Why Trump Might Win – By Robert Reich + Latest Polls

Why Trump Might Win – By Robert Reich


Trump vs Clinton

May 22, 2016 – http://robertreich.org/post/144763032115

Trump’s demagoguery makes him the most dangerous nominee of a major political party in American history.

A new Washington Post/ABC News poll released Sunday (May 16,2016) finds Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in a statistical tie, with Trump leading Clinton 46 percent to 44 percent among registered voters. That’s an 11 percent swing against Clinton since March.

new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, also released Sunday, shows Clinton at 46 percent to Trump’s 43 percent. Previously she led 50 percent to 39 percent.

Polls this far before an election don’t tell us much. But in this case they do raise a question.  

Since he cinched the Republican nomination two weeks ago, Trump has been the object of intensely unfavorable press – about his treatment of women, his propensity to lie, his bizarre policy proposals.

That’s on top of months of news coverage of his bigotry, megalomania, narcissism, xenophobia, refusals to condemn violence at his rallies, refusals to distance himself from white supremacists, and more lies.

So how can Trump be pulling even with Hillary Clinton?

Throughout the Republican primaries, pundits and pollsters repeatedly told us he’d peaked, that his most recent outrageous statement was his downfall, that he was viewed as so unlikeable he didn’t stand a chance of getting the nomination.

But in my travels around the country I’ve found many who support him precisely because of the qualities he’s being criticized for having.

A Latina-American from Laredo, Texas, tells me she and most of her friends are for Trump because he wants to keep Mexicans out. She thinks too many Mexicans have come here illegally, making it harder for those here legally.

A union member from Pittsburgh says he’s for Trump because he’ll be tough on American companies shipping jobs abroad, tough with the Chinese, tough with Muslims.

A small businessman in Cincinnati tells me he’s for Trump because “Trump’s not a politician. He’ll give them hell in Washington.”

Political analysts have underestimated Trump from the jump because they’ve been looking through the rear-view mirror of politics as it used to be.

Trump’s rise suggests a new kind of politics. You might call it anti-politics.

The old politics pitted right against left, with presidential aspirants moving toward the center once they cinched the nomination.

Anti-politics pits Washington insiders, corporate executives, bankers, and media moguls against a growing number of people who think the game is rigged against them. There’s no center, only hostility and suspicion.

Americans who feel like they’re being screwed are attracted to an authoritarian bully – a strongman who will kick ass. The former reality TV star who repeatedly told contestants they were “fired!” appears tough and confrontational enough to take on powerful vested interests.

That most Americans don’t particularly like Trump is irrelevant. As one Midwesterner told me a few weeks ago, “He may be a jerk, but he’s our jerk.”

By the same token, in this era of anti-politics, any candidate who appears to be the political establishment is at a strong disadvantage. This may be Hillary Clinton’s biggest handicap.

The old politics featured carefully crafted speeches and policy proposals calculated to appeal to particular constituencies, such as female boomer college graduates or Latinas under 40. In this sense, Mrs. Clinton’s proposals and speeches are almost flawless.

But in the new era of anti-politics Americans are skeptical of well-crafted speeches and detailed policy proposals. They prefer authenticity. They want their candidates unscripted and unfiltered.

A mid-level executive in Salt Lake City told me he didn’t agree with Trump on everything, but supported him because “the guy is the real thing. He says what he believes, and you know where he stands.”

In the old politics, political parties, labor unions and business groups, and the press mediated between individual candidates and the public –explaining a candidate’s positions, endorsing candidates, organizing and mobilizing voters.

In this era of anti-politics, it’s possible for anyone with enough ego, money, and audacity – in other words, Donald Trump – to do it all himself: declaring himself a candidate; communicating with and mobilizing voters directly through Twitter and other social media; and getting free advertising in mainstream media by being outrageous, politically incorrect, and snide. Official endorsements are irrelevant.

