Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Connecticut, Advantage Hillary

Just prior to the California primary, a “must win” for socialist Bernie Sanders, the Hillary Clinton campaign pointed out that their beleaguered leader had acquired enough delegates to overcome Mr. Sanders at the upcoming Democratic Party Presidential nominating convention. A headline following the announcement, typical of most, read: “Clinton secures delegates before last Democratic races."

The message of the Hillary campaign to prospective Sanders supporters just prior to the crucial primaries in six states – CA, MT, NM, ND, NJ and SD – and especially delegate rich California, could not be plainer: Stay home, the campaign is over. Mrs. Clinton swept California and New Jersey. Following her California win, Mrs. Clinton slathered Bernie supporters with empathy. “I know it never feels good to put your heart into a cause or a candidate you believe in and come up short,” she said from her triumphant podium. “I know that feeling well.”


Mr. Sanders – like Mrs. Clinton, now running for history – vowed to press his socialist programs over the brow of the Democratic primary victor at the Democratic nominating convention. The socialist crown is one Mrs. Clinton will be loathed to sport during the general election; everyone expects her to pivot to the center, and too much socialism could easily prevent her from crashing the glass ceiling as the first female President in U.S. history.

Hillary supporters in Connecticut were no doubt relieved at Mrs. Clinton’s substantial wins in California and New Jersey. Among political establishment supporters in Connecticut are the members of the state’s U.S. Congressional Delegation, all Democrats.

Coincident with the uplifting news release, Quinnipiac released a new poll certain to make the hearts of Connecticut’s U.S. Delegation members flutter with anticipatory delight. The Q-poll showed Mrs. Clinton leading prospective Republican Party nominee Donald Trump by a more than comfortable margin, 45 - 38 percent.
               
Any Republican Party contender for the presidency in CT must overcome a sizable vote advantage by Democrats, about two to one. Registered unaffiliateds in the state slightly outnumber Democrats.

In order to light a fire under the Trump campaign in Connecticut, Mr. Trump must energize Republican office holders, an “establishment” group the Trump campaign has been denigrating for months.

Mr. Trump has two serious problems: He’s running short of money; it’s one thing to self-finance a primary, quite a different thing to self-finance a general election. The coverage Trump received during the primaries, which permitted him to spend less money financing his Republican Party putsch, almost certainly will dissipate in a general election because, as Mr. Trump often has pointed out, the much detested Main Stream Media, (MSM) leans left and is unfair to Mr. Trump’s campaign.

The MSM may have been favorably disposed towards Trump during the bruising Republican primaries, possibly in order to sweep the political stage of genuine anti-establishment conservatives – Marco Rubio, Rand Paul and Ted Cruz. By "favorably disposed,” the reader should not infer that left of center media outlets were in Mr. Trump’s corner because they regarded him as a superior candidate. In part for selfish rating reasons, the MSM provided more air time to Trump than any of his Republican Party contenders. Air time is costly for campaigns -- except when it's free, spontaneously combusted by Mr. Trump’s explosive and entertaining personality. However, in a general election featuring Mrs. Clinton and Trump, who is neither a conservative nor a Sanders socialist, the political priorities of the MSM may revert to the status quo ante, which would favor Mrs. Clinton, of the two the most left leaning candidate and the heir to President Barack Obama’s progressive administration.

Mr. Trump’s second problem is this: He simply cannot move as agilely in debate as Mrs. Clinton, whose campaign is well fortified with domestic and foreign policy experts. Here again, Mr. Trump is at a disadvantage; indeed, some have argued that, in this regard, he is his own worst enemy, preferring political bling to sound domestic and foreign policy prescriptions. In addition, the entire Connecticut US Congressional Delegation is Democratic. There are on the Republican side in Connecticut no politically well positioned national Republican officeholders to lend an oar to the Trump campaign on foreign policy matters, his weak suit – even assuming it would be in their best interest to do so.


Mr. Sanders -- the first serious socialist candidate since Eugene Debs (1912-1920); Robert LaFollette (1924) and Norman Thomas (1930’s) also ran for president as socialists – hopes to leave an impression on the Democratic Party platform and is now running for history. Mrs. Clinton was running for history during her entire political career. Mr. Trump is running for himself. 
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