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Can Trump win a general election without Independents?

Can Trump win a general election without Independents?

Data suggests Independent voters prefer Rubio or Cruz to Donald Trump

The Republican emeritus leadership seems to be breaking for Donald Trump over Ted Cruz as the lesser of two evils.  They reason that Trump is less extreme, less likely to cause collateral damage to Republicans in Congressional and state races, and more electable.

They’re also probably wrong, at least about the electability question.  Nate Silver of fivethirtyeight.com writes:

It’s hard to say exactly how well (or poorly) Trump might fare as the Republican nominee. Partisanship is strong enough in the U.S. that even some of his most ardent detractors in the GOP would come around to support him were he the Republican candidate. Trump has some cunning political instincts, and might not hesitate to shift back to the center if he won the GOP nomination. A recession or a terror attack later this year could work in his favor.

But Trump would start at a disadvantage: Most Americans just really don’t like the guy.

Contra Rupert Murdoch’s assertion about Trump having crossover appeal, Trump is extraordinarily unpopular with independent voters and Democrats. Gallup polling conducted over the past six weeks found Trump with a -27-percentage-point net favorability rating among independent voters, and a -70-point net rating among Democrats; both marks are easily the worst in the GOP field. (Trump also has less-than-spectacular favorable ratings among his fellow Republicans.)

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There’s loads more data in Silver’s article, but I will not crib any more of it here.  You will recall, Silver predicted how every state came out in the 2012 Presidential election, and he has no stake in the Cruz/Trump battle.

If it holds up, that -27 for Trump among Independents would be fatal.  According to Gallup’s latest numbers from January 6-10, a plurality of all voters – 44% – self-identify as independents.  It is not possible to win without even being competitive in this bloc.

Silver’s assessment that Trump would struggle in the general election is borne out by the latest polling.  Real Clear Politics has Trump losing to both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, while Ted Cruz beats Clinton and losses to Sanders, and Marco Rubio beats them both.  Huffington Post has Clinton beating Trump by more than she would be Cruz, and losing to Rubio; HP has Sanders trouncing Trump and losing by comparable margins to Cruz and Rubio.

Silver concedes that “[y]ou could plausibly argue” Cruz would be even worse in the general than Trump, because “Cruz would be the most conservative nominee since (and possibly including) Barry Goldwater in 1964.”

Polling at this stage is a bit of a blunt instrument.  Still, all of the data indicates Trump cannot beat either plausible Democratic nominee, and that he is radioactive among the independents who so often decide national elections.

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Comments

I’m an independent voter. I’d vote for Trump. Maybe Cruz. Definitely not Rubio. We’ve already had 8 years of a lazy president. Maybe that worked in our favor, but I’d prefer someone with a strong work ethic. Rubio appears to just phone it in.

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | January 22, 2016 at 9:18 am

Trump supporters ought to read this to see the man they are supporting.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/nine-tales-of-trump-at-his-trumpiest/article/2000697

    Don’t waste your time reading this!
    It’s just the long line of attacks to try to stop TRUMP. It won’t work!

    TRUMP will be the Republican Candidate for President regardless of the clueless republican establishment.

    TRUMP 2016

      Ragspierre in reply to Common Sense. | January 22, 2016 at 12:36 pm

      “Don’t waste your time reading this!”

      Yes! AVOID LEARNING THINGS AT ALLLLL COSTS!!!

      Stay away from that “information” stuff! It’s DANGEROUS…!!!

      MaggotAtBroadAndWall in reply to Common Sense. | January 22, 2016 at 12:40 pm

      I assume you read it since you took the time to urge others not to. Therefore, you know that it is a column of factual observations and anecdotes about Trump’s career, written in a humorous tone.

      Facts are not “attacks”. If you had a rational criticism, you’d explain why the author got the facts wrong.

      Henry Hawkins in reply to Common Sense. | January 22, 2016 at 1:54 pm

      Ned Flanders: “Well, I say there are things we don’t want to know. Important things!”

This independent is voting Cruz.

If it’s Tpump you choose, you lose.

Because this independent of some decades sees Duh Donald, and can therefor predict his conduct, especially when given power, I not only won’t vote for him, I’ll actively campaign against him.

Lucien Cordier | January 22, 2016 at 10:11 am

Sanders will be the next President. The cancer is too widespread. The patient is not likely to recover.

