Why Trump Leads

It’s the electability, stupid:

An incredible 43 percent of GOP voters say that Trump is the most electable GOP candidate. In a distant second place, Ben Carson trails Trump on electability by 27 points, while Jeb Bush — whose entire rationale for his campaign is electability — trails Trump on electability by 30 points. Since the same poll found Trump with 32 percent support, that means even GOP voters who do not support Trump still believe he is most likely to beat the Democrats in 2016. A new Associated Press-GfK poll confirms this, finding that “Seven in 10 Republicans and Republican-leaning registered voters say they think Trump could win in November 2016 if he were nominated; that’s the most of any Republican candidate.”

This perception of Trump’s electability perplexes the GOP establishment, which is certain he would lose to Hillary Clinton. But Trump has closed a 24-point gap in June with the presumed Democratic nominee (though the Real Clear Politics average still shows Clinton leading Trump by 2.5 points). Trump’s protectionist trade message and his attacks on China and Mexico resonate with Reagan Democrats in states such as Ohio and could give him crossover appeal in a general election. Whether he can actually win is an open question, but so long as GOP voters believe he can win, then “electability” is not going to be the pin that pops the Trump balloon.

That’s Mark Thiessen in today’s Washington Post.

For now, Democrats are holding their fire on Trump, safe in the belief that he’ll implode next fall should he actually win the nomination. In the past that would be a safe bet — American voters, especially female voters, would never go for a candidate who says things like “You know, it really doesn’t matter what [the media] write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass.” Trump would seem to play right into Hillary’s War on Women campaign themes.

So it’s probably true that there is a broad swathe of the female population who simply won’t vote for Trump — precisely because of his disdain* for women.

But by and large, those are the voters Hillary already has locked up.

What’s also true is that there’s a broad swathe of the male population who simply won’t vote for Clinton — precisely because she thinks she can ride her vagina to the White House.

Hillary is going to be her party’s nominee. Trump may very well be his party’s. I can’t think of another election where each candidate was so loathed by such large segments of the population, but as the political outsider you’d have to give the edge to Trump.

*I hesitated using “disdain,” and I’m still not certain it’s the correct word. But as with money, it’s clear that Trump thinks of “hot pieces of ass” as just another way to keep score.