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Tue Sep 8, 2015, 05:13 PM

538: "If Donald Trump Can Win The Nomination, Ben Carson Could Too" [View all]


The headline of this article buries the message. The key quote providing context for this headline is "Id put each of their chances at about 5 percent."

Walk away point: Trump and Carson have about the same chance of winning the Republican nomination, and that chance is a snowball's chance in hell.

Nate Silver:

Carson is a little bit different from the flavor-of-the-month candidates from 2011. At least in terms of his demeanor, hes much less bombastic than someone like Gingrich or Bachmann. And he has a much more compelling life story its not an exaggeration to say its a heroic life story. ...I guess Id put each of their chances at about 5 percent....Obviously, Carson has much higher favorables {than Trump}. He also has policy positions that are much more in line with the GOP mainstream. So, you can imagine a universe in which GOP elites grudgingly tolerate Carson, even if hes not their first (or second or third or sixth) choice, whereas theyll do everything in their power to make sure that Trump is not the nominee.

On the other hand, Trump has survived quite a bit more scrutiny so far. Not very much scrutiny as compared to what hell face between now and February. But some of it, certainly, and much more than Carson.... Weve talked before about whether Trump fits into the template of a bandwagon candidate (like Newt Gingrich or Cain) or a factional candidate (like Pat Buchanan). The answer could be: both?
I agree that the most likely outcome is some establishment-ish candidate Bush, Rubio, Kasich, Walker gaining momentum at the right time and winning the nomination. Its still very early too early to be paying much attention to polls. And if you do want to look at polls, Rubio and Walker have very high favorability ratings, which speaks against the notion that GOP voters are rejecting establishment choices wholesale.

But I also dont think we should be all LOL, brokered convention. Its not that far-fetched this year, as compared to most years in the past.

Harry Enten:

Let me point out one other big difference between Carson and Trump. Carsons favorable rating in the latest Monmouth University poll was 67 percent. His unfavorable rating was just 6 percent. Trump, even with improving favorables, was at a 59-29 split....Ben Carson {is more likely than Trump to win the nomination}, and Im not sure there is much doubt in my mind. Reasons include:

Hes better-liked by Republican voters, at least at this point.
Hes better-liked by party actors. He has a much more presidential demeanor than Trump. He also happens to be African-American at a time the GOP wants to reach out to black voters.
This isnt to say he is anything more than a long shot, but hes a trip to the West Coast while Trump is a trip to the moon.

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