Right now we’re seeing a huge overcorrection when it comes to Donald Trump. After he overshot virtually everyone’s expectations in the primary, now we’re seeing folks saying he’ll win just as big in the general.
But the general will be different. Advantages Trump had in the primary will evaporate. Here’s why.
The biggest advantage Donald Trump had in the primaries was free media coverage on his behalf. Through February, leading up to Super Tuesday, Trump had received $1,898 million. Yes, almost two billion dollars worth of free coverage. That dwarfed the rest of the field:
There are two reasons for this disparity. First, the press had an interest in burying coverage of the Democrat primaries, because they wanted to make sure to keep Bernie Sanders from getting any traction against Hillary Clinton. Sure enough, she’s been on a glide path to clinch it without superdelegates this entire time.
Second, the press had an interest in ensuring a principled conservative couldn’t get the Republican nomination. They want Clinton. They couldn’t afford to have her up against an anti-cronyist hero like Ted Cruz, or a man with student loans who can relate with ordinary people like Marco Rubio. Fresh faces like that would destroy her. It had to be Trump.
But in the general, it’s going to change. It’ll be equal time: half Clinton, half Trump. But those halves won’t be the same: “Here’s Hillary Clinton with a puppy condemning Donald Trump’s ties with the Ku Klux Klan. Next, here’s Donald Trump disavowing ties with the Ku Klux Klan.”
And don’t forget Barack Obama. Since Mitch McConnell is a spineless wimp who’s refused to make the President veto anything, by November Obama is going to be a rock star. He’ll make a few appearances on Clinton’s behalf, and boom. The Obama/Trump showdown will not favor Trump, any more than it did when Obama posterized Trump over the birth certificate issue.
Trump’s favorability rating is awful, and it hasn’t even begun yet. By November the man is going to be radioactive. This is going to make 2008 look like a good year, for Republicans nationally and downticket.