I'm a Democrat, and I'm voting for Trump in the primary. So should you.

We’re so close. The Donald almost has this thing sewed up. But not quite: the prediction markets still give Rubio about a 1 in 5 shot at the nom. And we definitely don’t want that. He’s probably beatable, but he’s far more dangerous than Trump, and puts the GOP in a much better position for downticket races. So I’m beseeching my fellow Democrats: join me in doing a little “Operation Chaos” of our own, by crossing over and voting for Trump in the primary when it comes to your state.

Many Democrats (including my own RL friends) are uneasy with this plan–I’d almost say paranoid. They feel it’s a case of “careful what you wish for”. They see Trump defying all expectations in the GOP race, and fear he would do the same in a general election. But sometimes things are just what they appear to be. Take Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO), for instance. McCaskill knew that of her primary opponents, Todd Akin was the easiest to beat. So she spent nearly $2 million ginning up hardcore conservatives to support him (and then after the campaign was over, she was surprisingly forthright about it). And it worked like a charm: in the very same election that gave Missouri to Romney by ten points (54-44), Akin only managed 39% of the vote. Make no mistake: Claire McCaskill was in big trouble before she manipulated the GOP primary electorate. One of those other candidates would almost certainly have beaten her. But she picked her opponent and won in a cakewalk. As Claire said, “This was the most fun I’d had in a long time.” And it does sound like fun! We now have a chance to have our own fun with Donald Trump.

McCaskill, BTW, made a point in that article that applies here as well:

This is exactly the right calculus, and the one we should keep in mind in our present circumstances. Trump is more obviously repulsive and grotesque than Rubio. But the policy implications of him as president are, indeed, “not a dime’s worth of difference”–and on some issues, as Cruz and Rubio have been ineffectually trying to point out, Trump is to their left. So our main concern here needs to be electability.

I’ve linked to this graph before. To be very clear, because there was some confusion last time, this shows the approval ratings of not only candidates who won the presidency (in green), but also candidates who won their party’s nomination fight, but then lost the general election (in salmon). There is some definite overlap, but overall the green-colored dots are higher than the salmon-colored dots, as one would expect. And then it also shows Trump’s approval ratings, in black-colored dots. Most of Trump’s dots are off in their own basement-dwelling universe at the bottom of the graph. A few of them barely brush against the lowest salmon-colored dots of some of the candidates who lost in the general election. None of them are within sniffing distance of any of the green-colored dots of people who actually became president.

And Trump appears to be in an even more difficult position than Akin, who at least had a solid base among the religious right and more “broadly”, among hardcore conservatives in general. It’s true that exit polls have shown Trump winning a plurality of evangelical voters so far. But the *leaders *of the religious right are absolutely, diametrically opposed to him, and so, presumably are the millions of their followers who take their religious conservatism seriously. So far these leaders have backed Cruz, but if Ted starts to look less than viable, they may flip to Rubio. They are not going to get behind Trump under any circumstances, and while it’s unlikely they’ll ever back Hillary, look for many of these churchy folks to just stay home if Trump is the nominee.

Erick Erickson is one:

Erickson, for those not familiar, is more than just a “radio host”. He frequently appears on FOX News, and his blog RedState is one of the top conservative sites out there, roughly the Daily Kos of the right. I have been monitoring the site for years to keep tabs on the other side’s fulminations, and I’m actually surprised by this declaration. Erickson has long shown, shall we say, a lack of fondness for Trump, but in the past he has always been firm about the importance of supporting any GOP nominee, no matter how disappointing. To advocate otherwise on RedState was a banning offense. But now he’s drawn that line in the sand: #nevertrump

But as much as these “values” conservatives oppose Trump, there’s another group of conservatives who dislike him even more strongly:

But at least someone like Charles Murray has got to like Trump, right? Murray is infamous for writing The Bell Curve, about racial disparities in IQ; and his latest book is all about the struggles of the white working class. So he’s a perfect fit for Trumpism. But no, says Murray:

I’m not sure exactly who Rick Wilson is, but I think the article implies that he’s a libertarian? Anyway, I include his commentary because he’s got a way with words, and made me laugh:

I liked the historical callback in this one:

Then there’s the most obvious group: moderate/centrist Republicans, particularly women. I’ve described before how I know white suburban married Boomer women who likely vote Republican more often than not (and are married to staunchly Republican husbands) who would almost certainly vote for Hillary over Trump. And the more reluctant among them will be primed to make the switch by the endorsements and actions of their moderate peers in prominent political positions, like former New Jersey governor and Bush cabinet member Christine Todd Whitman:

(It occurs to me that as critical as I’ve been of Bernheads, they may have performed Hillary a real service in doing an Overtonesque thing we don’t normally talk about: making Hillary look palatable to people on the right or center-right who previously would have dismissed her as far too liberal. When all these young socialists are denouncing her as a “neocon” or “center-right”–or worse–that may make some of these “Main Street Republicans” take another look at Hillary and think she must not be so bad after all.)

