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Tweedle Trump, Tweedle Clinton and Tweedle Obama are apparently our lot in the coming years

Reader comment on item: MEF's Surprising Straw Poll on Trump
in response to reader comment: What's so surprising?

Submitted by Michael S (United States), Apr 13, 2016 at 11:50

Hello, Daniel

You pointed Leon to the same twitter post you pointed me to, which says,

"What happens if no presidential candidate gets 270 Electoral votes for a majority?

"If no candidate receives a majority of Electoral votes, the House of Representatives elects the President from the 3 Presidential candidates who received the most Electoral votes. Each staate delegation has one vote"

-- https://twitter.com/DanielPipes/status/719382657361178624

I don't believe we will see that scenario. Donald Trump has said he will not run as a Third Party candidate. He is the only candidate with a popular base sufficient to carry the Deep South states, which are the only states capable of making an electorally significant showing in a three-way race. Trump swept all those states in the primaries, and they contain the current GOP and Conservative heartland of America.

If an insurgent Ted Cruz wins the Republican nomination, he cannot defeat Hillary Clinton, even in a two-way race. Hillary has been favored to win from the very beginning of this election cycle; and with perhaps 10% of Republican voters staying home or even voting for Hillary, the prospects are even worse. If Trump did a third-party bid, which, as I say, he is unlikely to do, he and Cruz together would get fewer electoral votes than in a two-party face-off.

All the other Republican candidates have even worse prospects. Kasich has so far shown popularity only in Ohio; and the only other area of the country where he attracts any votes, namely, the the Northeast, is heavily pro-Clinton and pro-Democrat. Rubio is in an even worse place: He carried only Minnesota, DC and Puerto Rico. That gives him a map like the 1984 contest betweeen Ronald Reagan and Walter Mondale,

http://uspoliticsguide.com/US-Politics-Directory/Historical-Presidential-Election-Results/1984-Presidential-Election-Results.php

with Rubio winning the votes of the Democrat, Mondale. What I am saying, is that Rubio's appeal is to Democrats, not Republicans; and that those Democrats will vote for Hillary, not him, in the general election.

The other candidates were all losers in the primaries, and are likely to be losers in the election. Paul Ryan has explicitly said he will not become the "white knight" of Republican neocons. He has said he wants the GOP candidate to be one of the announced candidates, who have been referred to as "Snow White and the Seventeen Dwarfs"; and since Ryan will chair the convention, he is likely to get his way.

As I said in another post, I expect Hillary Clinton to be elected President in November. The only conceivable alternative that comes to mind is that if Barack Obama is (God forbid!) assasinated in the next few months, Joe Biden will become President. If this happened before the Democratic Convention, he could then easily oust Hillary as front-runner and go on to win the general election as a landslide. As I said in another place (tongue-in-cheek), Obama would then get not just a day, but a whole month named after him. This would probably be February, currently "Presidents' Month", so as not to compete with Martin Luther King Day in January.

It is possible that you were thinking in terms of Donald Trump getting the nomination, and some other Republican running on a Third Party ticket. The last time a Republican ran against its Southern base successfully was 1924, when "Fighting Bob" Lafollette ran as a Progressive. He won only Wisconsin; and Calvin Coolidge easily won the election:

http://uspoliticsguide.com/US-Politics-Directory/Historical-Presidential-Election-Results/1984-Presidential-Election-Results.php

The Democratic candidate, John W. Davis, won states which exactly corresponded to the former Confederacy. Those states today are the Republican electoral heartland, and are heavily pro-Trump; so the area that then went for Coolige, including New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois and California, would today go to Clinton.

In all these scenarios, intervention by the House of Representatives would not be called upon.

Concerning Donald Trump's putative foreign policy, "The Donald" has been called Barack Obama's doppleganger:

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/421403/obama-and-trump-two-kind-victor-davis-hanson

The two differ on few points, and agree on many. Both think NATO isn't pulling its weight, have proclaimed themselves neutral concerning Israel and the Palesterrorists (though Trump seems more sympathetic towards Israel), see Putin as a positive force in the war against ISIS, are focussed on Asia and obsessed with China, and have been ambivalent towards Free Trade agreements. Just as Obama continued George W Bush's policies (such as Afghanistan, Iraq and waterboarding) almost seamlessly, we can expect a hypothetical President Trump to do likewise.

As for NATO (and the related issues of Europe and the EU), our allies across the Atlantic are on life support. In June, Greece stands a good chance of defaulting on its loan, precipitating a crisis. That same month, the people of Britain will vote to leave the EU; and if the "leaves" carry the day, as polls indicate (though I think them wrong), there will be another crisis. Even now, today, two months before any of that happens, the EU's Schengen Area, already collapsing because of the Immigrant Crisis, will have to decide on taking Visa-Free travel away from the Americans and Canadians:

http://nomadcapitalist.com/2016/04/13/visa-free-travel-to-europe-denied-us-passport/

This, obviously, would not help European-American relations; but Donald Trump had nothing to do with it: It was the fault of Obama and the Republican Establishment.

In November, therefore, we will likely have a choice between Hillary Clinton, who is a continuation of Obama, and Donald Trump, who is a continuation of Obama. I'm so excited about it all, I can hardly wait! (sarcasm)

Shalom shalom

Submitting....

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