Donald Trump has perfected the art of anti-politics at a time when the public detests politics. Which is why so many experts in how politics used to be played have continuously underestimated his chances.

And why Trump’s demagoguery – channeling the prejudices and fears of Americans who have been losing ground – makes him the most dangerous nominee of a major political party in American history.

This article was originally published on Robert Reich’s blog.

——————–  ALSO READ   ——————————–

Should Dems Be Freaking Out? In First, National Polling Average Shows Trump Over Clinton

Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders continues to trounce the presumptive GOP nominee by double digits

After weeks of polls showing Donald Trump gaining on Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton’s once sizable lead, for the first time on Monday, Real Clear Politics recorded the New York billionaire ahead in the national polling average.

For the period between May 13-19, the presumptive Republican nominee polled ahead of Clinton by a national average of 0.2 points.

(Image: Real Clear Politics)

(Image: Real Clear Politics)

The new figure places the upcoming presidential contest in stark new light.

That national average was posted on the heels of two separate national polls which showed the two running neck-and-neck: A Washington Post/ ABC News survey released Sunday has the two in a “statistical dead heat” with Trump ahead of Clinton 46 percent to 44 percent among registered voters; while a survey from NBC News/ Wall Street Journal, also Sunday, recorded Clinton polling ahead of Trump 46 to 43 percent.

Perhaps even more troubling, the NBC/WSJ survey found that the negative ratings for the two presumptive nominees are the highest in the history of the poll. Fifty-four percent of those surveyed hold a negative opinion of Clinton and 58 percent have a negative opinion of Trump.

At the same time, Democratic challenger Bernie Sanders continues to best both Clinton and Trump in favorability ratings (43 percent hold a positive view of the Vermont senator versus 36 percent who have a negative view) and maintains a double-digit lead over the Republican candidate.

NBC/WSJ recorded Sanders ahead of Trump by 15 points.

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  • Leslie Chin  On 05/24/2016 at 4:05 am

    This series of videos by Robert Reich is worth viewing. They provide valuable insights to the problems troubling the US in this election year.
    http://robertreich.org/post/143497867115 replicates many ideas.I had previously thought about.

  • Albert  On 05/24/2016 at 12:24 pm

    I think the article is accurate. Two things the writer did not, or could not say. There is a large number of backward people in our country. Trump spit on them and they lick it up like honey. The second point is that Hillary has not figure out a way to respond to his gutter sniping. We had better enjoy ourselves, dark days may be ahead.
    Some are begining to entertain the suspicion that Sanders might really be a socialist in the Russian mode bent on destroying this country. Intentionally or not he is splitting the democratic party, weakening Hillary and providing Trump with ammunition to attack. The man might be another Ralph Nader in the making.

  • Clyde Duncan  On 05/24/2016 at 3:30 pm

    Albert: Once the primaries are out of the way – the Audacity of Hope will kick-in, I believe the USA will have a Change You Can Believe In …. Sanders has not earned the title “… Ralph Nader in the making.”

    These are the Primaries, remember?? It is a little intimidating to watch …. maybe!

    I expect Donald Trump will feel outnumbered [overwhelmed] once the race to the finish begins, culminating in the voting at the general election polls in November.

    Do NOT underestimate President Obama ….. We have done that too often.

    Do not give up – VOTE

  • Gigi  On 05/25/2016 at 8:45 pm

    @ Clyde….VOTE??? I guess you aren’t paying attention to the rigged voting shenanigans being carried out by the “democratic” party. They did it put Obama in the WH and they’re doing the same for HC. If you really think Obama genuinely “won” and that HC will genuinely “win,” have I got a sweet deal for you… a landmark bridge in Brooklyn that you will absolutely want to own. Or, how about this one…. a gem of a beauty in sunny Florida with a view of Russia from the back yard. Eh…how about that one? Now that a real beaut, you’ll never come across another one like it.

