Skip to content


Chris Cillizza in the Washington Post makes a good case that, unless something cataclysmic happens, “Donald Trump is on course to win the 1,237 delegates he needs to be the GOP nominee“.

After all, “Presidential politics is, at its core, all about math.” The math is complicated by the rules being different from state to state, but it is not intractable. And with the help of website fhq, he does the math. And unless you’re a Trump supporter (or a Democrat who believes that Trump would be easy to defeat in the general election, or a comedian) the math doesn’t look good.

President Trump?



  1. jonah wrote:

    Here’s some confirmation on who supports trump

    He probably may get a large share of the white vote that could drive him to a win but in this day and age it would seem unlikely that he could win the general election. Unfortunately he’s a good salesmen and he may just convince people to vote for him by pounding away on the email server issue.

    Tuesday, February 23, 2016 at 3:55 pm | Permalink
  2. PatriotST wrote:

    If we have learned anything, it is not to underestimate or misinterpret the Trump appeal. Aside from the NY times I think many would be surprised by the breadth and width of his support. And he must be doing something different if both the farther right and left are opposed along with the establishments on both sides. I think he is sticking it to the establishments of both sides simultaneously and is positioning himself as the leader of the unheard majority.

    The right establishment is correct that he is not an ultra conservative nor is he liberal. He seems to be positioning himself as the center with tentacles in both directions.

    At least that’s my 2 cents worth. Will see what happens after the primaries are over and the general election campaign begins. It should be interesting.

    Tuesday, February 23, 2016 at 8:34 pm | Permalink
  3. Jonah wrote:

    Would be wrong to underestimate him but another way to think about Trumps popularity is than in the following states(IA,NH,SC, NV) the percentage of republicans who DID NOT vote for him
    76%, 65%, 67% and 56%

    In contrast Romney
    75%, 61%, 72% 50%

    Wednesday, February 24, 2016 at 2:21 am | Permalink
  4. Jonah wrote:

    One more thing. If Trump is appealing to the “unheard majority” then that majority is largely racist, and lacking in common sense which is sad and terrifying for the country going forward. They believe hot air like this

    Wednesday, February 24, 2016 at 4:03 am | Permalink
  5. ebdoug wrote:

    Remember Trump is a RINO. Before he was a RINO he was a democrat.

    I would say that Trump is sure of the male chauvinist Red Neck vote, hands down. I’m sure everyone I come in contact in the Appalachians where I live will vote for Trump. They can do that symbolically as he can’t have our electoral votes. Not New York’s.

    By the time the Internet takes over whole country voting, the mass populace will know whole stories on candidates. Best person will win.

    Wednesday, February 24, 2016 at 4:43 am | Permalink
  6. il-08 wrote:

    The thing that scares me is that republican primary voting is way up and democratic primary voting is way down. If this holds up, it will be president Trump. Or worse.

    Wednesday, February 24, 2016 at 8:10 am | Permalink
  7. Wildwood wrote:

    IL-08, I’m not sure about others, but I’m happy with both candidates on the Democratic side and so I don’t feel as strong a need to vote in the Dem primary. I might instead vote in the Republican primary this time around. There may be many others like me. At least I hope that’s why Dem primary voting is down.

    Wednesday, February 24, 2016 at 8:17 am | Permalink
  8. PATRIOTSGT wrote:

    Jonah – “then that majority is largely racist”,

    Come on dude, you can’t play the “ist” or “phobe” card like that. Because it’s simply not true. You cannot say someone who disagrees with your point of view is a racist. You can do better then that.

    Wednesday, February 24, 2016 at 9:25 am | Permalink
  9. ThatGuy wrote:

    PatriotSGT, in the case of Trump, why can’t you? Certainly fear/hatred for the “other” are not the only drivers behind his popularity, granted. But when nearly every issue is rooted in us vs. them where the them are Muslims/Mexicans/Chinese, I don’t think racism and xenophobia are off the table. The man stayed relevant for years pushing the idea that Obama (“coincidentally” the first black President) was foreign-born, started his campaign calling economic migrants rapists and drug runners, offered menstruation as the reason a Fox News(!) anchor was being unfair to him, suggested a black protester ought to be roughed up, and brought back the foreign born argument against Cruz. His crowds regularly boo black/Muslim/Hispanic questioners out of his rallies.

