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Can Trump beat Hillary?

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  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    An interesting article from "Ozy"

    Can Trump Beat Clinton?

    By Sean Brasswell

    In this installment of our special election series on Donald J. Trump, OZY reports on what the billionaires strategy might look like if he were to secure the GOP nomination — and take on Hillary Clinton. Stay tuned for more pieces as he continues to, perhaps, the Oval Office.

    After all of the ink and pixels spilled on 2016 election coverage, today it confirmed what the polls have been telling us for months: We are headed for a clash of the titans between Trump and Clinton. And if the numbers hold true again, it appears Trump will have an uphill, though not insurmountable, climb to best Clinton, and there’s a chance he could wind up one of the biggest losers in presidential history.

    Or become President Trump.

    Nobody thought he could win the Republican nomination either, and he might just be getting warmed up. “I haven’t even started with her,” the mogul said of Clinton in the last GOP debate. So what might it look like when he does and the Trump-branded wrecking ball hits the Democratic Party establishment?

    Shrinking the Gap

    On the surface, each candidate seems ideal for the other. Facing Trump means Clinton’s character and likability shortfalls are suddenly merely relative — only the Donald could convert one of the most polarizing figures in America into the “love and kindness” candidate. Facing Clinton allows Trump to continue his assault on money in politics, offers up a bounty of material to fuel his ad hominem attacks and helps turn out conservative voters who might otherwise sit on their hands. (Neither the Trump nor Clinton campaigns responded to requests for comment).

    The early numbers give Clinton an edge. Aggregate head-to-head polls have Clinton beating Trump by 3 to 4 points, and Trump’s divisive message seems to have little crossover appeal. A recent Economiste numbers trending in his favor. First, there is his general unpredictability. Neither Hillary nor Bill Clinton, Trump fanboy Chris Christie has pointed out, “know the playbook with Donald Trump, because he is rewriting the playbook.” And it’s a playbook for a game that has no boundaries — everything is in play and one player is always on offense. “Trump does not play by any rules,” says Steffen Schmidt, a political science professor at Iowa State University, “and therefore Clinton cannot possibly prepare for what he plans to throw at her.”

    Trump has telegraphed some of his lines of attack already. You can bet Clinton will feel the burn of her connections to Wall Street and the donor class far more from Trump than Bernie Sanders— if nothing else, says Northeastern University professor Daniel Urman, because Trump himself was one of those donors. “He can even show photos of Hillary and Bill at his own wedding as evidence that they had to do ‘donor service’ work.” And not only does such a gambit stoke a Fox News–watching base that is obsessed with the cadre of special interests surrounding the Clintons, but it allows Trump to cast himself in the role of Ross Perot or Michael Bloomberg, the self-financing billionaire who can appeal to independents (and even Sanders voters) fed up with Wall Street and money in politics.

    He'll need more money to keep up with Clinton, and if he gets it from special interests he will have to change one of the major narratives of his candidacy.

    Fighting Free Trade

    Trump will also likely channel Perot to do something no GOP candidate has been in a position to do for a long time: challenge the Democrats on free trade. It may have been Bill who was involved in the birth of the North American Free Trade Agreement and the World Trade Organization, but Trump will make sure Hillary carries that baggage, all while he preys on fears of immigrants taking U.S. jobs.

    Such populist issues will be Trump’s best bet to appeal to working-class white voters in key upper Midwest and Rust Belt states. And it’s not unrealistic: a December survey of working-class households making less than $75,000 a year showed Trump with 38 percent support, more than Clinton and Sanders combined. And, if Trump does turn out large numbers of non-college-educated whites while holding traditional Republican voters, Jude Barry, a political consultant at Catapult Strategies, tells OZY, then Clinton will have to turn out Black voters at the same pace as Barack Obama — a big task.

    Bringing Out the Baggage

    Speaking of baggage, says Schmidt, expect Trump to embrace simmering Clinton scandals with her emails and Benghazi and to breathe new life into the skeletons languishing in the Clinton closet. He’s already accused Bill Clinton of having a “terrible record of women abuse.” Could a rehash of old Clinton scandals effectively neutralize Bill, keeping him on the sidelines as he was for Al Gore in 2000? Topping it all off, Trump’s vague policy positions make him remarkably flexible — get ready for the mother of all Etch A Sketch resets as he retools for Clinton.

    To be sure, Democrats can take solace in a number of things beyond Trump’s alienating animus. This is not Bill and Hillary’s first trip to the rodeo, and if anyone can play hardball with a bully, it’s the Clinton machine. And, as Trump’s forays with Carly Fiorina and Megyn Kelly show, it will be harder for him to attack a woman, particularly in front of the general electorate. Then, there is the matter of money. “Fundraising is going to be the biggest challenge for Trump in the general election,” says Darrell West of the Brookings Institution. He’ll need more money to keep up with Clinton, and if he gets it from special interests, West says, “he will have to change one of the major narratives of his candidacy.”

    And what a yuge irony that would be if the ultimate alpha-male Republican candidate and self-proclaimed “winner” and “really rich” guy loses in November to a woman … and a Clinton … and because he lacked sufficient funds. It’s going to get really ugly, though, before that happens, or before we inaugurate a President Trump. Seal your windows and hide your kids — there’s a firestorm coming to America.

  • Liberal
    Independent
    Durham, NH
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    Unfortunately, YES! She has thrown this shoe-in election away by her poor showing and total lack of understanding of the average voter not to mention the issues that they care about.

    The fact that Trump may very well beat her proves how poor a candidate she truly is and the Democrats should hold their heads in shame for ever supporting her!

