Can Trump still win?
In the spirit of “anything can happen,” the answer is “yes.” But if you look at the odds, the outlook is not so bright for Trump.
Experts on both sides of the political divide tend to agree on one thing – that if the election were today, President Trump would likely lose. Based on past elections, being behind at this stage is not a harbinger of what will happen when the votes are counted – including votes that are already being cast in the most extreme early voting states.
In the meantime, can Trump win over a few more undecideds – and some Democrats? Can he motivate his people to vote in greater numbers than the Democrats? Both efforts are important because there are officially more registered Democrats in America than Republicans.
Republicans can do well nationally because many people register as Democrats – and vote for local Democrats – but lean Republican in national elections. In the 1980s, they became known as “Reagan Democrats.” In 2016, they could have been called “Trump Democrats.”
Yes, it is possible for Trump to win re-election, BUT the odds continue to shift against him. Getting the few undecideds to come his way – and to attract a significant number of registered Democrats – Trump would have to change the current trajectory. In a normal year, that is very doable, but this is not a normal year.
Trump has two major challenges to overcome. It is safe to say that no President in American history – not even the much-maligned Abraham Lincoln – has had so much of the national media so vehemently and maliciously opposed to them. The most powerful print and electronic media outlets have undertaken an unprecedented partisan campaign to oust Trump.
Their news reports, their documentaries, their town hall meetings and their feature stories have all been corrupted – serving as massive commercials and infomercials on behalf of the Democratic Party and the left-wing agenda. Whatever one thinks of the Trump presidency, they should be deeply disturbed by the surrender of a free press to an elitist political faction with big government Big Brother authoritarian instincts. They are using Trump’s pugnacious personality to attain a tighter grip on America.
Unfortunately, Trump is providing them with ammunition. And that is the second obstacle to Trump’s gaining the lead in the coming month. It has always been about the Trump personality – those character traits that keep Trump voters like me wincing and ultimately holding our noses as we cast a ballot based on the all-important broader issues that separate the political parties.
One can dissect the various flaws in the Trump personality and character, but it can be summed up by a catch phrase that came out of the old – almost ancient – “Honeymooners” show starring Jackie Gleason as Ralph Kramden. Often when Kramden screwed up with his over-the-top belligerent personality (sound familiar?), he would yell out, “I HAVE A B-I-I-G MOUTH!”
Unlike Kramden, Trump has never confessed to his own screw-ups in such a manner – but they have mostly been due to his B-I-I-G MOUTH and his willingness to shoot it off as often as possible in front of cameras. As a result, the national media is running his more inaccurate and outrageous comments on continuous loop. Recently, Joe Scarborough, of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” ran repetitions of Trump’s most self-damaging comments for an entire show.
In the first year of Trump’s presidency, it was my public recommendation that he limit his exposure to the new media. Even then, it was obvious to me – and many others who made similar recommendations – that he would not be well served by presenting himself to the reporters so often.
Trump has provided the press with personal on-the-run briefings on an almost daily bases. No matter how many times he said he distrusted the media – and called them “fake news” – and no matter how unfairly and brutally they treated him, Trump would give them access and more grist for those mendacious narratives emanating from the media mill.
Because Trump did not take the advice of people like me, he provided the Democrats and the media a library of inept, inaccurate and head-scratching statements – even legitimate comments that may have changed as events developed — that are now being used against him.
Today, Trump faces a radical left Democratic Party, an elitist new media and a powerful bureaucratic establishment that are united and obsessed with removing Trump and Republicans from office at all costs (including promoting street violence) in order to go back to the business of growing an ever-more powerful central government in Washington.
Trump could have won that battle – and maybe still can. But the odds in his favor are diminishing. What can he now say or do to change the current trajectory? I do believe there is a way – but I am increasingly pessimistic that Trump can find it or will even look for it. I hope I am wrong.
So. There ‘tis.