Daily Archives: August 17, 2021

Trump’s chance in 2024 ===============================================

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Trump’s chance in 2024

What chance does Donald J Trump stand in the next presidential election? On the face of it his chances are not good. Few presidents have lost office and gone on to seek to regain it. Only one has ever succeeded in such an endeavour. He was Grover Cleveland. That was almost 130 years ago and in highly unusual circumstances. Three other ex-presidents have sought to regain the White House but failed. They are ‘Old Kinderhook’ Martin van Buren, Ulysses Simpson Grant and Teddy Roosevelt.

However, all too often Trump has broken precedent. He won the Electoral College despite losing the popular vote. This had happened only twice in the last 150 years. He refused to admit he lost in 2020 despite every other losing candidate admitting it. He failed to appoint dozens of ambassadors in his terms. He adulated Kim Jong On. He was effusively positive about Putin. He made highly disobliging remarks about his British hosts days before his arrival on a state visit. He refused to release his tax return. Trump has broken precedents oftener than any other president.

What can be said in favour of Trump’s administration? He avoided war. He brought troops home. He tried a sunshine strategy with North Korea. It did not lead to anything but as confrontation did not work perhaps it was worth a shot. Trump showed China that he would stand up to them on trade. Ending the Trans -Pacific Partnership benefitted a few companies. Donald J was hard on Iran. He also pleased the Zionists so much so that they named a town in his honour which they have not done for any foreign president. Donald J made energy cheaper in the US. He cut taxes for the super rich. The Trump Administration led to the stock market being at an all-time high. The stock market rises every year so that, in itself, is normal. But the rises under Trump were exceptional.

On leaving office Trump’s approval rating was just 34%. That is one of the lowest on record. His approval rating never cracked 46% although bizarrely he won 48% of the vote in 2020. He won more of the vote that time than he had the first time. That was partially consequent upon a poor showing by minor parties in 2020 as opposed to a bumper year for minor parties in 2016.

Donald J Trump dominates the Republican Party like no other past president has dominated it. They hang on his lips. He has the ability to galvanise tens of millions. However, this is not as electric as it was before he lost office.

Fox News is no longer so complaisant. Donald J has even said he is no longer so enamoured of the channel that was once his spiritual home.

Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other social media networks have banned Donald J for the foreseeable future. Denied the oxygen of publicity it is hard for him to generate as much publicity as before. These social media networks enabled Trump to bypass the mainstream media.

By contrast, Biden is laconic in comparison to Trump. His ratings are to be coveted by any president. They are not sky high but they are well positive. That is despite the very testing times in which he rules with coronavirus to contend with and a difficult economic outlook.

It is important to examine the issue objectively. Just because something is unattractive does not make it untrue. You must seek the truth however unpalatable. Self-delusion has no place in political analysis.

Fame is like a muscle. It needs to be exercises or it atrophies. Trump will not be forgotten. But on the other hand, he will never be as famous as he was. Contrariwise, the public could have a surfeit of Trump. Perhaps giving them a break for a while might do Trump some good. He does not want people to get bored of him before 2024. Being relatively quiescent might make a media blitz in 2024 all the more effectual.

Trump lost the popular vote by 4.5%. That was as opposed to losing it by 2% in 2016. Trump could in principle overturn that 4.5% deficit but it will be hard. The way the demographics are going and the incumbency factor the Democrats will win the popular vote by 6.5% next time. That is because of the shift in the ethnic balance and new voters (people turning 18 and people being naturalised as US citizens) break heavily in their favour. This does not guarantee that the Democrats will win by this much. They could win by even more or they could lose totally. Much depends on how well or badly the campaigns are run by both parties, which candidates they select and as Macmillan said the most important things in politics: ‘’events, dear boy, events!’’ The Democrats will have that notional headstart of 6.5% so it will take a lot to overturn that. If the economy continues growing rapidly the Democrats will have even more of an advantage. But none of this is insuperable. A blinder of a campaign by the Republicans with the right candidate against a leaden footed campaign by the Democrats would mean the GOP wins the popular vote and the Electoral College.

 The Democrats have won the popular vote 7 times out of the past 8. Or they have won it 4 consecutive times. This by no means assures them of winning it again. However, all things being equal they probably will win it next time even if by a thin margin.

