July 21, 2017, 02:42:16 PM

Have you heard?  The front-runner in the GOP at this point in the race didn't win the nomination in past GOP primaries?

You haven't?  Well let me move that rock for you...

How the media will find the energy to go an entire year in 2016 covering politics will be a miracle upon itself.  Narrative after narrative there has been a 24 hour 7 day a week effort to find the narrative that tells the GOP establishment that "It's ok, Trump isn't a legitimate threat to win the nomination".  

They are wrong.

Let's start with...

1.  The front-runner at this point has not won the nomination.  In (pick a year) the front-runner was (pick a name) and (pick a nominee) ended up being the GOP nominee.

This time in the polls Gulianni was leading the polls, in 2012 it was Gingrich... Neither ended up being the nominee.  So that proves it, Trump won't be the nominee, right?

If that's your criteria, then sure.  Then again, the 2008 and 2012 presidential races had 5 and 8 candidates, respectively, and nowhere near the level of voter engagement in the primary at this point either.  Both also had massive surges that put the front-runner at this point in the race into the lead.  That hasn't really happened much this race...  There have been surges, but for 2nd place, not 1st.  Walker, Bush, Carson, Fiorina, Cruz, and Rubio have all had polls come out in the past 6 months that have given them a surge into 2nd place.  However, unlike many previous years, they are all (with the brief exception of Carson) been looking way way up at the front-runner, Trump.

The surges and position changes that the media has been calling for and waiting for are happening, but just not at the top spot.

If I were to look at the polls to see any indication of the nominee based on the polls... I'd look at how the eventual nominee polled throughout and see how their numbers played as a comparison.  So I did.

In 2008 from June on McCain held a fairly steady level while others would surge and fall Huckabee taking the lead before it came time to vote but McCain skyrocketed into the nomination walking away.  McCain didn't gain much until the elections started in 2008, but held steady much of the time, even when surges occurred he kept most of his support.

in 2012 Mitt Romney was the summer front-runner until several surges lifted candidates above him until voting started and after a few primaries passed he took the lead and never looked back.  Despite several surges by other candidates, Romney's support held fairly steady in the 20-27% range and when the surges occurred, he kept much of his support.

So far in the 2016 race Trump has taken a lead and held it pretty steady in the 20-30% range and even when surges have occurred with other candidates, Trump has maintained his support.

Sound familiar?

Time to face reality; Trump isn't a surge.  Trump isn't a flame out.  This isn't apathy, this is engagement.

2.  There are too many candidates, once the field starts to thin the establishment voters will rally behind one candidate and Trump can't win with only 29.5% support. (RCP average 12/7)

We all know the GOP establishment heart-throb is Jeb Bush.  But let's see if we can't figure out who the other outsiders and establishment characters are...

Trump - O
Rubio - E, but plays O on TV
Cruz - O
Carson - O
Bush - E
Fiorina - E, but plays O on TV (Let's face it, failed senate candidate who didn't spend her own money but E money on campaign)
Paul - O support, but I think E when it helps him.
Huckabee - E, but supported as an O
Christie - E
Santorum - E trying to be O, but at 0.0 noone cares
Pataki - F
Kasich - E


Now when I break it down by E vs O I get 61.9% O and 28.4% E (counting Huckabee and Pataki as E)(I know it doesn't add up to 100, but neither do the polls.)

Right now that means all of the establishment candidate's support combined still fall 1.1% behind Trump's 29.5%.

Still can't win with 29.5%  (Well, technically since so many states are winner take all, he really could, but let's ignore reality just like the media does for a second)

Obviously not all of these candidates are going to stay in for the full race.  The establishment bet is that Trump isn't going to gain voters as candidates drop out.  This is probably a decent bet for most of the establishment candidates, but I'd say at worst for Trump he splits 50/50 on other outsider's supporters (probably better).  So let's try to force a scenario where all of the establishment rallies around one candidate, all the rest drop out, not one "outsider" gains a single vote from those supporting E candidates and take a look...

(Ever notice the eGOP candidates money is mostly in SuperPACs that could easily support other eGOP candidates without missing a beat when they drop out)

Trump 29.5%
Establishment 28.4%
Carson 15.8%
Cruz 14.8%
Paul 1.8%
Santorum 0.0%

Trump still leads.  Although it's a dogfight and within the margin of error.

Now let's not kid ourselves, that's not even following the trends right now.  The reality is, Carson is falling like a rock, doesn't seem to really have much of strategy to recover, and if you look at the charts (any of them really) his line reverse mirrors Trump, so his supporters aren't breaking 50/50 for Trump/E, they are pretty much all moving to Trump.

BTW, If you've questioned Trump's political and strategic intelligence at any point during this race... take a look at that list and notice the names left after merging the eGOP candidates.  It reads of a list of who have been hit by Trump the least, and when he has hit them have its been brief kid glove hits.

Trump is a lot smarter than we give him credit for.

Also pay attention to who else is fighting each other and not laser focused on Trump.  Bush v Rubio.  It's the establishment battle Royale to see who will be the last eGOP man standing.  Also realize that these two have been the hardest hit by Trump, nearly relentlessly.

"Why is Trump still attacking Bush when he's in single digits?" -  Now you know.  It's smart too, Bush is the heavyweight (using that term loosely) of the eGOP and Trump knows Rubio is a much easier target should he be the eGOP darling in the end.

Still think Trump is an idiot?  Still think he hasn't figured out politics?  He's landing blows hard on Bush and Rubio while they are so busy wasting time and money fighting each other and dodging Trump jabs they have had no time to establish themselves as anything other than what Trump and the other candidates are saying they are.

If he has created such chaos and irrelevance in the puppet masters at the eGOP machine, blown up the Bush Dynasty, and put the media under his thumb killing the "gotcha game" in just a few months... You don't think he's going to be able to work the same against Congress, China, Russia, Iran, ect given 4 years?

When it comes down to the narrative vs Trump, I think I know which side I'm placing my chips on.

3.  Trump can't beat Hillary with only 30% GOP support

This is the nonsense I've seen that "Trump has 30% of the GOP and that's only 30% of the people, so he can't win with 9%" is garbage.  I mean sure, if 70% of the GOP decides to vote for Hillary, 100% of independents go Hillary, and 100% of Dems do to... sure.  But I'm not so certain I'd bet on Rand Paul and Ted Cruz supporters to be in the bag for Hillary, not to mention they poll such things and Trump V Hillary already and it bounces back and forth within the margin of error

I want add a couple things..

-  Hillary will be the Dem nominee.  (30% of the DNC primary are superdelegates and they are breaking 98% Hillary, so Bernie would need 66% of the others)
-  Hillary will not get the enthusiasm and turnout that Obama did.  She already hasn't plus she's nowhere near the charismatic speaker as Obama.  
-  Trump is already showing he can bring out parts of the base who typically don't vote.  If they'll show up by the thousand to rally a year before the election, shouldn't be a stretch to get them to vote.
-  The polls are "adjusted" to fit the 2012 turnout margins.  It's way too early to guess that, you still have people in "I won't vote for X if they are the nominee" mode that really will end up voting for X, and most likely the important factors today to effect votes won't be the same a year from now.
-  Remember last election when Romney was the only one who can beat Obama?  Polls said this was true.  So... no.
-  National polls a year in advance mean little about an electoral college prediction.  

GOP...  worry about your own candidate and take on Hillary later.  Don't give her a year to make your shots irrelevant.  "Old news" even if it's true and damaging is still "Old news" and counted as irrelevant a year later.

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