Hope for Anti-Trumpers?

 

For those who are worried that there is no hope of avoiding a Trump victory, I offer the following graph of opinion polls leading up to the South Carolina Republican primary. This is hardly ideal data, but it is the best we have, and it does seem to reflect what happened in the final vote.

Cropped Screen Shot 2016-02-26 at 8.41.16 AM copyThe magenta line is Rubio; the dark blue line near the bottom is Kasich; the black line is Cruz; and, most importantly, the blue line at the top is Trump. I’ve put a vertical line on February 11, because it was clearly an inflection point with sudden shifts in many of the candidates’ slopes. And, beautifully, you can see that the Trump blue line near the top starts sloping down.

So what happened immediately after February 11? There may be other factors that I don’t know about, but I can think of two.

First, there was a Republican debate in South Carolina and Jeb Bush (bless him, and may I be smitten for every negative word I’ve ever said about him) showed that you can successfully attack Trump in a debate. He got Trump to say several damaging things that could be used to turn voters. In South Carolina, people really don’t like Planned Parenthood, and his praise for them changed the minds of previously committed Trump voters. And the 9/11 and Iraq War trutherisms also helped. Rubio’s recovery from the New Hampshire debate undoubtedly contributed to his improving numbers. But while that might explain a recovery to a previous level of support; it does not explain how his support rose higher than it had ever been before.

So that brings me to my second observation: the inflection point corresponds with when the ground game really got started in South Carolina. And ground game really matters in primaries. Relatively few voters vote in primaries, and they often make their decisions based on personal contact. Ground game means going out and talking to voters. It’s a technique that works best with volunteers with sincerity and enthusiasm, and I think that Rubio’s late start ground game — dwarfed by a professional ground game run for weeks out of Cruz’s SuperPAC with paid workers — probably made a difference. (I am biased here, but the wisdom that ground game matters in primaries is widely accepted. Disclosure at the bottom to say how I formed this opinion.)

Let’s look at some of the other lines.

Kasich rose. Why? That’s obvious: the strong showing in New Hampshire led a few voters to think he was the best Trump stopper. I am desperately hoping that no one thinks that any more.

Jeb Bush was slightly up, but not by much. Why? He attacked Trump, but everyone otherwise thinks he is just not a strong candidate.

Carson dropped. Why? I think we can all guess that everyone is figuring out that he is not a serious candidate.

Finally, there was Cruz. He’s got a drop, but it’s shallow, and it’s easy to say that that’s “error of measurement,” except for the fact that Rubio ended up beating Cruz in the final vote tally. This is where this post is going to make some people angry, and I apologize for that. Maybe Cruz advocates can come up with a better explanation than mine for why that happened. But I believe that there is one other factor that made a difference, and that is the quality of the candidate. The third thing that changed at around that time is that, of course, all the candidates arrived in South Carolina and voters got to see them. And many voters just do not like Ted Cruz.

I’m no Majestyk, but I hope that some of you who have been discouraged will take heart, and perhaps take action.

Disclosure: I woke up after the New Hampshire primary, took stock, decided that the Trump candidacy was far too dangerous for me to stand by and do nothing, and concluded that it was time for my family to make some sacrifices. So I packed my husband up and he went off to South Carolina to volunteer.

Adding on February 28, as of yesterday I am told that I am now to refer to my husband as “with the campaign,” rather than as a volunteer. I have absolutely no idea what that means, but I know I sent him off as a volunteer with no thought other than that we were going to have to do something to save the Republic, and it was going to cost us something.

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  1. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    I like your thinking A LOT, Lucy. Didn’t Majestyk say that although Trump’s numbers were high, they were starting to drop overall? I’m a Rubio fan, so you don’t make me mad at all–Hope! I’ll repeat the Emily Dickinson poem I used in another post:
    Hope is the thing with feathers
    That perches in the soul
    And sings the tune without the words,
    And never stops at all.

    Yes!

    • #1
  2. RightAngles Member
    RightAngles
    @RightAngles

    Yay

    • #2
  3. Majestyk Contributor
    Majestyk
    @Majestyk

    I’m Majestyk, and I endorse thought process of this analysis. :)

    • #3
  4. Titus Techera Contributor
    Titus Techera
    @TitusTechera

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-wUe5aEwHM

    • #4
  5. Lucy Pevensie Inactive
    Lucy Pevensie
    @LucyPevensie

    Thanks, all. OK, so here’s the down side of my analysis. Trump says something stupid about Planned Parenthood, but it does not change anything if the voters  don’t know that, and most Trump voters are not paying attention. You’ve got to tell people. You need a ground game to tell people.  And thanks to this year’s crazy schedule, you’ve got to get a ground game going all over the place all at once.  It’s not going to be easy.

