Trump solidifies the crazy vote

I thought Donald Trump’s peak for the Republican nomination was going to be 27 percent (because 27 percent of the voting population is insane). This recent Economist/YouGov poll, taken after the John McCain/war hero side show sets the crazy bar higher:

trump_yougov_poll_072415And the pundits that be thought the McCain flack was going too  hurt Trump. But look at this favorable/unfavorable ratings between Trump and McCain among veterans:

ktrump5

Now that is amazing.

Paul Krugman, can you explain?

So, over the weekend we were told that our pass the popcorn moment — I mean, our long national nightmare — was over: Donald Trump would implode now that he had dared to question John McCain’s heroism.

But lo and behold, he’s still hanging on to front-runner status for the Republican nomination. How is that possible?

The short answer, surely, is that the inside-the-Beltway crowd — not for the first time — confused its own perceptions with those of actual voters.

Inside the Village, McCain is a sacred figure; he is still, after all these years of being a conventional ideologue, perceived as being McCain the Maverick; he is still seen as a wise man on national security despite his warmongering; he’s virtually a constant presence on the Sunday talk shows. So the villagers expected everyone to recoil in horror when Trump ridiculed his war record — you’re only supposed to do that to Democrats.

But the Republican base really doesn’t care very much. Whatever they may say, its members don’t really care about military heroism — it’s not just the treatment of John Kerry, think about how little they seemed to care when we finally did get Osama. And they really, really don’t care about some old guy who lost an election.

Trump surely hurt himself a bit with his McCain attack, but he still embodies the base’s id in a way the Village doesn’t seem to understand.

Watch Lindsay Graham kill his cellphone

As you all know, the billionaire trash compactor Donald Trump is still on his roll of dick moves, topped of this week by giving the world GOP rival Lindsay Graham’s cellphone number. (Actually, that’s probably not the dick move of the week. We still have a couple of days left.)

So this is Graham’s response:

Yeah, sure. It’s funny. But, dude, if you like the phone, keep it. (Considering it’s a flip phone, you must really like it, because that’s so turn of the century.)

Just change the SIM card! (I guess Lindsay’s and old guy and doesn’t understand all that fancy tech stuff.)

 

Donald Trump and the 27 percent

So, the Donald took aim at John McCain this weekend, saying he isn’t a war hero because he was captured by the North Vietnamese.  The Republicans are having a fit and telling him to shut up. But that’s not going to happen:

I have the advantage of growing up in Brooklyn and knowing for the past 40 years that Trump is a dick. I’ve said it everywhere I worked and tried to explain to people that the only reason Trump was famous was because he was in the media capital of the world, and New York papers loved the fact that he was a dick because he always provided good copy.

Now he has the national spotlight he’s always wanted. And he’s not going to give it up. And guess what! His support is going to grow.

Here’s where he is now:

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There are nine people in this poll. But here’s who’s running:

THE REPUBLICANS

RUNNING

BUSH

CARSON

CHRISTIE

CRUZ

FIORINA

GRAHAM

HUCKABEE

JINDAL

PATAKI

PAUL

PERRY

RUBIO

SANTORUM

TRUMP

WALKER
PROBABLY RUNNING

KASICH

That’s 16 people dividing the vote. And Trump is at the top of the pack with 17 percent support. How high can he go? You have to go back to this 2005 post at Kung Fu Monkey:

John: Hey, Bush is now at 37% approval. I feel much less like Kevin McCarthy screaming in traffic. But I wonder what his base is —

Tyrone: 27%.

John: … you said that immmediately, and with some authority.

Tyrone: Obama vs. Alan Keyes. Keyes was from out of state, so you can eliminate any established political base; both candidates were black, so you can factor out racism; and Keyes was plainly, obviously, completely crazy. Batshit crazy. Head-trauma crazy. But 27% of the population of Illinois voted for him. They put party identification, personal prejudice, whatever ahead of rational judgement. Hell, even like 5% of Democrats voted for him. That’s crazy behaviour. I think you have to assume a 27% Crazification Factor in any population.

John: Objectively crazy or crazy vis-a-vis my own inertial reference frame for rational behaviour? I mean, are you creating the Theory of Special Crazification or General Crazification?

Tyrone: Hadn’t thought about it. Let’s split the difference. Half just have worldviews which lead them to disagree with what you consider rationality even though they arrive at their positions through rational means, and the other half are the core of the Crazification — either genuinely crazy; or so woefully misinformed about how the world works, the bases for their decision making is so flawed they may as well be crazy.

John: You realize this leads to there being over 30 million crazy people in the US?

Tyrone: Does that seem wrong?

John: … a bit low, actually.

Trump has the uber crazy of the crazy vote. When the simply batshit crazy candidates drop out, Trump will pick up their supporters. His ceiling is 27 percent, the longer it takes to whittle down the GOP field, the longer he’s going to be in this race.

Remember the frontrunner in 2011?

On September 24, 2011, [Herman] Cain won a surprise victory in a Republican presidential straw poll in Florida, with 37 percent of the 2,657 votes cast. The front-runner Rick Perry, who had been leading in the polls, came in second with 15 percent.[30] Continuing with his success, on October 1, 2011 Cain won the TeaCon Midwest straw poll by a landslide with 77% of the vote.[31] Cain also won the National Federation of Republican Women straw poll by a wide margin with 48.9%. The nearest contender was Rick Perry with 14.1%, followed closely by Mitt Romney with 13.3% and Newt Gingrich with 12.5%.[32] Of the delegates voting, 80% said they were satisfied with the field of candidates; asked whether they identified with the Tea Party, about half said yes and half said no.[33] A Fox News poll administered on October 23–25, showed Herman Cain as the front-runner receiving 24%, and Mitt Romney coming in at second place with 20%.

Remember back in 2011, when Michelle Bachman won the Iowa straw poll?

Bachmann received 28 percent of the nearly 17,000 votes cast. Texas Rep. Ron Paul was close behind her with 27 percent. Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty came in a distant third with 13 percent of the vote, followed by former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum with 9 percent and businessman Herman Cain with 8 percent.

Remember the 2012 winner of the Iowa caucus with 25 percent of the vote?

The night belongs to Santorum. The victory was richly deserved and it will be fun watching some journalists having to brush up on the Bible to cover so amiable a “Jesus freak.” He may be the first Italian to win the Iowa caucuses, which means both of our immigrant grandfathers are smiling.

The crazies participate early in the process. The crazies are the Donald’s base. People who don’t take him seriously are in for a surprise, especially when he starts winning primaries, because he can do that with a 27 percent base and a comedically large GOP field.

Krugman: Donald Trump is the face of the GOP base

Paul Krugman has a pretty good observation on Donald Trump’s “surprise” popularity among Republican voters:

071415krugman1-tmagArticle

Joe Weisenthal asked me why Donald Trump is riding so high in the polls; as he said, my answer was subtle and nuanced.

But seriously, why is anyone surprised? Year after year the GOP base has been fed fantasies about death panels, senior figures have flirted with birtherism and routinely peddled conspiracy theories whenever good news arrives about health reform or the economy, a centrist president has been portrayed as a socialist who hates America, sitting governors have deferred to craziness over military exercises. Oh, and the unemployed have been blamed for their own plight, food stamp recipients and the disabled portrayed as malingerers. Then along comes Trump, who embodies the base’s values, its intellectual outlook, its deep lack of empathy for the unfortunate. And up goes the cry: “Don’t base voters realize that he’s not a serious figure?”

The cat, though is a stroke of genius.

Oh, and here’s Krugman’s “subtle and nuanced” answer: