If there’s a kiss of death in the world of Presidential primary politics, it’s peaking too early. From Herman Cain to Michele Bachmann, Howard Dean to Hillary Clinton, the “unbeatable” frontrunners the year before an election year invariably fall once the primaries actually take place.
Donald Trump is currently peaking. He just unveiled his tax plan that cuts taxes for everyone rich and poor. This is giving him a nice bump in the polls, as expected. It is also likely indirectly the kiss of death. More on that in a moment.
There are those who look at the polls and have already crowned Donald Trump as the Republican nominee. It makes me laugh. In September and October the year before a Presidential election, the polls are purely a popularity contest. That’s it. Name recognition plays a big role. Individual talking points play a big role as voters here something they can latch onto.
Trump is hovering between 20%-30% on the various polls with a RealClearPolitics average of 24%. That puts him close to the levels that Rudy Giuliani had at the same time period in 2007. Some of his polls had him at over 32%. in 2011, Rick Perry was at 26.5% average on October 1 before the wheels fell of the bus following the “oops” moment. Then, Herman Cain held the lead on November 1 at 26%. Newt Gingrich peaked at 35% in December. Eventually, Mitt Romney won the nomination while never leading in the 2011 polls other than a short spurt between Perry and Cain.
Perhaps the clearest indicator of why the polls are meaningless this early in the race is Hillary Clinton in 2007. Her October domination of 53% makes Trump’s lead look very tiny.
Now, the Trump kiss of death. His tax plan is pretty straight forward and rather appealing as it was intended to be. The problem is that with a tax drop like this, one has to reduce spending dramatically. That goes contrary to his proposed policy changes that include extremely expensive items like building up the military and fixing the country’s infrastructure. The problem is that his proposed solution is that he’s going to cut extraneous spending. When he’s pushed back on that, he comes back with making so much because he’s going to bring back jobs from Japan, China, and Mexico. When there’s push back there, he comes back with how he’s going to make the country rich.
It’s not going to stand up when scrutiny increases among voters.
Analysts are usually only a little better than polls, but they’ve been more accurate. Other than President Barack Obama in 2008 when analysts were unwilling to go against Clinton’s 32% lead, the analysts were correct with their choices this early in the race since 2000. I remember the ridicule some were getting for picking John McCain in late 2007. This bodes well for Ted Cruz.
The poll leaders the last two Presidential elections in September and October were Rudy Giuliani, Rick Perry, Herman Cain, and Hillary Clinton. If the trends continue, Donald Trump is in serious trouble.