Keeping it real (stupid)

You know … I don’t know sometimes. I just don’t know.

Tomorrow, a stop at Panda Express. (“I love Asians!”)

Then one at Pizza Hut. (“I love Italians!)

A finishing lunch at McDonald’s. (“I love the Scots!”)

Seriously, who controls this guy’s Twitter account? Does he?

If I were a Republican — and I’m not, but if I were —  I would be so ticked off that this is the best my party could come up with. I would be outraged. I would probably be embarrassed.

I think that’s truer for more Republicans than the GOP wants to admit.

You can find, with only the tiniest amount of Googling, any number of avowed Republicans who think that this guy is the worst, for the party and (gulp!) the country. Here’s one, quoted in Politico:

If we nominate Trump, [the party] is lost beyond this cycle. I think we lose women for a generation, in big numbers,” said Katie Packer, who served as Romney’s deputy campaign manager and now leads Our Principles super PAC, which spent $10 million in an effort to stop Trump.

“There’s a feeling among Republican women that I talk to that the people who would nominate this guy don’t have any real respect for us as women — especially professional women. They would rather see us in a “Mad Men” era, where women knew their place and catered to their husband, cooked dinner and met their sexual obligations and didn’t have any other role in society. And there are other people who are supporting him because the guy’s a blatant racist and they identify with that.

“So there’s a sense that, if this is who my party is, I don’t really identify with it anymore.”

This piece predicts, based on a poll, that as many as 40 percent of Republicans would vote for Trump’s rival in the November general election, look for a third-party candidate or just stay home and not vote at all.

That’s a problem because, remember, people who call themselves Republicans make up only about 26 percent of the electorate as it is. (Democrats account for only 29 percent … the rest are independents, or don’t identify with either party. ThanksWashington gridlock for that.) So if 40 percent of Republicans bolt — either for a third-party candidate, or (more likely, in my mind), they don’t vote at all — well, someone becomes a loser of epic proportions.

Like most everyone else, I’m constantly amazed at the whole Trump candidacy. Amazed that he’s made it this far. Amazed that he says so many stupid things and gets away with them. Amazed that no one on the right could stop this guy.

I’m in denial, in a lot of ways. I’m still expecting Paul Ryan or Mitt Romney or Jeb Bush to pop out of a cake in Cleveland in July to give everyone one final chance at a real candidate. That would at least give us all — Democrat, Republican, Independent — something to consider. That might be bad for Republicans, who would have to explain that that whole primary season really didn’t mean anything. But I think it would be good for the country.

But it’s not going to happen, probably. Instead, the GOP will have a callow, shallow and completely overmatched candidate who will win his party’s nomination by appealing to angry white voters.

And will lose the general election, probably badly, because of precisely that.

This, finally, from The Conversation (a piece that was reprinted in Salon), breaking down the demographics and applying a little history lesson:

Lost in the uproar over Trump’s divisive appeals is the fact that Republicans already win whites by huge margins. For example, in 2012 Romney carried white voters by 20 points, and yet he still lost.

The reason was that Obama won the support of minority voters by even bigger margins. He carried 93 percent of African-American voters, 71 percent of Latino voters and 73 percent of Asian voters.

The electorate’s demographics will be even more unfavorable for the GOP in 2016. Nonwhite voters constituted 28 percent of the electorate in 2012, but in 2016 about 38 percent of Americans are minorities, which means the potential ceiling for minority turnout is extremely high.

Even though the general election is still six months away, the “Trump effect” has already sparked a huge increase in voter registration by Latinos. The pace of registration is so great that it is projected that almost two million more Latinos will vote in 2016 than voted in 2012. Moreover, the surge in Latino registration is occurring in key states, like Florida, Nevada, Colorado and Texas.

Women made up 53 percent of the electorate in 2012, which makes them the single largest demographic group. Female voters made the difference for Obama. Although Romney carried men by 8 points, Obama won the 2012 election because he carried women by 10 points.

Trump’s problems with women are vastly greater than Romney’s problems. The latest polls indicate that Hillary Clinton could beat Trump among women by 40 points, an astounding margin without precedent in American political history. A gender gap half that size would deliver the White House to Clinton in a massive landslide. It would also lead to crushing losses for Republicans in the congressional races.

So there we are. He can eat all the taco bowls and profess his love for Hispanics all he wants. He can even invite some women over to eat with him. Maybe an African-American woman.

But, in the end, building walls and banning Muslims and calling women names — and, let’s not forget, being so fuzzy and wishy-washy on policy and issues that he just looks dumb — will get him nothing but lunch, by himself, at his desk. Maybe a trophy. The Biggest Loser.

At least he’ll still have his Twitter account to keep him warm.

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