2016’s Election Paradox

Think about the 2016 election for president for a minute and you come up with a startling fact. History doesn’t mean anything. Historically, this is a Republican romp. You look at the economy…you look at the state of mind of Americans…you look at the fact that the Democrats have been in power two terms, and you have to conclude that this is a Republican walk. Hell, even the GOP field is deeper and smarter, and better-liked, and younger. That all adds up to a GOP win!

But this is a weird year. A year when the first six months have been dominated by two parties’ leaders that shouldn’t even be there. Facing all the baggage yet to come with her email scandals, Hillary should have dropped out months ago. And Donald Trump, Ben Carson, and Carly Fiorina have as much chance of getting elected as Paul McCartney (actually, McCartney if he COULD run, which he can’t, would probably fare better!). No, it’s a weird year. And yet, there is another paradox in this election year that I hadn’t really thought of before.

On the Democrats’ side, you’ve basically got two people still in the race that are old. Bernie Sanders is well over 70, and Hillary is pushing 70. On the GOP side, of the people in the race that still really matter (so I’m leaving out the George Pataki’s and Rick Santorum’s and Lindsay Graham’s of the world), you’ve got a bunch of kids!¬† Rubio, and Cruz are 44. Paul is 52, Christie is 53, Huckabee is 60. Carly is 61. Bush is 62, and Kasich is 63. Ben Carson is 64, and Donald Trump is pushing the envelope at 69.

When was the last time the GOP field was fully younger than the Democrats? I can’t begin to remember. Here’s the paradox. Democrats tend to get younger voters, Republicans tend to get the older voters, right? So, you’re going to have young voters voting for two of the oldest candidates of the field, and you’re going to have a bunch of senior citizens voting for people who could be their kids. OK…except say Trump!

Want some more paradoxical facts? The GOP is known as the White Guy’s party, right? Always nominating a WASP to run. Well, this time around, you’ve got a Latino in Cruz, a Cuban-American in Rubio, a black candidate in Carson, a woman in Fiorina, and a Libertarian in Paul. Out of the ten viable candidates up there, only four fit the WASP mold. On the Democrats’ side, you’ve got a woman in Hillary (we still think), and an old White Guy in Sanders and O’Malley. Where is the “rainbow coalition” at these days?

Make no mistake about it, while I’m sure Hillary will get the nod on the left, I have no idea who is going to be the eventual candidate on the right. It seems Trump is waning and wearing thin. Carson is still strong, but nobody is giving him much credence to become the candidate. And while everyone is oohing and aahing over Carly, no one gives her a chance. No, right now everyone looks to Cruz and Rubio. Not that they’re the perfect candidates, but they’re the ones people are talking about six months into the race.

Weird year. And it will get weirder!

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

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