Clinton 2800
Sanders 1881
 Needed   2383
Trump 1542
Cruz 559
Rubio 165
Kasich 161
Needed 1237

About Those Donald Trump-Brexit Parallels

As we and others have pointed out, there is much in common between supporters of the Brexit and supporters of Donald Trump. Both groups are white, angry with the status quo, and prefer to substitute isolationism for multinationalism. The Brexit folks could easily adopt "Make Britain Great Again" as their slogan; the Trump folks could just as easily call for an Amerexit (which is the name they would have to use, since USexit looks like an adult website). Given the surprise success of the Brexit vote, some pundits are wondering if we might see the same for Trump: Perhaps, in November, he too will upend the status quo score a surprise win.

Not so fast. To start with, we're beginning to get more precise numbers for the voters who supported Brexit, and the picture is more complicated than it originally seemed. British pollster Lord Ashcroft released a fairly exhaustive survey, and it is clear that the vote was not exactly along party lines. Yes, Conservatives were more likely to support the Brexit than Labour voters, but the real predictors were age (with older Britons vastly more likely to vote to leave) and employment status (with unemployed voters favoring the Brexit). In other words, the demographics of the Brexit movement and the Trump movement aren't really the same. In particular, one should not conclude that the British version of the Republican Party "won."

CNN's Gregory Krieg has offered a list of four additional reasons that the two political phenomena are not entirely comparable. They are:

  1. The Brits were voting on a single issue; in November, by contrast, Americans will be voting on a candidate who represents a whole range of positions on the issues. A person who might vote for something like an Amerexit might nonetheless vote against Trump because they dislike his stands on other issues.

  2. The Brexit vote was direct; the presidential vote is indirect. In the former case, all that was needed was 50% of the UK population plus one voter. That allowed some strongly pro-Brexit regions (Cumbria, Suffolk) to effectively overrule the anti-Brexit regions (London, Scotland). In the United States, a candidate must have broad support; it's not enough to just dominate Texas and Alabama.

  3. The United Kingdom is whiter than the United States. If a movement is going to tap into white anger, it helps if 90% of the population is white, as is the case in the UK. In the U.S., by contrast, less than 70% of the voters are white.

  4. Brexit was targeting Brussels, Trump is targeting Washington. Brussels is where the EU is headquartered, and the pro-Brexit rhetoric was very anti-foreign and very much focused on the loss of British sovereignty. Trump's pitch doesn't really have those dimensions; he will have a hard time making the case that U.S. policy is being dictated from abroad.

Finally, it is worth noting that a fair number of pro-Brexit voters are already having buyer's remorse, so much so that the portmanteau "Regrexit" has been coined. Consequently, the Brexit could prove to be an object lesson for potential Trump voters: Be very careful of what you wish for. (Z)

What is Trump Doing in Scotland?

This weekend, presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump is visiting several of his properties in Scotland: celebrating the grand opening of a course in Turnberry on Friday, and then heading to another of his projects in Aberdeen on Saturday. He has no meetings or any other campaign business scheduled, though he has made sure to have some press availability, conveniently staged with his golf courses in the background. As CNN's Sara Murray observes, this happens a lot: campaign events that seem to be geared toward promoting Trump the businessman rather than Trump the Republican presidential candidate.

At some point, it becomes fair to ask exactly what Trump is playing at with this presidential run. We know that he keeps doing and saying impolitic things. We know he has no money, and very little campaign infrastructure. We know that he is spending much of his precious campaign time promoting the Trump brand. We suspect he really does not want to be president. Add it all up, and we are left to wonder if The Donald is not running the greatest con in American history, and that this whole thing isn't just the most brilliant ad campaign ever conceived. This may not be the case, and even if it is, we may never know. Nonetheless, we're at the point that it's fair to wonder. After all, someone had to be the first to notice that the emperor was wearing no clothes. (Z)

Clinton Super PAC Will Spend Over $10 Million in Pennsylvania

Donald Trump doesn't think money is so important in politics since he can tweet for free. He is about to find out how the real world works. The only Rust Belt state Trump has a chance of winning is Pennsylvania. Unfortunately for him, Hillary Clinton's allies are aware of this, and her Super PAC Priorities USA is going to start carpet bombing Trump from the air starting July 5. The group has reserved $10.5 million for Pennsylvania alone. Trump's budget for Pennsylvania is zero. The group's spokesman, Justin Barasky, gave a hint of what the ads might contain, noting that Trump celebrated the Brexit and possible subsequent economic collapse, since that would be good for his bottom line. Barasky also noted that Trump thinks running the country is like running a golf course. (V)

Republicans Alarmed by Trump's Lack of Money

Nearly half of Politico's panel of Republican activists, strategists, and operatives are very alarmed by Donald Trump's miserable fundraising. As noted above, Clinton is going to saturate the airwaves in Pennsylvania and Trump has no response. He doesn't even seem to be interested in raising money. Furthermore, every poll for weeks has shown Clinton ahead way outside the margin of error nationally and also in most swing states, which will make fundraising even harder (see below). Once the conventional wisdom is that Clinton is going to win, few donors will open their wallet for Loser Trump.

