A Weak Force vs. An Easily Movable Object

According to the Washington Post-ABC News Poll, Donald Trump shapes up as the most unpopular person nominated for president in modern times:

If Donald Trump secures the Republican presidential nomination, he would start the general election campaign as the least-popular candidate to represent either party in modern times.

Three-quarters of women view him unfavorably. So do nearly two-thirds of independents, 80 percent of young adults, 85 percent of Hispanics and nearly half of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents.

Those findings, tallied from Washington Post-ABC News polling, fuel Trump’s overall 67 percent unfavorable rating — making Trump more disliked than any major-party nominee in the 32 years the survey has been tracking candidates.

It is hard to see how a candidate who starts in such a deep hole can possibly win. On the other hand, I am on record as saying that Hillary Clinton is such a terrible candidate that she will never be president. Is she the one Democrat Trump might be able to beat?

A silver lining for Trump is that voters overall also feel antipathy for Clinton, the Democratic front-runner. The distaste for Clinton is not as strong as it is for Trump — 52 percent of voters see her unfavorably — but Clinton’s vulnerabilities, combined with Trump’s unpredictability, haunt many Democrats.

Who knows? Maybe Hillary will be indicted after all. Or maybe voters will warm up to Trump as they see more of him. Or, better yet, maybe Trump won’t get the nomination.

These are all imponderables, but one thing is certain: the steady accretion of power in the federal government, mostly through the growth of the administrative state, has made the presidency a much more powerful office than, under the Constitution, it should be. If we had a more conservative framework of governance, the convergence of two bad presidential candidates wouldn’t be a threat to the Republic.