    A lot of genuine Trump voters are white versions of you… they’re looking for a hopey, changey savior to make them feel good about themselves. They feel they’ve been emasculated by the system and want someone who will represent them. And a lot of them will also get the shaft without even knowing it because they’ll blissfully refuse to believe/accept it. As long as they continue to perceive that Trump is one of “them” they’ll remain happy in their simple little world.

  • Clyde Duncan  On 05/25/2016 at 8:54 pm

    Gigi: I posted the Commencement Speech at Howard University for your benefit. A picture is worth a thousand words ….


    If you are NOT paying attention, you will believe the system is rigged. If you pay more attention to what President Obama is saying you might learn something ..

  • Clyde Duncan  On 05/25/2016 at 9:59 pm

    Here is something more than you need to know ….. Donald Trump Fundraisers:

  • De castro  On 05/26/2016 at 2:49 am

    Absolute hilarious laughter…..mud slinging USA !
    Entertainment for the masses/cl-asses……most US voters (citizens of the realm)
    Bring on the November verdict ! First woman (wicked witch) to cast her spell on
    the ‘informed’ voters.
    USA has become too big to survive too uninformed to be taken seriously as a world leader. It was never great …Britain was….as per female queen with
    coco-NUTS. Hitler tried to emulate her…need I continue…
    Gigi thanks for the above….was in stitches of laughter !!😂
    Albert nice one Nader
    Clyde interesting with some evidence
    Les other side’s of coin …some 6 sided
    Back in UK campaigning with the ‘outsiders’ ….NO to USE (united states of europe) forecast a 35% or less turn out.
    In our recent local elections here in Gatwick town of 150.000 voters
    in yearly local elections ….turn out 38.1% on the day 5 may.
    Need I go on…..the Brits have the most powerful media after CNN FOX… BBC
    most just ignore their sensationalism ! BBC least sensational reporting.
    Think have crossed all my T’s and dotted all my I’s so will end this epitath

    Lord kamtan back in UK

  • walter  On 05/26/2016 at 9:01 am

    Hope he wins, can an American become president without the anchors of lobbyists? We have a monkey as a PM giving away the treasury to that crooked UN, destroying the country with his NWO crap. World is so messed up.

  • Clyde Duncan  On 05/28/2016 at 12:30 pm

    Hope is not going to help Donald “The Fool” Trump and his foolish followers win.

    So far, he has won the Republican-Tea Party primaries, which is about 10-percent of the USA electorate – still NOT enough to win the general elections:

  • Clyde Duncan  On 05/29/2016 at 1:31 am

    Donald Trump will win the USA presidency by a landslide – don’t underestimate him yet again

    Just like Obama, Trump is inspiring first-time voters to get out on polling day, while existing Republicans will hold their noses when they get to the ballot box

    by Andrew MacLeod – Independent UK

    Donald Trump’s mother, Mary-Anne MacLeod, comes from the Isle of Lewis in Scotland. So does my great grandfather, John MacLeod.

    Despite our frighteningly proximate DNA and our similar hair colour, I’d rather not have Trump in the White House. Neither would many Americans, yet it is now very likely that the Republican nominee will be the next American president – and he could win in a landslide.

    The political establishment underestimated Trump’s campaign, and their naivety is coming back to haunt them. When I was an army officer, we were taught that the greatest error was to underestimate the enemy. If one underestimates the enemy, then one will attack with too few resources and be soundly beaten – like America in Vietnam, Russia in Afghanistan and the Germans in Moscow.

    Right from Trump’s first days on the campaign trail, those opposing Trump have radically underestimated the threat. The Huffington Post even put him on its entertainment page. It did not analyse the opposition accurately, and the threat grew.

    Over the past few months, the media moved from treating him like a joke to assuming that he would “fall after Super Tuesday”. He didn’t. Then they claimed that his comments on abortion would put a stop to him. They didn’t.

