Wednesday, February 17, 2016

What It Would Take to Knock Trump Out of the Pole Position

Patrick Ruffini of Echelon  sees it this way:

 First, Donald Trump is going to win South Carolina. Don't get your hopes up about a miraculous surge for anyone else.

The data I'm seeing suggests that far from being highly fluid, the race is actually settling into a pattern.

Trump is not subject to regional fluctuations in support because his coalition is attitudinal, not ideological.

The percentage of voters who think "F*ck it" is pretty constant from state to state.

This means he gets 35% vs the current field. What's striking is how little difference vs New Hampshire.

At the same time, Trump support isn't necessarily *growing* as we might have expected coming out of NH.

In fact, the pattern from IA>NH>SC is not one of state to state momentum but fixed patterns that are likely to repeat.

That means Trump=25% in caucuses, 30% in low turnout closed primaries, 35% in high turnout primaries like NH and SC.

This means fairly sizable regional fluctuations for Cruz or whomever the establishment candidate that emerges.

As we move to a three man race, Trump will have 40, Cruz will have 30, establishment candidate will have 30 *nationally*

This puts Trump in pole position. Winnowing to 3 won't be enough. Field will need to winnow to 2 to defeat Trump under current dynamic.

It seems like we have a 50/50 shot if the field winnows to two, with very little margin for error.

1 comment:

  1. The main issue with that is that both Cruz and Rubio are disliked by decent chunks of the GOP base, and if one were to drop out, not all of their support would automatically shift to the other. Keeping it a three horse race would be the most reliable way to deny Trump an outright victory, with the only way I could see it failing would be for anti-establishment Cruz fans throwing their support to him in fear of what could happen should the nomination be decided by the party elite. Even in the event of a brokered convention should Trump win a plurality he could declare himself the winner and threaten a third-party run if he doesn't get the nomination, so it won't be easy or painless to dislodge him.