Many Republicans think that Trump's poor performance at the top of the ticket will be a disaster downballot. In particular, the insiders expect Clinton to have a 6-to-1 or 7-to-1 money advantage. That will mean she can have a massive data operation and a massive get-out-the-vote operation and he can't. That will hurt Republicans running for the Senate, the House, and state offices. Some of the comments from Republicans in various states are as follows:

  • Florida: Clinton is pulling away with every tweet
  • Iowa: Donald Trump hasn't been here since caucus night
  • Nevada: She is spending lots of money on paid media and paid staff
  • New Hampshire: Clinton has money, organization, and policy chops; Trump has Twitter
  • North Carolina: She has a campaign, and Mr. Trump does not
  • Ohio: It's now dead even but given that Hillary is starting organizing here earlier, I am giving her the edge
  • Pennsylvania: Trump continues to implode in the vote-rich Philadelphia suburbs
  • Virginia: Virginia continues to be a very poor fit for Donald Trump
  • Wisconsin: Trump hasn't done a thing. No outreach. No presence at state GOP convention

Three quarters of the insiders expect Clinton to win their state. (V)

Clinton up Double Digits on Trump Again

Reuters does a national poll each week, gauging support for the two presumptive major party presidential nominees. This week's has Clinton up by 13.3 points, 46.6% to 33.3%.

Given that we are still pre-convention, and given that the presidency is decided by the Electoral College and not the popular vote, these numbers are not really predictive. With that said, it is clear that Trump will not get a lasting post-Orlando "bounce," since 13.3% was also Clinton's lead the week before the shootings. It is also the case that 33.3% is not a great place to be with only 135 days until the election. If Trump hopes to improve on that number, he may want to spend a little less time visiting golf courses in Scotland. (Z)

George Will Leaves the GOP

Yesterday, we pointed out that a pair of Republican heavyweights—Brent Scowcroft and Hank Paulson—had jumped ship on Donald Trump, and that there would surely be more to come. Now, there has been a third high-profile defection, and it is the Muhammad Ali of Republican pundits: George Will.

Will, who has been one of the nation's leading conservative intellectuals for half a century, went beyond merely saying that he would not vote for Trump. Instead, he quit the Republican Party outright, re-registering as "unaffiliated." In explaining his decision, he said, "This is not my party." He also gave some advice to his now-former Republican compatriots: "Make sure he loses. Grit [your] teeth for four years and win the White House." Will's announcement was big enough news that both CNN and Fox News issued breaking news alerts; there are few, if any, non-officeholding Republicans who are bigger than him (maybe Rush Limbaugh). It's another reminder that the GOP of Nixon and Reagan and Bush no longer exists. (V & Z)

Dobson Justifies Support for Trump

James Dobson is one of the nation's leading evangelicals, and also one of the loudest supporters of Donald Trump. Given that Trump has trampled over nearly every one of the Ten Commandments, particularly the one involving adultery, many commentators—us included—have suggested that Dobson and his fellows are only concerned with politics, and that their "religious" organizations exist solely to advance their political agenda. Not so, says Dobson, who insisted on Friday that Trump is a born-again Christian, having recently come "to accept a relationship with Christ."

Beyond this assertion, Dobson offered few details, declining to say exactly when The Donald had become born again, or under whose tutelage. Meanwhile, Trump himself has not yet seen fit to make any mention of this conversion, despite the fact that doing so would be very beneficial, politically. It is also worth noting that if, say, Hillary Clinton had this sort of "come to Jesus" moment in the midst of a political campaign, the news would be greeted with enormous skepticism from the evangelical crowd. In short, Dobson did little to persuade anyone that his agenda is not political. Meanwhile, he might want to review the Commandment that talks about bearing false witness. It's either #8 or #9 depending on which Bible Dobson owns (assuming he owns one). (Z)

Lewandowski's Head Rolled Due to Attacks on Federal Judge

Donald Trump fired his right-hand man, Corey Lewandowski, earlier this week. There were many possible reasons—his lack of experience running a national campaign, his battles with Paul Manafort, his assault on a female reporter, his connections to lobbyists who are now in jail. Now, thanks to another insider who also left the campaign this week, we know which straw was the one that broke the camel's back: Lewandowski's strong support for Trump's attacks on Judge Gonzalo Curiel.

