With the 2016 presidential primary season now over, it’s off to the conventions for Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
Contrary to some earlier predictions, the GOP convention in Cleveland will likely be pretty typical of modern party conventions. The affair will be a nationally-televised pep rally aimed at rallying support for the nominee.
Yes, there is much lingering resentment within the GOP that a total outsider won the nomination. Yes, there is little love lost between GOP blue bloods and Donald Trump. But the GOP nevertheless stands a good chance of succeeding in the task of keeping that resentment safely behind the curtain.
As of this morning, it’s hard to say if the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia will be as straightforward. It all depends on how Bernie Sanders and his followers react to the reality that Sanders will not be the nominee.
Will the Sanders camp come around to supporting Hillary Clinton? Or will they show up at the convention convinced that they were robbed and act accordingly?
The next couple of weeks will tell and Democrats have good reason to be worried.
Republicans have reason to be worried as well and the source thereof is their own nominee. In the view of most observers, the latest Trump controversy, which surrounds remarks that he made about the Hispanic judge hearing a lawsuit against him, constitutes an unforced error.
How many more unforced errors will Donald Trump – an experienced businessman but an inexperienced politician – make? Of even more concern, what will the timing of any such errors look like? Trump shoots from the hip and the ill-considered October hip shot could be fatal to Republican hopes.
With that said however, it is the Democrats who should be having the greater difficulty sleeping at night.
The list of reasons is long. It includes Hillary’s ongoing legal problems and the FBI probe that never ends, her demonstrated ineptitude as a candidate, her manifest weakness with young voters, a likely return to historic turnout percentages among black voters and the fact that she is perceived by a majority even in her own party as being dishonest.
History and current events are working against her as well. It is rare that the party in power gets a third presidential term. A booming economy made George H.W. Bush the exception in 1988.There is no chance that the current economy will do Hillary Clinton any such favor.
Perhaps the biggest obstacle facing Hillary Clinton is the Rasmussen ‘Right Track/Wrong Track’ poll. Week after week after week the poll reveals that two thirds of us believe that the country is on the wrong track. It is from this poll that an otherwise unlikely Donald Trump candidacy arises.
Having been pulled sharply to the left by Bernie Sanders and having served in the Obama administration, Hillary Clinton has little ability to present herself as anything other than the candidate of a third Obama term.
Americans wanted a third Reagan term. A third Obama term will be a very hard sell.