As you know, Donald Trump has been sinking in the polls, thanks to the Clinton campaign adopting Trump-like persuasion tactics and framing the GOP nominee as an unstable, racist maniac. That approach is working, and time is running out for Trump to change things.
Should I update my prediction of a Trump landslide?
For background, I endorsed Hillary Clinton (for my personal safety) but I’ve been predicting since last year that Trump would win in a landslide because of his superior persuasion skills. That situation changed this summer when Clinton abandoned her losing strategy of sticking to reality. Apparently the Clinton campaign now has help from some of the world’s top Master Persuaders, including, I believe, the one I call Godzilla. It seems that these highly-skilled influencers advised Clinton to steer clear of facts and reason and scare the hell out of voters by painting Trump as a thin-skinned, unstable racist. That approach is working.
My personal bias is that I don’t think any 70ish-year old person (Clinton or Trump) should be president. You wouldn’t hire a 70-year old into any other type of job that requires high energy, mental flexibility, and a possible eight-years of service. Why would we do it for the most important job in the land? And keep in mind that we haven’t seen detailed medical records from either oldster.
Objectively speaking, we are likely to have incompetent leadership – because of age alone – no matter whether Clinton or Trump wins. That should scare you.
My prediction from last year – that Trump would win the general election in a landslide – was based on his persuasion advantage. That advantage is largely gone now because Clinton has evidently hired some weapons-grade Master Persuaders and moved to a purely emotional appeal, specifically fear. And it is working.
If nothing changes, Clinton will win in November. But things rarely stay the same. Here are several ways Trump could still win from behind.
1. Voters discover that Clinton has been hiding a major health issue.
2. Wikileaks releases something damaging.
3. Trump over-performs at the first debate, showing the world that he is willing and able to master the issues.
4. Trump makes the case that the Clinton Foundation is really about selling influence to foreign concerns.
5. Trump gives a speech or interview that is so effective in its empathy that he no longer appears to be crazy and racist.
6. A new surprise revelation about Clinton that no one sees coming.
7. Terror attacks push everything else out of the headlines in the final months.
8. Someone assassinates Clinton because of Trump’s 2nd Amendment joke.
Trump still has several ways to win, and at least three of those paths are under his control. But to be fair, we have seen no evidence that Trump is likely to do anything different in terms of style. So don’t count on a personality change.
In terms of persuasion technique, Clinton now has world-class advisors, but Trump still has the advantage of his risk profile. Trump can take bigger risks and go places Clinton wouldn’t dare. So Trump’s persuasion can be stronger if he chooses to increase his risk. Clinton will be more constrained by political correctness.
I started my blogging about Trump last year by saying the Master Persuader Filter might be the best tool for predicting the outcome of the election. Using that filter, I accurately predicted Trump’s rise to the GOP nomination against all odds. If the filter fails to predict the results of the general election, keep in mind that it will be because Clinton hired better persuaders, and not because of policies and experience.
For the sake of entertainment, I’ll stick with my prediction of a Trump landslide win. But it can only happen if something big changes.
And something big changes about once a week.
You might be interested in reading my weird interview with TheRinger.com.
Speaking of changes, a lot of people are saying you should read my book.