Trump, of course, was angry about Curiel's rulings in the ongoing Trump University case. And so, he declared that Curiel—as a Latino—was not impartial due to The Donald's border wall plan, and should therefore recuse himself. These remarks were widely condemned from all parts of the political spectrum, but Trump nonetheless stuck by them for days, reiterating them in several different interviews. This was Trump's choice, of course, and therefore it is his fault if the comments backfired. However, Lewandowski was apparently the head cheerleader for this line of attack, grossly underestimating how bad the backlash would be. And that finally compelled The Donald, no doubt encouraged by both Manafort and his kids, to remove him from the campaign. (Z)

Israel Could Take Center Stage at DNC

In the Democratic debates, there were a few hints that the Democrats' longstanding unity on the Israel question might be unraveling. In particular, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and his supporters are very interested in the Palestinian side of the equation, and making sure that those individuals get their due attention and sympathy. Now, there are calls for a pro-Palestine plank in the Democratic platform.

This creates a bit of a dilemma for Hillary Clinton. First, she has very strong ties to Israel, dating back to her husband's presidency, and continuing through her time as Secretary of State and her work with the Clinton Foundation. It would be highly suspicious for her to "discover" pro-Palestinian feelings at this point in her career. Second, the relationship between Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is famously frosty. Clinton is hoping to repair the fissures, and pro-Palestinian language in the platform won't help in that regard. Finally, Jewish Americans are reliable Democratic donors and voters, and the Party definitely does not need to rock that boat.

The odds are still fairly good that party insiders will persuade the pro-Palestinian folks that the Democratic platform is not the place for a debate about foreign policy. Nonetheless, it's one more potential headache that Team Clinton has to worry about and prepare for, just in case. (Z)

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---The Votemaster and Zenger
Jun25 Striking Parallels between Brexit and U.S. Politics
Jun25 Dump Trump Probably Doesn't Have the Votes on RNC Rules Committee
Jun25 Sanders Sorta, Kinda, for Clinton
Jun25 Sanders Getting Much of What He Wants
Jun25 Clinton Picks Up Two High-Profile Republicans
Jun25 Republican Insiders: It's Kaine
Jun25 Polling the Veepstakes
Jun25 Potential Clinton Donors Are Afraid of Scaring Trump
Jun25 Clinton Happy To Let Trump Dominate the News
Jun25 Duckworth Dodges a Bullet
Jun25 Striking Parallels between Brexit and U.S. Politics
Jun25 Dump Trump Doesn't Have the Votes on RNC Rules Committee
Jun25 Sanders Sorta, Kinda, for Clinton
Jun25 Sanders Getting Much of What He Wants
Jun25 Clinton Picks Up Two High-Profile Republicans
Jun25 Republican Insiders: It's Kaine
Jun25 Polling the Veepstakes
Jun25 Potential Clinton Donors Are Afraid of Scaring Trump
Jun25 Clinton Happy To Let Trump Dominate the News
Jun25 Duckworth Dodges a Bullet
Jun24 The Supreme Court Just Injected Itself into the Election
Jun24 Trump Donates $50 Million To His Campaign
Jun24 Corey Lewandowski Joins CNN as Political Commentator
Jun24 Trump Can't Back up Claims About Clinton Server
Jun24 Kirk Running Against Trump
Jun24 Democratic Insiders: It's Kaine
Jun24 Federal Judge Throws Out Cleveland's Anti-Protest Plan
Jun24 Democrats End Sit-In
Jun24 Brexit Will Proceed
Jun23 Rubio Changes His Mind and Files for Reelection
Jun23 Why Clinton Might Not Pick Warren as Veep
Jun23 House Democrats Stage Sit-In
Jun23 Trump Prepares to Fight the Dump Trump Movement
Jun23 Trump Says Clinton is Corrupt and a Liar
Jun23 Trump's Foreign Experience: A Failing Golf Course
Jun23 Sanders Acknowledges that He Will Not Be the Nominee
Jun23 Libertarian Party Is Gaining Support
Jun23 Brexit Vote is Today
Jun22 Anti-Trump Movement Grows To Hundreds of Delegates
Jun22 Clinton Is Planning To Turn Convention into an Entertaining Show
Jun22 Clinton Really Doesn't Like Press Conferences
Jun22 Trump Launches New Site:
Jun22 Trump Is Causing an Identity Crisis for the GOP
Jun22 Will Lewandowski's Departure Matter?
Jun22 Evangelicals Have Lost Faith (in Trump)
Jun22 Save the Dates
Jun22 GOP Congressman Wants to Keep Jackson on the $20 Bill
Jun21 Trump to Campaign Manager: You're Fired
Jun21 Trump Campaign Extremely Low on Cash
Jun21 Man at Rally Was Trying to Assassinate Trump