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Evaluating the Political Chess Board - Dilbert Blog

Evaluating the Political Chess Board

Trump has pulled ahead of Clinton nationally in both the new FOX poll and the Rasmussen Poll. And Trump passed Clinton in favorability according to the newest national poll on that topic. The Megyn Kelly interview (including the hyping of it ahead of time) marked Trump’s third-act turn.

By the way, Anderson Cooper of CNN said last night that CNN finds the FOX polling to be reliable and transparent, in case you wondered.

Meanwhile, Clinton is losing one primary after another to a dehydrated dandelion in her own party. That doesn’t bode well for the coming cage fight with Godzilla.

And Godzilla hasn’t even started to punch hard. He’s still looking at the opposition research and humming. So that’s coming.

Clinton is planning to appear on Ellen with the all-female cast of the new Ghostbusters movie. That’s what overplaying the woman card looks like. One wag on Twitter put it this way:

The New York Times did its best to make Trump look like a sexist, but they only succeeded in destroyed their own credibility when their star witness outed them for making up stuff.

Clinton surrogate Ed Rendel said something that was probably harmless in person, and in the proper context, but taken out of context by outragists it sounded like he was saying Clinton supporters are mostly ugly women. That didn’t help.

Clinton’s team continues to churn out anti-Trump hit pieces that ask you to imagine President Trump in office. By November, voters will think Trump has been running the country for a year and it looked a lot like the Obama administration. That’s called “graduated exposure” and it’s a well-understood psychological phenomenon. The Democrats are working overtime to make Trump feel less scary while believing they are doing the opposite.

Now imagine Clinton and Trump selecting VPs. If Clinton picks a woman, she overplays the woman card to destruction. If she selects a beta male, it will seem cringeworthy to the sexist public. If she selects an alpha male it will annoy her base without gaining a single vote. Clinton loses on every path.

Meanwhile, Trump can pick a man or a woman and it will look natural. No VP will overshadow Trump’s energy. All he needs is a running mate that is competent and a little bit interesting.

Trump announced his list of potential Supreme Court Justices. Republicans seemed to like the list, which makes Trump seem more mainstream even if you don’t like the names on the list.

A jet on the way from France to Egypt has disappeared, and terrorism is the assumed reason. That plays to Trump’s strength, as does every act of terror everywhere.

Trump has gone a few weeks without creating any new provocations on the scale of his 2015 self. The longer he proves he can moderate his behavior to fit the situation – as he did in the Megyn Kelly interview – the more people trust that he isn’t crazy.

Trump’s insults are now understood to be more than random hate. They are weapons-grade persuasion that have been engineered and then A-B tested at rallies. The “Crooked Hillary” harpoon is already doing its damage. If history is our guide, the nickname will bleed her out before November.

Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign manager, knows how to win. The Clinton campaign doesn’t show the same level of talent, at least in terms of persuasion. Clinton’s logo (the big H) looks like a hospital sign. And their “Love Trumps Hate” slogan is two-thirds “Love Trump.” Any trained persuader knows people put more cognitive weight on the first part of sentences. 

I’m teeming with confirmation bias, but from my kitchen counter, I don’t see how it can go any direction but a Trump landslide from here.

I’ll remind readers that I have disavowed all of the candidates. My political views don’t line up with any of them. My interest is in Trump’s persuasion skills.

If you think this blog has too many words with vowels, you should see my book. That thing is full of them.