Now that Donald Trump is the presumed Republican nominee, political pundits, many of them the same people who did not give the mercurial real estate tycoon and reality show star much of a chance in the primaries, are wondering can he win in November? Sean Trende at Real Clear Politics answers that Trump can become the 45th president of the United States. Trump and Hillary Clinton are neck and neck in the polls, with some showing Trump slightly ahead, and some showing Clinton slightly ahead.

Five reasons exist for Trende’s conclusions.

First, both Trump and Clinton have a similar unfavorable/favorable ratio, the high 50s and high 30s respectively. Voters are leery of Trump because of his volatile personality. But they are about as equally aghast at Clinton because of her manifest dishonesty and her grating manner.

Second, Trende thinks that the actual candidates don’t matter, that the election is likely to be decided by outside factors such as the economy, President Obama’s job approval, and second-term fatigue. To be sure, some exceptions exist, and a bad or a good candidate can mean two or so percentage points that could decide a close election.

Third, Trump may do better with minority voters than expected. Pundits have noted that the Republican candidate has terrible numbers among Hispanic voters (for obvious reasons) and African Americans. However, Trump has room for improvement. The assumption that Hispanics are single issue voters on immigration may be wrong. They may be as concerned about the economy and terrorism as are white voters.

Fourth, while both Trump and Clinton have room for growth, Trump has the potential to pick up a percentage of Bernie Sanders voters. This idea may be counterintuitive, except when one thinks that Sanders voters are independents who are motivated by populism rather than the usual left/right divide. It may be easy for voters from socialist populism to capitalist populism. The main thing is that Trump, like Sanders, is running against the establishment in Washington.

Finally, #Hillary Clinton is a horrible candidate. She can’t make a good speech. Her campaign commercials are terrible. She has an unpleasant persona. Only two reasons exist for voting for Clinton. First, she is a woman. Second, she is the only viable alternative to Trump. Neither reason may be sufficient to give her what she has craved for decades, the keys to the Oval Office.

#Donald Trump #Election 2016