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Trump Stirs the Pot
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The Trump phenomenon has basically taken over here. It’s quite fascinating. In anticipation of a lull in quantitative material related to the presidential campaign over the next couple of months, here are a few general thoughts:

– In the debates Trump will be playing with house money.

Primary turnout has been record-setting on the Republican side. Even so, much less than half the people who will end up voting for Trump in November will have voted in a primary or caucus. On the Democrat side, where turnout has been depressed everywhere, primary participants will comprise less than one-third of the general election votes received.

Most general election voters are not engaged in nomination processes of either major party. Their perception of Trump the candidate is largely based on second-hand sources, and many of them probably expect him to look like this throughout the duration of the debates. At worst, he’ll come out in as good of shape as he goes into a debate in.

With a little prep work and his effortless knack for maintaining frame control, he could turn these things into two hour exposes on Hillary’s rape enabling, lying, corruption, assisting homicide, destroying Europe, etc. Whenever she launches into her stock response to accusation X, Trump jumps to accusation Y. The material he has to work with is endless. It will exhaust her. And as Trump well knows, she’s vulnerable to this kind of exhaustion.

Hillary, in contrast, is a known political entity. Her objective will merely be to survive the debates.

– My brother casually described himself as a Trump Republican the other day when an acquaintance asked about his political views.

He nailed it. Branding is important. That description is perfectly elegant. It’s unapologetic without coming off as unnecessarily antagonistic towards Republicans whose top choice wasn’t Trump. It gels well with the phrase it will be most frequently compared to.

– Trump has the potential to win the white vote even more overwhelmingly than Reagan did in ’84.

Hillary’s top two policy priorities are about as unpopular with working- and middle-class whites as any two could be: Gun control and amnesty.

To make this a reality, the following suggestions: Jim Webb, Jeff Sessions, or Kris Kobach as VP, a cabinet or department head position offered to Sanders, and of course continuing to vigorously stir the pot of Sanders supporters’ frustration with Clintonian inevitability:

No sobriquet for Sanders, nor should there be.

– There is more egg for the pundits’ faces yet. Nate Silver, who has botched the entire Republican presidential nomination process from the beginning, still can’t help himself, asserting that Trump will be a probable loser in November.

Technically speaking, that’s true, but Silver doesn’t provide much relevant context. The markets have Trump’s odds at a little better than 1:2, or about what the Broncos’ were going into Super Bowl 50. A Trump triumph should be, by this calculation, about as surprising as Denver’s was, which is to say not at all shocking.

Silver is an augur whose divination is determined by Big Data entrails. His readings have regularly been off the mark over the last several months.

That’s bad, but at least he should be trying. When it comes to generally perspicacious people for whom this is not an area of focus, the sloppy prognostications amount to silly unforced errors. Here’s Razib Khan embracing ignorance and then, well, offering it. Just ahead of New Hampshire, he wrote:

Since I don’t like to spend time on useless things, I’ve been following the primary race very superficially (sometimes to the extent of asking my labmate every few days what’s going on). But I’d say go long on Rubio. Those following closely freak out too much over debates.

Rubio ended up managing just Puerto Rico, Minnesota, and Washington DC before dropping out a month later.

Razib is a polymath. He has a higher IQ than I do. But there are things he is ignorant of. Primary voters weren’t going to bail on Trump or Cruz in favor of Mr. Amnesty. That was clear.

(Republished from The Audacious Epigone by permission of author or representative)
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  1. AE,

    There is another, shorter, name for "Stirring the Pot."


  2. TWS says:

    Razib is bag of hammers ignorant and PC proud of it. He did a post on the physical differences between men and women. Now this is a HBD blogger, but he was shocked by the differences found.

    He is either a whippet thin man-boy who has never been asked to turn a screw or the lid on a peanut butter jar by any female or he has never played any sport or he simply knows no women. Or he was feigning surprise to write an article.

    He is so surrounded by liberals he will be like the woman who didn't know anyone who voted for Nixon. The article was correct; men are stronger than women. However, his delivery was just this side of aspie sperging or as I said was disingenuous. I wouldn't trust his word or his instincts on politics.

  3. Dan says:

    Meanwhile Paul Ryan is losing in a new poll to Paul Nehlen. Already.

    There is no way Ryan wins his primary. Trump won Ryan's district during peak Cruz, almost alone among the districts Wisconsin. Ryan is now being anti-Trump. This in addition to the long list of sins his constituents are now coming to grips with.

    If Nehlen wins by less than 50 points in Wisconsin, I will be disappointed (45 points I could live with). If Ryan ever returns to politics, it will be as a Democrat. I am often cautious but it is difficult to see how Nehlen loses this one.

  4. I must admit, I'm not sure how the general election unfolds. I was an early adopter in the primaries as it seemed rather obvious to me that the GOP field was a mile wide and an inch deep. The #nevertrump loons are relying on the fact Trump beat a divided field, so the mantra now is "he has a ceiling of 40%" as they rummage around for polling to make their case.

    The level of coordination is striking. The are sending out talking points to friendly media which is why all of them are waving around the recent poll in Georgia from the weekend. This is very reminiscent of the summer of 1980 when Reagan was behind Carter in the polls. The liberal wing of the party was saying "See? We told you he was unelectable."

