If Clinton was elected President in 2016...

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The Right Honourable Martin Brian Mulroney PC CC GOQ:
Trump was obviously something of a phenomenon within the GOP, but he didn't even win a majority of votes during the primaries. He got about 45%, and considering the way primaries work (candidates drop out so vote percentages for remaining candidates go up over time), a clear majority of GOP voters didn't really want him (although they couldn't decide on who they did want, which is why the rest faltered). Had he lost to Hillary, the GOP establishment would have discarded his candidacy as an obvious mistake, even if some GOP voters remain personally loyal to him. You would think a majority of GOP voters would tend to agree with the establishment on this, because the majority, you know, didn't want him as the candidate. Losing to Hillary Clinton in particular would have been a particularly painful defeat to most Republicans, and Trump would be scapegoated for it.

In real life, what made Trump so powerful was that he beat Clinton, became president, and used the bully pulpit to punish dissenters in primaries. It became risky for Republican politicians to go against him, because clearly he had won over the majority of American conservatives, and wasn't afraid to cash that. In 2018, he became an asset to many Republicans who faced otherwise difficult challenges. Ted Cruz himself grovelled for Trump to keep his seat as a Senator. So even after he lost 2020, many dissenting Republicans were gone. In the Senate, there's Collins who represents a blue state, Romney who's a special case, and Murkowski an even more special case where the state party has disowned her and in 2022 she, a Republican, was in all but name the Democratic candidate in Alaska. That's the level of influence anti-Trump conservatives have right now. And in the current primaries, the two non-Trump candidates who are polling even in the teens, aren't anti-Trump so much as they're "Trump Plus". So for anti-Trump Republicans, save for those at the state level in some northeastern states, there is nothing to rally around, because he has the whole Republican establishment by the balls, and they can't do anything other than playing his game.

So back to a Trump loses scenario: this would not be the state of the Republican Party. Trump has had the upper hand in Republican political dynamics ever since his victory in 2016, but a defeat would turn things around. All those anti-Trump Republicans who lost relevance wouldn't have, and they would be in a position to use that relevance to crush his hopes for a 2020 run. Does Trump still run? Possibly, depending on how much popular support he has. He might even deny the 2016 election results, and convince a good chunk of voters, but not the Republican Party itself which would not have been as scared of him. But generally, having been the guy who lost to Hillary would have made a lot of Republicans question if they really wanted him to go for a rematch.

Snowstalker Mk. II:
Republican support for Trump was never that strong until after he actually won the election. If he lost he would have been totally discredited, and the GOP would have just nominated Cruz or Rubio.

Quote from: Bojack Horseman on September 26, 2022, 07:59:17 PM

Yes. If not for the Comey letter Clinton would probably have been able to barely hang onto the Midwest and won a 1960-esque nailbiter. She would have had approval ratings on the 20s and 30s throughout her term as she would have still been despised by the Bernie crowd. Backlash against Covid restrictions would have been a thousand times worse since the GOP would have a common enemy to unite against.

The better than expected showing by Trump causes the party bosses to warm up to him in 2020 and he would have an interest in running again to get his ego stroked by his big crowds of adoring admirers. There would be some resistance to his renomination but not nearly enough to stop him from getting the nod. Trump would retain his outsider appeal while Hillary would be fatally damaged by four years of nonstop GOP investigations.

Her approval ratings would have gone up temporarily due to Covid but again with a common enemy the GOP would have given her the same treatment Gretchen Whitmer got IRL. Eventually as the pandemic raged on with no end in sight Trump would have campaigned on ending the lockdowns and independents would rationalize voting for him "because he'll handle Covid the same way he runs his businesses!"

Hillary would then lose the 2016 map give or take New Hampshire or Virginia and we'd have a Trump presidency with him four years further into dementia land.

The same type of COVID disaster wouldn't have happened under Hillary.

I can't believe "no" is winning this poll. Trump obviously had an ungodly enthusiastic base and the finger on the future of the GOP. By 2020, the election would have been seen as a likely GOP landslide and there would have been little to no concerns about electability. Further, the 2018 elections would likely have given an enraged GOP control of enough state legislatures to call a constitutional convention and rewrite the constitution with ALEC as the author. The GOP was/is crazy enough to do it. As much as I do wish Clinton won, the long term outlook for such a scenario is not good for Democrats, either.

Quote from: Mr. Smith on November 07, 2022, 11:37:54 PM

Quote from: Pres Mike on October 13, 2022, 05:41:41 PM

Quote from: Atomic-Statism on October 03, 2022, 02:25:17 PM

I used to think not, but it's worth considering that Trump's movement has been one of the heartiest and most enduring in the party in decades, and that was before he even won the election. Events during her presidency would probably strengthen his appeal: COVID (no, the butterfly effect isn't some magic wand that can wave away the evolution of a virus halfway across the world because someone else is in the White House), deteriorating relations with China, societal upheaval (technological and outsourcing-based un(der)employment, climate change, sexual harassment, migration surges, police brutality, and the reinforcement of echo chambers by social media can't be handwaved away either), and the economic disruption inherent to those things. I also used to think he wouldn't want to run again after losing, but all signs point to a Trump run in our 2024.

However, someone else might have a shot at taking Trump's place by 2020, probably either DeSantis or Josh Hawley.

Neither DeSantis nor Josh Hawley are going to run in 2020, both being first elected in 2018.

Even Obama needed four years as a senator before running for President

I expect the Republican nominee, if not Trump, would be Cruz. He is runner up and would probably copy a lot of Trump's populist rethoic

.   Don't underestimate Rick Scott here.

rubio again prehaps?


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