|gold-plated clown car|
I think Mr. Downey needs to have his head examined for his apparently deliberate confusing of the gawker attention given to train wrecks as distinct from genuine admiration and support. While it is the lunatic fringe most frequently turning out for caucuses and primaries, it is NOT the lunatic fringe on the right who most often turns out for the general election - as demonstrated in this Pew analysis of the 2012 election voters.
This analysis is based on 1,575 Republican and Republican-leaning registered voters who are part of Pew Research Center’s nationally-representative American Trends Panel, and who could be matched to the national voter file. 1
The GOP primary electorate represented a relatively small share of those who went on to vote in the general election. Of Republicans who were verified to have voted in the general election, only 25% are verified as having voted in Republican primaries or caucuses in 2012; while 75% do not have a record of having voted in the primaries or caucuses that year. 2
No one in their right mind would find anything wonderful in the 2016 cast of characters on the right, stuffed into what is now, at best, a gold-plated clown car (classy!) I'm sure Mr. Downey is well aware, for example, of the recent Pew Poll from a week ago which examined how the candidates are regarded.
Hillary Clinton had the best result among those polled to be a great president, followed by Donald Trump; however Turmp far and away had the highest percentage of poll respondents who thought he would be a TERRIBLE president.
Fellow extremist Ted Cruz got far fewer views as a great president, but also fewer negatives, while Bernie Sanders came in ahead of Cruz (barely) as a great president. Cruz, Sanders and Ben Carson all faced problems with respondents even knowing who they were, compared to either Trump or Clinton.
Looking at the same time frame, Pew Polling indicates Democrats hate Trump more than Republicans hate Clinton.
So while Clinton approval ratings may be declining, it is arguable that opposition to Trump is increasing far faster. And even among Republicans, the opposition to the extremist crazies, like Trump, Cruz, and/or Carson is high. Additionally, it's a pretty safe bet that Jeb hasn't a prayer of being the presidential candidate (now or ever, I would hazard).
From a Pew Poll the first week of January 2016:
While I expect Keith Downey to try to spin how crazy bad the candidates are on the right, the numbers are pretty clear. Donald Trump is not electable, and I would argue neither is Ted Cruz, or Ben Carson who has largely disappeared from popular radar; while the enthusiasm is far lower for any of the other more sane establishment candidates, it is also less likely that any of them would bring out the voters either -- perhaps even less so than with the lack of enthusiasm for Mitt Romney last time around.
Perhaps it is unkind of me to be so skeptical of Downey and the conservative candidates - never more so than when the straw poll this time around will be for real. Let me point out that the winner of the last presidential election straw poll was Santorum (who also won in the Iowa primary....eventually), while the convention winner for candidate later in the summer was Ron Paul. Somehow all of that irrelevance escaped comment from Mr. Downey, at least in what I heard of his interview.
Given their past track record, I would NOT expect much of what passes for the MN GOP caucus to have any relationship to the actual election in November.
|gold plated clown charm|