Wow. It has been a crazy month with the kick-off in Iowa and several primaries since then. Tomorrow is Super Tuesday, so this is another good time to share some of the notes I’ve been capturing over the course of the month and to take another snapshot of where my head is with respect to the election.
We see a vastly reduced set of Republican candidates since the end of January. Jeb Bush threw in the towel and has left the race – following Jim Gilmore, Chris Christie, Carly Fiorina, Rand Paul, Rick Santorum, and Mike Huckabee, who all withdrew during February.
The Least You Need to Know
As of today in the Primaries, Hillary Clinton (546 delegates) leads Bernie Sanders (87 delegates), while Donald Trump (82 delegates) leads over Cruz (17 delegates) and Rubio (16 delegates). It is clear that the DNC leadership favors Clinton over Sanders, as reflected by how many superdelegates have pre-announced their support for Clinton. On the Republican side, Trump’s continued success has lead pundits and media to shift from puzzled to more openly hostile. Super Tuesday is tomorrow, meaning we’ll have results from 12 more States to paint a more informed picture of overall momentum for the primaries.
The Trump Factor
Love him or hate him, there is no denying the impact that Donald Trump is having on this presidential race. Scanning through Facebook over the past week, I’ve observed strong reactions from both the #AlwaysTrump crowd and the #NeverTrump crowd. In the media, I’ve found several interesting articles that attempt to explain the Trump factor. In my opinion, different people have very different reasons for supporting Trump, which is the main miss of the articles – each of them presents their view as the explanation, thus missing the point. Let me share a few of them and my thoughts.
|Decency for President
by Max Lucado
|This is a great article and if Trump ultimately falls short of gaining the nomination, I think this article captures why. It got picked up by the Washington post after the blog post went viral.|
|I added this article on 3/9/16 as a counter to the pundit view that all Trump supporters are racists. Article notes that Trump is more appealing to blue collar workers than the Democratic party, which has taken them for granted over the past decade or so.|
|Open Letter to Republican Establishment Leadership
by Frank Schaeffer
|Eye-opening view of the Republican party evolution and how the John Birch Society and Tea Party have led to the current primary. However, the author bluntly looks down his nose at lower and middle-class Americans and paints them as ignorant racists – failing, ultimately, to account for any practical reasons that aren’t insults to Americans.|
|Trump Victories Aren’t Mysterious
by Jeb Lund
Frank Schaeffer should read this one … “But you don’t need some grand overarching political science theory. There are millions of miserable people in America who know exactly who engineered the shattering of their worlds, and Trump isn’t one of those people – and, with the exception of Bernie Sanders, everyone else in the field is running on the basis of their experience being one of those people.”
|Trump is a Rump But He Has a Point
by Bill James
|Author makes it clear he’ll never vote for Trump, but says, “Trump has had the courage to say and do things that people tell him he can’t do. We need that in a president. We need somebody who is willing to stand up and say “You don’t make the rules for me. I make the rules for me.” I applaud Trump for being that person.”|
With God As My Witness, I Will Never Vote For Donald Trump
|In a completely different vein, this author will never vote for Donald Trump because Trump is a liberal who will revert to form if elected.|
So, there you have my little round up of just a small sampling of the articles that are trying to understand and describe the Trump factor in this election process.
American Voters – Between a Rock and a Hard Place
It seems like during every election, there is a dialog about why voter turnout is so low. It is not actually that hard for me to understand and I think this election highlights it very well. Let me share four big facts that impact how I might vote for President.
1. Neither party represents my political views very well, but I have no reasonable alternative. I’d really really love an alternative to the rigid close-mindedness of both parties.
2. I do not want the USA to become more socialist (e.g. like Denmark). I strongly support limited, well-defined social programs to help those in need, but do not support easy-access entitlements for capable people who are not willing to work. Additionally, socialism requires a large government to function, leading to increased taxation to support both the entitlements and the supporting bureaucracy.
3. I don’t want to vote for a candidate actively under investigation by the FBI, especially when the facts so far provide strong indication that laws were broken. I was indifferent on this issue until I heard the Clinton statement, “She did not send nor receive any emails that were marked classified at the time,” but the statement increased my skepticism. The emphasis is mine, but given my own experience in communications, I am sensitive to the nuance here of what was being avoided.
4. I do not want Donald Trump to represent me, or the USA. His behavior is not anything I would tolerate in my children, in an employee, and the thought of him representing us to other nations is cringe-worthy. Thank you Max Lucado for your clarity.
So, there you have it. #2 eliminates Sanders. #3 eliminates Clinton. #4 eliminates Trump. That leaves a dim hope that a miracle might happen and Rubio might rise in the primaries so I would have someone to vote for, instead of choosing who to vote against. I will vote, but am saddened that I will likely have to use a process of elimination to choose the least bad of bad choices.
If I Had to Vote Today
This is the section that I wanted to document for myself when I started the series of election posts. How much is my opinion swayed as a voter as the campaign moves along?
|Republican vs Democrat||Recent Poll says …||I would vote for …|
|Trump vs Clinton||Clinton +8||Undecided|
|Trump vs Sanders||Sanders +12||Trump|
|Rubio vs Clinton||Rubio +3||Rubio|
|Rubio vs Sanders||Sanders +8 (change)||Rubio|
|Cruz vs Clinton||Cruz +1||Undecided|
|Cruz vs Sanders||Sanders +17||Cruz|
Looking at the polls, I find it very entertaining that the DNC wants Hillary to win their nomination, but so does the GOP – since the polls say Sanders could beat every GOP candidate, but Hillary could lose.
Tomorrow is Super Tuesday, so I’m looking forward to what message the voters will send to the candidates.