Well, after all the speeches, town halls and rallies, the rubber hits the road tonight with the South Carolina and Nevada primary results. Before all the armchair quarterbacks start gloating with their “we-said-so-all-along” comments, this blog will take the somewhat foolhardy task of putting our predictions in writing.
We predict an affirmation for the Trump campaign and a sharp blow to the Clinton one (see exact margins below).
Look for Trump to win going away by a significant margin, and another Sanders-Clinton photo finish.
It takes all the pundits by surprise over and over again when Donald Trump demonstrates the power of his post-ideology campaign. The Republican electorate is clearly foiling the predictions of the Republican establishment: Unlike Charlie Brown, they will not keep trying to kick a football only to let Sally pull it away again. The Republican leadership has over-promised to win its followers, and the base will no longer trust them now no matter what they say.
It’s like the boy who cried wolf. The establishment has permanently lost its credibility, and now Mr. Trump will pick up the pieces.
There appears to be a similar dynamic playing out in the Democratic contest. When Hillary Clinton was asked if she will promise always to tell the truth by Scott Pelley of CBS News, she demurred, I will always “try to.” Pelley pounced, noting the Clintonian ambiguity. Her supporters everywhere groaned.
The problem with the Clinton campaign can be found in the neat little saying, “You campaign in poetry; you govern in prose.” Unfortunately, Hillary’s skills are more suited for the Presidency than they are for a Presidential election. Even though all her arguments are well thought out and poll tested, she seems unable to match the inspiration her husband regularly achieves.
So, to be more specific, let’s say Trump by 11, Sanders by 3.