    Later, losing Wisconsin was supposed to be a turning point – but it certainly wasn’t. Eventually it was assumed that Cruz and Kasich would team up and force a brokered Convention. They didn’t. So now Trump has won the Republican nomination.

    And the media, having failed to learn its lesson, says Trump will be caught out by his tax affairs, or will fail to “get out the vote”, or that the polls show that both Sanders or Clinton could beat him.

    The underestimation continues, and ignores the fact that this November, Americans aren’t just voting on the president. They are voting for the Senate, the House, many local governors, judges, prosecutors, sheriffs. Even though dog-catchers are no longer elected, many municipal positions are.

    Republicans will turn out to vote for all the other offices. While there, they will be faced with the choice of holding their nose and voting for Trump, or, one presumes, Hillary Clinton.

    Democrats are kidding themselves if they think Republicans opposed to his candidacy won’t vote for Trump when it comes down to the wire.

    Consider this: in the 2008 North Carolina Democratic primaries, 38 per cent of Clinton’s supporters said they’d vote for John McCain over Barack Obama and 12 per cent said they would not vote at all. When election day came around, most shifted their view and voted for Obama.

    The same shift is happening within the GOP now. Trump’s approval rating is rising. Republican anti-Trump forces are retreating like Napoleon from Moscow, leaving bodies in their wake. Opponents such as Paul Ryan are casting around to find reasons to support Trump.

    Winning and losing elections in America is not about pinching votes from the other team. It is getting your team out to vote. In the US, voter turnout hasn’t exceeded 60 per cent for nearly 50 years. In 1968, 60.7 per cent of eligible voters actually managed to drag themselves out of bed and exercise a right that people had fought and died for. In 1996 less than 50 per cent bothered turning up.

    Getting out your own voters is far easier, and far more important, than pinching votes from the other side. In both 2008 and 2012, Obama ran a massive “get out the vote” campaign, inspiring many first time voters with the promise of hope, change and making history by electing the first black man to the White House. Voter turnout in 2008 was the highest since 1968.

    Clinton, on the other hand, does not inspire that level of emotion. The so called “woman card” that she plays is not motivating women either. In the Iowa caucus, only 14 per cent of women under 30 voted for Hillary; in New Hampshire it was around 10 per cent. Young women went for the ‘OLD WHITE GUY’ – Bernie Sanders.

    [Generally, the electorate believes it is a job for a white man and will vote for the white guy – That is the issue with Hillary Clinton, she is NOT a white man!-clyde]

    Trump is accused of having a “woman problem”, but so does Clinton. Both Clinton and Trump are widely unpopular, but Trump has one advantage: he is inspiring first-time voters to turn out on polling day.

    [Argh! Face-it Trump is a white man.-clyde]

    Trump is gaining votes in the “rust belt” from people who would not normally vote Republican, or even vote at all. A recent poll even had Trump behind Clinton, by only 0.3 per cent. His momentum is upward. Do you see where this is heading?

    Clinton will get fewer votes than Obama. Trump will get out far more first-time voters than the Republicans have ever achieved before, while regular Republican voters will hold their noses and punt for Trump.

    Unless the left stop dreaming up reasons for Trump to lose, and start campaigning like he might win, the 2016 election will be a landslide for Trump.

    Andrew MacLeod is visiting professor in the Policy Institute at Kings College London, a corporate director in the USA and a former UN official

  • Clyde Duncan  On 05/29/2016 at 8:35 am



    ….. and start campaigning like he might win, …..

    ……… the 2016 election will be a landslide for Trump.

  • Clyde Duncan  On 05/29/2016 at 6:24 pm

    After 25 years, Americans are bored with Hillary Clinton – and it could stop her becoming the first female president

    With the Middle East in relentless turmoil this is no time for a novelty act novice like Donald Trump. But while we fear change, in that adolescent country across the Atlantic they crave it

    by Matthew Norman – The Independent UK

    In a distant, forgotten age, when everyone was madly in love with the Democratic frontrunner, that almost flawless candidate made a rare mistake.

