In terms of his unpopularity I mean.
As the primary season is about halfway finished, the media is starting to pick up on the fact that Donald Trump isn't all that popular outside of the Far Right voting base that makes up the Republican Party.
And we're still talking about Trump as the likely nominee because he's still got a big lead on the delegate count, and because the Number Two in the race - Ted Cruz - is polling about as unpopular as Trump with the general electorate.
We're looking at a potential Presidential candidate in Donald Trump whose possible Popular vote for November is going to be around 33 percent, the way things are tracking.
Which got me to thinking: What was the worst Popular vote performance by a Presidential candidate in the whole of our nation's history?
We need to make the distinction for a 2-person race. A lot of multi-candidate (three or more) races split the Popular vote in weird ways, so the drubbing John Davis gets in 1924 has a lot to do with the Third Party guy La Follette more than Calvin Coolidge (although Coolidge did get a sizable majority 54 percent). The fights between four candidates in 1824 and 1860 and 1912 make it impossible to say the Second Place guy got drubbed. So for it to be utter humiliation, it has to be a mano-a-mano showdown.
There's been a few bad Electoral College vote performances - Mondale in 1984, McGovern in 1972, Goldwater in 1964, Alf Landon in 1936 (before Mondale, one of the most mocked under-performances of all time), with the earliest going back to Charles Pinckney in 1804.
Exactly. Pinckney in 1804 not only suffered one of the worst Electoral College results ever, he gave the singular worst Popular vote performance of all time. While there's been a few candidates who struggled in the low 30s for head-to-head matchups, Pinckney set the record for fewest Likes at 27.2 percent of the voting population.
So here we've got a measuring stick. Can Trump equal Pinckney's dismal performance?
Probably not in terms of the Electoral College (although if Nate Silver is right about the women's vote, the possibility is there for a total wipeout), as the Republican Party is still popular enough in regions to earn a few states like South Carolina, Alabama, Idaho, parts of the Midwest (everything else right now - I'm not joking - is up for grabs) just by being the Red candidate. It's doubtful he'll sink to the minimum two-state (plus DC) requirement of matching the humiliating nights that Pinckney, Landon, and Mondale endured (McGovern tends to get excused because of the Watergate scandals of Nixon's dirty tricks people messing with the primaries).
But the Popular vote for Trump can well hit the lowest levels that a candidate for a major party can sink to. Trump's unpopularity is suddenly becoming a major revelation - as the focus on the early stages of the primary season was on the state primary numbers - and the fact that he's already burned more than a few bridges to a lot of the voting blocs is starting to hurt the GOP.
Right now the polls have him bouncing between 41 to 38 percent losing to either Clinton or Sanders. Granted, there's room for Trump to bounce up especially if the Democrats stumble out of their convention mid-summer: but given the polarization between the two parties and the unlikelihood of party voters switching, it all comes down to how the Independent voters go.
And Independent voters right now don't like Trump at all.
My own personal view is that if Trump survives this very contested convention - he pretty much HAS to win the delegate count beforehand, and that's starting to look harder to do - he's going to come out of it bruised and angry and unable to change his tune to a more moderate stance. Depending on how his Veep selection plays out - if he does go with Palin begin headdesking - the poll numbers can really drop. If he's under 40 percent by August - hell, if he's under 33 percent by September - he's probably going to lose more voters who will just run away from the stench.
The way things are going, I've got Trump finishing around that 33 percent as he turns into an incoherent raging mess as October rolls around. Not enough to match Pinckney's despair, but it'll do... it'll do.