The Thinker: Rich Galen


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The Curious Incident

Rich Galen

Monday September 21, 2015


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  • The hoo-hah from Republicans AND Democrats over Donald Trump's reaction to a question at a town hall meeting regarding President Obama's religion and the status of Muslims in America made me recognize something: Until Trump attacked Obama, Democrats were largely silent on his candidacy.

  • Then came the town hall and Ds flew open the labboard gun ports and fired broadside after broadside.

  • Why? I wondered.

  • How about this? Democrats want Donald Trump to win the GOP nomination. They want to run against him in the fall of 2016.

  • Look at it this way. Trump, according to a CNN poll released yesterday, is the darling of 26 percent of people who say they will vote in a Republican primary.

  • Sounds like a lot, but when you consider that only 23 percent of Americans identify themselves as Republicans we're talking about 26 percent of 23 percent.


    That percentage came from a report published by the Pew Research Center this past April. That same report says that 32 percent identify as Democrats and 39% as Independents.


  • If my fifth grade arithmetic hasn't abandoned me, .23 x .26 = about .06 or six percent of the American public. The other 94 percent would vote for someone else or not vote at all.

  • Most of my Democrat friends also went to fifth grade and could also do this calculation so they have been more than happy to allow Republicans to chase after Trump who is unlikely to break into double figures in the general election.

  • With 15 candidates still in the race - at least as of last night - Ds have been thrilled to have the R vote split into two groups: Trump and nano-slices for everyone else.

  • But, then came the attack on the President and Democrats had to come about and fire at will. And the Democrat attack machine went live.

  • Not because of that, but coincidental to it, this CNN poll shows Trump having dropped from 32 percent of the sample to 24 percent. The poll was in the field September 17, 18 and 19 meaning it was all post-Reagan Library Debate.

  • Keep in mind there is a difference between a percentage point change and a percentage change. In this case Trump has suffered an eight percentage point drop (32-24), but he has lost a full 25 percent of his support (8/32nds).

  • Also in that poll, Carly Fiorina's support rocketed from three percent in September to 15% following her second straight excellent debate performance, putting her right behind Trump. Ben Carson dropped from 19% to 14% for a close third place in the poll.

  • Marco Rubio was also in a steep climb going from 3 percent to 11 percent, good for 4th place.

  • Other candidates who got one percent or more were:
    Jeb Bush - 9 percent
    Ted Cruz - 6
    Mike Huckabee - 6
    Rand Paul - 4
    Chris Christie - 3
    John Kasich - 2
    Rick Santorum - 1

  • So, what does the national Democratic opposition research machine do now?

  • Look for new, negative, information (aided and abetted by Trump) on Fiorina's time as an executive at Lucent Technology and Chairman of Hewlett Packard to find its way into the general conversation.

  • I don't know enough about what goes running a Fortune 20 company to be able to make a judgement. In fact, I'm not all that certain I fully understand what happens at, which is somewhat farther down the list.

  • Ben Carson did himself no favors over the weekend when he said that he believed the tenets of Islam disqualified a Muslim from being President of the United States. He obviously hasn't gotten far enough into the U.S. Constitution to read Article VI:
    The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

  • That pesky Constitution, again.

  • Going back to the beginning, when I realized that the Ds had been strangely silent on Trump I remembered that famous scene in the Sherlock Holmes story, Silver Blaze

  • Holmes solves the case by realizing the crime was an inside job. The policeman asks Holmes if there is anything else he should know.
    "Is there any point to which you would wish to draw my attention?"
    "To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time."
    "The dog did nothing in the night-time."
    "That was the curious incident," remarked Sherlock Holmes

  • On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: Links to the Pew study on party identification, to the CNN poll, and for Conan Doyle fans, Silver Blaze.

    Also a Mullfoto of what goes on behind the desk on at least one set at MSNBC.

    -- END --

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