Early Thoughts on Election 2016

Politics? I’m talking about politics? Of course! I love politics! AP Government & Politics was one of my favorite high school classes. I love games. I love strategy. I love winning! That’s probably the main appeal for me….because I don’t like corruption; which is what pretty much all we have nowadays. But, I like games. And politics is all about the game.
As someone that has watched almost every debate and has been following the election for years now, let me share my thoughts, in no particular order:
  • It’s the Republicans to lose. Republicans have dominated the media this cycle (or Trump has) and should be able to capitalize on, what I’ll call, party fatigue. The sample size is fairly small, but it’s pretty rare for the Democratic party to win three times in a row. It’s only happened twice in almost 200 years (and that counts FDR…).
  • I have seen countless articles and pundits espouse the notion the Republicans have a demographics problem and they’re doomed. I mean, Obama mopped the floor in 2008/2012, right? Yes, but if you play with this awesome infographic, it doesn’t take a miracle for the electoral college to flip.
  • Both Sanders and Clinton are awful candidates for different reasons. I think the Democrats have been terribly wounded by their absolute lack of candidates. I mean…the choice is between an old lady who has decades of baggage or…an old guy who is an open socialist (but perhaps that doesn’t matter, because nobody even knows *what that means*). That’s all you got guys? Disappointing. I’m not excited for either of these choices.
  • But, it will be Clinton, and she’s boring; the same old used car salesman BS. There’s no passion with her. I find it hard to believe she will come close to getting the voters that came out for Obama.
  • OK, let’s get to the Trump in the room. Now I am way guilty of it, but Trump cannot be discounted any longer. I thought he was a joke. I vividly recall this Daily Show segment when it aired, where Jon Stewart is giddy with excitement at the absurdity of his announcement. Now? Not so much. The only way he gets beaten is if Kasich, Cruz, and Carson drop out…like…now. Man I wish Jon Stewart was still around…I loved when he talked about Trump, he was hysterical!
  • Just like Christie, Cruz can’t out trump Trump; Trump is a conduit of America’s anger. Cruz is also playing that card, but he’s losing. Why? Could it be because he comes off as a slimy lawyer who literally seems like he’s trying to con you when he’s talking? Or is that just how I feel?
  • Rubio is the only one that has a chance, and…if the field doesn’t collapse soon, it’s going to be too little too late. Rubio is the only Republican candidate that consistently polls the best against Clinton. The smart money wants Rubio, we’ll see if the GOP tries to take out Trump. But…how can they?! Trump is teflon, you could literally say he killed someone and it wouldn’t matter (and that’s how he phrased it…).


  • Clinton is the nominee for the Democratic side. Personally? I think Biden, Gore, or Elizabeth Warren are all better candidates. At least one of them should have tried to run. It’s pretty sad.
  • Trump will be the nominee…my God, I actually wrote that. Unless, UNLESS the following happens and happens soon: Carson, Kasich, and Cruz all drop out after Super Tuesday. But Cruz definitely won’t! He won’t! He is the thorn in the GOP’s side. Always has been. That’s his game. If not? Trump has such a commanding lead in the polls, when it gets to winner-take-all, his delegate lead will be insurmountable. The enormous field coupled with Trump’s ingenious tapping of the populist anger has combined for an unlikely path to the nomination. It’s amazing to watch unfold.

Other thoughts:

  • Holy hell is this field old! Trump is 69, Clinton is 68, Sanders looks like he’s 127, but is actually 74. Remember in 2008 when everyone talked about how old McCain was at 71?! Why has no one brought this up? Because Clinton and Trump dye their hair??
  • The question now is…who is Trump going to pick as his VP? Here’s what Trump has just said. If you take him at his word, the two likely candidates would be either Kasich…or…Rubio! Both are actually interesting choices. Kasich should lock up Ohio, and Rubio…Rubio just polls well, is well-liked, is conservative, is young, and…well, pretty much everything Donald Trump isn’t. It would be a good dichotomy. Trump supporters are so tunnel-visioned, for the most part, I don’t think they’d even care who the VP is.
  • But choosing an establishment candidate (I mean Rubio is kind of a Tea Party / establishment hybrid) would potentially ease the concerns of a Trump presidency (of which I’m sure everyone has grave concerns; the 1930s Germany parallels are pretty eerie) for some people.
  • Why would he do this? Well, the GOP is rightfully concerned with nominating Trump. This would be an olive branch. On paper Trump – Rubio is a pretty compelling ticket. How could the GOP say no to that? If Trump would win, this would set the stage for Rubio to run later (ala Gore) as he is still so young.
  • I’m not sure how this Supreme Court battle is going to play out with public opinion. It’s ENORMOUSLY critical. In some ways, this Supreme Court nod is more important than the presidency (and it makes sense why Senate Republicans want to hold off…but I really don’t know if the American people are smart enough to care).

Revised prediction:

  • Trump wins the nomination and nominates Rubio to be his Vice President.

We’ll see, eh? You tell me a more likely outcome and I’ll be happy to debate it with you.

One more observation:

  • OK, I never really commented on why Trump is doing well. Here’s my take: people are pissed. Some people (read: Republicans) have been super pissed for eight years. People are tired of a corrupt political system. Everyone knows PACs are bullshit. Everyone knows super donor campaign money runs and rigs the game. Trump is literally a middle finger to all of that. People love that. I love that. It’s refreshing.
  • Now I don’t think Trump is that great of a candidate, he literally flip-flops on many issues, has no solid stance on anything, and isn’t really that much of a conservative…but…again, he brings up issues others won’t. He doesn’t read from a teleprompter, he gives you an honest opinion, which most of the time is grounded in truth, whether it’s uncomfortable to hear or not. The last person to come close to doing that was Ross Perot, which after researching Ross Perot, I liked a lot of what he said (I was just a wee lad then). I see why people are passionate. It’s showing up in the polls and the results. He is bringing in historic turnouts and people that have not voted before. It will certainly be interesting to watch this unfold.

Looking forward to Thursday’s debate (we’ll see if all guns are aimed at Trump…) and Super Tuesday!

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