The popular vote is not the Electoral College as 2000 and 2016 proved yet again. However, the chance of losing the former whilst winning the latter is slender to say the least. It was by sheer fluke that Donald J won. It took 80 000 votes in the three key swing states. Had those 80 000 votes come in a state that was safe red or blue then 80 000 votes would have made no difference. It is not just getting the votes that matters but getting them in the right places.

WILL BIDEN RUN?

Much is riding on whether Joseph Robinette Biden seeks a second term. The 78 year old might reckon he is too old by next time. He is sprightly for a man of his years. However, a man of such advanced years could easily have a cardiac event or a diagnosis of an inoperable cancer. He might not even be alive in November 2024. Assuming he is physically fit to stand is an unsafe assumption. But if he is able to seek re-election then his chances are strong. I would wager that he will win.

Thus far there have been no disasters on Biden’s watch. His stewardship of the ship of state has been steady. Vaccination has proceeded apace. Over 50% of Americans are now double vaccinated. The economy is recovering. It might well come roaring back. If the economy is booming in 2024 then, it will look very good for Biden. At the moment the economy is recovering apace. His plane to upgrade infrastructure is stimulating the economy. He will also have incumbency on his side.

Joseph Robinette Biden Junior is a seasoned politician. Everyone knows he is a formidable opponent. He has 50 years of experience and speaks with poise and sincerity. He is gaff prone and has espoused some policies which are now perceived as unjust or disastrous. Despite his debilities he is a strong candidate. Age and health might be his Achilles heel. But Trump is even worse on the health issue and almost equal on age.

President Joe Biden is competent. He is experiencing mental declension as is inevitable for a septuagenarian. His life has been touched by tragedy. His first wife and two of his children died young. Despite suffering such bitter blows, he has a sunny personality.

American political scientists found the most important characteristic for a presidential candidate to win is affability. The man from Scranton, Pennsylvania has that in spades. He has an apolitical appeal. The former Delaware Congressman comes across as normal, decent and perhaps uninspiring and unremarkable. He is the grandfather next door. Joseph Biden is reassuring, genial and almost bland. His oration, whilst delivered with aplomb, is filled with blandishments, banalities and woolliest generalities. Yet he comes across as the voice of reason. It is hard for even the most irascible and foaming at the mouth Republican to work up a hatred against someone as genial and unthreatening as Amtrak Joe.

Trump is irascible and high octane. That is why lazy and sleepy are his favourite insults. His fans see hyper-aggression, hyperbole and vulgarity as toughness. His admirers might praise him to the moon, but none call him affable.

KAMALA

What if Biden retires in 2024? In that case it is a racing certainty that Kamal Harris would win the Democratic nomination. The first Asian-American VP, the first African-American VP and the first woman VP could easily be the first woman to be President of the United States. I do not warm to her though I respect her for her accomplishments and recognise her competence and poise. She would have name recognition.

 When a serving vice-president seeks the presidency, he does not always win. Al Gore was denied by a few hundred hanging chads in Dade County. But there are other examples. Nixon failed to win in 1960. Hubert Humphrey lost in 1968.  Only George H W Bush in 1988 managed it. Therefore, the record of sitting vice-presidents winning the presidency is poor.

15 former vice-presidents have become president. This has sometimes been when the sitting president dies. Once it was when Nixon resigned and Ford took over.

A smarter strategy for the Democrats might be for Joe Biden to resign in 2024. Kamala would then become the president. If she ran for president as president that would boost her chances. But would that seem like a stitch up? On the other hand, Congress would have to elect a vice-president until the people could elect one. The Democrats would need to be sure they controlled Congress so that the Republicans could not foist a Republican on Kamala.

Kamala Harris is fairly likeable. She comes over as a little stuck up and stilted. She is serious minded, well dressed, feminine and authoritative. Miss Harris will be old enough but not too old. She seems to be in excellent physical and mental condition. She shall be sure not to seem too professorial. Professor Bill Clinton and Professor Obama made sure that they did not appeal to be overintellectual. That would go down very badly with those who are insecure about their academics.

Ms Harris will have had the best possible preparation for the presidency. Perhaps Biden will ease her into the role. She might carry out more and more duties on his behalf particularly if the commander in chief is in failing health. Biden might even resign before his term is up. In that case Kamala would succeed to the presidency. As a sitting president she would have a good chance. 75% of incumbents are re-elected. The three who lost in the last 100 years are Herbert Hoover, Gerald Ford and Trump. The trio are regarded as having been cataclysmic.