    When the moderator of a 2008 debate asked Hillary Clinton if she was engaging enough to beat him, Barack Obama butted in with misplaced gallantry to reply on her behalf. As if that wasn’t adequately patronising, his remark was, “You’re likable enough, Hillary.” He was slaughtered for the coolly condescending tone, but was he right?

    Eight years on, the question resurfaces with menace for anyone who’d rather those nuclear codes were kept out of the hands – tiny or otherwise – of the proudly ignorant, passionately racist, uber-narcissist with the creature from a galaxy far, far away in permanent residence on his scalp.

    [I heard he combs it himself, then puts it on his head! -clyde]

    Hillary will shortly secure the nomination – but only narrowly, and on points. Her failure to land a knockout blow on the 75-year-old socialist Bernie Sanders raises doubts about her general election chances.

    Some even foresee a landslide, God have mercy, for Donald Trump? Writing for The Independent, Andrew MacLeod made an alarmingly cogent case for that dystopian horror show.

    I happen to disagree, being unable [or possibly unwilling] to envisage how Trump can take the pivotal swing states – Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida – with such stellar disapproval ratings among crucial demographics. I also have a residual faith that the USA is not so dunce-stupid as to fall for a transparent grifter.
    [grifter = someone who cheats others out of money/a con-artist.-clyde].

    Then again, in this time of miracles when Jeremy Corbyn leads Labour and Leicester City are champions, all is possible.

    So why is Hillary in strife – although, so blessed with her opponents? One explanation is that concerns about her hands-off relationship with the truth extend beyond angry white men. As the private email farrago rumbles on, it isn’t only the bushy moustachioed with the stockpile of automatics and the nightly wet dream about a lynching revival who regard her as crooked. Plenty – on what passes in the USA for the liberal left – also think her crooked.

    Obviously, her ownership of a uterus plays some part there. The sexism of 2016 is subtler and less conscious than in 1996, but no man embroiled in a confusing demi-scandal would be so vulnerable. Her husband was comfortably elected and re-elected regardless of the ceaseless scandals.

    But one senses that the root of her difficulty is neither gender, nor dodginess, nor even unlikeability. It’s true that she projects ruthlessness more than warmth, but she is not cold or humourless. Whenever she pops up on Saturday Night Live to parody herself in a sketch, she is funny, gracious and engaging.

    No one denies her intellect; or her glorious record in fighting for social justice; or that as a former First Lady, Senator and Secretary of State she has more experience than any candidate since 1968 (when Richard Nixon easily overcame the dishonesty issue, which long predated Watergate).

    And if ever the planet needed a US president with mastery of the geopolitical complexities, it is now. With the Middle East in relentless turmoil, Russia and Turkey seemingly one misguided missile from war, and North Korea’s nuclear programme continuing, this is no time for a novelty act novice like Donald Trump.

    Yet despite this – despite Trump being loathed by Hispanics, African Americans and women – the two are tied in national polling. One hopes this is a blip: that once the nomination is clinched, Sanders and his fans will grudgingly support Clinton; that the more closely the undecided examine their choice, the more they will recoil from the braggardly grotesque; that after the summer conventions, she will open up a solid lead and nurse it to November’s finishing line.

    But she is in serious bother right now, and the likeliest explanation I can find is that after a quarter century of exposure, the punters are so contemptuously familiar with Hillary that the electrifying prospect of a first Madam President engenders nothing but a weary “meh”.

    Where we in this geriatric land fear change, in that adolescent country across the Atlantic they crave it.

    Trump may have been a public figure for as long as Hillary, but in a wholly different context. As a politician, he is as minty fresh as she is stale. Given a choice between the wannabe emperor prancing hilariously about without a stitch on, and the sturdily mechanical operator in a trouser suit, you see her problem.

