John makes the case that Trump is the only candidate who can possibly lose an election to Hillary Clinton. I’m not so sure. I think Trump is appealing to voters that Republicans haven’t been able to reach effectively since Ronald Reagan. Take a look at the first paragraph from the Wall Street Journal story from this morning:
In an intriguing voting pattern on Super Tuesday that could provide clues to races to come, Republican businessman Donald Trump dominated in economically challenged cities while former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton attracted sizable support among Democrats in cities where incomes are relatively high, and unemployment is relatively low.
In other words, Hillary is winning the gentry liberal urban area where Democrats have been doing well, but Trump is doing well in the areas Democrats also need to win to carry states like Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Add to this the horrible Democratic primary turnout, and you start to wonder. Is one reason Democratic turnout so low is that many Democrats are crossing over to vote for Trump? (Could they be doing this to monkey-wrench the GOP nomination? This is also a possibility.)
About the low Dem turnout, the New York Times reports this today in a story entitled “Beneath Hillary Clinton’s Super Tuesday Wins, Signs of Turnout Trouble”:
Democratic turnout has fallen drastically since 2008, the last time the party had a contested primary, with roughly three million fewer Democrats voting in the 15 states that have held caucuses or primaries through Tuesday, according to unofficial election results tallied through Wednesday afternoon.
It declined in almost every state, dropping by roughly 50 percent in Texas and 40 percent in Tennessee. In Arkansas, Alabama and Georgia, the number of Democrats voting decreased by between a quarter and a third.
The falloff in Democratic primary turnout — which often reveals whether a candidate is exciting voters and attracting them to the polls — reached deep into some of the core groups of voters Mrs. Clinton must not only win in November, but turn out in large numbers. It stands in sharp contrast to the flood of energized new voters showing up at the polls to vote for Donald J. Trump in the Republican contest.
Veteran Democratic strategist Doug Sosnik commented today to Politico:
[Trump] appears to be cracking the code with white working-class voters who could help him put blue Rust Belt states in play against Hillary Clinton. He’s helping to fuel record turnout in GOP primaries and he’s mastered the media like no candidate in recent memory, with his constant feeding of catnip to cable TV and his 140-character missiles on Twitter.
“It’s fair to say there’s been a graveyard already out there of people underestimating him,” said Doug Sosnik, a former Bill Clinton White House adviser. “And I am old enough to remember the sort of Democratic intelligentsia that was hoping Ronald Reagan would be nominated by Republicans in 1980 because everyone knew he was a doddering old right winger who could never get elected president.”
“So there is some danger to underestimating his candidacy,” Sosnik said.