I’ve already seen quite a few articles about Trump’s running mate, and who it should or could be. Calm yourself. There’s no need for Trump to make a pick yet. At this point he should be vetting a great swath of people — the ultimate choice needs to be based on what his strengths and weaknesses are as he heads into the convention. We just don’t know a lot of things yet:
– Trump still has states to win, making it final. Turn out and numbers there will go a long way into this calculation.
– Trump still has an interview with Megan Kelly.
– The FBI hasn’t interviewed Clinton yet.
– Polling is still very unreliable, and it’s been especially unreliable this season.
– We don’t know how well Bernie is going to do between now and the last votes are cast.
If, with the candidacy almost guaranteed, Trump still generates record turn-out… then the selection of a running mate will be a little less important. If he’s able to get people to vote when it “doesn’t matter”, especially if there are any states where they could perhaps disrupt the Democrat side, then he’s going to have a head of steam going into the convention.
There are still votes to be cast, today, next week, and then up to June 5. And how that interview next week impacts his polling numbers will further indicate how his negatives and weaknesses are playing out. The man isn’t perfect and a great deal of people dislike him. This is an opportunity to show a lot of grace and come across presidential. Also, the beef with Kelly is a perfect chance to show how he can unify — if he wins her over, he’ll look golden.
The FBI thing
Depending on how this progresses, and how the citizen at large view it, he could choose a candidate perfectly suited to take some form of advantage of this issue. Trump will also be in a position to use this to his advantage by putting Clinton into any number of vices. If he can give her a series of no-win choices and tear her down a bit — drive up negatives and down positives — then he might be able to siphon off more votes in swing states and put one or more into play. A candidate from a key swing state becoming the nail in the coffin would be a great gain.
As the anxiety about the above builds, even if the idiot won’t campaign on it, voters may vote for Bernie as their last hope. I fully expect Clinton to lock up the nomination but Bernie could drag her into a knock-down, drag out fight as the finish approaches. If polls keep showing Trump approaching or beating her in swing states, people may jump ship. Bernie may get more bold. Trump can point out how Bernie is getting screwed.
Clinton will have to react, and Bernie will be able to influence the platform — pulling Clinton left. That will pull the blanket off a great deal of moderates and even leftists who may jump to Trump based on that. And if there’s a sudden weakness, an exposed group of people not wanting Clinton or the Sanders platform, then Trump could play to that with a running mate.
Don’t Trust Polls or Pundits
Trump was never supposed to get above 25%. He was never supposed to get within ten of Clinton. He wouldn’t play in swing states. He wouldn’t get enough support to win the nomination outright. Every week there’s a new story about how this is as good as it gets for Trump, and he’s just toxic. And every week… he outperforms his numbers.
So all this speculation I’m seeing is just that — speculation. He’ll pick the best running mate for the circumstances, unlike Romney and McCain who had to pick based on strong negatives in large swaths of the party. Sure, a lot of polls show that people don’t like Trump in large swaths of the party. But they’re coming around and he’s made the tent bigger. A lot bigger. Reagan democrats. If he outperforms with a few minorities and manages to make the gap with women less of an issue, then his support among men will be enough to make it a landslide.