(Rich Galen, Mullings.com) – Here’s a pretty accurate representation of the way many Republicans currently view the race for the Presidential nomination:
Norwegian painter Edvard Munch (1863-1944) should have been a commentator on one of the cable news channels.
The latest Economist/YouGov poll has Trump in first place with 15 percent over Jeb Bush and Rand Paul who are tied at 11 percent.
Before you go screaming into the night like that guy in the painting above, remember that this same YouGov group’s final election poll in the U.K. a couple of months ago had Labor at 34 percent and Conservative at 33 percent.
When actual people voted, according to the BBC:
“The Conservatives win a 12-seat majority in parliament as Labour are almost wiped out by the SNP in Scotland and the Liberal Democrats suffer major losses.”
This isn’t an attack on YouGov.com, last year House Majority Leader Eric Cantor went into his primary election with an insurmountable 62-28 lead over his opponent David Brat. As we know David Brat is a Congressman, and Eric Cantor is making money as a big-time advisor.
One more. In the Greek referendum a couple of weekends ago on whether to accede to EU demands on how to run its economy, the last polls showed, according to the Irish Times “Yes vote on 47.1 percent and the No side on 43.2 per cent,” a four-percentage point lead for Yes.
In the event, the No side overwhelmed the Yes side by 61% to 39%, a 22-point decision.
Hardly a toss-up.
I do not believe Donald Trump will be the Republican nominee, much less President of the United States. But, given my nearly unbroken string of bad predictions, I am taking steps.
I asked a pretty savvy Republican political observer over the weekend for whom she would vote if it came to Trump versus Hillary Clinton.
She said she probably wouldn’t vote at all.
“Who would you vote for?” she asked me.”I wouldn’t vote, either. I’d be too busy packing for my new home in the Bahamas,” I said.
Donald Trump is not doing much harm to Jeb Bush, or Scott Walker or Marco Rubio. If nothing else they get to say, “I’m not him. If you don’t want Donald Trump as your nominee, then support me – the Anti-Donald.” Or, as Samuel Johnson once said, “words to that effect.”
Trump is doing major harm to the other 173 Republicans who are running for President as the standard bearer of the Right Wing of the GOP.
What was the last quote you remember from Mike Huckabee? Or Ted Cruz? Or Carson, Perry, Kasich, or Christie?
If you’re a supporter you might have a Google alert on them, but they’re not finding much space on Twitter to further their campaigns.
I mentioned on Twitter over the weekend that candidates who will not ultimately be the nominee routinely make a splash at some point in the campaign. “See,” I wrote, “President Michele Bachmann, President Herman Cain, or President Newt Gingrich.”
In fact, at one point or another during the 2012 campaign, Bachmann, Gingrich, Perry, Cain, and Santorum each led the polls. Mitt Romney outlasted them and became the nominee.
The difference with Trump is, in 2012 the rules of the game were different and candidates had to raise what are called “hard dollars;” strictly limited donations from individuals.
The rules for 2016 are far different with SuperPACs, and 501(c) Whatever foundations raising and preparing to spend tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars.
Not only that, but depending upon how wide Trump is willing to open his checkbook (and how liquid his billions of dollars really are) he is not likely to run out of money.
If he begins to sag in the polls – and I believe he will – and he decides it was fun while it lasted, he will leave the campaign not because he ran short of money, but because it is taking too much of his time and his complex business organization is suffering for the lack of his attention.
As Henry Kissinger used to say, that might well have “the additional advantage of being the truth.”
For the 85 percent of Republicans (according to the YouGov poll) who want someone other than Donald Trump to be the nominee, the sky might be cloudy, but it is not falling.
Mr. Galen is a veteran political strategist and communications consultant. He blogs at www.Mullings.com.