Thursday, June 23, 2016
Doug Kass, who writes at RealClear Markets, and correctly
predicted a Trump-Clinton presidential race back in December, has made
the following interesting amendment to that same prediction:
Surprise No. 16: Trump Bows OutThis would be a welcome development in several ways, including making Trump far less credible in any future run and making it easy to contest claims that Clinton has some kind of "mandate." Furthermore, it might deter other, similar, militantly ignorant, anti-intellectual-and-proud-of-it politicians, at least for a time.
Donald Trump bows out of the presidential race some time between the Republican National Convention and Election Day.
But why does Kass think this will occur? I think his best argument is that Trump has a "ceiling" of support that even he will have to admit, at least to himself, when that ceiling starts impacting his net worth:
[I]t's easy to see Trump falling even further behind Clinton in the polls. Embarrassing defeats in the first two televised debates on Sept. 26 and Oct. 9 could then lead to a more than 10% polling deficit for The Donald.Kass goes on to predict at least the House remaining in Republican hands and, fortunately, more "gridlock" with Clinton in office.
If that happens, we could foresee Trump's war chest failing to attract funds and dwindling rapidly. Let's also assume that he grows increasingly reluctant to self-fund.
But Kass misses a further ramification of his prediction: a possible boon to the Libertarian candidate, ex-Republican Gary Johnson, whom a couple of fellow travelers have weighed supporting (with strong reservations, even as a protest vote). Johnson has been hovering around ten percent in the polls, siphons support from each major candidate, and would appear to be a logical choice to educated fiscal conservatives. It is also not hard to imagine a significant portion of Trump's voters -- especially those whose primary motivation is to stop Hillary Clinton from reaching office -- defecting to Johnson as the most viable alternative. Suddenly, the drawing-room debate about Johnson and the Libertarian Party (which I cannot support) may morph into one with electoral consequence.