Being the first woman from a major party to stand for president could confer a major advantage on Kamala. Some women who do not usually vote Democrat would vote for her just because they want to see a woman as president. The same happened in Ireland in 1990. More African-Americans than usual would vote. This is what propelled Obama to the White House twice. Poor African-American turnout was fatal to Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Asian-Americans would likely vote in increased numbers too.

There are some people who dislike Kamala. However, the Democrats studied the negatives associated with her closely in 2020. They correctly concluded that Kamala repels far fewer than she attracts.

DEMOGRAPHICS

The Democrats have got demographic shifts on their side. Non-Hispanic whites are the core of the Republican vote. The results of the 2020 census will make grim reading for the purveyors of white nationalism. Look at non-Hispanic whites. They are down to 58% of the population but 85% of Republican voters. These whites are falling in terms of their % of the population. They will be a minority in 30 years or less. The Trump Campaign relied heavily on whites without a degree. They comprise 41% of the adult populace compared with 48% of the people who voted for Trump. Those without a degree as well as those who are white are declining as a % of the population. Trump says he loves the uneducated. You can see why! 62% of white males cast their votes for Mr Trump. Amongst white males without a degree this rises to a staggering 78%. It is easy to perceive why Trump harks back to a century ago when only white males could vote and almost no one went on to tertiary education.

The non-Latino white population of the US is now only 59% according to the last census. The US will have a white minority in 20 years. Trump is probably the white nationalists’ last stand.

Trump was successful in motivating white blue collar people to vote. Some of them who voted for him had not voted for several elections. Much depends on whether he can motivate them to vote again. Turnout was 66% in 2020. That is well above average.

In the long run the GOP has to broaden its appeal. It has had limited success with that.

Asians are 7% of the populace. Hispanic people are 19% of the population. African-Americans are 13% of the population. Hispanic people are the majority in four states.

Democrats do better among unmarried people, childless people, non-religious and gays. All these groups are growing. The Hispanic community is growing fastest. It breaks 65%-35% to the Democrats over the Republicans. The metropolises having growing populations. That will mean more electoral votes. However, the reassignment of congressional seats and therefore electoral votes will not take place in time to impact the 2024 election.

Worryingly for the Republicans, Joe Biden Junior is polling excellently among independents. The Republicans need to win a significant number of independents if they are to win the next election. At the moment the Republican Party is turning off independents with his white nationalism, refusal to acknowledge Trump lost the election and its rejection of the fact of climate change.

The GOP can take crumbs for comfort from the 2020 election. There were a few silver linings through the dark cloud shining. The Republican vote increased among Latinos and blacks. There is another rosy datum for Republicans. The Republican Party fares better among religious people. Frequency of church attendance is the single biggest indicator of the likelihood that someone will cast his ballot for the Republicans. The more religious people are the more children they have. Therefore, the number of people who are regular churchgoers is increasing even though their % of the overall population is slightly decreasing. You have to take into account the fact that some people become less religious or drop religion altogether.

The Democrats retook several states in 2020. The Republicans could easily regain these especially in the rust belt, the sunshine belt and Georgia. However, there are some Republican held states that are vulnerable to the Democrats. The likelihood is that the Democrats will take Florida narrowly. Florida is always on a knife edge. The Republicans won Texas by only 5% in 2020. It used to be a safe red state. It is now in the toss up column. The Democrats will come close in Texas but the Republican shall probably retain it by a reduced margin. Hispanic people now outnumber whites in the Lone Star State. Hispanics are much more likely to vote Democrat than Republican. The Republicans retain a significant advantage among whites.  The Republicans are likely to lose Texas the time after that in 2028. That will be a psychological blow but not a deathblow to the GOP. The Democrats have not win Texas since 1992. To lose all four of the largest states will make the path to 270 extremely difficult thereafter. The Republicans are likely to lose Pennsylvania again too in 2024  – that is the fifth largest state.

It is possible to win the presidency by winning only the 12 largest states. The Democrats are ahead in most of those.

There are four large states in population: California, New York Texas, and Florida. A party needs to win two of the four. If a party wins only one of the big four then it is extremely difficult to win overall. A party would then need to win almost all the small states if it has won only one of the big four.

 The Democrats if they were smart would grant statehood to Puerto Rico, Washington DC and US Territories such as American Samoa. The trouble is that the Republican would block this because these places lean heavily towards the Democrats.

WILL TRUMP RUN?