    Trump, like Reagan, may be blessed by a stationary target as an opponent. The way to beat Trump is to be nimble and avoid taking him on squarely. In boxing, you never stand in front of a slugger and trade blows, unless you have an iron jaw and throw just as hard as the other guy. Instead you keep moving away from his power and wear him down.

    Hillary is not nimble and lacks anything resembling political IQ. Her plan to run on gun grabbing, trannies and open borders sounds like a suicide note. Those issues offend the voters she needs to get out to vote for her. It appeals only to those who will vote Democrat regardless of the issues and candidates. She thinks this is a base election when it is a movement election.

    Still, Trump is a huge roll of the dice. That's what he has to address and I don't know if he has it in him. If he does, then it is a blowout and he wins in a landslide. if now, then who knows.

  5. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Re; Trump is a huge roll of the dice.

    The people I know (which are upper middle class, mix of Republican and Democrat) are, UNIVERSALLY, aghast at Trump. Not just against Trump, but utterly shocked that anyone could vote for Trump.

    One explanation is that it is the upper middle class, and they aren't alot of people, so they don't matter.

    Another explanation is that they are the median voter, the people who aren't really interested in the primaries, who will only come out for the general election. If that's the case, Trump is done.

    I don't know which is right.


  6. >>She thinks this is a base election when it is a movement election.

    That is an astute observation.

    The reason the GOPe lost to Trump is they thought the same way.

    In fact, every political consultant on both sides of the political party isle have never run any other kind of campaign.

  7. Good point about the perception of Trump among the general electorate being based largely on second-hand sources. I bought The Art of the Deal on a whim the other day – it is very entertaining; more of an autobiography in the off-the-cuff Trump style than a self-help book – and I feel like it would be hard for a reasonable person to not wind up liking his optimism, love of challenges, and fierce loyalty.

    That's why it's weird to me that literally no one I know in real life supports Trump. Granted, I'm kind of in the heart of liberal NC and live only a few houses over from Roy Cooper, but even my Republican friends have an image of Trump as, for example, some kind of misogynist. But if you actually read his book, he says things like, "It's funny. My own mother was a housewife all her life. And yet it's turned out I've hired a lot of women for top jobs and they've been among my best people," before going on to praise four specific examples in addition to the one that led to the comment. I mean, obviously the mean voter isn't going to read a book, but I think that when you put Trump on a debate stage with Hillary, this side of Trump and the contrast with Hillary's worldview are going to nonetheless become very evident, and this won't be good for Hillary.

    It's interesting what politicians early books can tell you about them. I remember Steve Sailer complaining back in 2008 that no one bothered to read the incredibly revealing Dreams of My Father.

  8. @anonymousse

    "The people I know (which are upper middle class, mix of Republican and Democrat) are, UNIVERSALLY, aghast at Trump. Not just against Trump, but utterly shocked that anyone could vote for Trump."

    My experience has been the same. It feels so strange and makes me question sometimes whether it's actually me that's mistaken rather than them. But every time I have to conclude it's them. They're not bad people, but they became or stayed upper middle class in some part by fitting in well with the zeitgeist and they're not representative of the people at large.

  9. Mil-Tech Bard,

    Yes, frame control is leadership almost definitionally, and Trump's a master of it.


    He doesn't suffer people well who speculate about HBD without being shoulders-deep in the genetic software he's conversant with and his daily interactions are about as unrepresentative of the general public as it gets short of people who live in the 95%+ black ghetto or do prison work of some sort.

    He's also a walking encyclopedia, extremely intelligent, and indefatigably intellectually curious. I've also had several exchanges with him in the past and he's always been curt but classy and helpful. He even sent me a nice Facebook message when my wife miscarried in between our two children.

    I suspect he'd agree with my take on what he wrote regarding Rubio.


    I hope you're right, but I haven't seen that polling company before and the website looks like it was put together by a junior in high school.

    Also I don't think Trump won Ryan's district. Here and here are the relevant maps.

    Wisconsinites are cucks and Ryan's approval rating is high. I can't be anywhere near as confident as you are, but I'd love to be proven wrong!

  10. Z,

    The Georgia poll probably isn't that telling. McCain narrowly won Georgia in 2008 and it's gotten a couple of points blocker since then. It shows that Trump is roughly running against Hillary right now where McCain was running against Obama in November. A ton still has to happen between now and the general election.

    Hillary is not nimble and lacks anything resembling political IQ. Her plan to run on gun grabbing, trannies and open borders sounds like a suicide note. Those issues offend the voters she needs to get out to vote for her. It appeals only to those who will vote Democrat regardless of the issues and candidates. She thinks this is a base election when it is a movement election.

    Damn I wish I could write that eloquently. Focusing on those two issues strike me as disastrous for the general election. Sanders has been fairly restrictionist (for a Democrat–NumbersUSA gives him a C- lifetime IIRC, which is like at the 90th percentile among Dems) and has been strong on the 2nd amendment (again for a Democrat) so maybe it's designed to put away the nomination but Trump would be insane not to hammer her on it.