    This is why I keep beating the drum about volunteering.

    • #5
  6. RightAngles Member
    RightAngles
    @RightAngles

    Titus Techera:

    OMG Thank you for posting that hahahaha! He was my favorite.

    • #6
  7. RightAngles Member
    RightAngles
    @RightAngles

    Lucy Pevensie:Thanks, all. OK, so here’s the down side of my analysis. Trump says something stupid about Planned Parenthood, but it does not change anything if the voters don’t know that, and most Trump voters are not paying attention. You’ve got to tell people. You need a ground game to tell people. And thanks to this year’s crazy schedule, you’ve got to get a ground game going all over the place all at once. It’s not going to be easy.

    This is why I keep beating the drum about volunteering.

    I told that to my Trump-supporting boyfriend last night. He said it wasn’t true. No matter how many times I said I saw him say it, it didn’t make a dent. I don’t know if there’s anything Trump could say or do to lose a supporter. Also, who wants to be my new boyfriend. Ha.

    • #7
  8. Titus Techera Contributor
    Titus Techera
    @TitusTechera

    RightAngles:

    Titus Techera:

    OMG Thank you for posting that hahahaha! He was my favorite.

    Glad to make you laugh!

    • #8
  9. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    Cruz supporter – additional observation.

    That is also about the time that Rubio’s media coverage started spiking and was almost entirely positive.  Not just me noticing.  I’ve had others mention that without prompting.  For one of them that was almost the first thing he said when he saw me.

    Now is that more coverage because of more support or the other way around?  The chicken and egg part doesn’t matter and doesn’t negate the fact that you’ll get a positive feedback loop out of that.

    • #9
  10. Lucy Pevensie Inactive
    Lucy Pevensie
    @LucyPevensie

    RightAngles:

    Lucy Pevensie:Thanks, all. OK, so here’s the down side of my analysis. Trump says something stupid about Planned Parenthood, but it does not change anything if the voters don’t know that, and most Trump voters are not paying attention. You’ve got to tell people. You need a ground game to tell people. And thanks to this year’s crazy schedule, you’ve got to get a ground game going all over the place all at once. It’s not going to be easy.

    This is why I keep beating the drum about volunteering.

    I told that to my Trump-supporting boyfriend last night. He said it wasn’t true. No matter how many times I said I saw him say it, it didn’t make a dent. I don’t know if there’s anything Trump could say or do to lose a supporter. Also, who wants to be my new boyfriend. Ha.

    My husband’s volunteers don’t tell them. They borrow the home computer and show them.  Do you want a link?

    • #10
  11. RightAngles Member
    RightAngles
    @RightAngles

    Lucy Pevensie:

    RightAngles:

    Lucy Pevensie:Thanks, all. OK, so here’s the down side of my analysis. Trump says something stupid about Planned Parenthood, but it does not change anything if the voters don’t know that, and most Trump voters are not paying attention. You’ve got to tell people. You need a ground game to tell people. And thanks to this year’s crazy schedule, you’ve got to get a ground game going all over the place all at once. It’s not going to be easy.

    This is why I keep beating the drum about volunteering.

    I told that to my Trump-supporting boyfriend last night. He said it wasn’t true. No matter how many times I said I saw him say it, it didn’t make a dent. I don’t know if there’s anything Trump could say or do to lose a supporter. Also, who wants to be my new boyfriend. Ha.

    My husband’s volunteers don’t tell them. They borrow the home computer and show them. Do you want a link?

    Yes! I could google around, but if you have one, that would be good. Although it might make more trouble for me ha. Thanks

    • #11
  12. Lucy Pevensie Inactive
    Lucy Pevensie
    @LucyPevensie

    RightAngles:

    Lucy Pevensie:

    RightAngles:

    Lucy Pevensie:Thanks, all. OK, so here’s the down side of my analysis. Trump says something stupid about Planned Parenthood, but it does not change anything if the voters don’t know that, and most Trump voters are not paying attention. You’ve got to tell people. You need a ground game to tell people. And thanks to this year’s crazy schedule, you’ve got to get a ground game going all over the place all at once. It’s not going to be easy.

