I was in the UK last week for the British election which to everyone’s surprise was won by the Conservatives. For those of you not up on these things, the polls were showing Labour and the Conservatives neck and neck. Either could win, and either would need the help of a smaller party to form a coalition government. Right up until polling day all the polls had a dead heat. Then the electorate did something unexpected. They didn’t do what they said they would do, or what the the pollsters thought they would do. They voted in the Tories. The reason they won is somewhat unclear, but it probably boiled down to a few things 1) The Labour party did simply not resonate and was untrustworthy 2) The Labour leader was deemed, well kinda weird and untrustworthy 3) The Tories were more trustworthy on the economy but not really anywhere else 4) No one wanted the Scottish Nationalists in a collation party with Labour (Except the SNP of course).
What do these two have in common?
What does all this mean in the US.
1) Well firstly, never trust the polls.
2) The electorate is not stupid, does not live in a political bubble and will often decide what’s best in unexpected ways
3) The Conservative party was trusted more not to screw things up, as opposed to the Labour party. Which really means some people voted Conservative as they simply couldn’t feel comfortable with Labour. Not that they loved the conservatives
Which means.. if the GOP keeps putting people unqualified up for the job through a strange nomination process (Carly Fiorina, Ben Carson etc), then the image of the party can be seriously damaged as voters have a funny way of making sure they vote for self preservation. Even it means holding their nose and voting for the other guys. And when they do get the nominee, the GOP is so damaged that no one can pick up the pieces. Based on this, short of a miracle, I fully expect the GOP to lose in 2016. And interestingly you can thank Citizens United for this, by allowing so much money into politics that the losing contenders are kept alive way past their sell by date by indulgent billionaires.