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Trump is doing terribly in the presidential race, your denials notwithstanding

Posted by John Reed on

Dana Perino did a fantastic analysis of the presidential race tonight on O’Reilly. The polls have been right since 1952. No Republican has ever come from this far behind in August to win. The crowds and their enthusiasm at his rallies are meaningless. The public now feel they understand who Trump is and probably could not have their minds changed at this point. Far more voters vote in the general than in the primaries so victories in partisan primaries are not indicative of general election victory.
 

Waiting for Superman

Trump supporters are waiting for Superman. FBI Superman. Justice Department Superman. Wikileaks Superman. Social media Superman. Superman is not coming. If Hillary does not win it would probably mean she had a fatal heart attack or debilitating stroke. Neither appears likely. Indeed, even if she dropped dead, I expect Kaine would win, or Biden.
 
I am aware that Hillary is as crooked as they come and incompetent as a leader or administrator. Unfortunately, in America in 2016, that appears to be irrelevant to the voters.
 
There is also a decent chance that the Republicans may lose the Senate and Trump is making the chances of the Senators who are running worse.
 

Blind spots

Trump has a blind spot in his intelligence. He cannot see that his approach gets less educated white men and one or two other groups, but that that is not enough to get 270 electoral votes. It appears that Trump will lead Republicans to their worst loss in history—comparable to 1964 or worse. My hard-core Trump readers get angry at my saying that.
 
I have a reputation for calling like I see it. I intend to keep that reputation. Trump, it now appears, has enough popularity to win the nomination, but also enough to lose the general electoral vote count by a historic margin. If he had approached it intelligently, I think he would have won. He was incapable of recognizing what needed to be done by him, let alone executing the campaign to do it. I am surprised that a guy who was capable enough to be so successful in so many fields was so incapable in the Presidential campaign.
 

Stay within yourself

I was on the other side of this sort of analysis once. I used to write for the Real Estate Investing Letter, which was published by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. The top bosses were obsessed with direct mail and were literally mailing millions of letters a year to get more subscribers. They thereby pushed the subscriber list to 55,000.
 
But they bitched about the low renewal rate. At the same time, I was going to real estate conventions. When people saw my REIL name badge, they would pump my hand and pat me on the back and rave about the newsletter.
 
So how can you have people who love the newsletter at the same time as you have a low renewal rate? Easy. Keep casting a huge net bringing in more new subscribers than the subject of the newsletter warrant. Coca Cola may be for almost everyone, but real estate investing is not. And even though there are millions of real estate investors, the percentage who want to read a newsletter about it is far smaller.
 

Let it rise to its natural level

I now own the newsletter I write for—have for 31 years. I have subscribers still who subscribed to me back then. But I do zero promotion. I let my number of customers rise to its own level. That works in my publishing. It works in Trump’s real estate and TV businesses. But in Presidential politics, you have to please most of the people on election day. Donald Trump is an attractive, admirable guy in a lot of ways, but his natural support does not appear to be anywhere near the 270 electoral votes level. Hillary is less attractive and admirable, but she uses blandness to avoid offending people.
 

The one who says the least and takes the fewest chances wins

That is another trick I have seen in life. I and my sons were great at dodge ball. The trick is to hang back early when balls are coming from all directions, then you can get aggressive.
 
In organizations, some people just avoid pissing people off and rise to the top because all their more assertive competitors pissed someone off. My wife was once in a bank merger where an idiot 24year old was placed above her. She talked to a peer who agreed, but the peer would not go with her to talk to the boss about it. My wife did complain to the boss. “The 24-year old goes or I go.” The 24-year old stayed. My wife quit. The boss later figured out my wife was right and her peer who refused to support he was promoted to replace the 24-year old.

Survival of the blandest

Hillary is the peer. She has just hung back being bland letting everyone else actually take the chances eliminate themselves. She has no virtues, only an absence of the sort of “like it or lump it” rough spots of people like Trump. Trump let you see who he really is and thereby loses some. I do the same.
 
Hillary will never let you see who she really is because her trick is to be the last one standing, least-objectionable person competing. She is everyone’s friend and no one’s friend. She is vaguely in favor of everything you are in favor of and vaguely against everything you are against. As a pol and a bureaucrat, she never had to take a discernible stand on anything. She is in favor of “moving forward” and “fighting for you.” Ultimately she is only in favor of doing what she was doing senior of high school: improving her resume.

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