Wednesday, March 9, 2016

US update - what can happen

I had a request from someone to make another post about US politics.

It seems pretty clear that Clinton will win. Sanders is doing as well as Obama did in 2008, and, Obama won... but Sanders is unable to tap into the african-american vote, and as a result, will not win. He may take 40% or more of the delegates, and I expect him to "officially" stay in the race to the end, but I do not see a path to victory for him at this point in time.

If Clinton is smart, she will have Sanders as her VP. Unlike Obama vs Clinton (where Clinton lost) there was no huge motivating factor to appoint the loser as the VP. Obama needed a moderate, but could have chosen any moderate. Clinton (this time) does not need a moderate or a progressive, she needs someone who managed to tap into what Bernie has tapped into. It is possible she will pick someone else, and ask Bernie to play an important role in the Senate, or perhaps the Cabinet; but if she is smart politically, she will have him as her #2, and it is in that situation (and only that situation) that I could see Bernie calling it quits before the convention.

What is interesting is that Romney has decided to stick his nose into the primaries. He's not running (officially) but he is - to boil it down to it's simplest - pushing for a open/contested convention. This would mean that the actual delegates elected will pick the next candidate though multiple rounds of voting. Canadians will be familiar with this as prior to the 2000 Alliance convention, this is how all leaders were chosen (with some caveats for the NDP and Labour support)

There are a few questions about the primaries, but the primary question is if Trump can manage 50%+1 of the delegates prior to the actual convention date. The answer seems to be no, but that can change. The second question is if Cruz can become the "Not-Trump" and it does seem like this is possible; but this will be balanced by people who dislike Trump who will vote for him on the grounds that they do not care for Cruz.

Trump remains the candidate of authoritarian change. He represents (in the minds of people) the basic idea of a corporatocracy; that what's best for business is best for everyone, and that the government should serve the best interest of businesses because through that, they best serve the people. Cruz remains the representative of the ideals of the Tea Party; especially the socially conservative wing. Cruz may be a bit of a jerk, but many politicians are jerks and they still win. Kasich represents the "Moderate Republican" who is pragmatic on economics, pragmatic on most issues that could be considered social, but very small-c conservative on the few 'litmus test' issues like abortion. Rubio's problem is that he is "not" any of these. If you don't like Trump's racism, Cruz's defective personality, and Kasich's abortion fanaticism, you vote for Rubio. This is part of his problem, generally if you don't like one of these, you are already with the other two.

In the end my money is on a contested convention, and Trump being the nominee after all the various shifts. The only question is if his choice of VP candidate also gets nominated (my money is on no) and if not, how that VP will act if Trump wins (my money is on becoming almost like an opposition leader)

I still can not see how Trump can win. That being said, there is a way - I just do not see the stars lining up.

Anger is what is fueling both Sanders and Trump. Trump needs for things to get worse, in some way. Domestically is a sure bet; have the economy fall into another recession. A foreign collapse (such as all of Syria falling to ISIS) could work, but Trump does much better on economic anger; those "mad at muslims" are already "mad at muslims" and will remain "mad at muslims" no matter what happens in Syria.

I expect an election to be similar to 2012, where one candidate leads in all the poll averages from start to finish. Clinton has been winning every poll (average) against Trump since this election began, and she will beat him on election day.

I will, of course, cover the general in more detail as it gets closer.

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