Will Trump be able to stand in 2024? A man of 75 who is very obese, never exercises and eats junk food is a life insurance liability. He boasts that he never drinks. But with a heart like his red wine is just what the doctor would order. It is an antioxidant. His risk of heart disease is very high. Alzheimer’s might claim him as it did his father. There are ample signs that he is afflicted with pre Alzheimer’s. Both his brother’s died well before 75.

If Trump is alive in 2024 he might well be diminished. He is owed a myocardial infarction or a stroke. If he avoids that and a rapidly advancing cancer then he will be lucky.

Trump could still seek election in a wheelchair. However, some would see him as unfit for the presidency if he were disabled. Roosevelt’s disability was never reported. As Trump has mocked the disabled if he is disabled this could work against him.

If Trump stands in 2024 – that is a big if – then it is hard to see why people would vote for him then when they rejected him last time. The American people rejected him twice. Why would they choose him on his third attempt? How has he improved? He has not. If anything, he will be less fit and more cantankerous.

I give it an 80% chance that Trump shall seek the Republican nomination. He is by far the biggest beast in the Grand Old Party. If he seeks the nomination, there is a 75% chance that he will win the nomination. Republican politicians are not as keen on him as ordinary registered Republicans. Elected politicians tend to be cannier than rank and file party members. There are plenty of Republican Congressmen, Senators, state legislators and governors who regard Donald John as yesterday’s man. Moreover, quite a few of them would like a turn to run for the presidency themselves. They do not want Trump to hog the nomination. If Trump runs his chance of winning the presidency is about 25%. The people’s message to him in 2020 was ‘’you’re fired!’’ as Trump used to say in The Apprentice. Why will people change their minds?

His voters are disproportionately old. By 2024 8% of Trump voters will have died. They will not be replaced by people who have turned 18 since 2020. Trump attracts very few of the youngest voters. If anything youngsters who reaching voting age will make things even worse for Trump. Yes, Biden has elderly voters who are dying but far fewer. He has far more Democrat leaning people turning 18 every year. More people turn 18 each year than die each year.

Trump could have Ivanka as his running mate. She would negate some of the female advantage for the Democrats if Kamala is on their ticket for either president or VP. Ivanka would also balance her father’s age by offering youth.

ANOTHER REPUBLICAN

The GOP will have been dominated by the Trump family for 8 years by the time 2024 rolls around. They may have had enough. Another dynast might not be what they are looking for.

Forming a dynasty did not work for the Clintons. Yes, the Bush family reigned for a while. But Dubya only won by fluke in 2000 and due to a still popular war in 2004. Jeb Bush, the sometime Governor of Florida, failed in his bid to win the Republican presidential nomination.

Why else might enter the fray on the Republican side?

Ted Cruz is a big beast who came second to Trump in 2016. The Texas senator has impeccable conservative credentials. He would also deliver the second most populous state.

Marco Rubio is a good- looking and soft-spoken Hispanic who could reach out to people who do not usually vote Republican.

Jeb Bush cannot be ruled out. He was governor of the most important state in electoral terms. He is serious-minded and was successful in his previous office. He is perhaps too old.

Mitt Romney failed once. You get one shot at it. He voted against Trump in the impeachment trial. This has tarnished him irreparably in the eyes of the Republican base.

Mitch McConnell is too much of a turtle. He is old and unappealing. He is a wily strategist but no post boy.

Nikki Haley might do well. As a woman and an Asian-American she would attract independents. She is the acceptable face of her party.

The former Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie might be a credible candidate. He has reached across the aisle to work with Democrats. But is he so obese that he cannot be considered?

People are talking about Tom Cotton. He is the right age, healthy and has hawkish views. But the last thing the public wants is another war.

If Paul Ryan came back he might have a chance. He failed to become VP but that does not attract the opprobrium that failing to become president does. Ryan is not too old by any measure. He looks good on TV and seems reasonable.

All these people do not want Trump to run. Nor do they wish to see his daughter do so. They might be convinced that the only feasible long term strategy is to move on from Trump. He is a loser.

POLICIES

Psephology aside – what about policies? Trump seldom has policies. He has messages. With him it is negative cohesion. Are you hating who I am hating?

