Donald Trump Isn’t Going to Be President Reply

I suspect the analysis in this article is largely correct.

By Jamelle Bouie

Slate.Com

Republican presidential front runner Donald Trump speaks to supporters and the media at Trump Tower in Manhattan following his victory in the Indiana primary on May 03, 2016 in New York, New York.
Donald Trump speaks to supporters and the media at Trump Tower in Manhattan following his victory in the Indiana primary on Tuesday.

View Press/Getty Images

Now that Donald Trump is just a few delegates away from the Republican nomination, conversation among commentators has turned to his electability and his “pivot” to the general election. The same pundits who ignored the polls to say Trump would lose the nomination now urge us to take his odds seriously. He’ll take on a more “presidential tone.” He’ll attack Hillary Clinton on all sides. He’ll be formidable. He might even win.

 

Or at least, that’s the argument.

But before we get there, we have to answer a simple question. How will Donald Trump improve on Mitt Romney’s campaign for president? What will he win that Romney lost?

Romney wasn’t a bad candidate. He ran a competent and largely professional campaign against an incumbent who presided over high unemployment and slow growth. No, Romney wasn’t favored, but he also had a better shot than most candidates who run against a sitting president. If you believe that Trump can win—absent an exogenous shock like a terrorist attack or recession—you need to show how he beats Romney. You need to move this from the realm of speculation and into the world as it exists.

Romney wasn’t a bad candidate. He ran a competent and largely professional campaign against an incumbent who presided over high unemployment and slow growth. No, Romney wasn’t favored, but he also had a better shot than most candidates who run against a sitting president. If you believe that Trump can win—absent an exogenous shock like a terrorist attack or recession—you need to show how he beats Romney. You need to move this from the realm of speculation and into the world as it exists.

The idea of Trump as a plausible winner is rooted in the same error that drove pundits to discount and dismiss him as late as the Iowa and New Hampshire primaries. Then, observers saw the polls—which accurately showed his appeal to a cross-section of Republican voters—but refused to believe them. It was unthinkable that a field of ostensibly talented candidates would fail to stop Trump before he gained traction.

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