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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

What being Trumped taught them

Huffington Post committed an act of journalism by interviewing Danny Diaz (Jeb Bush's campaign manager), Jeff Roe (Ted Cruz's campaign manager,) and Alex Conant (Marco Rubio's communications director) on how they lost to Trump. The story by Sam Stein confirmed my suspicion that the campaigns knew it was over last year.

From the story:
QUESTION: When you enter an election, you have a carefully laid plan about how you’re going to win it. At what point in the cycle did you realize that plan was meaningless?
DIAZ (Bush's man): I appreciate your starting with me. [laughs] Right after Labor Day, we understood that it was going to be a really, really difficult race for us, despite the advantages that we had. It was persistent in the survey work just the level of unhappiness, anger and disaffection among voters.
ROE (Cruz's man): Labor Day was about the time we knew, too.
QUESTION: Really? That seems early.
ROE: So we did 5,000 calls a night from the day we got in the race to the day we got out. We had a continual analytic program. And you could tell from early on that Trump had a floor. He was always going to have 25 to 30 percent of liberal-to-moderates, he was going to have 25 to 30 percent of somewhat conservatives, he was going to have 25 to 30 percent of very conservatives.
They knew their battle plan was useless, and yet they stuck with it.

And yet they stuck with their plan because, well, it was the plan, right? Such inflexibility undermines the argument that these men were more presidential. Flexibility is an argument in Trump's favor.

And what about that base of Trump's? He was a rookie and he waltzed in and took one in four Republicans (25 percent) right of the bat. Just like that. What does that say about the party, its principles, and its principals. Bush -- the Establishment Candidate -- by the end of the year could not muster 5 percent support in the polls.

Trump didn't poll. The other candidates obsessed with polls.
QUESTION: Jeff, what was your polling telling you at the very beginning?
ROE (Cruz): We do our polling a little bit different. We always had a continual, rotating “consider score.” A consider score measures whether a respondent will consider a candidate for the office they are seeking. When Trump got into the race, I think he was at a 28/58 favorable/unfavorable rating. And he was earning about 3 or 4 percent in the overall ballot. But his consider score matched his favorable rating, which never happens. Your consider score should be in between your favorable and your ballot. Ben Carson, on the other hand, had a huge favorable number, but few people seriously considered voting for him for president. So, out of the gate, the race became about him or not him.
The nomination race was a referendum on Trump. The general election is a referendum on Trump.

He has learned. So have the pros in Washington. If you do not think these cats are talking to Hillary and the Democrats, I have some nice beach-front property for you in Swampland.

Coming soon -- "Trump the Press: Don Surber's take on how the pundits blew the 2016 Republican race."


  1. The GOP is now the POT - The Party Of Trump. - Elric

  2. "It was persistent in the survey work just the level of unhappiness, anger and disaffection among voters."

    And the theme of everyone but Trump was "get over it".

    Even Nobel Laureates finally get it

    "When citizens believe that the elite care more about those across the ocean than those across the train tracks, insurance has broken down, we divide into factions, and those who are left behind become angry and disillusioned with a politics that no longer serves them. We may not agree with the remedies that they seek, but we ignore their real grievances at their peril and ours."

  3. I have heard of favorable and unfavorable ratings, but this is the first I have heard of a "consider score" but it certainly makes sense. You don't have to personally like someone to think that he is the right person for the job.

    It is kind of funny that I don't here more about that sort of polling question.

    -Mikey NTH

  4. Three things that Trump doesn't need to get his views across.

    1. A teleprompter
    2. Amplification
    3. A spine transplant

    Unlike Obama, he won't be putting his balls into escrow for the duration of his Presidency.

  5. Interesting stuff.

    The fact he has a floor across the board would give him a strength probably no other candidate could ever count on.

    1. Good catch.

      I remember the punditocracy going on that Trump had a 25% - 30% ceiling, when it turns out that was his floor.

      Basically - they lied, lied often, and lied without shame.

      So if the Trump run ends with the punditocracy being changed over a very good thing will have been done.

      -Mikey NTH