So you take the group of voters who were unable to get McCain or Romney anywhere near enough electoral votes to beat Obama. Then you subtract a good chunk of “values voters”, foreign policy hawks, libertarians, and moderate Republicans. Even if only some of those vote for Hillary and most just stay home, how can what’s left do anything but get totally wiped out?

There are those who argue that Trump has an appeal to Democratic voters that McCain and Romney did not. But I don’t see it. Can someone please describe to me their archetypical vision of a person who voted for Obama in 2008, then voted for him again in 2012 even in the face of all the Tea Party hatred that had been ginned up against him…but now is going to vote for Trump in 2016? I just can’t picture such a person.

Maybe Trump can get some people to vote who normally don’t vote at all. But I have a huge amount of difficulty imagining that these people will be enough, in enough swing states, to tip the election to Trump. The maps I’ve seen show that his “base” is strongest in states that are either decisively blue or decisively red. New voters from states like those will change the national popular vote, but won’t do anything to the electoral vote. To win, he needs a swarm of new voters in swing states, a swarm big enough to balance out all the defections described above. Highly, highly implausible.

Rich Lowry warns that Democrats are keeping their powder dry, but ready, for when Trump has it wrapped up. Then they will set about making Trump’s already sky-high unfavorables even higher:

And of course, what I’m licking my chops over, as you should be, is not just that Trump as nominee make it easier for Hillary to win this fall, but that it will be the gift that keeps on giving:

Oh yes. That is some political catnip, baby. Never forget that once Trump is actually the nominee, the GOP can not claim he “doesn’t represent” the party. He literally will!

And I have so far talked mainly of the political windfall even if it’s just the two parties. As noted above, Kristol wants to run a hawkish neocon ticket. Another effort, which may or may not be related, is described in Politico:

Meanwhile, it appears Mike Bloomberg won’t cause us similar trouble on the center-left as long as Hillary is the Democratic nominee.

So all in all, this is just an incredibly juicy opportunity we’re not likely to get very often. Let’s grab that brass ring, people! :smiley:

There’s a non-zero chance he could actually win. It’s not worth the risk. Even if you think he has no chance: that’s what people thought about him winning the Republican nomination.

One of the reasons I don’t want Trump as president is that he’s a high risk/high reward type of guy. Why in the world should I do the same thing?

There’s a non-zero for any of the Republican nominees winning. Are you saying Trump would be worse than Rubio or Cruz?

I agree with those who feel the risk of Trump becoming President is too high. I’m planning on voting for whoever is Trump’s closest competitor in the New York primary.

Polls have consistently given Trump something like 15-20 percentage points over his next closest GOP rival, even when the race was crowded. This has held up for months. He’s ahead of Rubio 39 to 21 now, which is 18 points, but if you split 100% between the two of them it would be 65-35 which is a 30-point advantage to Trump.

Let’s assume that the electorate is 1/4 people who will vote for the D no matter what, 1/4 D-leaning, 1/4 R-leaning and 1/4 R committed. If Trump can get 30% more of the R-leaners than any other GOPer, that’s 0.3*0.25 = 8 percent advantage in the general. Mind you this is Trump’s advantage over his best GOP rival, not his total advantage. It doesn’t count their difference among D-leaners.

The above reasoning contains assumptions like: polls are meaningful, all R primary voters will retain that affiliation in the general, the popular vote is a good proxy for the electoral college count. They are not perfect assumptions but they’re pretty good.

The OP is arguing that Trump’s relatively worse performance among D-leaners would negate this. It’s easy to find polls showing Trump with very bad favorability ratings among independents, but those polls don’t seem to square with head-to-head matches which are all over the map.

Exactly. And even if he would be a little worse than they would be (which I don’t really buy), this is more than made up for by the vastly decreased chance of his winning, plus the tarnishing of the GOP brand for years or decades, and the dysfunction and infighting that will ensue. We might even get the House a lot sooner than we would otherwise.

