The Donald Trump sales pitch has worked magic on his supporters who still believe he can win the general election. The only reliable indicator of general election victories, net favorability, paints his general election chances lower than Bob Dole or Walker Mondale when they were obliterated.
Here are the numbers of the losing candidates over the last 36 years:
- 1980 Jimmy Carter: -7
- 1984 Walter Mondale: -6
- 1988 Michael Dukakis: -7
- 1992 George H. W. Bush: -16
- 1996 Bob Dole: -12
- 2000 Al Gore: -5
- 2004 John Kerry: -7
- 2008 John McCain: -2
- 2012 Mitt Romney: -11
- 2016 Donald Trump: -25
What Trump’s supporters fail to understand is that his liberal perspectives such as supporting affirmative action, touchback amnesty, and eminent domain are hated by conservatives and Independents while his ideas of building a wall and banning Muslims are hated by Democrats. This is why invariably the winner in every general election is the person who inspires votes through strong ideas across the board rather than a hodgepodge of liberal and conservative ideals.
The hardest part to understand is why his supporters believe his rhetoric about being tough on immigration. He’s promoting touchback amnesty, an utterly horrible idea that is actually worse than anything proposed by the Gang of Eight. With touchback amnesty, the illegal immigrants are still rewarded with amnesty and will return to the United States through his fast track prioritization proposal. The difference is that it will cost hundreds of millions if not billions more to accomplish. He is left of Marco Rubio and far left of Ted Cruz on the issue of illegal immigration, but if you ask his supporters they think that he’s a conservative on the issue. He is not. His perspective was even supported by five Democratic Senators in 2007 as a good moderate solution.
Donald Trump has an opportunity to win the GOP nomination. The numbers support this notion. However, they also point to a bloodbath in the general election that will guarantee another Democratic White House.