Thursday, August 4, 2016

What Happens If Trump Drops Out Or Is Forced Out?

A new Fox News' poll has Hillary Clinton up 10 points over Donald Trump in a two-way race and up 9 points in a four-way race. Rasmussen has her up 4 points. So that we're clear here, two of the most conservative polling firms on the planet show the Democratic nominee up by a healthy margin over the Republican nominee with three months to go before the election.

In the swing states, the latest polls show Clinton up by 4 points in Florida, 13 in Pennsylvania, 15 in Hew Hampshire, 9 in Michigan, 4 in Wisconsin, 7 in Virginia and 13 in Colorado. And lest you think these polls might be outliers, they actually are in line with other polls, give or take a point or two. She's even leading in, of all places, Arizona, a state both John McCain and Mitt Romney won by large margins in '08 and 2012 respectively.

The only bright spot for Trump was in Ohio, where the latest poll has him up 4 points. It should be noted that that poll was taken before the Democratic convention and is one of only two polls taken over the last month that has him in the lead. The others all show Clinton in the lead. When you factor in the recent Circuit Court decision that tossed North Carolina's draconian voter suppression law, the signs are pointing to a potential landslide in November.

Maybe that's why Trump is now talking about a rigged election. Look, I know it's scary getting inside that warped cranium of his, but you don't have to be a rocket scientist to realize what he's doing here. Even he can read the polls, and he needs an excuse in the event he gets his ass handed to him. What better way to save face with your minions who blindly supported you than by blaming a "rigged" system for your loss. Face it, the man is incapable of accepting any responsibility. No matter what happens, it's always someone else's fault.

But it turns out he's not alone in thinking this thing could get out of hand. Seems a lot of Republicans are concerned about November. That's why you're starting to see reports surface that the RNC is considering "replacing" Trump as the nominee. A piece in the Daily Beast lays out the case for how it could happen. And, yes, it is possible, however improbable. Trump could either be booted or, smelling the caffeine, he could drop out.

So, let's play this out. Trump quits or gets dumped. What happens? Well, for starters, if I'm Hillary Clinton, I'd resist the urge to celebrate. With all due respect to her and her supporters, the principle reason she's enjoying such a bounce in the polls is due almost exclusively to the fact that she's running against the worst presidential nominee quite possibly in the history of the country. Seriously, there are doctors who are guilty of the most egregious malpractice whose patients are in better shape than Donald Trump's campaign.

If the RNC were to replace Trump with, say, Paul Ryan or John Kasich, those poll numbers would tighten, and tighten fast. Kasich, as I've mentioned on several occasions, has polled exceptionally well against Clinton. Throughout the entire GOP primary, he was the only candidate who was consistently ahead of her. In the event that the RNC tapped Kasich, that 5 point lead in the RCP average that Hillary currently holds would almost certainly flip within a week. And instead of a potential Democratic landslide in November, we could be looking at a Republican landslide.

No, the best possible scenario for team Clinton and the Democrats is for il Duce to continue to shoot himself in the foot just enough so that he remains far enough behind in the polls, but not so far as to force the hand of his party. Right now, he's the gift that keeps on giving and they should get down on their hands and knees and pray nothing changes that.

There's also another reason why the Clinton camp should want Trump to stay in the race: voter turnout. Let's be honest, shall we. Hillary isn't exactly beloved by her base; frankly, she isn't beloved by a lot of people, even the ones who are voting for her. Yes, a majority of Bernie supporters will vote for her, but they're not doing it out of admiration for her or her husband; they're doing it because Trump scares the living shit out of them. And not just them. Seems a number of moderate Republicans and a good chunk of Independents are deeply concerned about the prospects of a Trump win in November. Many of them are prepared to vote for Clinton, but they won't if a less extreme nominee were to take his place. Yes, you and I know that John Kasich is no moderate, much less the boy wonder, Paul Ryan, but compared to Trump, they're practically Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.

What about Mike Pence, you ask? According to the piece, he would not "automatically" jump to the top of the ticket. He was nominated as the running mate, so he would remain there unless he himself dropped out. Ironic, isn't it? The running mate can't become the party nominee, but someone who wasn't even nominated at the convention can. Go figure.

Look, I know all of this is conjecture. It's really hard imagining an egomaniac like Trump dropping out and it's equally hard seeing the GOP at this late date having the balls to pull the plug on him. The time for doing that was the convention and they let that opportunity slip away. Like it or not, they appear stuck with him.

And that might be the best news, short of actually winning the election, that Hillary Clinton ends up getting this year.

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