Monday, June 20, 2016

Don't Race to Conclusions About the Election

Not too long ago, Donald Trump was starting to catch up with Hillary Clinton in the polls and maybe even to overtake her.  Clinton supporters started to panic, while the cooler-headed warned that panic was premature.

Well, now Trump has hit a rough patch and Hillary supporters are starting to gloat.  But gloating is just as premature as panic.  The election remains nearly five months away.  A lot can happen in that amount of time.  Most recent attention has gone to Trump's remarkably inept management of his campaign.  He currently has a mere 30 paid staffers nationwide, and unheard-of approach to a modern presidential campaign.  (The Republican National Committe, by contrast, has 438 paid staffers nationwide, including 60 in Florida alone). He has not run any ads whatever in battleground states. Nor has he made any attempt to coordinate messages.  Of course, it is an open question how much this will harm him.  After all, he got through the primary just fine on inflammatory comments and tweets.  And even if he needs something more substantial in the general election, my guess is the Republican Party has just staged an intervention and told him he needs to pull it together.  He has apparently just fired his campaign manager and replaced him with someone more conventional.  So I would say it is way too early to count him out.

More significant that what this says about his campaign is what it says about his potential administration.  After all, part of the appeal of business leaders, aside from being unsullied by politics, is their presumed greater administrative skill and efficiency.  If Trump runs the government the way he has run his campaign, he would be an absolute disaster.

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