Despite rallies that are packed with screaming supporters, it can seem as if Donald Trump’s campaign is starting to fracture. With people on both sides of the political spectrum denouncing him and key members of the GOP outright attacking his campaign, support nationwide does look slim.
Despite this appearance of hope, former manager for President Obama’s 2008 campaign, David Plouffe, warns against counting Trump out this early. In regards to a Clinton-Trump race, Plouffe comments that Trump could be a worse candidate for Clinton to face than Sen. Ted Cruz would be.
“We’ve never seen anything like this in politics. Democrats should not be popping champagne corks since Donald Trump is doing so well.”
His advice makes a large, and unfortunately scary, amount of sense. Across the aisle Democrats, Independents, and even Republicans are doubting Trump has any true chance in a general election, believing that his alienation of countless groups (women, African-Americans, Muslims, immigrants, and an increasingly large host of others) to be costing him voters by a wide margin.
From within Hillary Clinton’s campaign, pollster and strategist Joel Benenson said that Trump had basically no path to the presidency.
It’s a relieving thought, but some are saying that it could be a dangerous one. There was a similar belief a few months ago, when the primaries were still a distant future.
Few thought that Donald Trump had any serious chance at winning the primary, especially against experienced politicians like Cruz and Rubio. The Donald’s run seemed like it was more for his own entertainment then any actual issue, but as the race heated up state after state started to rally for him. His angry and hateful speech caused an alarmingly large number of Americans to rush to the polls and cast his votes in his name.
What was a source of entertainment became a front runner for his party. A joke that fractured the GOP.
Plouffe acknowledged that it’s true that Donald Trump will have a major issue appealing to demographics like Hispanics and women, but it’s the same issue that any Republican candidate would have. Unlike Cruz however, who would be handicapped in the same way, Trump is drawing in new voters who aren’t voting along purely party lines. In Louisiana his rally drew a number of undecided voters, and in the end he won the state with 41.4 percent of the vote.
He’ll suffer the same disadvantage of any true GOP nominee, but with his own string of benefits, something Cruz can’t count on.
If Trump does win the nomination and run as the Republican presidential candidate, then it is unclear what those members of the Republican party who voted for Cruz, Rubio, or Kasich will do. Surely some will stick with party (red or dead), but some may be more than willing to put their weight behind a third candidate, or even the Democratic nominee.
But that’s a large assumption to make, particularly when Donald Trump has gone from being a joke among the media to a contender with thousands attending his rallies. He can’t be counted out, and whoever wins the Democratic primary may have their work cut out for them.