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Hullabaloo


Sunday, October 25, 2015

 
Dispatch from Bizarroworld

by digby

Latest polling from AP:
Republican voters view Donald Trump as their strongest general election candidate, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll that highlights the sharp contrast between the party's voters and its top professionals regarding the billionaire businessman's ultimate political strength.

Seven in 10 Republican and Republican-leaning registered voters say Trump could win in November 2016 if he is nominated, and that's the most who say so of any candidate. By comparison, 6 in 10 say the same for retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who, like Trump, has tapped into the powerful wave of antiestablishment anger defining the early phases of the 2016 contest.

"It's the lifelong establishment politicians on both sides that rub me the wrong way," said registered Republican Joe Selig, a 60-year-old carpenter from Vallejo, California. "I think Trump is more electable. He's strong. We need strength these days."

Trump and Carson are considered among the least electable general election candidates by the Republican Party's professionals, those who are in the business of helping candidates run campaigns and win elections.

I think one of the most interesting characteristics of the average right winger is their absolute assurance that a majority of Americans think the way they do. I suppose some of that is understandable and that people of all political stripes think it to some degree. But they seem to be under the impression that there is really no opposition. So they're shocked when they lose --- and can't believe it can possibly be fair.

They just refuse to accept this:

Experienced political strategists note that winning a general election and winning the Republican nomination are often very different tasks. The GOP's most conservative voters — a group that is older and whiter than the nation as a whole — wield extraordinary influence in picking the nominee. Independents, moderate voters and minorities are far more important in general elections that draw many more people to the polls.

While Trump and Carson are popular in primary election polls, both have used divisive rhetoric in recent months that alienated some minorities. Trump called Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals during his announcement speech; while Carson said he would not support a Muslim presidential candidate.

"Republicans think (Democrat) Hillary (Rodham Clinton) is weaker than she is. They are wrong," said GOP operative Katie Packer, who was deputy campaign manager for 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney. "They think we don't need to win more women or more Hispanics to win. They're wrong."

I don't know what will convince them. One of the main delusional conceits of the conservative movement is that the only reason they lose is because their candidates weren't conservative enough. The movement leaders make a lot of money selling that line.

If Trump or Carson got the nomination and lost you can be absolutely sure that they would blame their iconoclasm for the loss --- they will not say they should have gone with Jeb or Rubio. They'll say they should have gone with the more doctrinaire Cruz or Jindal. I can't imagine how they're going to extricate their people from this cycle.


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