    The striking thing isn’t that this racist/xenophobic tripe is playing well with a segment of the GOP primary crowd, this has been being fostered for years (see Southern Strategy), what’s amazing is he’s so brazen about it.

    Wednesday, February 24, 2016 at 10:00 am | Permalink
  10. PATRIOTSGT wrote:

    ThatGuy – I do not dispute that there are some racist people in the US, nor could I refute that some of those same support Trump.

    We use the racist, phobic, ism’s terms with way too much ease and frequency. And I might add that almost all the, if not all, of that use comes from the left.
    So I guess that makes the left conservaphobes or GOPhobes. Isn’t that fun.

    Now as to whether Trump is any of the ism, ist’s or phobes, I truly do not believe that.

    If I say,in my opinion,that we should suspend the acceptance of Syrian Mslim refugees until we can set up the systems to properly vet them, given that their government (a declared combatant and bad guy by our President)is not in the best of conditions to assist with that vetting, that does not make me a racist.

    If I say the Chinese government manipulates its currency to benefit it’s economy to our detriment, that does not make me a racist.

    If I say that there ARE Mexican illegals in our country who rape, sell drugs and murder, that does not make me a racist.

    I don’t even think xenophobia applies broadly stroked.

    Now do I agree that Trump says some blatant crap (Megyn Kelly example, or Carly Fiorina) that is out of line. Absolutely. But people, and there are many, who are so sick and tired of the establishment ignoring them or pandering to it’s base and not looking out for them, they will vote for anybody who’s willing to stand up against the left or right powers that be. That is his appeal to his supporters. In the Dem primary, Omalley et al use to be contenders, was shut out of the party when he complained or spoke out against them. The right establishment has tried to find a candidate to overtake Trump since he got in the race. Its anti establishment they like and they are willing to endure his political incorrectness, because they are frankly sick of it.

    Wednesday, February 24, 2016 at 10:52 am | Permalink
  11. ThatGuy wrote:

    But they don’t just “endure” his political incorrectness, they embrace it. And this is at a time when political correctness is quickly becoming a dog whistle phrase to dismiss anyone concerned with racial or social injustice.

    You’re also being a lot more generous in what you’d say tha what Trump says, taken in order:

    -Refugees are, by definition, often people lacking a central government, much less a government that the US can trust. If they had a central authority that was not abusing them and able to protect them from abuse, they wouldn’t be refugees. Were trusting the government they are fleeing from a requirement, we’d hardly have Cubans or Iranians as priority refugees (which we do). Effectively, you’re arguing against the refugee concept as a whole. This also ignores that his comments refer to ALL Muslims, not just Syrians and including U.S. citizens, and that he has advocated closure or surveillance of Mosques.

    -Again, if you say that, that’s great. But when one talks about smacking around the Chinese in negotiations and starting trade wars that ostensibly end with powerful economies simply accepting what Der Trump dictates, one is both kidding themselves and implicitly peddling a lunatic version of baseless supremacy because reasons.

    -To start here, immigrant crime rates are lower than native-born crime rates. If you say SOME immigrants are criminals, terrific, I guess; when you pose it the exact opposite way and say, offhandedly at the end of a rant about how they’re rapists and drug mules, that you’re “sure some of them are nice people,” you’re again in easily definable racist (and delusional) territory. So again, your example is unassuming, mundane, and effectively the opposite of what he is saying. You may as well say the sky is blue except for when it’s gray or black, whereas he is saying the sky is… I guess raping the moon and selling drugs to our clouds.

    In short, the notion that people like him primarily because he bucks the political establishment is simply unconvincing. He’s just voicing things the establishment on the right has been fostering for decades (again, see Southern Strategy) and reaping the rewards for being bold enough to say it. He knows his audience and he knows how to play them.

    Wednesday, February 24, 2016 at 11:22 am | Permalink
  12. ThatGuy wrote:

    And to pile on:

    “Nationally, the YouGov data show a similar trend: Nearly 20 percent of Mr. Trump’s voters disagreed with the freeing of slaves in Southern states after the Civil War.”

