Trump Towers Over Divided GOP

Editor's Note: Below is a brief excerpt from Hedgeye Potomac Chief Political Strategist JT Taylor's Morning Bullets sent to institutional clients each morning. For more information on how you can access our institutional research please email sales@hedgeye.com.

TRUMP TOWERS OVER CONGRESS

Trump Towers Over Divided GOP - trump tower

 

Donald Trump's schedule will be the focus of everyone in Washington today and, for the first time, the presumptive nominee will meet with Speaker Paul Ryan, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and RNC Chairman Reince Priebus as well as other member of the Republican leadership team. Trump's last meeting with Priebus at the end of March was billed as a unity meeting and ended up being anything but...

 

Still, we see these meetings as serving multiple purposes for all parties involved:

  1. With Trump now the Party's standard-bearer, today will serve as the first phase of getting the entire team to unify, privately first if nowhere else;
  2. For Ryan and McConnell - both of whom fear down-ticket trouble with Trump at the top of the ballot - the meetings will serve to calm nerves (or ring the alarm) and outline their concerns for holding onto the majority;
  3. This is Trump's opportunity, if we wants it, to claim the Party's mantle and megaphone; doing so, however, carries risk to the brand he's carefully built as an outsider who does not play the Washington game.

 

With Ryan and Trump publicly trading jabs and efforts building around finding another choice for conservatives, the only thing certain about today is that Trump will be sure to tweet about it.

TRUMP TURNOUT TOURNIQUET? 

Trump Towers Over Divided GOP - polling station

 

Throughout the presidential primary, voter turnout/enthusiasm was at an all-time high, with Republicans eager to move on from a two-term Democrat in the Oval Office. As Trump's ascent became inevitable, the Republican establishment feared his record unfavorability would tamp that enthusiasm and the ensuing turnout gap would siphon Republican votes from candidates down ballot.

 

Hardly scientific, but as figures roll in from the WVA and NE primaries - the only two held since Trump's had the race to himself - the data suggest those fears may be unfounded. In 2012, primary turnout in NE was a paltry 26.1 percent; this past Tuesday, 26.5 percent. WVA turnout in 2012 was the worst in the nation, both in the primary and general; just four years later, more people returned absentee ballots than voted in 2012!

POLLING PANIC

A Quinnipiac poll this week placed Trump and Hillary Clinton in a dead heat in the three key swing states of FL, OH and PA. While this may appear concerning for both sides, there are a few things to keep in mind.

 

For one, FiveThirtyEight has awarded Quinnipiac a "B+" in polling accuracy. For another, FiveThirtyEight founder and election-poll-guru Nate Silver tore into the media for making a big deal of the polls so far from Election Day. Taking to 2016's favorite soapbox (Twitter) for an 8-tweet rant on the inaccuracies of such "snapshot" polls six months out.  Of course for his part, Silver held firm from last November through late January that Trump had no chance of securing the nomination. Beware the potholes of political portending.


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