C’mon, aren’t Dopers supposed to be hardheaded, rational utilitarians?

This is so far off I don’t even know where to begin. I’m tempted to bring up the jibe “it’s not even wrong”, but it definitely is wrong. Billy Madison levels of wrong. :smack:

This is sort of where I’m falling. I think he has the slimmest of chances of beating Clinton, but at the end of the day, if forced to choose among Trump, Rubio, and Cruz, I think he actually would be the least bad choice (sadly). So, I’m hoping for Trump to increase the Democrats odds, and to hedge against something worse.

Of course, if the convention is brokered, we could still end up with Jeb! somehow!

Hell yes. They would make the country more conservative. They would somewhat make the national debt worse, but not as bad as Trump.

A Trump presidency moves us into possible World War III category, because he cannot ever be remotely diplomatic. He’s always got to be the bully and try to win. He’s always got to save face. He escalates, expecting the other side to blink.

Cruz and Rubio I disagree with politically. Trump I greatly fear may be the last President of the United States.

If you’re a Democrat, you should not be working to subvert democracy by sabotaging your opponents’ primary process.

Why not? Politics ain’t beanbag.

I think it’s a great plan. I plan to do my part this Tuesday and cast a vote for The Donald here in Texas. I think some people have probably been doing this already, and this may explain why more people are voting in the Republican primaries than in the Democratic ones.

Because Kant. What if everyone in your general situation did that? We’d all be playing chicken, and routinely seeing races between two extreme and incompetent choices. If each party tries to nominate its best, we are more likely to get two competent candidates who are closer to the middle.

Which is the better outcome for the long-term health of the country?

Also this. Cruz is horrible, but at the end of his term, the country will still be more-or-less how he found it.

Because it’s a race to the bottom that everyone loses. If Democrats try to pick the shittiest Republican candidate they can find, and Republicans try to pick the shittiest Democratic candidate they can find, you’re liable to end up with a race between the worst two candidates instead of the best.

I consider it personally unethical to vote for a candidate or position that I do not actually prefer. I won’t look down on anyone else who chooses to do it, but I won’t do it myself. I know that Arrow’s Theorem is inevitable, but that doesn’t mean I need to help it along. I could be convinced to vote in the other party’s primary, but if I did so, it would be to vote honestly, for the one whom I considered least objectionable (in this cycle, that would be Kasich).

That said, I will probably not vote in the Republican primary this cycle. I can only vote in one primary, and I would prefer to spend that one vote on the Democratic side, expressing my preference for Sanders.

A presidential election isn’t going to be decided by my vote. In the infinitesimally small probability possibility that it seemed to come down to my one vote, there would be a contested recount with a judicial decision determining.

So it is irrational, or at least highly unreasonable, to vote as if my choice will determine the outcome at the state or national level.

My vote is instead an expression of opinion as to who should win.

Also, if voters think they were manipulated into voting for Hillary by some kind of Democratic Operation Chaos, they might rebel against the manipulation by voting for Trump.

For those who don’t buy this, it’s what Grumman said in #15.

We’re talking about the possibility of Donald Trump having authority over nuclear weapons. The rational response to that nightmare is to vote against Trump at every level.

I consider my vote honest in that I plan on voting for the person I think has the best chance of beating the person who I find most objectionable. I might prefer Kasich over Cruz but if I think Cruz has a better chance of beating Trump, I’ll vote for Cruz.

The thing is, if you want a candidate who can be more easily beaten, Cruz or Rubio are better choices. Trump has spent almost nothing so far so he still has his whole war chest to bring to bear.
Also, there is the ‘bad joke’ factor: some people will vote for him because they think its funny, but a President Trump is no joke. Angry, psychotic and misspelled tweets attacking people the morning after the debate? Really…?
How could any sane US citizen want this man to have Any non-zero chance of controlling The Nuclear Football???

One of the best interviews on Bill Maher I’ve seen was last night was when Michael Hayden said, point blank, that the military would not obey any illegal orders issued by a sitting president, even if it was Trump. In the interview, the word coup came up.
That doesn’t mean that the people who point out that Cruz and Rubio are worse are wrong.

If you love America and want it to continue to exist (as well as existing as a ‘going concern’), you can’t possibly want Any of those three people elected president under any circumstances.

If you want America to continue to exist, you do. You Really Do.