    Wednesday, February 24, 2016 at 11:43 am | Permalink
  13. PATRIOTSGT wrote:

    ThatGuy -I’m not trying to defend Trump, but explain to the best of my understanding what his appeal is.
    As far as the NY Times article they used several polls and one was from below as explained by the author.
    “Public Policy Polling is a company aligned with the Democratic Party, and some of its results over the years have been suspected of bias.”

    She justifies her opinion by saying that 2 other polls in combination validate the prior. Not to mention that the other 2 polls are strictly from South Carolina, which as a deep south state is not necessarily indicative of conservatives across the rest of the nations conservatives.

    So I’d still have to disagree and caution against painting 40% of over half the country (roughly the # of conservatives out there) as racists and islamaphobes. That isn’t really truthful when your extracting a percentage from one particular state that happens to just had to remove the confederate flag from their capital. I think I’d like to see a larger data set, then about 3000 people from one southern state before I call 50 million people racist.

    Wednesday, February 24, 2016 at 12:50 pm | Permalink
  14. ThatGuy wrote:

    PPP isn’t the source of the quote I pulled, nor is the poll from which the quote is derived limited to South Carolina. The Economist/YouGov poll was national.

    We could quibble over sample sizes, but I suppose the root issue is this: if a voter supports a candidate who is loudly and proudly espousing racist and/or xenophobic policies (which are some of Trump’s only semi-specific policies), is that voter not at the very least abetting racism and xenophobia?

    Wednesday, February 24, 2016 at 1:15 pm | Permalink
  15. PATRIOTSGT wrote:

    I don’t want to argue over data, but I downloaded the YouGOv poll that the author used in her analysis in the NY Times article. Firstly, it was a general poll of 2000 persons nationwide. The Poll did not say it was based on party or candidate affiliation. Matter of fact question 85 (In the 2016 primary election or caucus in your state, are you likely to vote?)
    Likely to vote in Democratic primary or attend Democratic caucus . . 31%
    Likely to vote in Republican primary or attend Republican caucus . . 35%
    Not likely to vote in a primary election or attend a caucus . . 34%

    So it seemed to be evenly distributed amongst party affiliations.
    Question 81. Do you think of yourself as part of the Tea Party? Answered yes = 9%
    question 78. answers the party affiliation questions.

    question 49 (of 103)- do you approve or disapprove of the executive order that…
    Freed slaves in states that rebelled against the federal gov’t.
    53% strongly approved
    17% approve somewhat
    8% disapprove somewhat
    5% disapprove strongly
    17% not sure

    So I’m not sure how the author determined that: “Nationally, the YouGov data show a similar trend: Nearly 20 percent of Mr. Trump’s voters disagreed with the freeing of slaves in Southern states after the Civil War.”

    I could find no such question in the YouGOv survey she cited.

    So I’d still have to disagree ThatGuy.

    Wednesday, February 24, 2016 at 2:21 pm | Permalink
  16. Diogenes wrote:

    Excellent Glenn Greenwald article about Trump’s lead and Bernie’s candidacy:

    Wednesday, February 24, 2016 at 3:07 pm | Permalink
  17. ThatGuy wrote:

    Without the raw responses (not to mention the unreported question, which the poll lists 21) you can’t arrive there with that PDF. Presumably the reporter was able to get sorted results from The Economist and/or YouGov and take the breakdown of those who reported they’d vote Trump (again presumably unreported in the PDF) and crossed them with those who responded that the Emancipation Proclamation was a bad idea.

    But as you say, let’s dispense with a data argument. I’m still inclined to think anyone voting for Trump, a loud bigot (or loudly espousing bigotry anyway), is at least guilty of tacitly approving of racism and xenophobia. Even if we make the giant leap to say that you can support someone promising racist/xenophobic policies (again, his most detailed policies) without yourself being a racist, that doesn’t speak kindly to that segment of the population. All you’re doing is changing Jonah’s initial charge of “…that majority is largely racist…” to “…that majority is largely OK with racism and racist policies…” A distinction without a difference, if I’ve ever heard one.

    Wednesday, February 24, 2016 at 3:42 pm | Permalink
  18. PatriotSGT wrote:

    I guess will have to agree to disagree in this issue. I do not believe Trump is a racist, biggot or xenophobe.

