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Cleveland, Round Four.

July 21, 2016

Round three is now in the books.

For some reason, perhaps to prove that it is willing to listen to and overcome any voice, the Trump campaign allowed Ted Cruz  to make his last quasi-official  2016 campaign speech.

After  the obligatory 12-word congratulations to Trump for beating the pants off him, Cruz launched into another messianic political sermon on his own behalf.

It was almost comical to hear him postulate on how to win in November, considering that he lost way back in May.

His  speech did serve to showcase why he didn’t win the nomination. One diehard Cruz supporter put it this way:

“Until right now, I never understood why people didn’t like Ted. I thought that he was a man of his word. Well, he gave his word to support the Republican nominee, and he went back on it. I was wrong about him.”

All that distraction aside, it’s still Donald Trump’s race to win or lose. The last thing of consequence people will hear at this convention will be his voice. He kind of needs to post the most points in round four.

To do that he needs to put the other GOP candidates and the primary season pettiness behind him. It’s no longer about them.

Come November, it will be in the hands of the voters, at least insofar as the current system permits.

Just as in the primary, voters will now vote not directly for the candidate, but to influence the electors, who are chosen approximately a month after the general election.

Just as in the primary process, electoral college delegates do not necessarily have to vote for their state’s general election winner.

How they vote is determined by the rules in their state. Twenty-five  states and the District of Columbia specifically require electors to follow the will of the people, while the remaining 25 do not require allegiance and don’t exact a penalty for not doing so. Virginia’s rules are sometimes seen as being ambiguous but seems to suggest that electors should follow the popular vote.

Four presidents have not captured a clear majority of the popular vote but won in the Electoral College, with the latest being Bush 43 in 2000.

Given the still far from unanimous support for Trump, that makes both this evening and the remaining four and a half months especially critical, with the magic number this time being 270.

Contrary to the belief of the Conservative wing of the GOP, this race is actually about whether Americans think they will be better off both personally and as a nation under a Trump or a Clinton presidency.

Given Mrs. Clinton’s obvious negatives, one might be tempted to think that she will not be the winner.

That’s a dangerous assumption.

Given her thorough understanding of how powerful the strategy of free stuff and selective victimization propaganda can be, it still remains a dogfight. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to out-promise a Democratic candidate.

That makes the big question whether she has not just the ability but ever really had the intent to deliver on her campaign promises.

In short, whose word can voters trust the most?

From → op-ed

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