This week, big victories by Trump in Nevada and Clinton in South Carolina set the stage for tomorrow’s Super Tuesday primaries, and have pundits speculating about whether the nomination races are over or not.
But while those sound like similar situations, the possibility that it may be too late to stop Trump is causing far more anguish among Republicans than anything Democrats might be feeling (or would be feeling if Sanders were threatening to sew up the nomination).
All sorts of metaphors are floating around about what Trump represents to the Republican Party. (“hostile takeover” seems to be one of the most popular.) In this week’s featured post I suggest one I find more accurate: “Trump is an opportunistic infection”, the kind that only people with compromised immune systems are vulnerable to. Mainstream Republican candidates can’t get any traction against Trump because over the last few decades the Party has systematically de-legitimized all the fact-checking and expert opinion and separation-of-reality-from-fantasy necessary to take him down. So the GOP’s problem is not just one guy: Unless and until they figure out a way to restore the immune system of their base, they’ll be vulnerable to Trump-like infections in all future elections as well. That post is pretty much done, so it should appear shortly.
In the weekly summary, I’ll examine whether the shift in pundit opinion is justified: Is it all over but the shouting? Is it likely to be over tomorrow? (Probably not, I think, though Trump and Clinton are on the verge of building significant leads.) I’ll also discuss an interesting poll demonstrating the variability of people’s opinions about single-payer health care, and what that means for the viability of Sanders’ signature proposal. Also, Nate Silver’s crew discusses the polls showing disturbing levels of racism among Trump supporters, Obama floats a strange Supreme Court trial balloon, and we’ll close with a Game of Thrones mash-up. Expect that around 11 EST or so.