Opinions, Context & Ideas from the TPM Editors TPM Editor's Blog

Drowning in Woman Cards

Take a moment to read this piece by Tierney Sneed. It's a really good granular look at just where Trump starts with general election cycle with women voters. The topline numbers won't surprise you: Trump's doing terribly with women. But the internal breakdowns are more telling. He's being annihilated among single women who are always a mainstay of Democratic support. But he's also doing terribly with the groups of women Republicans rely on to win elections, especially white married women. Tierney has the details.

Trump's Foreign Policy Speech should be discussed not dismissed

I've tried to steer clear of the debate (if you call it that) over Donald Trump's foreign policy speech in Washington yesterday -- I have to get a book done -- but the torrents of dismissals that have rained down upon it has driven me to write something. If you don’t know what I am talking about, look at Clinton operative David Brock’s collection of these responses charging that Trump’s speech was “pathetic” and “not exactly coherent.”

I am not driven to write in defense of Trump, whom I am not supporting for President, nor of what he espouses, but of the sheer arguability and coherence of the principles underlying his speech. I won't say they're right, but I will say they are coherent and arguable and also preferable to those that govern, say, the views of people like Lindsey Graham or publications like the Washington Post that are still unrepentant and unthinking about their enthusiastic support for the Iraq War.

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Into the Locker Room

Here's a choice nugget buried down near the bottom of The Washington Post's piece on the Clinton v Trump battle's escalating 'gender wars.'

Bob Sutton, chairman of the Broward County GOP Executive Committee in Florida, voiced confidence that Clinton would be easy to defeat in a debate — with a comment not likely to endear him to some female voters.

“I think when Donald Trump debates Hillary Clinton she’s going to go down like Monica Lewinsky,” he said.

What To Take from Trump's Speech

There are many things you could say about Donald Trump's foreign policy speech. At a minimum we can recognize that it is a restatement of Trump's foreign policy ideas stripped of references to Mexican rapists and other shocking asides. But here's the one thing I think is most salient.

Trump is proposing making aggressive new demands of virtually every country in the world - whether that's countries in Europe (who are part of NATO), China, Japan, Mexico, Russia or in less high profile ways virtually every other country in the world. This might make sense for Russia, perhaps China, maybe Europe. It can't make sense to do it with everyone at once.

And here is what is key.

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Ted's Coup

The hidden genius of the Cruz outta-the-box Carly as VP pick is that Fiorina is almost as widely reviled as Cruz himself and election and polling measures has very little political appeal to speak of at all.

And no what I just said makes no sense at all.

Political Bilingualism Takes the Stage

It's been a consistent feature of recent US presidential elections that they are less about persuasion than mobilization of relatively stable political coalitions. There is a thin segment of up-or-grab voters but it tends to be as little as five percent and seldom more than ten percent of electorate, and only those in a handful of swing states really drive the campaigns' attention. Because of this, the campaigns are largely talking past each; and that is by design.

But watching last night's victory speeches I realized that this general election is likely to take that model to an entirely new level.

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Two Thoughts on Donald Trump's Chances in the Fall

I think it’s now reasonable to look toward a general election contest between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. I have two thoughts. One of the key voting blocs that has gone Democratic over the last fifty years is professionals. It’s a census category and after the November election, there will be surveys that will allow us to chart their vote, but in the meantime, you can get a rough estimate by looking at voters with advanced degrees. These are not the same as voters with the highest income. They make up about a fifth of the electorate nationally and close to a quarter or more in states like Maryland, Oregon, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

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A Fitting End

Trump said it himself: "It's over." And he's right. It is. He's the nominee. But his victory speech and Q&A was deeply revealing - both in its power and its self-destructiveness.

I cannot remember a presidential campaign in my lifetime and perhaps in more than a century where the two nominees not only differed so much on policy (we've had plenty of that) but tonally in the most basic way they exist as candidates and public people.

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Dems Don't Get Their Shot at Cruz

It's a bummer for Dems that they won't get a shot at presidential nominee Ted Cruz. Don't get me wrong: I think Trump will be a historically weak general election candidate. But Cruz would be the choice you'd want if you're running the general election for the Democrats. Cruz is a conventional right wing candidate who would almost certainly go down to a crushing general election defeat. He is conventional and predictable. He's a new version of Barry Goldwater, only Goldwater had some personal appeal.

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