From the Drawing Room to the Ballot Box

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 Out

Donald Trump bows out of the presidential race some time between the Republican National Convention and Election Day.
This 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.

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.

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.
Kass goes on to predict at least the House remaining in Republican hands and, fortunately, more "gridlock" with Clinton in office.

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.

-- CAV


Steve D said...

'Surprise No. 16: Trump Bows Out'

Unless he gets kicked out first which would be better.

Gus Van Horn said...

That would be better, but I have a firmer belief in his grasp of reality than on the intestinal fortitude of the GOP.

Steve D said...

Of course if he intends to throw the election, he'll wait until after he's nominated to make sure the Republican's will not have a nominee.

Yes, that would send huge amounts of votes to Johnson; probably not enough for him to win but he might end up with some electoral seats and it would put the GOP in a very bad situation.

OTOH, the GOP survival instinct might kick in before the convention or their delegates might have more guts than their leaders.

We certainly live in interesting times.

Gus Van Horn said...

That we do.

I've gotten wind of the occasional rumble to the effect of dumping Trump, but I haven't heard anything so far that makes me think it will happen.