Sunday, May 1, 2016

Primaries Are So 2015

Did you know that the presidential primaries are over? Yes, there are still a handful of states yet to hold votes, but, really, the races are finished. Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic nominee and Donald Trump will head the GOP ticket. All that's left is the bunting and confetti. Sort of.

Many in the mainstream press will continue to write about brokered conventions and scenarios involving the narrow path in Indiana and California for someone other than Trump to win the Republican nomination, but that will just be blather and the race for eyeballs and clicks. Bernie Sanders has seen his campaign contributions plunge over the past week and even those delegates that Ted Cruz was going to count on to go from 700 delegates to over 1200 in Cleveland are having second thoughts. And so they should, because the chances that there will be a delegate fight this summer is less than 1%. We have seen the nominees and they are set.

So now what happens? On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton will make the long, slow trudge into Sanders' territory to try and win over enough young people, who are now faced with the prospect that they're going to have to pay in full for their college degrees, to her side. I could certainly see many of these voters staying home rather than voting for her, but really, where else are they going to go? My hope is that enough of them were motivated by the Sanders campaign to begin a political life, whether that means running for office or just staying involved in their local political entities and pushing for the kind of change Bernie was talking about. Hillary will also make a million trips to Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, Colorado and the other swing states to try and nail them down as early as she can. Then she can start flipping states that voted for Romney in 2012 and force Trump to defend what he has rather than allowing him to try and flip Pennsylvania, Wisconsin or Michigan. Which I don't think he will.

For Trump, the issue is...what? To stop saying the things that have carried him so far? His appeal to the older white base of the party is a decided gamble because he'll need far more of the moderate voters in order to win the states he needs to get to 270. He's already shown that he will not back down, and his comments that Hillary is playing the "women's card" will only take him so far. It's not like he's offering women a compelling set of policies once he's in office (shudder). So by alienating and insulting them, he's giving them nothing on which to give him their vote. The same goes for Hispanics. In short, there aren't enough older whites to put Trump in office. His biggest decision, his choice for VP, will give us more insight into how he sees this campaign, but I think that Chris Christie or another white man would be a big mistake.

For the record, I didn't think that Trump was going to be the GOP nominee for the same reasons that most other people gave, but here he is. Hillary was always the presumptive Democratic nominee and she ran a good campaign against a worthy and surprising opponent.

Let the campaign begin.

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