opinion web
Liberal Opinion Conservative Opinion
Matt Towery
Matt Towery
27 Aug 2015
Do You Think They Really Understand the Mess We Are In?

It's not just the stock market that is having trouble these days. In reality, everywhere you look there are … Read More.

20 Aug 2015
Administration Must Change Oil Exports Policy Before Economy Starts to Tank

Just eight years ago we were watching candidates for the GOP and Democratic nominations for president start … Read More.

13 Aug 2015
Trump Survives, Rubio Rises, Bush Drifts

In what will go down as one of the most interesting and entertaining political debates in modern times, … Read More.

Pundits Get It Wrong About Trump and General Election


After finally surrendering to the reality that Donald Trump is the certifiable leader in the GOP race for president, the "inside the bubble" D.C. pundits have moved on to his inability to win a November 2016 election against Hillary Clinton or some other Democrat.

At first blush that seems a reasonable view. After all, the polling they rely on shows Trump with higher negatives than many of the other candidates in the Republican race. "He's too polarizing," say the experts.

The conventional wisdom among most of the D.C. elite is that a Trump nomination would be disaster for a Republican Party that might face a weakened Hillary Clinton, or for that matter, a seemingly vulnerable substitute next November.

And so the whisper among these stale old experts is basically "how do we keep Donald Trump from ruining our chance to actually win an election that seems to be shaping up in our favor?"

Arguing that Trump appeals to a strong but limited base of voters has apparently become their new mantra. But that argument might be just as incorrect as those made earlier this summer when Donald Trump was dismissed as a sideshow of little substance and with no chance of winning the nomination.

After two dismal showings in presidential contests both in '08 and '12 it became conventional wisdom among longtime Republican "experts" to assign the blame for those losses to poor outreach to Latinos and an inability to capture the vote of younger Americans.

And solving these two problems would build a better mousetrap for the nominee in '16?

Perhaps. But there might be a more realistic approach given the fact that younger voters have skewed Democrat for quite some time and Latino voters are actually comprised of many different origins, with differing views on everything from religion to immigration.

What would likely win the Republicans the presidency in 2016 would be a surge of voters who view the current ruling class — be that a Republican Congress or the Obama presidency — as out of touch and ineffective.

Recent polls indicate that to be the case.

Elections are about a candidate and his or her backers building their own turnout model on Election Day.

That means Republicans must not only convert some otherwise likely Democratic voters. They must also somehow motivate those who usually don't vote to rise up off of their couches and out of their recliners to somehow make an inconvenient trip to their polling place and cast a ballot.

What so many of the pundits seem to be missing in this year's race is that we are a nation where reality television and celebrity lives rule the airwaves and the Internet. For the moment, Trump's position in the polls would have us believe that he would do worse than former Gov. Jeb Bush or other potential nominees in November '16. But in reality, Trump is the best known commodity of the Republicans and his allegedly high "negative" numbers actually fall below the percent of voters who bailed on McCain and Romney in their presidential efforts.

No matter who the GOP nominee is in 2016 it is highly unlikely that he or she will make a huge dent in the African-American vote or the Latino vote. But it is certain that if the nominee can't appeal to "blue collar" voters, or the so-called "middle class," or can't motivate conservatives to vote at record numbers, then the Republican nominee will go down to defeat again.

It could be argued that Trump would fare no worse with black voters than recent nominees because his "tell it like it is" style might actually begin to catch on. And some in the Latino community believe his approach to immigration appeals to many in that community whose family members took the time to enter the country legally.

As for Trump being polarizing, do a Google search with keywords related to "too polarizing" and Ronald Reagan's 1980 campaign. The experts were wrong then, too.

Regardless, there are a sea of non-voters who could leap from their couches and vote for a reality star who they view to be real. And that could make Mr. Trump a potent force in a showdown with the Democrats.

Matt Towery is author of the book "Paranoid Nation: The Real Story of the 2008 Fight for the Presidency." He heads the polling and political information firm InsiderAdvantage. Follow him on Twitter: @matttowery. To find out more about Matt Towery and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at



0 Comments | Post Comment
Already have an account? Log in.
New Account  
Your Name:
Your E-mail:
Your Password:
Confirm Your Password:

Please allow a few minutes for your comment to be posted.

Enter the numbers to the right: comments policy
Matt Towery
Sep. `15
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
30 31 1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 1 2 3
About the author About the author
Write the author Write the author
Printer friendly format Printer friendly format
Email to friend Email to friend
View by Month
Authorís Podcast
R. Emmett Tyrrell
R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr.Updated 3 Sep 2015
Larry Elder
Larry ElderUpdated 3 Sep 2015
Froma Harrop
Froma HarropUpdated 3 Sep 2015

15 May 2014 Georgia GOP Senate Primary Could Beg National Concern Over "Turnout Bug"

8 Mar 2007 As Trump Goes, So Goes The Nation

21 Oct 2010 Confessions of a Pollster