I remember telling my youngest son Trump was only winning early because of the number of candidates. Once people dropped out the more favoured candidates would pass him in support.
This did not occur for two reasons.
- Trump had big MO. We should never discount it
- The favoured candidates were not all that good whether it was Bush, Rubio or Cruz
I should add Andrew last comment.
" There were three surprises regarding Trump in the election:
1. Trump was the most popular Republican candidate in the early part of the primary election campaign.
2. Republican primary voters did not coalesce around an alternative candidate.
3. Trump maintained the support of nearly all Republicans during the general election campaign.
I agree with you that Trump’s particular policy positions, and also his willingness not to disavow racists and conspiracy theorists, is an important part of the explanation to item 1.
Item 3 is not a surprise given partisan polarization and the clearly different policies and attitudes offered by Democratic and Republican candidates.
Banks’s story above addresses item 2, which is how the Republican party ended up choosing a candidate who was so unpopular.
P.S. I do not think Bush ran on the platform that he likes Mexicans more than Americans."
His win in the election can be put down to Comey's extraordinary intervention when he said the FBI was investigating more Clinton e-mails ( but failed to mention investigation of Trump team Russian ties.) both Sam Wang and Nate Silver agree on this.
Before this Clinton was comfortably ahead in the polls. After this it was much tighter. I should add ex-ante Clinton was thought to have a huge advantage on the ground. Ex-post we found out this was not the case. The fact Clinton's advisors ignored or even treated with contempt Bill Clinton's thoughts also would have raised alarm bells. The man was not only one of the best US Presidents but was a master politician.