I’ve been unaffiliated/independent since 1977 and I’ll happily vote for Cruz. I won’t vote for Trump under any circumstance.

http://townhall.com/columnists/thomassowell/2016/01/22/do-emotions-trump-facts-n2108178

“Today’s big puzzle is how so many otherwise rational people have become enamored of Donald Trump, projecting onto him virtues and principles that he clearly does not have, and ignoring gross defects that are all too blatant.”

I’m a big fan and student of Dr. Sowell. Read the whole thing!

If Huffington Post says Hillary beats Trump but can’t beat Cruz – that’s enough for me. Trump is the obvious winner. Oh, wait, Huffington Post is part of a vast right wing conspiracy – right?

JimMtnViewCaUSA | January 22, 2016 at 11:56 am

I’m also an independent (formerly registered Repub) voter.
I prefer Cruz, though I fear the media would have a field day demonizing him.
I worry that Trump will be an echo of what we went through here in CA. Arnold shouldered aside the principled but lesser known Tom McClintock and won the Governorship. Then he did not “cut up the gov’t credit cards”, instead he failed miserably and dissipated the conservative tide.

Nonetheless, I will absolutely vote for Trump if he is the nominee. Absolutely, and in a heart beat. And I would crawl over broken glass to do it. IMO, so should you.

I’m a paleo conservative and I’d happily vote for either Cruz or Trump. For me, you have to address your most pressing problems first and our one and only true disaster level problem at this time is our immigration policy (or failure to enforce our policy). Trump showed leadership and showed a willingness to punch the beast (the media and the donor class) in the mouth on this and PC in general and by doing so showed he understands the old establishment duck and cover approach is a loser. He also smoked out the establishment for the traitors that they are. For this he has earned my eternal gratitude and will be getting my vote during next month’s caucuses.

Not persuaded. Nare Silver has been doubling down on h I s anti Trump predictions since Trump entered race. We shall soon see if what is left of his reputation will survive 2016.

Silver has predicted numerous times in numerous ways that Trump will not win nomination. If Trump wins nomination then all predictions about election are ought the window.

Silvers earliest predictions that Trump won’t win nomination were based on using modeling about Herman Cain and Rudy Giulliani and how they faded in prior years. Those predictions previously used here by many have all been shown to be complete crap.

Silver can’t get over being wrong and keeps doubling down on his bullshit like this latest bit of his hoping not to be wrong disguised as analysis.

Using favorability ratings without showing some significant data regarding the correlation of such data to actual voting patterns is worthless. This is particularly true when the internal polling data of numerous state and national polls show Trump drawing significantly more support from independents, democrats and blacks than any other candidate. Some of these polling internals have shown Trump drawing 20% of democrats and even 20% of blacks in another poll.

So sorry but Nate Silver like the neocons at The Weakkneed Standard and the man/child castration fixation editors at The Nation (Reviewed) are full of shit.

Trump will be the next President.

    Ragspierre in reply to Gary Britt. | January 22, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    You are SO hilarious…!!!

    Just days ago, you used Nate Silver as your “authority” in your resort to authority fallacy in you T=rump sucking.

    Now YOU are here PRETENDING to have ANY conservative chops, and calling life-long, PROVEN conservatives names.

    T-rump may be the next president. We’ve elected a lying, narcissistic asshole twice in recent memory. Maybe its a pattern.

      Random non sequitur name calling because you are incapable of any intelligent thoughtful commentary of your own.

      Eventually you will find something written by someobe else and you will cut and paste it here as though it were your own writing. That is your pattern.

        Ragspierre in reply to Gary Britt. | January 22, 2016 at 2:39 pm

        Lying ad hominem because you can’t deal in argument.

        Nobody called you any names, liar. But you know you ARE several.

        See, all you have is lies and fallacies. You’re a joke.

          At least I write my own thoughts and don’t just copy and paste stuff written by others. The only original writing you do is name calling and juvenile grade school insults. And even that is copied from your schoolyard days.

        Ragspierre in reply to Gary Britt. | January 22, 2016 at 4:23 pm

        MORE lying ad hominem, because you can’t deal in argument.

        Nobody called you any names, liar. But you know you ARE several.

        See, all you have is lies and fallacies. You’re a joke.

Your RCP link says Trump was losing to Clinton by nearly 20 points in July 2015. Now it is less than 3 points. Funny how you didn’t mention that. Funny eh? lol

If he can gain 17 points on her in six months, why are you trying to sell us caca del toro about electability vs Clinton? For any candidate?

There are solid reasons to support Cruz over Trump without trying to mislead us with manufactured issues

    gmac124 in reply to DaMav. | January 22, 2016 at 3:10 pm

    DaMav I don’t believe that Trump gained 17 points. I believe that Clinton lost 17 points because of the e-mail scandal. So even with a huge scandal hanging over her head she would still beat Trump. Hmmm.

Last fall, when it became apparent to me that most Trump supporters proceed on emotional satisfaction, I predicted he’d break their hearts. Well, the Trumpian Grand Sellout has begun.

Trump speaking to reporters yesterday in Las Vegas at the Outdoor Sportsman Awards:

“I think they’re warming up. I want to be honest, I have received so many phone calls from people that you would call establishment, from people — generally speaking … conservatives, Republicans — that want to come onto our team,” Trump told reporters in Las Vegas before an appearance at the Outdoor Sportsman Awards…

At an earlier rally, Trump painted himself as a pragmatic dealmaker capable of working with lawmakers, in contrast with Cruz, his top rival in the Feb. 1 Iowa caucuses…

“You know what? There’s a point at which: Let’s get to be a little establishment,” Trump told the crowd at the South Point resort and casino. “We’ve got to get things done folks, OK? Believe me, don’t worry. We’re going to make such great deals.”

(end quote)

A “little bit establishment”? That’s like a little bit pregnant, right? And this is before the first primary. Imagine how establishment he’ll go if he wins the GOP nomination or, God forbid, the presidency. You can see him whispering to Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Mitch McConnell, et al: “I’ll have more flexibility after the election…”

H/T Ace of Spades:

http://hotair.com/archives/2016/01/22/trump-lets-get-to-be-a-little-establishment-weve-got-to-get-things-done-folks-ok/

The independents will run and vote for Bernie Sanders and the increasingly disgraced Hillary Clinton.

Sure.

Independents fall under such a large tent these days I believe a consensus of opinion on any subject is nearly impossible. Polling independents is useless and predicting their voting activity is anybody’s guess. Neo-Independent conservatives flipping off the GOPe don’t share much common ground with the old school Democrats who can’t swing with the socialists who control their party. The traditional, perpetually fence-sitting Independents have precious little in common with any of these new I’m-now-an-Independent-because-my-party-sucks interlopers. The new anti-establishment crowd is huge, but perhaps fatally fragmented. My crystal ball broke long ago. The next few months are going to be interesting.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to Merlin. | January 22, 2016 at 2:09 pm

    Whether former Democrats or former Republicans, the independents do in fact share in large number one salient fact – they cannot find a party they can support, which is to say, they cannot support the establishment, which has long consisted of both Democrats and Republicans who move in and out of power every 4-8 years, with the slow decline of our nation the result.

    The only question is which true anti-establishment candidate will they support? They (we) are currently watching to see which candidate favors and/or is favored by the establishment – so we may go the other way.

    Trump informed his supporters yesterday that he is now embracing the establishment, inviting them onto his team, because that’s the only way he can make deals (his own words, not mine). His supporters are expected to forget everything bad he’s said about the estabishment since he announced last summer. A lot of them will do just that because they do not proceed on reason, but on emotional satisfaction and blind faith. Many will begin to realize they’ve been gulled by a good salesman with the time-honored bait and switch con, wherein Trump hooked them with attitudes they like to hear (emotional satisfaction), and once hooked he’ll switch to his real agenda, collusion with the establishment crowd he’s wined and dined with for three decades. It’s what a businessman does – reads his market and gives them what they want, which during a primary campaign is merely words. His intended actions are emerging as very different, as evidenced by his edging into bed with the GOP establishment.

This election will either make or break Nate Silver. His models strongly pull against Trump and he still thinks Trump has a very low chance of winning. He’s either a genius or a fool.

As for Trump, he will do fine with non Traditional Republican voters. Did anybody just see that he got an endorsement from Louis Farrakhan?

Non traditional republican voters are not the same things as independents. Many independents are essentially Republican voters abandoned by the party. Others are essentially Democrats or are non voters.

In any case, Trump’s biggest concern has to be that traditional Republicans will knife him in the back.

As a life long unaffiliated voter, I have always thought that both parties stink on ice. Both parties have been holding the American voter hostage with constant “lesser of the evils” candidates. Both parties have ignored the Constitution. The country is headed for a collapse while the party elites continue to protect their little kingdoms and their job security. Those elites have ignored the public suffering under the their failed policies, massive over spending and behavior bordering on treason.

    Ragspierre in reply to Gary Britt. | January 22, 2016 at 2:59 pm

    Ummm… Your T-rump sucking is bamaging your drain…. More.

    There’s no allusion to Nate Silver in your Trumpbart bullshit piece, moron.

      You’re a moron when not copying other people’s work.

      This entire discussion is based on premise that Trump can’t beat Hillary because Nate Silver says so. Go back and read from the top but this time for comprehension if that is possible with you idiot.

      I post a link that says Trump not only beats Hillary but annihilates here and Rags the boy genius says it doesn’t have anything to do with Nate Silver.

      LOL. And this is from the best and the brightest of the paid Cruzbots. Is there any wonder Cruz is DONE/Finito.

      Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | January 22, 2016 at 3:22 pm

      Gallup polling conducted over the past six weeks found Trump with a -27-percentage-point net favorability rating among independent voters, and a -70-point net rating among Democrats; both marks are easily the worst in the GOP field. (Trump also has less-than-spectacular favorable ratings among his fellow Republicans.)

      AND

      Silver’s assessment that Trump would struggle in the general election is borne out by the latest polling. Real Clear Politics has Trump losing to both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, while Ted Cruz beats Clinton and losses to Sanders, and Marco Rubio beats them both. Huffington Post has Clinton beating Trump by more than she would be Cruz, and losing to Rubio; HP has Sanders trouncing Trump and losing by comparable margins to Cruz and Rubio.

      So.

      Not really limited to Silver…who, BTW, was Gaghdad Bob’s “authority” in a fallacious lode of bullshit just last week…at all.

      Seems like there are several sources all leading to the same conclusion.

      Hellary’s fall is not T-rump’s rise, you stupid, T-rump sucking cult follower. People don’t like T-rump. It’s like seeing a snake. It’s instinctive.

      And the jury is still out on Silver’s predictions.

      Mine have already been proven correct. Mr. Establishment sold out to crony capitalists.

      Suck it. Spunky.

        The polls you cite all the results are within the margin of error so they all say TIED.

        As you and Cruz are learning nobody can drive down somebody’s polling and base like Mr. Trump. He hasn’t started on Hillary and Bernie yet.

        You’ve predicted nothing ever btw. Certainly not anything that has ever been born out. Maybe you could predict the sun will rise in the east tomorrow. That would be your best shot.

          Ragspierre in reply to Gary Britt. | January 22, 2016 at 4:21 pm

          I wasn’t citing the polls for their accuracy, you moron.

          And I PERFECTLY predicted what your lying POS T-rump would do vis the Establishment.

          Dead bang PERFECTLY. I know a fraudulent Progressive deal-making crony when I see one.

          You predicted nothing. You state brown is really red, and then claim you predicted brown was red. Problem for you is that YOU ARE WRONG Brown is not Red.

          Same goes for all your bullshit about crony this and collectivist that and sell out this. Its all just your own crap Brown is really Red.

          Ragspierre in reply to Gary Britt. | January 22, 2016 at 5:12 pm

          Are you drunk…???

          Stoned? It IS Austin…

          I guess for you when confronted with sufficiently superior intelligence it is for you indistinguishable from magic.

          Ragspierre in reply to Gary Britt. | January 23, 2016 at 12:02 pm

          Intercontinental RR Britt…

I guess all the not-Trump “independents” here don’t actually care enough to vote in a primary.

Why am I not an Independent (No Party Affilliation) voter?
Because I choose to be eligible to vote in a primary election.
Does that mean that I support a particular party? No!
Having said that, I find the choice of Clinton, Sanders or O’Malley for the Democratic Party candidate to be appalling.
If that is what the Democratic Party is offering, since there is no “None of the Above” selection on the primary ballot, then I may switch my party affilliation to vote in the primary for someone other than Trump before switching to Independant.
Alternately, I plan to write in the name of former U.S. Senator from Virginia and former Secretary of the Navy Jim Webb on the ballot. At least he does not invoke the gag reflex at the thought of voting for him.

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