    Great conversation and arguments. if only all our political conversations and arguments could be so civil.

    Wednesday, February 24, 2016 at 4:06 pm | Permalink
  19. ebdoug wrote:

    Well, if we are worried about murders by Syrians, we’d better keep out toddlers or expel them from this country. We have a much higher murder toll yearly committed by toddlers than immigrants.

    Wednesday, February 24, 2016 at 6:01 pm | Permalink
  20. ThatGuy wrote:

    Oh no, I am nearly convinced that Trump is in fact NOT a racist, bigot, or xenophobe. I think he’s actually quite smart, despite what exits his mouth (and how he eats pizza, but that’s another story). I think he knows exactly what he’s doing without harboring any specific race-based ill-will. So on that we can absolutely agree.

    I do, however, find the policies he has come up with to be both racist/xenophobic and exceptionally open about how racist and xenophobic they are. Ditto the language he uses. Exclusion based on race/ethnicity is racist by definition, and that’s what his policy on Muslims is. Specifying Mexican immigrants as murderers/drug mules/rapists is racist (vice slandering immigrants as a whole (still bad), since net Mexican illegal immigration is negative at this point), and that’s what he’s getting cheers for.

    Usually we get similar policies on the QT (see again Southern Strategy or, more recently, voter ID laws), with either code words or false justification used to disenfranchise minorities. With Trump, he just out and says it. It’s brilliant, clearly, since so many respond positively to him because of it.

    But here is what I think is telling (I swear I’m off my soap box after this): his opponents in the GOP love to say he’s a false conservative, and they’re probably right. We’ve seen Trump take shots at veterans (being anti-vet/anti-war is usually a cudgel against the left), he’s said nice things about Planned Parenthood, he’s donated to Democrats, he’s said the wealthy should be taxed more, he’s backed universal healthcare, he’s cited big pharma as a resistor to meaningful healthcare reform, he’s said Iraq was a mistake and called out GW Bush in a state where W is still extremely popular, he’s misquoted the Bible, said he doesn’t ask God’s forgiveness, and lashed out at the Pope. The only thing he really tacks further to the right on than his opponents is his openness about the new Southern Strategy.

    In some respects, such as the Planned Parenthood and Iraq War examples, I’m glad to see that there are so many GOP voters who actually don’t toe the mainstream party line. But what I see as the remnants of what they’d have to cheer for Trump about, given all the ways he’s crossed GOP orthodoxy, I’m more than a little concerned.

    Well, can’t win ’em all!

    Wednesday, February 24, 2016 at 6:19 pm | Permalink
  21. Ralph wrote:

    The racist/not-a-racist debate over Trump and his trumpeters has been going on for awhile now, of course, and you guys have done a good job of airing it out. FWIW, would only add this study to the mix published in the NYT late last year, comparing the national distribution of popular support for Trump vs. the distribution of google searches using racially charged keywords. You can practically overlay the two maps.

    Whether that’s more incidental than otherwise may be debatable (people do their own research, are curious, bored, etc.), but there’s no question that Trump is nothing if not brutally opportunistic. He’s obviously tapped into a vein of long simmering discontent and disgust with the political establishment (as has Bernie in his own, let’s say, more civilized way) and he has no shame about giving the crowd anything he thinks they want to hear and worry later about softening or artfully qualifying it for the media, and few are better at equivocating and hedging with the media (“well, I heard” or “someone tweeted so I retweeted”). If it attracts the knuckle-draggers and pointy-hatters he probably figures, hey they vote too. What worked well on the crowd at one venue is grist for the next until now his events are something of a demolition derby that attract almost equal parts rabid supporters, rubber neckers and media alike. It’s like one of his (sur)reality shows on tour and for him it’s all about winning at any cost.

    The irony for me is his supporters, who desperately crave straight talk for once from their candidate (like the rest of us), can’t see him as the circus barker he really is. When Triumph the Insult Comic Dog showed up for one of his recent events, the jokes practically wrote themselves. To paraphrase Triumph, if you can’t laugh at it, hump it!

    Wednesday, February 24, 2016 at 6:20 pm | Permalink