No matter who is on the ballot when August rolls around, I can tell you that the 2016 general election will be unlike any other of its kind. With both parties cruising toward a goal of contested convention, this kind of ideological split between the voting populace can only spell troubled times ahead for America.
In both the Republican and Democratic parties, we already see movements from those who claim they will never vote for the opposition: Donald Trump supporters who echo John Boehner’s words that Ted Cruz is “Lucifer” and will never cast the ballot for him. On the other side, there are Sanders supporters who proclaim “Never Hillary” in opposition to her condescension and practices.
If Ted Cruz wins the GOP nomination due to a contested convention, I wholeheartedly believe that he will lose the general election by a landslide. Hating Trump is popular and trendy, but hating Cruz is a reality. No matter who the Democratic nominee is, people will turn out in droves to keep this man out of the White House. If Trump wins it fair and square, the battle for Washington will be a long and bloody fight. Skeletons will be aired, and if there are none, they will be created, if only to momentarily distract from the matters at hand.
Then we come to the Democratic party, and all hell breaks lose. At this point, historically, those falling behind have dropped out of the race. The reason being mostly that those behind the candidate has lost funding. They have switched to funding their opponent, and the campaign can no longer continue.
The Sanders campaign is different, since it runs on donations from everyday Americans with donations averaging about $27 a person. As long as the people continue to donate, the Sanders campaign can continue running all the way to the convention, pulling as many delegates as they can. If, come the convention, neither candidate has the total delegates, we go into a contested convention. The only two outcomes are a coronation or a revolution.
In August, there will be two candidates telling you, the voter, why they deserve your vote. They will be begging for your support. They will ask you to move forward, to make America great again, to cast your vote for someone who you believe in. If you happen not to believe in either of them, the people around you will tell you to vote in order to keep the status quo. They will talk about supreme court justices and congress, and the importance of why their candidate is the right choice.
Here are my future predictions for November, all possible futures involved: Trump versus Clinton – the most probable outcome – will more than likely end with a Trump victory. I predict large numbers of independent voters voting blue, with some democratic voters switching out of protest. In Cruz versus Clinton, less probable but still possible, it will be a close Clinton victory. I do not see Republican voters switching to Clinton, but I see many voters abstaining or voting third party. According to aggregate polls, Clinton only leads Trump by seven points, and Cruz by 11. In both polls, undecided voters could turn the election either way.
In the less probable futures, Trump versus Sanders is the most clear-cut race we see in history. Almost nobody votes third party here, and independents are strongly swayed one way or the other. I would predict a Sanders victory provided his rise was without a Clinton indictment. If he were to win the nomination due to Clinton being disqualified, I could easily see a strong push from Clinton supporters to not vote. For Cruz versus Sanders, it would be a Sanders landslide. I would predict people voting for Sanders purely out of protest against Cruz. In the above mentioned polls, Sanders leads Cruz by 21 points, and Trump by 16. In both polls, undecided voters leaning to one side or another would not win or lose the election. Even polls conducted by Fox show Sanders’ favorability towering over Cruz’s.
However, there is a bit of time left before July and even more before August, and things have hurt candidates in less time. For the rest of us, all we can do is wait.