Monday, March 19 , 2018, 6:39 am | Fair 39º


Letter to the Editor: Republicans Do Battle Wearing Suicide Vests

The unique quality of the current presidential election cycle continues to amaze.

According to an NBC News Wisconsin “exit” poll of April 6, 2016, one-third of registered Republicans will not vote for their party's presidential candidate if that happens to be either Donald Trump or Ted Cruz.

If Trump is the Republican nominee, “ … 61 percent said they'd vote for [him], with the rest defecting to a third party (16 percent) or to Clinton (10 percent)—or simply staying home (9 percent).”

If Cruz is that party's nominee, “ ... only 65 percent of Wisconsin Republicans said they'd vote for him. The remainder instead would vote for a third-party candidate (18 percent),

for Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton (7 percent) or not vote at all (6 percent).”

Though today's poll is never a guarantee of tomorrow's actuality, and though Wisconsin Republicans may not reflect the intentions of their fellow party members nationally, these figures certainly do much to explain why knowledgeable Republican operatives have conceded that Democrats will occupy the White House for the next four years.

Another factor, of course, is that many Republicans, in Congress and out, have turned their backs on their own party's post-2012-election assessment of what the party must do to succeed in the future: enhance their appeal to younger voters, to women and minorities.

Still another, as almost all “pundits” agree, is that any attempt to deprive front-runner Trump of the nomination at the party convention will fracture any hope of party unity.

In other news, as the broadcasters say, the unfavorable ratings of potential presidential candidates is breathtaking in its own way:

“Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton register net negative ratings in double digits, indicating the front-runners for each party's presidential nominations are viewed negatively at historic levels, according to a new CBS/New York Times poll. 

“That makes Trump and Clinton viewed more unfavorably than any front-runner for either party since 1984, when CBS began polling voters on the question.

“On the Republican side, Trump scores a net negative of -33, with a favorable rating of 24% compared to 57% of voters who view him unfavorably. On the Democratic side, Clinton fares only slightly better with a net negative of -21, registering a 31% favorable rating and a 52% unfavorable rating, according to the poll.

“Both candidates' negatives far outweigh front-runners of the past. …

“In a Clinton-Trump election, Clinton leads the billionaire businessman by 10 points. Against Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Clinton is ahead by 3 points. And her lead disappears when matched up against Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who would beat Clinton by 4 points.

“Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Clinton's primary rival, performs better in a hypothetical contest with Trump. He leads the Republican front-runner by 15 points due to his strong support among independent voters, according to the poll.” (CNN Politics, March 22, 2016)

In the face of today's admittedly poor odds, my support, as previously mentioned, remains with the Vermont Senator.

William Smithers
​Santa Barbara

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click here to get started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >