Never would any of us imagined last summer that Donald Trump would be leading the Republican Party delegate race right now.
Nor was it entirely predictable what is going in the Democratic Party primaries.
Let me do the easy stuff first.
I was watching Chris Hayes on MSNBC recently and he mentioned that Hillary Clinton has always started at the top of her game and slid down in the polls with every election she has been in. He was referring to 1st run for office as U.S. Senator from the state of New York, her 2008 Presidential run and now her 2016 run for POTUS. I’ll take him at his word.
What I saw was the turn out for Bernie Sanders increasing week after week after week leading up to the first couple of primary votes. The numbers I saw was the huge number who would show up at his events, but even more important was the number of individual donors. They outnumbered Hillary donors by huge margins.
Why is the number of donors important? It shows a grass roots movement where people have invested their own cash. These people are also likely to vote since they are invested in Bernie. What is weird however is that Bernie could be denied the candidacy because of the super delegate system that the Democratic Party uses. The irony is that Bernie could win the popular vote in the primary and not be the candidate for President after the Convention, which has parallels to the 2000 Gore versus Bush general election.
Meanwhile the G.O.P. wishes they had super delegates to stop Trump but they don’t have those same powers.
Without going into the hi-jinks of Mr. Trump, I would rather focus on how he gained his support.
As a marketing guy, it’s easy to understand but even my wife who is not in marketing spotted this early on…
The amount of press coverage Trump has received has been huge. In my house we have CNN and MSNBC and Fox, but we rarely watch Fox News. I listen to conservative talk on my radio station and I also listen to NPR on the radio. Everyone, it seems is going gaga over Trump. If he was doing a rally, the shows and networks would cover it live. Then they would talk about what Trump said. And then they would talk more and more about Trump. Once we started the debates, the moderators would ask questions about what Trump said.
It was stupidly ridiculous. Why did they do this? Money. They were focusing on the topic that they thought would attract viewers. The outrageous stuff that Trump would say. The coming downfall of Trump. Everyone wanted to be there and cover it live. But it didn’t happen.
The more free publicity Trump got, the more popular he became. Trump drew out the worst in a lot of people. He spoke the words in front of TV cameras that people would utter in private, knowing that it was rude or politically incorrect to say out in the open.
Trump has also stirred up the politically ignorant. The people who want the President to fix stuff. The people who do not understand what the role of the 3 branches of our Federal Government are supposed to do and not do and also don’t understand the limits our Federal Government has constitutionally compared to the role of state and local government bodies.
Both Bernie and Donald are correct in saying that we have a broken political system and both propose to fix it from the Executive Office.
I have to say that as of this moment, I have only one candidate left in the race that is okay with me. And that person may not be around when I get to vote in the Indiana Primary in May 2016. That leaves me with others whom I have much lower levels of enthusiasm for. Uh-oh.