Is Obama Right in Saying Trump Won’t Succeed Him as President?

By | April 8, 2016

Recently, Barack Obama spoke to a group of Los Angeles fundraisers. [I wonder if Bill Maher was there? I’m guessing not. I wonder if Obama’s swinging by tonight’s Real Time episode? Also, I’m guessing not.] And he made the bold prediction that Trump isn’t “succeeding” him as President.

Now sure, that sounds like sound money now. After all, Trump has the highest unfavorability rating of any presidential candidate this cycle. He polls horribly with women, racial minorities, and (most) demographics of young people. To say nothing of smaller groups like Muslim-Americans. The Republican Party has launched a desperate, last-ditch hail mary attempt to stop him from becoming the nominee.

However, the candidate with the second highest unfavorability ratings? The sure-thing Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, and every day Bernie seems hell-bent on making those unfavoribility ratings go up. Mitt Romney also polled horribly with minorities, women, and young people, but if he had had just a little more of Trump’s blue collar appeal, he still could have won. [For reference, he would have had to do 30 points better with Latinos to become president, but only had to win white voters by 4 extra points.] And the Republican Party actively trying to stop Trump from becoming the nominee? Hell, their brand is so horrifically damaged that in a presidential election that’s practically a selling-point.

None of this is to say that I think Trump will become President, and definitely not to say that I think he should become President. I’m just acknowledging that my feelings aren’t all that matter. I thought George W. Bush was a joke who would get smoked by Al Gore in 2000, and we saw how that turned out. And people thought Reagan (the former actor) was an election-impossibility when he won.

Plus, there’s three horrible historical trends that don’t make a Trump presidency impossible: 1. The last two back-to-back Democratic Presidents are because the first one died while in office (FDR/JFK) and the last time before that we had 12 or 16 years of Democratic presidents was Andrew Jackson/Martin Van Buren 200 years ago. 2. The candidate with a huge lead this far out typically loses in November as evidenced by how Dukasis, George H.W. Bush, Al Gore, and John McCain all blew considerable leads. 3. If there is a disaster—either economic or terrorist-related—the Democrats will take the blame, and Trump could very well win.

And if you think the Republicans are above rooting for a disaster to stop Hillary, then look at how hard they’ve tried to create one under Obama. Either way, it’s not impossible to see President Trump in 2016, as horrible as that thought may be.

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