Friday, April 8, 2016

The Theory of Relativity

Albert Einstein introduced his "Theory of Relativity" in 1905.

I have my own theory of relativity.

Every choice in life is relative.

Choices are constrained based on availability, limits and reality. It does not matter what you may want. The only thing that matters is what you can have.

If a man is stranded on an island and discovers that there are only two women to choose from on the island, it does not matter that he believes that the ideal woman is Scarlett Johannson. It does not matter that he does not find either woman on the island is attractive. He has only the choice in front of him.

Likewise for the women. If the man is the only living, breathing male human on the island it does matter if their dream guy is Ryan Reynolds. Their choice is clear. Take him or leave him. If you don't take him, enjoy the beautiful sunsets on the island alone.

I am reminded of this as I view the polling data on the possible choices in this year's Presidential race.

It looks to be an interesting example of my Theory of Relativity.

We see it in the GOP nomination process.

In the exit polls conducted by NBC News for the Wisconsin primary just 61% of Republican voters said they would vote for Donald Trump in November. I remind you, these are Republican voters.

When asked if they will vote for Trump, nearly one in five (18%) GOP voters said they will vote for a third party candidate in November. 8% would not vote at all. 10% would vote for Hillary.

Ted Cruz does marginally better but there still are a lot of GOP voters who want another choice (and it is not John Kasich who was on the ballot and got 13% of the vote). 66% of GOP voters in Wisconsin will vote for Cruz in the fall. 18% say they will vote third party, 6% will vote for Hillary and 5% will stay home.

It is an even bigger issue in the general election if the choice is between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. We hear a lot about having to choose between the lesser of two evils, this may be the textbook case.

John Zogby wrote a recent column in Forbes on that possibility, "Mr. Unfavorable vs. Mrs. Favorable", that defines the choice that voters may face. Zogby sums it up this way,

America – and the world – knows Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton – and they do not like what they see. And this is even before the two start punching and counter-punching.

Trump is viewed unfavorably in Zogby's poll data by 59% of American voters. Hillary by 54%.

Hillary is viewed unfavorably by 56% of men. Trump is at 53%.

Trump is viewed negatively by 66% of women. Women are supposed to be Hillary's strength but 53% of women do not like her.

Trump is supposed to have great potential appeal to blue collar Democrats. However, his unfavorables are 83% with all Democrats and 54% with weekly Wal-Mart shoppers. One of the only groups that he has a slight favorability edge is with NASCAR fans where he is 48% favorable and 45% unfavorable.

Both Hillary and Donald are viewed very unfavorably by 18-29 year olds. Trump turns off 74% of this age demographic. Clinton has a 59% unfavorable rating with the same age group. In some respects this is worse for Hillary than Trump's number considering that Obama got two out of every three votes from this age demographic over the last two elections.

Interestingly, in a race between Trump and Clinton the election may not be decided by who the voters like more, but rather by who they loath more.

Who will be more motivated to vote? #NeverTrump or #NeverHillary voters.

The same is true in the stretch run to the Republican convention.

Are you going to vote for Trump?  Or are you going to vote against Trump?

That is the only choice left.

It does not matter what you want.

What you don't want sometimes matters even more.  It is the theory of relativity.

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