By Steven Strauss
Trump, as the GOP’s nominee for President, is looking very plausible, whatever the day to day advances and setbacks of his campaign. Many Republicans cringe at the thought that the party of Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt and Eisenhower is becoming the party of Donald Trump. Meanwhile, many Democrats and progressives smirk, complacent in their belief that Trump would suffer a presidential election loss so huge it would make Goldwater’s 1964 debacle look like a triumph. Despite these naysayers, Trump, if nominated, actually has a very attainable path to the White House.
Trump, as GOP nominee, would seem to be an unlikely winner of the 2016 election. In 2012, President Obama won by about 5 million votes and Trump has the highest disapproval ratings of all GOP candidates (about 60% of all Americans have an unfavorable opinion of him). Trump’s mere presence on the ballot should energize the Obama coalition and get Democratic voters to the polls.
However, if nominated, expect Trump (like many candidates before him) to make a rush towards the middle ground.
Let’s assume Trump runs a shrewd campaign. Now, combine that campaign with even one of these exogenous shocks:
- A severe and successful “9/11” type attack on the mainland United States (the attack might be conventional, nuclear, biological, chemical and/or cyber — but severe in effect) occurs close to the election. In the resulting chaos and panic, the GOP (rightly or wrongly) paints the Democrats as soft on terrorism and/or national security – Trump becomes the man of the hour.
- Assuming Clinton is the Democratic nominee, she might be indicted as a consequence of her private e-mail server and/or the activities of her family’sfoundation, or perhaps key members of her team will be charged with criminal offences. (I realize for people on the far right, it is a matter of religious belief that Clinton is guilty, and for people on the far left, it is an equally fervent belief that she is innocent. As a more neutral observer, I will opine that it’s possible a crime (or crimes) may have been committed.) An indictment could occur in the middle of the election. Remember, one of Clinton’s greatest defects is that she’s viewed as untrustworthy (some polls already show that about 60% of Americans feel she can’t be trusted). If criminal charges are filed against Clinton or her team, the impact on her campaign would be enormous (one might even say “Yuge”) – and that might tilt the election to Trump.
Read more: Huffington Post