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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The State of Play

At RealClearPolitics, David Brady and Douglas Rivers analyze polls about Trump and the GOP nomination race, reaching these conclusions:
  • First, that most of his support comes from candidates already in the race and not from newly inspired voters. 
  • Second, his campaign drew from both the front-runners and the second-tier candidates and hurt Ted Cruz among the front-runners and Rick Perry among the second-tier candidates the most.
  • Third, his support comes from across the full range of Republican identifiers but is slightly higher among those who are less well educated, earn less than $50,000 annually and are slightly older.
  • Fourth, Tea Party respondents supported Trump at slightly lower levels than the totals for Cruz and Fiorina but higher than for the rest of the field.
  • Fifth, if his candidacy falters or he quits the race, no single candidate benefits in more than the low double digits, and those he hurt the most—Cruz and Perry—probably do not make up their losses, notwithstanding Cruz’s machinations
Charles Cook writes at National Journal:
Clearly, something pro­found is hap­pen­ing in the usu­ally staid and or­derly party. Don­ald Trump is in first place not only in Iowa and New Hamp­shire, but in na­tion­al polling as well, av­er­aging more than a quarter of the vote. Ben Car­son, the re­tired neur­o­lo­gist, is now in second place in Iowa and na­tion­wide, and in a stat­ist­ic­al tie in New Hamp­shire with Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a more tra­di­tion­al can­did­ate. That Jeb Bush is av­er­aging single-di­git per­form­ances in both cru­cial states and na­tion­ally is just as per­plex­ing.
Should we see this as a re­bel­lion against ca­reer politi­cians and the GOP es­tab­lish­ment? Or, is roughly 40 per­cent of the GOP elect­or­ate throw­ing a tem­per tan­trum? The an­swer is: both.
...
Not all Re­pub­lic­ans are rebels, however. Na­tion­ally, al­most 60 per­cent of Re­pub­lic­ans are still the philo­soph­ic­al and styl­ist­ic des­cend­ants of the party that pro­duced Pres­id­ents Eis­en­hower, Nix­on, Re­agan, and both Bushes—the GOP that once ap­proved of Ger­ald Ford, Bob Dole, John Mc­Cain, and Mitt Rom­ney. Even Re­agan, not to men­tion the Bushes, would have trouble meet­ing the GOP’s new lit­mus tests.
...
Among the tra­di­tion­al Re­pub­lic­an can­did­ates, the Bush cam­paign is start­ing to air tele­vi­sion ads—and he had bet­ter hope they work. Con­ven­tion­al Re­pub­lic­an voters are still win­dow-shop­ping, but they don’t seem prone to linger be­fore Bush’s win­dow; they just keep mov­ing on. Kasich has shown signs of get­ting trac­tion, par­tic­u­larly in New Hamp­shire; he has already out­per­formed the ex­pect­a­tions that his late start would doom his cam­paign. It was Bush’s poor per­form­ance, the Kasich camp ex­plains, that drew the Ohio gov­ernor in­to the race.