Polls taken before and during Super Tuesday show Hillary Clinton maintaining a slight edge over front-running Republican Donald Trump among likely voters in November, but well within the margin of error. Real Clear Politics gives Clinton a “spread” of between 3 and 8 points, down considerably from when Trump first announced his candidacy last summer. Rasmussen Reports shows a slightly wider gap, 41 percent for Clinton versus 36 percent for Trump, but warns that one in every four voters quizzed on Monday and Tuesday still hadn't made up their minds.
For Ed Rollins, Ronald Reagan’s campaign manager during his reelection efforts in 1984, it’s over: Trump will take the GOP nomination:
Game over! This [Super Tuesday] was a rout. Winning seven states and the vast majority of delegates is a landslide. Donald Trump and the millions of his supporters have changed American politics and the Republican Party for the foreseeable future.
More importantly, the Clinton campaign thinks Trump also will be the GOP candidate coming out of Cleveland in July, and is preparing for it. The New York Times expressed great concern on Monday, citing the primary question that was posed in a series of private meetings and conversations to which it was privy by dint of its liberal influence: How do we defeat Trump in a general election?
Some think Trump has sown the seeds of his own defeat with outlandish and offensive remarks concerning immigrants, Muslims, and women. Others, including former president Bill Clinton, were much more realistic, holding that only a well-executed campaign that portrays Trump as dangerous and bigoted would be successful in November. Liberal Governor Dannel Malloy of Connecticut agreed with Clinton: “[Trump] is formidable, he understands voters’ anxieties, and he will be ruthless against Hillary Clinton. I’ve gone from denial — ‘I can’t believe anyone would listen to this guy’ — to admiration, in the sense that he’s figured out how to capture everyone’s angst, to real worry.”
The Clinton presidential campaign has already started testing ads portraying Trump as a misogynist woman hater and an enemy of the working class. Some consist of stitching together clips of various comments Trump has made and putting them into a montage designed to outrage fence sitters. Other related groups are investigating files provided by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to dig up what dirt that might be had there. Still others are doing “opposition research” on his business career.
Clinton strategists think they can portray Trump as unstable, with a violent temper, using that to question “whether he can really be relied on as a champion for anyone but himself.”
Despite all of this, however, the Times remained anxious that any of this will be sufficient to overcome Trump’s enormous advantages. Trump would be “vicious” against Clinton, demanding that she be indicted over the use of her private e-mail servers containing top secret information. He would remind voters of her husband’s serial philandering. There’s Benghazi, which, according to Stephen Soukup, writing for The Hill, will be forever tied, rightly or wrongly, to Hillary Clinton:
All that matters is that Hillary didn’t get Ambassador Christopher Stevens the security upgrades he requested, that she went home and slept through the attack, that she allegedly lied to the families of the dead about the cause of the attacks (and then allegedly lied about the lying to the families), and then blew up at her Congressional inquisitors when they asked for answers.
Even more than Obama, Hillary owns Benghazi.
But Trump’s biggest advantage is that he is the polar opposite of Clinton on many issues. InsideGov.com has provided an extraordinary compilation of just how wide that chasm is between the two. Clinton’s political experience is a millstone, having served as Obama’s secretary of state for four years and New York senator for eight years before that. Trump? Zero political experience. In today’s environment, advantage Trump.
In “professional experience” InsideGov.com notes that Hillary is an attorney, serving at the infamous Rose Law Firm for 16 years, while Trump was running a private company, turning himself into a billionaire in the process. In “education” Hillary went to Wellesley and then to Yale while Trump attended Fordham and the Wharton School. On “individual rights” InsideGov.com rates Hillary as far more liberal than Trump, while on “domestic issues” Hillary is “comfortable with same-sex marriage” while Trump is not. On “keeping God in the public sphere” Hillary “disagrees,” while Trump “strongly agrees.”
On the Second Amendment, Clinton “strongly disagrees” that it guarantees an absolute right to gun ownership, while Trump “strongly agrees.” On school choice, Clinton strongly disagrees with vouchers, while Trump strongly supports them.
On the economy Clinton is persuaded that government stimulus is better that a “market-led” recovery, while Trump strongly disagrees.
Tellingly, Insidegov.com reveals that nearly all of Clinton’s funding — $195 million so far — has come from outside her campaign, while Trump’s funding — $27 million so far — has come from his own personal wealth, suggesting that Trump belongs to no one while Clinton has outside influences that would likely sway decisions in the future.
Nathan Robinson, a Harvard Ph.D. candidate and editor of Current Affairs, wrote an article to persuade the Democratic National Committee (DNC) not to support Clinton, but to support Sanders instead:
A Clinton match-up [with Trump] is highly likely to be an unmitigated electoral disaster.… Every one of Clinton’s considerable weaknesses plays to every one of Trump’s strengths.… From a purely pragmatic standpoint, [Hillary] running against Trump is a disastrous, suicidal proposition.
Trump’s style is to attack, attack, attack. This would put Clinton on the defensive, which, according to Robinson, would only encourage Trump to attack again. He would “steamroll” Clinton into electoral oblivion:
[Trump’s] campaigning style makes Hillary Clinton Donald Trump’s dream opponent. She gives him an endless amount to work with. The emails, Benghazi, Whitewater, Iraq, the Lewinsky scandal, Chinagate, Travelgate, the missing law firm records, Jeffrey Epstein, Kissinger, Marc Rich, Haiti, Clinton Foundation tax errors, Clinton Foundation conflicts of interest, “We were broke when we left the White House,” Goldman Sachs…. There is enough material in Hillary Clinton’s background for Donald Trump to run with six times over.
It would be a battle against an unarmed opponent, says Robinson:
Even a skilled campaigner would have a very difficult time parrying such endless attacks by Trump. Even the best campaigner would find it impossible to draw attention back to actual substantive policy issues, and would spend their every moment on the defensive.
But Hillary Clinton is neither the best campaigner nor even a skilled one. In fact, she is a dreadful campaigner. She may be a skilled policymaker, but on the campaign trail she makes constant missteps and never realizes things have gone wrong until it’s too late….
In a race against Trump, Hillary will be handicapped not only by her feeble campaigning skills, but the fact that she will have a sour national mood, a poor staff, and a brilliant opponent.
Robinson pictures one of Trump’s monologues on stage in front of TV cameras exposing Clinton’s weaknesses and political baggage before millions:
She lies so much. Everything she says is a lie. I’ve never seen someone who lies so much in my life. Let me tell you three lies she’s told. She made up a story about how she was ducking sniper fire! There was no sniper fire. She made it up! How do you forget a thing like that?
She said she was named after Sir Edmund Hillary, the guy who climbed Mount Everest. He hadn’t even climbed it when she was born! Total lie!
She lied about the emails, of course, as we all know, and is probably going to be indicted. You know she said there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq! It was a lie! Thousands of American soldiers are dead because of her.
Not only does she lie, her lies kill people. That’s four lies, I said I’d give you three. You can’t even count them. You want to go on PolitiFact, see how many lies she has? It takes you an hour to read them all! In fact, they ask her, she doesn’t even say she hasn’t lied. They asked her straight up, she says she usually tries to tell the truth! Ooooh, she tries! Come on! This is a person, every single word out of her mouth is a lie. Nobody trusts her. Check the polls, nobody trusts her. Huge liar!
One-on-one, in front of millions, Trump would turn the polls on their collective heads. As Tyler Durden at ZeroHedge expressed it:
Trump vs. Clinton will appear to most Americans as a choice between something new and risky, and something old and corrupt. In 2016, who do you think the public will choose?