Trump likes to identify enemies. He will radiate odium at the out-groups. It was liberals, Muslims, the media, Social Justice Warriors, feminists, illegal immigrants, criminals, terrorists and environmentalists. These messages are likely to resonate less next time. SJWs, liberals and feminists are ever more prevalent. They are becoming more widely tolerated. The public wants and amnesty for long term illegal residents. DACA was popular. Sanctuary cities have embedded those who arrived illegally as children in the US as members of communities.

With the US out of Afghanistan, harping on about how much you abominate Muslims will not prove very electorally advantageous. If there are no major terrorist attacks over the next 3 years then counter terrorism will not be a message that has much traction.

Militarism is not going to work. Trump beefed up the military but he used it less than any president since the 1970s. He was in favour of pull-out from Afghanistan. When Afghanistan falls to the Taliban if the Republicans says we should go back in that is not going to win votes. Trump was loudly in favour of withdrawing from foreign conflicts. There is no public appetite for more oriental adventures.

 Trump can speak up for gun rights. But what is he going to do about it? The president has no control over gun laws. Trump rallies are gun free zones. His hypocrisy is blatant. Nonetheless, it is compulsory for Republicans to harp on about how gun rights must be upheld.

Illegal immigration is not particularly high. It got higher under Trump. Banging on about it will simply remind people of his failure to build an inch of wall and his failure to get Mexico to pay a Peso towards it. That is despite Trump diverting billions of dollars from the military to the non -existent wall and shutting down the government for the longest ever time to build that wall. On the wall it is failed, failed, failed. He can blame Congress for that. But he is the one who promised it. Do not promise it unless you can deliver. Congress is not required to do what the president wants.

Donald J will return to the usual talking point of abortion. But the president has no ability to prevent a single abortion unless he changes healthcare in the US Military which provides abortions. He did not do that. If he really opposed abortion then he would have done that. Not all Republicans are pro-Life. The US is increasingly pro-Choice. Despite only about 35% of American being pro-Life this issue is vital for Republicans. It motivates evangelicals who are crucial to Republican turnout. If Trump said he was pro-Choice or even failed to mention the issue this would hurt him badly. No Republican has dared equivocate on the issue for decades.

Anti-environmentalism is unlikely to work well. Yes, Big Oil hates environmentalism. Many deny climate change. There are economic sacrifices to be made to tackle it. These are unpopular. However, there are not enough anti-scientific people out there to make this a winning strategy.

Calling Biden a communist and Kamala Harris a socialist is not going to work. It is so flagrantly false. It simply undermines trust in Republicans on other issues when they tell blatant lies. 

In short, the anti-Enlightenment constituency is a core element of the Republican base. These people need some red meat to be thrown to them. ‘Climate change is a hoax’, ‘affordable healthcare is communism’, ‘Trump won in 2020’ are all provable nonsense but without spouting such flagrant falsehoods it will be hard to actuate the Republican base to vote.

Trump can talk tough on trade. But he did not improve trade. His sanctions were soon scrapped. He did not win a trade war and never even cited an example of a trade war that America won.

The standard talking points did not win the popular vote in 2016 and 2020 so why will they work in 2024? Yes, Trump won the Electoral College through happenstance. He was incredibly fortunate with the efficient distribution of his votes. This was a black swan event. Yes, George W Bush won the Electoral College despite losing the popular vote. But Bush Junior at least came close. He won only 500 000 fewer votes than Al Gore as opposed to Trump winning 3 000 000 fewer than Hillary Clinton. Therefore, the chance of Trump winning the Electoral College despite losing the popular vote is very slender indeed.

The Republican Party needs to find some new and attractive messages. It needs to retain its base but also win over some independents. Thus far there is no sign of this transpiring.

Kowtowing to Putin, Xi and Kim Jong On did not play well with military veterans and traditional Republicans. The US won no concessions from these men.

Some people voted for Trump in 2020 because they loathed the Biden-Harris ticket. But as Biden and Harris are incumbents, they are no longer disliked by so many people. In office these two have not proved to be as bad as their detractors predicted. Therefore, Trump will not benefit from negative voting so much: voting against Biden rather than voting for Trump.

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SORE LOSER

Being a sore loser and saying that he won is not a winning strategy. The American dislike sore losers more than they dislike losers. Being a whinge bag and constantly whinging that Trump won is not going to do the GOP any favours. Republicans prize toughness. Therefore, they must not be crybabies.  They must stop whining and start formulating policies that offer something tangible to the average voter.

Trump claiming that he won the election is not going to work for him. About half of Republican voters believe him. But to win he needs ALL the people who voted Republican last time plus a few more.

