Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Can Donald Trump Defeat Hillary Clinton?

It was a strange scene. Donald Trump had just won the Indiana primary, and all but sewn up the Republican nomination. But instead of crowing in his usual manner, he was unusually subdued.

No doubt trying to look "presidential." Which couldn't have been easy, only hours after suggesting that Ted Cruz's father was involved in the Kennedy assassination. 

But also as Olivia Nuzzi suggests, because he was probably sobered by the implications of his victory.

On the night he got everything he said he wanted, Donald Trump looked miserable.

He spoke quietly and slowly. His eyes squinted more than usual. It seemed as though the gravity of the position he now finds himself in—leader of the Republican Party, rival to Hillary Clinton, possible president of the United States—was weighing directly on his face, which was, in the patriotic red, white, and blue light, a pale shade of orange.

The fun and games were finally over for Trump, and he knew it.

But he is the nominee, and since Hillary Clinton is heavily favoured to win the Democratic nomination, it's probably time to start wondering whether Trump can beat Clinton.

As Thomas Walkom suggests he could. 

The stage is set. Barring a last-minute miracle, American voters will face a choice next November between consummate insider Hillary Clinton and the outrageous Donald Trump. Don’t assume Clinton will win that contest.

For two good reasons.

First, there is a thirst for change. Canadians should understand this. Last fall, Canadian voters looking to oust Stephen Harper chose the untested Justin Trudeau over experienced politician Thomas Mulcair. They did so in large part because they wanted someone completely different. 

In the U.S., the yearning for change is even greater. Americans have been side-swiped more than Canadians by globalization and recession. Inequality is starker. The loss of good jobs is more evident. The political class is less trusted.

The burning desire for change which Trump and Clinton's rival Bernie Sanders embody better than she does.

As well as the fact that Hillary isn't trusted by many Americans.

A Washington Post-ABC poll last month found that 57 per cent of respondents found her dishonest and untrustworthy — charges that have dogged her since her husband was president.

And then there's that other question that's been hanging over her head.

Will Bernie Sanders' army of young supporters who powered him to another win last night.

Transfer their support to Clinton, if Sanders doesn't win the nomination?

Or will it be BernieOrBust? 

And in that regard at least, a new poll suggests that in a contest with Trump, Clinton can count on the support of the rising millennial generation.

Young voters have overwhelmingly backed Bernie Sanders throughout the Democratic primary, leading to endless speculation that Hillary Clinton will face a big "millennial problem" come November. 

A new poll out today, however, suggests that Clinton would do more than just fine with young people in a general election. Clinton leads Donald Trump by a whopping 36 points among people ages 18 to 29, according to a Harvard Institute of Politics study released on Monday.

And that many die hard Sanders' supporters may hold their noses and vote for her, providing she understands where they want to take the party and their country.

Young people don't just overwhelmingly favor Sanders the person: They also have increasingly adopted a range of his most progressive positions — including skepticism of capitalism, openness to socialism, and similar views on issues like fighting poverty and providing basic health care to all people, according to the Harvard poll.

And adjusts her platform accordingly.

Because if she does win the support of most young people, as well as the support of most women, African-Americans, Hispanics, gay people, and other minorities, she will almost certainly defeat Trump.

So I'm glad to see that Hillary seems to recognize that, and is trying to reach out to Sanders' supporters with this new ad...

You know, if I was an American and had to choose between Trump and Clinton, I would vote for Hillary without hesitation. 

Because I believe that the most sacred duty of progressives is to keep the hard right out of power. The idea of voting for a bigot like Trump is simply unthinkable.

And I also belief that the perfect, in an imperfect world, is sometimes the enemy of good.

But let there be no doubt that Clinton might win my vote, but she could never win my heart.

For it belongs to Bernie...

And this is true too. Whatever happens to Bernie Sanders his revolution will continue.

It is the only way to save ourselves and our planet.

And sooner or later the new generation will power it to victory...

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  1. Anonymous8:26 AM

    Hilary represents the elite, the 1%, the establishment, wall street, globalization etc. She CANNOT be trusted. When Trump starts running those attack ads she's finished.

    1. Then what the hell is The Donald?

      The only difference between Clinton and him is that he's not a Washington Insider and she's not a racist/misogynist with really stupid ideas.

    2. Anonymous5:32 PM

      Right on Dan!!!!!!

  2. The problem or solution is that Trump voters believe in crazy things like the Skygod, that global warming is just a new version of communism, that goverment is a business and that the USA has a manifeist destiny. The potential voters for Hillary are mostly thinking people, they dont think much of her.

  3. With Cruz gone, Trump will no longer have an unpleasant cretin beside him to the Donald craziness. Will the voices in his head be heard by more people when he stands alone.

    I also wonder about money. Trump is a typical developer who dupes the rubes into financial disasters like casinos but uses none of his own money. Will Republican donors forgive the last six months of Donnie-abuse or just decline to cut a cheque.

  4. Anonymous2:49 PM

    Something is rumbling deep in the entrails of the American body politic. This phenomenon, personified in similar strains in both the Trump and Sanders campaigns, has been stewing and simmering since the start of the Reagan administration. Now it is finally coming to a boil.

    Now the majority of the American electorate are telling both parties that enough is enough, and that business as usual in Washington DC is not acceptable anymore.

    Hillary is the consummate party insider who has no problem with acceding to the demands of corporate America - particularly Wall Street. I could never support this woman if I was a US voter.

    Sanders with out doubt has been the very best person seeking the office of president. He knows what Clinton stands for and is doing everything in his power to move the debate towards the concerns of the average citizen.

    Who will be the next president of the USA? Impossible to tell. Trump has been a seriously underestimated candidate since day one. He may or may not have the ability to upset the Democrats in Nov.

    The lesson is that the political elite in both parties have brought this problem on themselves. The GOP and the Democrats have both consistently ignored the welfare of the average American in favor of the very wealthy.
    And this is a problem that will continue to manifest itself in elections to come.

  5. Anonymous7:50 PM

    On the bright side if Donald wins some american progressives will move to canada. so simon's blog will get more hits ;)

  6. e.a.f.11:12 PM

    You bet he can beat her. Both have big dislikes although she has fewer people disliking her than Trump. Saunders would have a better time beating Trump than Clinton.

    Yes, we may see Americans moving to Canada if Trump wins and the Senate is full of Republicans. LAws will change and people will move. They will apply for refugee status and most likely get it. As long as the check their guns at the border I'll be happy to hand them a provincial medical card. Who knows we might pick up some doctors and nurses. In B.C. we have 500,000 people without a family doctor so if doctors feel like moving to B.C. we sure can use them.

    I would expect a lot of more "reasonable" Republicans will vote for Clinton, just wanting to ensure Trump doesn't win. Clinton will most likely win, but this is one of those situations where its not over until the fat lady has sung.

    Makes one wonder what they promised Cruz if he pulled out of the contest? Perhaps the vacant position on the Supreme Court?