    Parenthetically, Trump needs to be gently dismissive of Sanders swipe at him in New Jersey. Just say something like "Silly Bernie doesn't have a clue about business, in any sense, at all" and just leave it at that. Kasich money is going to Hillary more than it is going to Trump. Trump is going to need to peel off some Sanders supporters.

  11. Jokah/Anonymousse,

    A few prominent characteristics I've noticed about Trump supporters:

    They are thick among people who make things, or who cause things to be made. My uncle-in-law owns an electric sign manufacturing company. He probably takes home about $250,000 a year based on lifestyle and home and he's a HUGE Trump supporter. A couple of computer programmers I know are also big Trump supporters.

    In contrast thinking through teachers (accept my dad, who is a professor and a converted Trump supporter on account of his relentless son), lawyers, a couple of doctors and nurses, and a few actuaries I know, they're all either turned off by Trump or non-committal.

    I suspect there's a big divide among GOP-inclined voters. There are those who create value (Trump supporters) on one side and those who transfer value (hesitant to vote for Trump) on the other.

    Another characteristic of Trump supporters I've come into contact with is that they're pugilists. Not just literally, although that too. A guy named Red Phillips who I've followed for awhile seems to be showing another UFC fighter every other day who has come out in support of Trump. I listen to the Pressure Project podcast, hosted by two guys who own a couple of martial arts academies in the Bronx and they are also YUGE Trump supporters.

    Just tonight I was playing volleyball and after I blocked a spike I yelled "Get out!" (it's not rec and getting into peoples' heads works, it's why even pros do it). Usually I'll get head shaking and maybe muttering under the breath as they walk away but almost never eye contact (holding eye contact while trashing is crucial). This guy stopped, oriented himself towards me, and walked up to the net. I smiled and said "better luck next time". He avoided me in during the post-match handshakes. After the games as we were leaving I grabbed my Trump hat off the bleacher and the same guy gave me a "MAGA!" and a fist pump as we left.

    I wear the thing everywhere and have gotten almost nothing but positive feedback about it, but most people of course don't visibly react at all so this probably isn't close to representative.

    My wife's best friend's boyfriend, who is a total shitlord by nature, was telling me the other day that he had registered Republican when he was 18 because his parents wanted him to be eligible to vote but that he never had until the primary this year (he's in his mid-twenties). It got brought up because the first time I met him he was wearing a Trump hat of his own.

    Some of this is probably selection bias since my Trump support isn't news to anyone who knows me in any capacity. I live in cuck country and in a pretty affluent area so it's not especially fertile ground for Trump. Most of the people who don't bring the subject up are probably not backers.

    In short, a lot of it is probably due to signaling. If you sort of fit the bill of a Trump supporter (or you leave no ambiguity as in my case), you're going to get a pro-Trump personal sampling. If not, then not, and if viceversa, then viceversa.

  12. Here's a great example of what I mean regarding pugilism:

    No way in hell a Cruz, Kasich, or other cuckservative supporter would EVER do something like this in a million years.

  13. I am all pumped up watching that video.

  14. AE,

    It seems that Putin does not like Hillary either.

    See this on Putin releasing all of Hillary's e-mail server data —

  15. AE,

    Regards this —

    >>No way in hell a Cruz, Kasich, or other cuckservative supporter
    >>would EVER do something like this in a million years.


    See the Clint Eastwood-like Cruz supporter here —

  16. Mil-Tech Bard,

    That's not at quite the same level but it's nothing to be ashamed of, either!

    He'll probably vote for Trump in the general.

  17. I suspect he'd agree with my take on what he wrote regarding Rubio.

    pretty much. i had no idea what was going on. the facts seem to suggest that.

    your reader TWS is a dumbass. but most people are so i don't blame him for probably being stupid 😉 i think i just didn't publish some of his comments, the handle is sort of familiar. perhaps he's sore about that.

    hope you make it to three. we're trying.

    also AE, you're kind modest about your cognitive abilities. but the virtue of your style is you don't speculate, you actually dig into the ata. so whether your self assessment is, or isn't, correct, it doesn't matter. i wish more of my readers were like that….

  18. Dan says:

    Damn, I stand corrected about Ryan. I guess I need to be more careful where I am getting my data from. It turns out Cruz won Ryan's district pretty handily 50/30.

    Its one of those things where nobody understands how anyone can like these Congress critters, but their own district loves them.

    I have a friend whose relatives in Ohio were Trump fans but they still voted for Kasich out of loyalty.

  19. Razib,

    Right, the color commentary is flavor text. The data is the meat.

    As soon as the first one is in kindergarten we'll be working on #3.

    Also, don't think I ever forgot this.


    That is maddening. It's water under the bridge now but they do realize that if Trump would've won Ohio it would've been a two-man race in the Northeast and Trump would've SMASHED!!! Cruz 1on1 six states in a row. Turned out he did it with Kasich in the race, too, but hindsight is 20/20.

  20. "Hillary's top two policy priorities are about as unpopular with working- and middle-class whites as any two could be: Gun control and amnesty."

    Gun control and amnesty aren't popular issues with blacks either.

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