    This is why I keep beating the drum about volunteering.

    I told that to my Trump-supporting boyfriend last night. He said it wasn’t true. No matter how many times I said I saw him say it, it didn’t make a dent. I don’t know if there’s anything Trump could say or do to lose a supporter. Also, who wants to be my new boyfriend. Ha.

    My husband’s volunteers don’t tell them. They borrow the home computer and show them. Do you want a link?

    Yes! I could google around, but if you have one, that would be good. Although it might make more trouble for me ha. Thanks

    Here’s the one from last summer, where he says that he’d continue funding Planned Parenthood:

    Here’s the one from the South Carolina debate:

    I hope you can salvage your boyfriend’s vote. I am not sure I hope you can salvage him as a boyfriend, though ;-)

    • #12
  13. RightAngles Member
    RightAngles
    @RightAngles

    Lucy Pevensie:

    RightAngles:

    Lucy Pevensie:

    RightAngles:

    Lucy Pevensie:Thanks, all. OK, so here’s the down side of my analysis. Trump says something stupid about Planned Parenthood, but it does not change anything if the voters don’t know that, and most Trump voters are not paying attention. You’ve got to tell people. You need a ground game to tell people. And thanks to this year’s crazy schedule, you’ve got to get a ground game going all over the place all at once. It’s not going to be easy.

    This is why I keep beating the drum about volunteering.

    I told that to my Trump-supporting boyfriend last night. He said it wasn’t true. No matter how many times I said I saw him say it, it didn’t make a dent. I don’t know if there’s anything Trump could say or do to lose a supporter. Also, who wants to be my new boyfriend. Ha.

    My husband’s volunteers don’t tell them. They borrow the home computer and show them. Do you want a link?

    Yes!

    Here’s the one from last summer, where he says that he’d continue funding Planned Parenthood:

    Here’s the one from the South Carolina debate:

    I hope you can salvage your boyfriend’s vote. I am not sure I hope you can salvage him as a boyfriend, though ;-)

    Thanks, Lucy!

    • #13
  14. Lucy Pevensie Inactive
    Lucy Pevensie
    @LucyPevensie

    Wow, Main Feed!  Thank you!

    • #14
  15. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    New national poll under discussion today has Trump at 49%.  Granted it’s a small sample size with a high margin of error.  But the Rubio partisan’s plan of Cruz dropping out is no longer viable.  Trump will get part of the Cruz vote, and if he gets any at all it puts Trump over 50%.  But virtually none of Rubio, Kasich or Carson’s vote will go to Trump.

    That means the only viable path to a non-Trump nominee at this point looks like Cruz.  It’s time for the Rubio voters to make a decision.

    • #15
  16. Lily Bart Inactive
    Lily Bart
    @LilyBart

    I thought the word “Trumper” was frowned upon at this site.

    From last week’s CoC clarification discussion:

    Lucy Pevensie

    Ricochet is a product that is for sale, and the product is a civil discourse that is different from the name-calling garbage found elsewhere on the web. It is up to us to maintain the product. If we just ignore mildly offensive things, they will proliferate and eventually get worse, to the point where we may lose distinctiveness, and ultimately lose Ricochet.

    I, myself, did not agree that “Trumper” rose to the level of “offensive” and ban-worthy, but I thought lost that argument on last week’s thread.   And here it is (!) in the title (!) and on the main feed (!) written by one of the defenders of the policy update (!).   Oh, my goodness, life is so funny!

    • #16
  17. Lucy Pevensie Inactive
    Lucy Pevensie
    @LucyPevensie

    Lily Bart:I thought the word “Trumper” was frowned upon at this site.

    From last week’s CoC clarification discussion:

    Lucy Pevensie

    Ricochet is a product that is for sale, and the product is a civil discourse that is different from the name-calling garbage found elsewhere on the web. It is up to us to maintain the product. If we just ignore mildly offensive things, they will proliferate and eventually get worse, to the point where we may lose distinctiveness, and ultimately lose Ricochet.

    I, myself, did not agree that “Trumper” rose to the level of “offensive” and ban-worthy, but I lost that argument on last week’s thread. And here it is (!) in the title (!) and the main feed (!) written by one of the defenders of the policy update (!). Oh, my goodness, life is so funny!

