The unthinkable now seems likely (or at least what the philosophers call, a “live possibility”): Trump could be the next president. I think he’s going to be the GOP nominee. Skipping the debate was a political masterstroke- he dominated the news cycle for days, and his protest event raised millions for veterans. Trump is going into Iowa with a huge wind at his back. It’s his to lose, and I don’t think he will.
Regarding the general election, there are a lot of plausible paths to a Trump victory. I’ll rank them in order of likelihood:
Hillary wins the nomination (or is in the process of cleaning Bernie’s clock), and then is indicted for mishandling classified materials. With the news today that the State Department is confirming top secret materials were found on Hillary’s private, I think there is a 50/50 chance the FBI will recommend charges be filed against her, which will finish her candidacy, no matter what the Dept. of Justice does.
Sanders wins the nomination and suffers a Mondale-esque defeat. Americas are not ready to elect a socialist. Maybe in 50 years, but with the GOP in control of Congress, and a majority of state governors and legislatures, Sanders has zero chance of winning. I think the odds of Sanders getting the nomination are pretty low, but there’s probably a 20% chance he can pull it off. If he does, my party loses.
A devastating Islamic terrorist attack happens (here or in Europe), making Trump look prophetic with his warnings about Muslim immigrants. I don’t want to speculate about odds, and even bringing this up feels like dancing on someone’s grave. But if we’re being honest, a large-scale terrorist attack would practically guarantee a Trump victory.
Moderate liberals like myself will simply refuse to vote for a hypocritical lying phony Wall Street shill. I hate Hillary. The more I see her, the more I hate her. I know there are a lot of other liberals like myself, who wouldn’t vote for Hillary under any circumstances. The DNC then suffers from the same problem the GOP had in 2012: nobody likes the nominee and Dem turnout is anemic. GOP turnout, on the other hand, sets records. Trump wins a narrow electoral college victory.
At first, Democrats were ecstatic that Trump was doing so well. We thought it would make Hillary, Bernie, or Warren a shoe-in. Then the email scandal got legs, and Trump morphed into a competent politician, and then became a brilliant campaigner. Now, when I read liberal opinion pieces about Trump, everything seems to be written behind a thin sheen of nervous sweat, and I remember that old saying, “Be careful what you wish for”.
Tucker Carlson has a great article today about the rise of Trump: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/01/donald-trump-is-shocking-vulgar-and-right-213572