As some progressive Democrats freak out about Hillary Clinton's chances against Donald Trump, we're joined on today's BradCast by historian, author and broadcaster Jon Wiener to discuss his recent article detailing why he believes both math and history suggest Trump will be simply unable to win the Presidency this November. [Audio link at end of article.]
Wiener is a longtime friend and colleague at KPFK/Pacifica Radio here in Los Angeles, where he hosts the 4 O'Clock Report (airing right after The BradCast) on Wednesdays. His piece at The Nation, where he is Contributing Editor and host of the Start Making Sense podcast, is headlined "Relax, Donald Trump Can't Win". But is he right about that?
"My goal was to take a step back, to try to get a sense of the realities of things separate from our passions and our fears," he tells me, while explaining his case and the critical electoral math that undergirds it. Essentially, he argues, Trump must find millions of more Republican votes than Mitt Romney was able to scrape up in 2012. "It's very much of an uphill climb for [Trump] to find another 6 or 7 or 8 or 10 million people," particularly with the broad baggage that he has already accrued during the primary.
"There are very few people who switch from one party to another between elections," the UC Irvine history professor and author of How We Forgot the Cold War and Gimme Some Truth: The John Lennon FBI Files (and many others) explains. "Trump does claim that he's brought millions and millions of people into the primaries. But the people who looked at this closely discovered that Trump's voters in the primaries were Republican voters in the last general election. They're already committed Republicans. These are not new, first-time, never-before, non-voters --- these are Republicans. These aren't going to increase the Republican total. They've already been counted as Republicans in past elections."
So, even presuming his math is correct, what of a number of critical points that his analysis seems to simply overlook, such as voter suppression, other forms of election fraud, more "scandal" (phony or otherwise) for the presumptive Democratic nominee, and the possibility of Trump becoming a more disciplined candidate? Not to mention so many of the recent failures of pundits, pollsters and political scientists --- on which his case rests --- on everything from the GOP primary election itself to the recent right-wing populist victory in the UK's Brexit referendum?
Tune in for Jon's responses to my skeptical questions on all of the above in our lively conversation today.
Also on today's program: The U.S. Dept. of Defense announces an end to the ban on transgender service members; Trump's African-American support is amazing; Ohio's GOP Gov. John Kasich vetoes a 'poll tax' bill passed by his own party; Canada's Parliament goes gaga for Obama; And Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report...
(Snail mail support to "Brad Friedman, 7095 Hollywood Blvd., #594 Los Angeles, CA 90028" always welcome too!)