    Strip away the racist, sexist whites whose lazy sense of entitlement has been outraged by decades of stagnating wages, remove from the equation those who want babyishly simplistic answers to massively complex questions – and there are still tens of millions who want a president to generate excitement.

    Nauseating in every regard as he is, Donald Trump, who campaigns in strangely captivating punk poetry, offers that in spades. Hillary, who campaigns in instruction manual prose, promises four or eight years of soporific competence.

    Ultimately one has to presume (if only to avoid a devastating breakdown) that the USA will resist the mischievous imp on its shoulder, whispering, “Go on, have some fun, elect the tangerine huckster and see where it leads.”

    But fasten your seatbelts, as another legendarily tough old broad, Bette Davis, is often misquoted as saying in All About Eve. It Is Going To Be A Bumpy Ride.

  • Gigi  On 05/29/2016 at 9:36 pm

    @Clyde, you post a SPEECH, a freaking SPEECH, one of his infamous traitorous trademarks that he delivers from the right and left side of his mouth simultaneously and you expect to make me believe because you do? HA! Thank you for proving my case. That YOU are a black version (Obamabot – Obama robot) of a GENUINE Trump white supporter (Trumpbot). Your views and judgement are flawed and clouded by your blind obedience and loyalty to a glorified uncle tom.

    You’re right Clyde, I don’t pay attention to, much less believe, the manufactured phony news emanating from the msm. That would be an insult to my intelligence. And I have no intention of doing so unless I feel inclined.

    FYI, as registered independents, none in our family are eligible to vote in primaries because we are neither democrat nor republican, thus we are not allowed to vote in the primaries. Independents make up 47% (possibly more) of registered voters in the US yet every year they are disenfranchised from voting in the primaries because they do not identify with either republican or democrat. How is that for democracy when 47% of the population cannot cannot vote in the primaries? How is that not voter fraud when 47% of voters are disenfranchised from voting in the primaries? How is that not voter fraud when their candidate(s) are not on the ballot and writing them in invalidate their vote?

    Here’s some instances of election fraud perpetuated by the democrats in this and prior election.

    (the stolen Obama election)

    (the stolen Hillary election underway)

  • Gigi  On 05/29/2016 at 9:42 pm

    Clive, I took on the bother of responding to you but Guyanese online disappeared it…

    • guyaneseonline  On 05/30/2016 at 4:13 am

      This note is for GIGI and all others who comment:

      Gigi – I did not delay or ‘disappear’ or edit your entry.
      Sometimes the WordPress system spam filter delays some entries and I have to manually release them. I have no control over their ‘spam’ filter.
      I therefore have to keep checking to make sure that valid comments are not delayed along with ‘spam’ messages.
      Keep on commenting!

  • Clyde Duncan  On 05/30/2016 at 8:20 am

    As they say, why re-invent the wheel – Winston Churchill said it, already:

    “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.” –

    Like the other Republican-Tea Party Fools, you and your man, Donald Trump, just wake up to complain another day.

    You were complaining about a “rigged system” – President Obama addressed that concept in his “freaking speech” – but he still cannot get through to you ….

    To you and the other Republican-Tea Party Fools – He is a Black Man, so he cannot possibly make sense – [to you]

    But he was talking to young people – university graduates – when he addressed your stinking thinking ……

    Obama mentioned something about complex and intractable issues and finding solutions …. He said:

    How you bring about change will ultimately be up to you.

    My generation – like all generations – is too confined by our experiences – too invested in our own biases; too stuck in our ways to provide much of the new thinking that will be required ….

    Gigi: President Obama was NOT talking to you, but I thought that it would be helpful for you to pay attention.

    But, somebody else on this thread will get it – that is why I am investing the time to respond to you. But, you are NOT paying attention!!

    Since you would rather listen to a white man – check this out:

    “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.” – Sir Winston Churchill [a white man]

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