OK, Chuck Todd said that on January 25, 2015. Surely now, 17 months later, he has learned his lesson.
From Charlie Cook of the National Journal:
The latest round of polls released prior to Memorial Day weekend, which showed Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in a virtual tie, set off intense hand-wringing among Democrats, Clinton backers, and Trump detractors alike.But down was up, according to Cook:
On NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday, the always-prescient moderator Chuck Todd said much the same thing but approached it in another way. First Todd pointed to the May 15-19 NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, noting that Sanders bested Trump in the survey by 15 points, 54 to 39 percent, while Clinton had a scant 3-point edge over Trump, 46 to 43 percent. Todd then calculated that if 70 percent of the voters who supported Sanders against Trump subsequently moved into Clinton’s corner, she would then have an 8-point lead, 51 to 43 percent.
Shifting 70 percent of Sanders’s supporters into the Clinton column in the May 13-17 CBS News/New York Times poll would enlarge her lead over Trump from 6 points, 47 to 41 percent, to 9 points, 50 to 41 percent. Doing the same thing using the May 14-17 Fox News survey, which showed Trump ahead by 3 points, 45 to 42 percent, would produce a tie, 45 to 45 percent. Todd pointed out that in the first 2008 NBC/WSJ poll after Clinton dropped out against Barack Obama, Obama moved up 3 points, a sign that Clinton supporters were getting in line. This is a natural development after contested nominations are settled.
Keeping in mind that there are more Democrats than Republicans, and that 90 percent of partisans end up voting for their respective party’s presidential nominee, it’s not surprising that Democrats have had party identification advantages in four of the five most recent national polls: 2 points in CBS/NYT (33 to 31 percent), 5 points in NBC/WSJ (34 to 29 percent), 6 points in Gallup (31 to 25 percent), and 8 points in ABC/Washington Post (33 to 25 percent); only the Fox News poll gave the GOP an edge in party affiliation, 41 to 40 percent.
So it is logical that Democrats have an advantage of a few points once the nominations are truly settled and partisans have had time to make peace with their candidates. In the NBC/WSJ poll, a generic presidential race showed 47 percent preferring a Democratic president to 43 percent opting for a Republican. Likewise, when pollsters measure favorable-unfavorable or positive-negative ratings, Democrats maintain a steady advantage over Republicans.
In short, the parties have not evolved at the same rate. Trump has had the Republican field to himself and has begun healing party wounds, such as he can, while Clinton has not yet been afforded that opportunity because she has been busy fighting off Sanders.Always prescient?
Let us review:
“Nobody’s going to mistake Donald Trump for a presidential candidate, I don’t think, other than Donald Trump,” Chuck Todd said on his Meet the Press show on NBC on January 25, 2015.
“On Wednesday, we reached peak Donald Trump, with two national TV interviews, including one by NBC News’ Katy Tur. We also learned on Wednesday that RNC Chair Reince Priebus called Trump and asked him to tone down his rhetoric on immigration — yet another acknowledgement of how the New York real-estate mogul is hurting the party. But here’s a fairly safe prediction: Trump’s poll position in the GOP race is going to go down. It might not happen tomorrow, or next month before the first debate, or the month after that. But it’s going to happen. And it won’t be due to immigration, but instead past statements on a slew of important issues to the GOP base,” Chuck Todd of NBC wrote on July 9, 2015.
"Making sense of Trump’s bump in the polls: As the political world tries to make sense of Donald Trump and his rise in the polls, it’s worth taking a stroll down memory lane. Four years ago, in the April 2011 NBC/WSJ poll, your early leaders in the national GOP presidential horserace were Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee and, yes, Donald Trump (!!!). In the July 2011 NBC/WSJ poll, the leaders were Romney and Michele Bachmann. In August, it was Rick Perry and Romney. In October, it was Herman Cain and Romney. A month later, it was Romney and Cain again. And in December 2011, it was Newt Gingrich and Romney. So what does that tell us? For starters, the GOP race was incredibly volatile, always featuring Romney vs. an anti-Romney alternative flavor the month. But maybe more importantly, it was about an anti-Romney constituency in search of a candidate. These were voters who weren’t wild about Romney, who weren’t wild about the Republican establishment as a whole, but who wanted someone else. And eventually, they settled on Rick Santorum (the last anti-Romney standing). So if that lesson from 2011-2012 taught us anything, it’s that Trump’s rise isn’t about Donald Trump; folks, he isn’t going to be the GOP’s nominee. Rather, it’s about where his supporters/voters go. Trump’s constituency is very real and perhaps durable – even if they end up candidate shopping again," Chuck Todd on July 22, 2015.
Give me a break.
After being wrong all last year about the nomination, Todd is working hard to be wrong this year about the general election.
Oh and Cook, he gets a brief mention in my book:
However, Washington knew best. Charlie Cook, a political-race handicapper who was popular in the capital, blew off the New Hampshire win.
“I still see Trump as more of a protest candidate, a vehicle for the angry, anti-establishment mood among many Republicans, rather than someone who many Republicans will see as a realistic president. It should be remembered that Trump’s 34 percent New Hampshire performance means that 66 percent of Republicans did not vote for him,” Cook wrote.Remember that nonsense? The field had five major contenders at the time and the lion's share went to the lion -- Trump -- but the experts kept saying Trump was losing because he as not the unanimous choice.
Keep whistling past that graveyard, Washington press corps.