If the election is rigged, then there is no point in voting. Some Republicans recognise this. They are against false claims that the election was fixed. They know it depresses Republican turnout. 

In 2016 Trump said the GOP nomination was rigged. He won. He said the 2016 election was rigged. He won. Remember he said that over 3 million illegal immigrants voted for Hillary. So far as I know not one illegal immigrant was proven to have done so. Even if illegal immigrants did vote there is no way o prove who they voted for. Therefore, he has told these stupid lies before. Why should anyone believe him?

The 2020 election is the longest election of all time. It has gone on for 9 months. Republicans have lost over 60 court cases on the issue. Mostly these are before Republican appointed judges. Republican mandated investigations into the elections have yielded virtually no evidence of fraud.

Making spurious allegations about scandals is not going to work. QAnon theories have a very rarefied appeal. The Republican Party must avoid the temptation to speak only to itself. It should not devolve to a whack conspiracy theory party. It needs to appeal to floating voters.

The Republican Party needs to move on from the 2020 election. This has last over 9 months now. It is tedious and uninspiring. Gore recognised after 2000 that it was disadvantageous for his party to incessantly bang on about the unjust election result. At least what he was saying about hanging chads was true. The Republican Party will not win over independents by ceaselessly obsessing over spurious claims of bogus votes.

Trump is a maverick. He is the only president who had never been elected to any public office and had not served in the military either before winning the White House. He is the only president who went from Republican to Democrat and back to Republican before becoming president. He is the only president to have been bankrupt four times. He is the only president to be on his third wife.

NOT DONALD?

What if Trump does not stand? He might seek to hand his baton on to his children. His daughter Ivanka is the most telegenic of them. She is emotionally continent unlike his dimwit brothers. Donald Junior has most of America’s oil reserves in his hair.

Ivanka was a Democrat until 2016 as was her husband Jared. As she converted to Judaism this will hurt her with Christian fundamentalists. Many would only vote for a Christian. As she rejected Jesus Christ, many fundamentalists would be appalled. Her previous pro-abortion views would harm her. She could swiftly recant. Many Christian fundamentalists would not doubt fall for this transparent electorally calculated shapeshifting. They will believe anything except the truth!

Ivanka as the first Republican woman to seek the presidency would be a wildcard. It would neutralise the gender advantage of Kamal Harris.

HOW TRUMP COULD WIN

 If things go badly wrong for Biden then Trump has a chance. If the economy implodes, there is a massive terrorist attack or Biden mishandles a crisis then this would present Trump with an opportunity.

 A huge scandal will not sink Biden. As Trump proved time and again, scandals do not dent the popularity of a president very much. JRB has been in the public eye for half a century. We would know if there were skeletons in his cupboard.

The Democrats won three states for the Electoral College by under 1%. They won a further three states by under 3%. The Republicans could take all these back even if the Republican share of the vote nationally declined. It is not winning votes as such that matters. It is winning them in electorally significant states that counts. Piling up millions of more votes in a red state does not help the Republicans. There GOP must not waste its effort becoming even safer where it was already as safe as the Bank of England.

Republicans are trying to make it more difficult to vote. Their voter ID laws could hand the Republican Party victory. Redistricting in a flagrantly partisan manner has helped the Republicans for decades. They are not going to end gerrymandering now. This does not have a direct effect on the presidential election. It can decide races for state legislatures and the House of Representatives. This means that a Republican run state legislature could certify a Republican victory even if the Democrat won. The same holds true in Congress. This was attempted in 2020.

A low Democratic turnout could seal the doom of the Democrats. The Democrats always struggle to motivate their voters. Opinion polls persistently overrate the Democrats. That is partly consequent upon some Republicans not admitting to pollsters that they are Republican. If Biden or Harris run a lacklustre campaign, then that might cause their defeat. Some racists will dislike Harris for her race. The Democrats really need to energise their base. They are often poor at doing this.

The Democratic Party has often been its own worst enemy. It could be riven by internecine warfare. It could fall prey to a loony lefty faction. The party has torn itself apart several times before. The Democrats have so often snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

Will Republicans be able to actuate their supporters? Trump was even better at this the second time than he was the first time. That does not guarantee that it will work so well the third time if he gets the chance. If Biden or Kamala Harris is the Democrats’ candidate then this will not motivate many Republican to vote out of odium. When there is a strong economy turnout falls. But this will hurt the Democrats more than the Republicans. Being uncontroversial works better for the Democrats than it does for the GOP. That is why Trump or whoever the GOP candidate is would be best advised to crank up tensions. Trump understands this implicitly. Incendiary rhetoric has been successful for him.

