January 25, 2016

Have we moved into We-Know-The-Nominees Territory yet?

Iowa has not caucused. New Hampshire hasn't had it's primary yet. Is Trump already unbeatable as the GOP nominee? He has a commanding lead in the polls in both states. Time is running short and Trump very well could win both states.  And that could prove a commanding lead, by consolidating the public's impression of a sure fire winner.

On the Democratic side, there's a rising sentiment that Hillary is bland.  Bernie Sanders is not pulling Obama 2008 numbers just yet, but he is clearly gaining momentum at Hillary's expense.  And beyond the right's absolute distaste for her,  every single hiccup, or cough from her campaign portends more trouble. She may toast; walking, talking, campaigning toast.

The Donald versus Socialist Bernie.  We're done except for the general election.  Then again...                    

There's not a single vote been cast yet. But it would not be hard to bet on that outcome, or for that matter Donald versus Hillary as the 1B scenario.  Still - no one has voted yet. A lot can happen between now and Super Tuesday. 

My suspicion is that it will.  Trump seems as unbeatable on the Republican side as Hillary did in 2008.  Something will happen to shake up the GOP race.  At this point I'd say it's only 25% likely Trump will be the nominee.  That's a better chance than I'd give anyone else.  But it also means there's a 75% chance it won't be Trump.  It's not just voter perception - ultimately it is - but there's GOP establishment rallying around anyone but Trump or Cruz, there's SuperPAC bombardments, there's candidate consolidation, more debates and a lot of other factors too.

It's not done, and Trump supporters and detractors would do well to remember that, because at the end of the day, the nominee that emerges will need a unified base against either Sanders or Clinton.  It won't be a cakewalk to the White House.  It's going to be a vicious fight against a rabidly liberal media establishment. In fighting is different than debate, and it will be problematic if it continues to escalate.  It may shake up the race but it also may fracture the party. The reward is not worth the risk.  Civility, is still critical.
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