2016-10-20 / Views

Blazing a new path to the presidency

By Tim Skubick

Give Donald Trump credit. He pulled off a masterful strategy to nail down the GOP nomination for president over 10 zillion other candidates by tapping into the deep anger and frustration of a certain segment of the electorate, mostly less educated white males.

But after the national convention the whole punditry class predicted he, like others before him, would begin the slow yet visible march to the center of the political spectrum where elections are won.

Observers waited, and waited and waited.

Surely he would launch the journey in the first debate.

Nope. There he was fumbling around, not addressing the issues and if there was any hint of moving to the middle, you needed a magnifying glass to see it.

Then everyone said, in the second debate, he would start.

Not even close as he tossed out pounds of red meat to the base of voters that took him to the dance. He was not about to go home without them.

Hence the harsh reality has now set in. This guy doesn’t give two hoots about broadening his base as he continues to hold rallies with the same subsection of the voting public. He’s done that for over a year.

So, he is going to lose, the know-it-alls predict, since there are not enough of those folks to send him to the White House.

Maybe not.

Can you say depress the vote?

Normally, candidates try to get as many voters to the polls as humanly possible, but Mr. Trump appears to be sailing on a different tact: Drive down the Democratic vote so that she does not get enough votes to overcome his band of merry Trump-lovers.

This is not idle speculation as some of the national media are catching on. The magazine the Nation was blunt, suggesting that the only way he can win is to “create chaos at the polls, run a negative campaign (against everyone) and demoblize the Democrats.”

He is definitely running against everyone. He’s berating his own party — think House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senator John McCain — the mainstream media, some women, and anyone who dares to call him arrogant, inept, and maybe even a little nuts.

One way to drive down the vote is to construct barriers to voting. Republicans in 17 states, not Michigan, have done that by mandating voter ID and denying voters the chance to vote over a period of time. It’s not drive out the vote to the polls; it’s drive out the vote to stay home.

The restrictions have an impact on the very voters that Ms. Clinton wants, many first-time African-American voters. The research suggests 2-3 percent won’t vote because of these roadblocks.

The theory is you make your opponent look so bad — think emails, Clinton Foundation, put her in jail, liar, etc. etc. — that her supporters get depressed and won’t vote.

And there’s another factor at work. She is doing so well, a 12 point lead in Michigan, that come Election Day many of her backers will conclude she’s got it in the bag. So they’ll go to the grocery store instead of the polls.

All of this, on the surface, seems a tad far-fetched. But it may be the only path to victory for Mr. Trump unless he has an 11th hour conversion and tries to woo all those voters he has offended.

That would be one heck of a lot of wooing.

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Reasonable people see Trump

Reasonable people see Trump for what he is; my final hope is that he just goes away.