House anyway.

See?  This campaign will NEVER end.

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