 A Lynton Crosby dead cat strategy could work for the Republicans. If they can broach a topic that the Democrats do not wish to discuss then this could deliver the election for the Republicans. It needs to be something divisive for the Democrats. What is it that the Democrats do not wish to talk about and favours the Republicans? It is hard to think such an issue at the moment.

 A disastrous vice-presidential pick by Harris could bring her down. That is what happened to McCain in 2018. However, the Democrats are cognizant of this. In 2020 Biden chose someone with the fewest negatives.

If there is a strong third party challenge that could divert votes from the Democrats. That is what happened in 2000 and 2016. If all Greens had voted Democrat, then the Democrats would have won handily.

The Republicans can tap into fury and frustration as Trump did in 2016. He appealed to left behind voters. People from rust belt states rallied to him. Working class people threatened by globalisation and green energy found his messaging very alluring. As AI takes over more jobs this message might have an even greater impact. But what is the solution? To ban AI? That would make America uncompetitive. The GOP always does what corporations want. Trump runs a corporation. An anti AI message would win votes but is an unworkable policy. That would not stop Trump trying it and it could work in the election.

Income compression and the cost of living would be good issues for Trump to talk about. He did nothing about this as president. He does not care about the poor. But many blue collar voters will buy it nonetheless.

Anti-elitism is a good pitch for Trump. It is totally illogical as he is a WASP New York billionaire. But many working class people lap up such nonsense. He is anti-elitists as in he is anti-educational. A man utterly bereft of refinement and subliterate will be attractive to the mentally subnormal. His narrow lexis is also appealing to the anti-pedagogical constituency.

There is not much that the Republicans can do to widen their appeal. They must ensure they do not shrink their base. This election is more for the Democrats to lose than the GOP to win. The Dems are capable of fouling their own nest as we have seen before. There might be a lot of infighting. There might be some left wingers who consider the Democrat candidate too centrist and refuse to vote for him or her.

The chance that Trump will win the 2024 election is 15%.

Afghanistan. what happens now======================================

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Taliabn take over.

shock and awe. stunned and alarmed. provincial capitals fell like 9 pins.

president ashraf ghni. rat off a sinking ship.

debacle for US. interpreters left behind . some gone to turkey.

Taliban not attacking US at rhe airport. anarhuch. US miitary orderly.

US equieoment left behind.

why withdraw? end conflict at least for the US

alternative – stay indefinitely,

Republcans will try to make mileage.

Virute in withdrawing or in winning. unwinnab;e intractable.

insoluble. no magic bullet or miracle solution

war is the norm. a way of life. some know no other job

no peace dividend. no more money from NGOs, journalists and soldiers.

permanent presence. small. help government. but what if Taliabn attacked more

2020 trump deal with tlaiban. but taliban had to go nothing. hand over nothing. US desperate tp withdraw.

DOha talks. trump said he woudl withdraw.

shades of saigon. in Afghan far fewer US killed. NATO. UN. some success.

taliban moderate women. TV. sports. shia.

saudi arabi moderated

arab spring.

when USSR withdrew communists held on for 3 years.

RUSSIAN schadenfreude. gloating.

some trepidtation. in russia. CSTO. tatars . chechens.

iran worried

oakistan has more sway. bad for InDIA. china paying for reconstruction. Pak a chinese vassal state. satellite. economic corridor.

belt and road.

depths of cynicism. uyghurs. xinjiang.

taliban and its like bannked in china and russia.

TAPI

TURkmenisan

uzbekistan and tajikistan. russian troops.

defeat?

”NATO know tyour limits”

irresolute. unwilling to pay blood price. sacrifice. tax. tax cuts.

want a growing economy. not salient. discretionary not war of survival.

what else to do after 9/11? lack of determinaiton. political will. cut and run.

no northern allianc now. Taliban sealed border.

not much pushback from US electorate. 70% in faviur

Republicans may inveigh. they will not go back in. no votes in it. tucker carlson

benefot for US. Iran is worried

taliban learnt a lesson. do not provoke the west.

US had to go away eventually

2 trillion spent

fewer oriental adventures=========================