Pathways to a Trump presidency

A question that might keep some of us up at night: How might Donald Trump become president?
For the nomination:

  • Trump continues his pace and amasses a majority of delegates before the convention.

----- OR -----

  • Trump gets close to a majority before the convention, and the GOP decides not to anger their base and instead lets Trump have it.
    For the general election:

  • Major terrorist attack on U.S. soil. Trump’s belligerence towards immigrants and other nations in general could score him some serious points here, enough to overtake Hillary/Bernie.

----- OR -----

  • Massive scandal for the Dem candidate. Not sure how big it would have to be. Perhaps something indictable or at least something that is a cardinal sin in American politics, like a video of him/her denouncing Christianity the way some denounce Islam.
    I’m probably way oversimplifying, but I’m not super knowledgeable on the finer points here. What do you guys think? Is there a less dramatic way for Trump to win the general?

Trump is a talented politician, maybe he will find a way to appeal to blacks, latinos and women after getting the nomination. Other than that, I don’t really see a path for him.

The best plausible path for Trump is for white turnout to increase a ton(which it has done during the primaries), and win more of the white vote than Romney did. That’s actually not that hard to do. Clinton also has her ways of shooting herself in the foot and her husband will help her out in that respect, especially if Trump gets him riled up. Clinton lost his cool when she was up against Obama and he didn’t think he was being fair. Trump will make his head explode.

For what it’s worth. . . .

There’s a nuclear war and all the Republicans are huddled in their bomb shelters while the great majority of Democrats are wiped out above ground.

Or there’s always the Red State solution; the bible Belters would love that.

Trump is not a politician.

Talented self promoter.

Trump has won 18 out of 30 states and leads in the delegate count.

He is a politician, and a successful one.

I think the maximize white-vote theory doesn’t have much hope – there’s a segment of the white population in the US that will never, ever willingly associate themselves with open white supremacism, and I think that segment is larger (and growing every year) than the portion Obama got in '12. Considering how easy it’s been so far to paint Trump as catering to white supremacists (mostly because, you know, it’s kind of true), Hillary will use this strategy to maximal effect.

If Trump is successfully painted as the friendly-to-white-supremacists candidate, then he has zero chance, and his white share (and, obviously, non-white share) would be lower than Romney’s, and he’ll lose in a blow out.

I thought usually a pathway to the Presidency is what states you need to win, not what crazy scenario will hand it to you.

Assuming he gets the nomination, and August is behind us, he is one mass casualty attack on US soil away from the prize.

You don’t suppose causing the US to destroy itself via electing a fascist or a dominionist might just possibly be Al Qaeda’s or ISIS’ idea of victory?

Because they hate our freedom? Don’t see how a fascist President would help them out.

Regardless, the question is what would help Trump get elected. An successful attack on the U.S. would likely help the more jingoistic candidate.

Personally, I bet if Trump takes the nomination he’ll slide back to the loveable jerk we all know from the Apprentice. If he can sell it he might be able to hold on to the traditional Republican voters.

I see this sort of thing a lot, and I’m not convinced it’s true. The biggest reason people have for opposing Trump is that they think his foreign policy would be likely to get America into a lot of trouble. An attack on American soil would increase the importance of foreign policy, and increase the relevance of what the President would do in that arena. Thus, it would have the effect of further mobilizing Trump’s opponents.

Would it also further mobilize his supporters? Almost certainly. But I don’t think it’s a given that it would mobilize them more than his opponents, much less by enough to overcome the deficit he’s under.

The terrorists’ rope-a-dope strategy obviously works better if they are, in fact, up against a dope.

Usually. In this case, Trump’s path to the presidency runs through the Racism Fever Swamp, through the Xenophobe Hills, over Mount Protectionism, and across the Batshit Plains.

Look no further than 2004 - the Dems failed to turn out sufficient to defeat W, who had lied us into a disastrous war. Or 2000, when the sitting VP couldn’t even win his own state!

Do not underestimate the apathy and complacency of liberals. I’d hope that a Trump candidacy would bring Dems (and all reasonable individuals) out in droves to defeat Trump, but I’m not at all sanguine about that prospect. I think it far more predictable that the Trump loyalists will come out in force - and I suspect that when it comes down to it, an even greater percentage of our fellow citizens will vote in a way to show that they share in his fear, hatred, and prejudice.

Ignorant people do ignorant things all the time - applies both to folk voting for Trump, and anyone opposing him who does not vote.

I so profoundly hope I am wrong.

You forget that it’s a secret ballot. They don’t have to associate themselves in order to vote for him. I think there are an awful lot of white people who, while not Supremacists themselves, are content to ignore that possibility. They don’t want to think about it, or don’t take it seriously, or dismiss the threat, or are secretly thrilled at the notion of their own superiority.

The rapture comes and all those Trump voters are left behind.

I think you are forgetting that the same was said of Obama in 2008, back then I clearly remember about many talking about an even greater percentage of our fellow citizens that were going to vote showing that they share fear, hatred, and prejudice.

Did not turn out that way. Do not forget that a lot of the noise going on about Trump is about 35 to 45 percents of Republicans supporting him.

At the same time that the press has gone gaga for Trump, and giving him tons of free publicity, the same polls that pointed at Trump as being the one that was ahead among the Republicans also pointed out that Hillary was ahead of him by 3 to 5% points.

Many are making the point that it is early, but I do think that most of the same people that told us the early polling was not good by showing Trump ahead are wrong again, in this era of polarization I do think the early advantage of Hillary Clinton over Trump will be hard to overcome by Trump, and one should notice that right now the polls are showing Hillary Clinton on an upward trend, being ahead of Trump by 10 points now in the aggregate.