Ever since Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders began to gain some traction in their respective nomination battles the inside-the-beltway pundits have been predicting their demise.
After Trump’s tumultuous performance in the first Republican debate most pundits felt that he would begin to fade in the polls. But he hasn’t and continues to sit atop the Republican field. Meanwhile, others like Rick Perry are already running out of money.
I’ll put on my pundit hat and predict that we might see a winnowing of the field after the next debate on September 16th. And it’s about time. I’m guessing that you can’t have a cup of coffee in Des Moines without bumping into a candidate.
Meanwhile, the very same pundits predicted that Hillary Clinton would make mincemeat out of Senator Bernie Sanders in no time at all. Instead, he has been steadily gaining on her and drawing huge crowds that are far bigger than any that Mrs. Clinton drawn so far.
Even Mrs. Clinton’s staff will admit that the largest crowd that she has spoken before was a mere 5,500 while on a recent West Coast and Midwestern swing Sanders drew a total of 100,000.
So what’s going on here? It would seem that both Trump and Sanders have both tapped into the electorate’s Howard Beale’s ‘mad as hell’ attitude. In the movie Beale asks his viewers to go to their windows and yell “I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore”.
Well, voters all over the country are following Beale’s admonition by supporting Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. Meanwhile, the pundits are continuing to say that these two candidates will fade when they aren’t.
Instead, Martin O’Malley, Rick Perry, Chris Christie, Lindsay Graham, George Pataki, Jim Webb, Lincoln Chaffee and Jim Gilmore are either fading or never have taken off.
None of their opponents have realized that this cycle the road to the nomination is through people’s anger. Of course, most of the other candidates think that its undignified to tap into this anger. If they don’t pay attention they’ll be the ones sitting in audiences at their respective conventions.