    Sorry, that was not my title. My title was changed by an editor.

    • #17
  18. Lily Bart Inactive
    Lily Bart
    @LilyBart

    Lucy Pevensie:

    Lily Bart:I thought the word “Trumper” was frowned upon at this site.

    From last week’s CoC clarification discussion:

    Lucy Pevensie

    Ricochet is a product that is for sale, and the product is a civil discourse that is different from the name-calling garbage found elsewhere on the web. It is up to us to maintain the product. If we just ignore mildly offensive things, they will proliferate and eventually get worse, to the point where we may lose distinctiveness, and ultimately lose Ricochet.

    I, myself, did not agree that “Trumper” rose to the level of “offensive” and ban-worthy, but I lost that argument on last week’s thread. And here it is (!) in the title (!) and the main feed (!) written by one of the defenders of the policy update (!). Oh, my goodness, life is so funny!

    Sorry, that was not my title. My title was changed by an editor.

    EVEN BETTER!

    • #18
  19. Lucy Pevensie Inactive
    Lucy Pevensie
    @LucyPevensie

    Judge Mental:New national poll under discussion today has Trump at 49%. Granted it’s a small sample size with a high margin of error. But the Rubio partisan’s plan of Cruz dropping out is no longer viable. Trump will get part of the Cruz vote, and if he gets any at all it puts Trump over 50%. But virtually none of Rubio, Kasich or Carson’s vote will go to Trump.

    That means the only viable path to a non-Trump nominee at this point looks like Cruz. It’s time for the Rubio voters to make a decision.

    Judge, national polls are meaningless, even if they are of good quality, and you admit this one is not. These primaries are state by state and fought on a local level.

    Look at the graph. Look at what happens to the candidates’ support when they get familiar with a candidate.

    I don’t think you want to see that happen to Cruz on the national stage.

    • #19
  20. Lucy Pevensie Inactive
    Lucy Pevensie
    @LucyPevensie

    Lily Bart:

    Sorry, that was not my title. My title was changed by an editor.

    EVEN BETTER!

    Maybe you should write to them and ask them for a modification?  Getting my post on the Main Feed is enough of a kindness for me to get from them for the day. I’m not going to go asking for favors now.

    • #20
  21. Manny Coolidge
    Manny
    @Manny

    This is great Lucy and it does provide an avenue of hope.  I don’t want to burst bubbles, but here’s the points against it. (1) None of the three in opposition have an incentive to leave.  How do you convince two to go?  (2) Just because one of the oppositions leaves, it does not mean that all supporters abandon Trump.  He still pulls some support from each.

    But I’m praying Trump goes under.  He’s a disaster, and forcing everybody to gutter politics.

    • #21
  22. RyanFalcone Member
    RyanFalcone
    @RyanFalcone

    Yawn, another week, another peak Trump pep post. These used to make me feel better. Now, they just read like a really bad comic strip. Wake me when he starts losing.

    • #22
  23. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    Lucy Pevensie:

    Judge Mental:New national poll under discussion today has Trump at 49%. Granted it’s a small sample size with a high margin of error. But the Rubio partisan’s plan of Cruz dropping out is no longer viable. Trump will get part of the Cruz vote, and if he gets any at all it puts Trump over 50%. But virtually none of Rubio, Kasich or Carson’s vote will go to Trump.

    That means the only viable path to a non-Trump nominee at this point looks like Cruz. It’s time for the Rubio voters to make a decision.

    Judge, national polls are meaningless, even if they are of good quality, and you admit this one is not. These primaries are state by state and fought on a local level.

    Look at the graph. Look at what happens to the candidates’ support when they get familiar with a candidate.

    I don’t think you want to see that happen to Cruz on the national stage.

    Based on polls taken before Rubio loses another (I think) 18 primaries between now and the 15th.  What does the perception of not being able to win do to that polling?  (I remember Bush senior coming from (I think) 38% behind to beat Michael Dukakis.)

    Lucy, that’s pretty much where I expected the response to be.  Which is why everyone needs to start getting used to the idea that Trump is going to be the nominee.

    • #23
  24. Lily Bart Inactive
    Lily Bart
    @LilyBart

    Lucy Pevensie:

    Lily Bart:

    Sorry, that was not my title. My title was changed by an editor.

