For several days this week, Donald Trump has retweeted followers encouraging him to run for president, using inspirational words such as fearless, genuis and the real deal. Trump responded to “will you run” and “run,” with “Stay tuned” and “I am.”
Is Trump really running for office this time or just ramping up publicity since he has another Celebrity Apprentice premiering in January? It doesn’t matter. Either way, he won’t be president, because he almost no chance of winning. Let’s pretend for a moment that he interestingly runs. Which party’s primary will he enter? In the last 20 years, he’s claimed to be a Republican, a member of the Reform Party, a Democrat, and an Independent.
He could make a statement as an Independent, like Ross Perot did in 1992. If he’s just wanting to advocate for an issue – like tax reform, for example – then an independent candidacy would be ideal. Running as an independent is usually done as an image building campaign. But Trump doesn’t need that. He would actually be running to win, and would undoubtedly attract the bulk of media coverage. There would be many voters who like the idea of a successful business man running the country, but it won’t be enough. However, he would draw a percentage larger than any other Independent before, and would significantly influence the outcome of the election, just not in his favor.
He may choose to run as a Republican. He has spoken often and passionately about IRS and welfare reform, energy independence, foreign relations with China, Russia and the Middle East, border control, and the negative impact of overregulation. The problem for Trump is that the Republican Party has 12-16 candidates loaded with executive experience and individually high approval numbers. It would be difficult for Trump to break out of such a large group. Plus, the field includes conservatives, moderates and even Republicans in Name Only. That mix of ideologies would make it more difficulty for Trump to stand out on issues.
He would have a better chance at a primary win as a Democrat. The good thing about running as a Democrat for Trump is they have a very weak bench. Hillary Clinton seems to be the heir apparent. She and the short list of backups are all extreme leftists. That gives Trump an opening to run as a conservative Democrat, a unique trait in the party these days.
In addition, Trump is unabashedly vocal about his intense disappointment in President Barack Obama’s mishandling of much of the country’s affairs. Democrats are all trying to disconnect themselves from his failing policies, as was seen in the mid-term elections. That wouldn’t be a problem for Trump because he already has.
Trump dislikes Obama’s governance so much, he candidly, and obviously unwisely for anyone considering a presidential run, tweeted on November 25, “Sadly, because president Obama has done such a poor job as president, you won’t see another black president for generations!” As expected, responders called him a racist. Trump is not a racist, but racial comments like that will always be exploited. As a Democrat, though, he would not have to be politically correct, like Obama calling illegal immigrants “fruit pickers” and “bed makers” when announcing his recent executive action to stop deportations, so Trump would benefit in that regards.
While Trump has no realistic chance of winning the general election, his odds improved this week when a Quinnipiac survey found the top contenders are two-time presidential loser Mitt Romney and Clinton, a one-time presidential loser. If he’s running against either of those, well, there could be a President Trump.