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Reblogged:Haley Wins, Media Blinded by Trump

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Image by Arthur Rackham, via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.
As of this morning the poll at Drudge Report shows four double-digit performers in the second Republican debate. Currently, they clock in at Haley (35%), Ramaswamy (20%), DeSantis (19%), and Christie (16%). (Pence, whom I said didn't have a base and called "Trump-limited," finished dead last at 2%.) I called the race after the first (in which Ramaswamy and Haley's numbers were reversed) a sprint for Ramaswamy and a marathon for Haley.

One headline characterized the debate as "trading insults," and partisan media, left and right, have hastily written it off as irrelevant, charging that, with Trump leading Biden in the latest polling, that the "electability argument" has evaporated, and that with Trump leading among Republicans that his coronation -- like Hilary Clinton's in 2016? -- is inevitable.


I submit that, since Haley polls best against Biden, there might be some wishful thinking behind any leftist outlet proclaiming that Haley can't hang her hat on electability, and double for any Trumpist saying this. Anyone else is likely being lazy or giving up too soon.

As for Trump's supposedly insurmountable primary lead, that's rich after the way polling largely missed Trump's win way back in 2016 -- and probably also wishful thinking. Leftists know that Trump is Biden's best bet to get reelected. And Trumpists? The fact that they're frontloading winner-take-all primaries shows that they fear an electorate taking any time to think through its options.

Seriously. Where's the fire?

If Trump is so ace, why hurry? And why not show up for the debates? If Trump is the Only Man Who Can Save America, what has he to fear from some piker being "unfair" to him at a debate?

Continuing with what's actually going on: The first state primary/caucus isn't until January. In the meantime, polling in early states shows that while, yes, majorities give Trump as the answer to the "if the election were held today" question, most of these people aren't political junkies or Trump cultists. More to the point, over three quarters of Republicans are considering someone other than Trump:
In both states, most voters are still considering multiple candidates. In fact, just a fifth in Iowa and about a quarter in New Hampshire are considering Trump and nobody else, making his support "floor" a bit lower in these early states than it looks nationwide. Most of Trump's backers are considering at least one other candidate, and these voters are more likely to say they're supporting him "with some reservations" than Trump-and-only-Trump voters are. And in both states, only-Trump voters are outnumbered by the third of the electorate who aren't considering him at all.
It's not quite early days, but there is ample time for Haley to continue building momentum and for Trump to make an ass of himself, even without showing up for the debates.

I remain cautiously optimistic that Haley can win.

-- CAV

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