    EVEN BETTER!

    Maybe you should write to them and ask them for a modification? Getting my post on the Main Feed is enough of a kindness for me to get from them for the day. I’m not going to go asking for favors now.

    No indeed, I’m enjoying this too much.

    • #24
  25. Austin Murrey Inactive
    Austin Murrey
    @AustinMurrey

    Lucy Pevensie:

    Judge Mental:New national poll under discussion today has Trump at 49%. Granted it’s a small sample size with a high margin of error. But the Rubio partisan’s plan of Cruz dropping out is no longer viable. Trump will get part of the Cruz vote, and if he gets any at all it puts Trump over 50%. But virtually none of Rubio, Kasich or Carson’s vote will go to Trump.

    That means the only viable path to a non-Trump nominee at this point looks like Cruz. It’s time for the Rubio voters to make a decision.

    Judge, national polls are meaningless, even if they are of good quality, and you admit this one is not. These primaries are state by state and fought on a local level.

    Look at the graph. Look at what happens to the candidates’ support when they get familiar with a candidate.

    I don’t think you want to see that happen to Cruz on the national stage.

    I wish you the best but I think you’re doing what most of the chattering classes have been doing: they wish-cast the future.

    Rubio is having serious problems closing the deal and he should not have the issues he does – his second-place finishes are distressingly narrow for a candidate whose winning argument is that he’s electable; with his political endorsements and media support he should be destroying Cruz. The fact that he’s not doesn’t speak well for his long-term chances. Even his campaign chest has been running far behind his opponents.

    If he loses Florida – and it certainly looks like he will – the most likely result if he does remain in the race – and it certainly looks like he will – is make Trump either out-right winner or the over-all delegate winner in the nomination process. If you think Trump goes into Cleveland leading the delegate count and someone else comes out the nominee I’ve got a university degree for you.

    • #25
  26. Manny Coolidge
    Manny
    @Manny

    Susan Quinn:I like your thinking A LOT, Lucy. Didn’t Majestyk said that although Trump’s numbers were high, they were starting to drop overall? I’m a Rubio fan, so you don’t make me mad at all–Hope! I’ll repeat the Emily Dickinson poem I used in another post:
    Hope is the thing with feathers
    That perches in the soul
    And sings the tune without the words,
    And never stops at all.

    Yes!

    I love Emily by the way.   We can always use a little beauty around here to wash off the dung from Trump’s campaign.

    • #26
  27. James Gawron Inactive
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    Lucy, Lily, and all,

    This post fills me with Joy!!!!! (five exclamation points worth)

    Time to get moving.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #27
  28. The Question Inactive
    The Question
    @TheQuestion

    Lucy Pevensie:I woke up after the New Hampshire primary, took stock, decided that the Trump candidacy was far too dangerous for me to stand by and do nothing, and concluded that it was time for my family to make some sacrifices. So I packed my husband up and he went off to South Carolina to volunteer.

    Adding on February 28, as of yesterday I am told that I am now to refer to my husband as “with the campaign,” rather than as a volunteer. I have absolutely no idea what that means, but I know I sent him off as a volunteer with no thought other than that we were going to have to do something to save the Republic, and it was going to cost us something.

    Thank you VERY much for doing this.  I’m a Cruz supporter, but if Rubio can beat Cruz, I figure he’s probably also the better candidate in the fall.  Just as long as you are against Trump :) .

    • #28
  29. Theodoric of Freiberg Member
    Theodoric of Freiberg
    @TheodoricofFreiberg

    Trump has already said he believes the GOP has reneged. So if he is not the nominee, he will run independently, securing the presidency for the Democrat. And if he gets the nomination, the GOP will have to support all of his insane utterances and stances (like not disavowing David Duke and the KKK) and the Democrat still wins. Talk about a total disaster for the GOP and the nation.

    This election cycle seems like a bizarre bridge hand. Trump we lose. No Trump we lose.

    • #29
  30. Tom Meyer, Ed. Contributor
    Tom Meyer, Ed.
    @tommeyer

    Lucy Pevensie: First, there was a Republican debate in South Carolina and Jeb Bush (bless him, and may I be smitten for every negative word I’ve ever said about him) showed that you can successfully attack Trump in a debate.

    I have not had it in me to hate Jeb Bush, but this rather persuades me that that is my own failing.

    • #30
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