Could Trump Do Worse Than McGovern?

Over at Huffington Post, their number crunchers now estimate that Donald Trump has a 23% chance of being an even bigger loser than George McGovern, i.e, getting less than 37.4% of the popular vote. Those aren’t great odds, but they’re better than the 16% odds Nate Silver currently gives Trump of winning the election. It also tracks with at least some of the latest polls. For example, the CNBC poll has Trump getting 34% of the vote in a four-way race with nine percent undecided. That makes it less startling to see that Trump is getting just 28% in a the latest Public Policy Institute of California poll.

Is this good news or bad news for Paul Ryan? You probably heard it from me first over a week ago, but Scott Wong at The Hill has noticed that a smaller majority for Ryan will make it harder for him to win the leadership contest within the House Republican caucus. And Wong noticed another thing.

Trump may add to Ryan’s problems.

The businessman has repeatedly criticized Ryan’s leadership and was stung after the Speaker said he would not longer defend Trump after a 2005 tape emerged in which the GOP nominee speaks lewdly about groping and kissing women.

Win or lose on Nov. 8, Trump could put pressure on House Republicans to oppose Ryan in a speakership contest.

The presence of Trump campaign chairman Steve Bannon is another factor.

As an executive with Breitbart news, Bannon has made it his mission to depose Ryan. He is unlikely to stop causing trouble for the Speaker after the election.

Yes, and I don’t think folks like Sean Hannity are going to give Paul Ryan a pass on the whole “stabbed in the back” conspiracy theory.

Truth be told, though, if Trump’s doing as poorly as some are predicting, the House probably will fall to the Democrats. So far, though, this is still not supported by the evidence. It would require Trump to be doing somewhat worse than the polling average, in my opinion.

One piece of good news for Trump is that he’s guaranteed to win more states and Electoral Votes than McGovern even if he gets less of the popular vote. So, he’ll probably spin it that way.

Martin Longman

Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly and the main blogger at Booman Tribune.