    This pretty much sums up who and what Hillary is

    truth-out.org/opinion/item/36201-hillar...

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    pr Wrote:

    Unfortunately, YES! She has thrown this shoe-in election away by her poor showing and total lack of understanding of the average voter not to mention the issues that they care about.

    The fact that Trump may very well beat her proves how poor a candidate she truly is and the Democrats should hold their heads in shame for ever supporting her!

    This pretty much sums up who and what Hillary is

    truth-out.org/opinion/item/36201-hillar...

    P.R. great story; which means we all will suffer with either Trump or Hillary. I said many times that this country will go down the tubes if there is not an multi party system as well honest elections without money. But yeah, Jared is completely happy with Mrs. "pantsuit"
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Pensacola, FL
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    MSM will help Trump win. His appeal is to the disillusioned . Nothing solidifies or gathers support for a cause than MSN criticising. The average person sees Trump as a billionaire. Calling somebody that flies in a passenger transportation jet with his name on the fuselage dwarfing the huge jet is a signal to not believe those criticisng Trump. You cant set the kids down and preach logic and common sense. Either come up with a comparable agenda or if not then Trump will get elected from criticism by those who know best but aren't smart enough to deal with Trump. They can sit around out demeaning Trump to each other while he wins.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Pensacola, FL
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    Hillary's soft support for minimum wage could be the start of disarming Trump. Trump slipped austerity into the campaign and not a word from anybody.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    As I was Hillary, I would have made a deal with Bernie a long time ago to have a joint platform with some of Bernie's idea's included. She did not, such shows "arrogance" which will be her downfall. Like I'm an "Clinton" so I drink tea with my little pinky up in the air.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Pensacola, FL
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    Here is the win lose scenario for Hillary. Trump's campaign ad will have Trump questioning Hillary's allegiance and motives. He will ask "Who does Hillary respect, want to make happy and work for?" Then he will very dramatically and loudly snap his fingers in a pointing motion to a picture of Hillary and Bill at his wedding. Hillary can work this very positively to her benefit or else continue the losing way her staff has her going. I say staff because Hillary has the ability to spin Trump out but somebody is holding her back. Same with "we came, we saw, he died". This should have already been spun positively toward her but it is being left to fester and swell.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    Dutch Wrote: P.R. great story; which means we all will suffer with either Trump or Hillary. I said many times that this country will go down the tubes if there is not an multi party system as well honest elections without money.

    Nothing like using conspiracy theory opinion sites as a source...


    This country has been through far, and I mean FAR, worse times than where we are now and we have always managed to stay on our feet.

    Our Constitution isn't set up for a multi-party system and every time a new party has emerged (see the Whigs and Know Nothings) it only benefits the other major political party.

    Major political parties have split throughout time, most recently when Southern Democrats began voting Republican during the civil rights era. That brought about Republican dominance for the next generation, but American politics swing like a pendulum and we are ripe for another major shift now that we are quickly becoming a majority minority country. One party has embraced that shift and the other (see Donald Trump's rise) is throwing a conniption fit about it.

    Dutch Wrote: But yeah, Jared is completely happy with Mrs. "pantsuit"

    I'm happy with Mrs. Pantsuit because she is a pragmatic politician who doesn't promise things she knows she will never be able to deliver. It's not the most uplifting and exciting campaign, but at least she is being honest with us and not lying about what she could accomplish.

  • Liberal
    Independent
    Durham, NH
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    I'm up in Canada at this very minute listening to my Canadian friends ask how we could get two such horrible presidential candidates as Trum and Clinton! They are as afraid as we are of both of them.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Hillary is not horrible. As I told Dutch she is highly qualified. She will be a very good president, a hell of a lot better than Bernie in terms of getting things accomplished.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Pensacola, FL
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    Schmidt, 30 years of thinking like that has created Trump. What was incremental about the legislation that allowed deregulation in the stock market. Incrementalism is not applied fairly.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Schmidt Wrote: Hillary is not horrible. As I told Dutch she is highly qualified. She will be a very good president, a hell of a lot better than Bernie in terms of getting things accomplished.
    Schmidt; Sure the same was said about Bush/Cheney; look what happened!!! How can you predict the future? I think her arrogance will create a lot of mistakes; "qualified"? because you were the past presidents wife, who got some nice "jobs" because of it ("connections" is the word); just travelling around and show that you can speak as any "lawyer"? Wow. It is just like Trump, he got into that position because his "daddy" helped him with a few millions, otherwise he would be right now less than an "roofer"
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    Chet Ruminski Wrote: Schmidt, 30 years of thinking like that has created Trump. What was incremental about the legislation that allowed deregulation in the stock market. Incrementalism is not applied fairly.

    Deregulation of the stock market was brought about in a very incremental way dating back to the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980 and ending with the repeal of Glass-Steagall in 1999.

    And it's not like the regulation before Glass-Steagall was there for centuries. The stock market was largely unregulated for hundreds of years before Glass-Steagall and the larger Banking Act of 1933 were passed less than a century ago.


    Regardless, what does the deregulation of the stock market have to do with who our next President is? Do you honestly think Trump will move to regulate Wall Street more?

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    The latest: Trump is visiting our governor Scott; my guess is him being on the list of V.P. candidates. If this crook becomes V.P. then I congratulate the US in having the worst "crooks" of this country, run this country. This Scott guy should have been in jail a long time ago for ripping off hospitals as well right now allowing our beaches and drinking water being polluted because he got money from the polluters which did get him into office. So I guess he will be an excellent match for Trump. Wow, what an sweet honest duo!!!