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Posts Tagged ‘The Economist’

VAL 2016 | Donald Trump och Hillary Clinton har en sak gemensamt: båda är genuint impopulära i stora delar av valmanskåren.

The Economist

”Never since modern polling began have the two likely nominees of the big parties been so disliked by the electorate. Mr Trump’s net approval rating (where those who disapprove are subtracted from those who approve) is minus 40. Mrs Clinton is at a still-Siberian minus 20”, skriver The Economist.

Och det är inte bara väljare som brukar rösta på det andra partiets kandidater som är problemet för respektive kandidat i år. Även det egna partiets väljare (se ovan) misstror den egna huvudkandidaten.

The Economist igen:

“The lesser of two evils is not an option. I won’t vote for evil.” So says Julie Edwards, a volunteer for the insurgent presidential campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders, explaining why she will spurn both main party candidates if—as looks almost certain—her hero loses the Democratic presidential primary and Hillary Clinton ends up battling Donald Trump. Ms Edwards was one of dozens of Sanders-backers gathered at an Indianapolis pub on May 3rd to watch the results of the Indiana presidential primary. Many, declaring themselves “Bernie or Bust” voters, pledged to write their hero’s name on to the ballot paper if he is not the Democratic nominee. Mrs Clinton is steeped in “incredibly horrendous scandals” and can never win a general election, averred Ms Edwards. Other volunteers called her “a criminal”, a “neocon” and—perhaps most damningly for some—a pragmatist.

Detta påminner om spekulationerna när Barack Obama valdes till presidentkandidat. Frågan då handlade om Obama skulle locka Clintons många kvinnliga anhängare att rösta på honom i valet mot Mitt Romney. Men problemet visade sig snarare vara försumbart.

Samma sak kommer antagligen hända i år. Bernie Sanders anhängare är besvikna över sitt väntade nederlag. Och de är inte speciellt förtjusta i Hillary. Men det betyder inte att de inte kommer att rösta på Clinton när det verkligen gäller.

Åtminstone är detta problem mindre för Clinton än för Trump. Siffrorna visar sig att Trump har ännu större problem bland republikaner än vad Clinton har bland demokratiska väljare.

För Team Clinton är det en fördel, allt annat lika, om Trump uppfattas än mer negativt av väljarna än den egna kandidaten. Dessutom kommer Trump få betydligt svårare att mobilisera republikanska väljare än vad Clinton kommer att få med demokratiska.

The Economist skriver att Trump har varit betydligt mer framgångsrik än de övriga republikanska kandidater att vinna väljare.

Despite the initial size of the field, Mr Trump is on the verge of breaking the record for votes won in the Republican primaries (10.8m, set by George Bush in 2000). That is partly because, owing to a combination of riled activists and a growing population, more people vote in Republican primaries these days. He is still a long way shy of the 66m votes with which Mr Obama won re-election in 2012. Yet the size of the haul and the growing breadth of his appeal underlines the fact that, despite his divisiveness, Mr Trump has a solid chance of becoming president.

His odds are helped by having a probable opponent, Hillary Clinton, who is also disliked; around half of voters take a poor view of her. Mrs Clinton must be thrilled to have an opponent more unpopular still, and whom she has beaten in all but two of the last 58 head-to-head polls. Yet such polling tends to be a poor guide until after the party conventions, which focus voters’ minds. And being unpopular is always a weakness. Mrs Clinton’s victory over Mr Trump, though likely, is not assured.

Bild: The Economist.

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VAL 2016 | Donald Trumps protektionistiska politik går tvärt emot det egna partiets nyliberala inställning i ekonomiska frågor.

The Economist

Men protektionism har en lång historia i amerikansk politik. Under slutet av 1800-talet var det etablissemangets åsikt i det republikanska partiet medan frihandelsvännerna var i klar minoritet.

Idag kan vi konstatera att en anledning till Trumps framgångar är just hans villighet att gå emot sitt egets partis ideologiska fundament på det ekonomiskt-politiska området.

The Economist, under hela sin existens en frihandelsvänlig röst med nyliberala tendenser på det sociala området, gillar inte vad de har sett av Trump.

Samtidigt konstaterar tidskriften att han uppenbart har förmåga att känna in vad väljarna vill höra. Åtminstone vissa delar av väljarkåren. Om detta sedan räcker i en valkampanj mot Hillary Clinton lär vi snart få se.

I en längre artikel – ”Fear trumps hope” – skriver The Economist så här:

His electoral success is founded on espousing a view of America both exceptionally bleak and widely shared. Two-thirds of Americans think the economy is rigged in favour of the rich; almost seven in ten believe their politicians don’t care about ordinary Americans.

[…]

Mr Trump inflates and conflates these problems into an absurd caricature of undiluted failure and decline. “We’re like a third-world country,” he laments. America “makes the worst trade deals ever made in the history of trade…We’ve spent $4 trillion in the Middle East and we’re in far worse shape than we were before…China, it doesn’t respect us.” He must believe some of this; his opposition to free trade is long-standing. Yet his miserabilism is plainly tactical. It gives him opportunity to throw a few popular scapegoats to his despondent supporters: job-stealing illegal immigrants—including the “rapist” Mexicans he denounced when he launched his campaign; factory-killing Chinese trade negotiators, whom he accused this week of “raping” America; “incompetent” and “crooked” politicians.

[…]

His unusual talents are part of the answer. Charismatic, tactically astute, charming at times and ruthless, Mr Trump is a far more formidable politician than almost anyone had suspected. His outrages have kept print- and broadcast-media attention focused on him; with nearly 8m followers on Twitter and a flair for pithy invective, he rules on social media, too. At the time of his entry into the race, his slander against Mexicans seemed naive as well as boorish; it now seems remarkable how well-formed his pitch to resentful, working-class whites was. He says this was because he understands and shares their concerns. “I worked summers when I was going to school with carpenters and electricians. You know my father was a builder in Brooklyn and Queens, predominantly…I worked with all of these guys, I know these guys.” That has a rare ring of truth. Expedience explains his positions on many issues, including guns, which he once disliked and now advocates, abortion, which he once accepted and now opposes, God, in Whom he previously showed little interest but now praises. His xenophobia and protectionism, however, have form.

Newspaper clippings suggest he vigorously opposed the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1993: “The Mexicans want it and that doesn’t sound good to me,” he was reported as saying.

[…]

Yet if Mr Trump’s supporters like his message, many are also motivated by disdain for the party bosses who so haplessly opposed him. Exit polls in Indiana suggested half of Republican voters felt “betrayed” by their party.

[…]

Second, years of partisan grandstanding in Congress have discredited America’s entire political process, and the Republicans—especially those of them thrust to power by the party’s previous populist insurgency, the Tea Party—are mainly responsible.

[…]

In that sense, the Trumpian revolt is not a continuation of the false promise raised by the anti-government Tea Party, but its successor. With Mr Trump’s nomination almost assured, its fires, too, must now rage and burn out.

Trump against Clinton: the general election is shaping up to be hot and ugly. There appears to be little prospect of Mr Trump moderating his positions, by lurching to the more ameliorative centre that Republican leaders—fearing electoral annihilation—recommend. Whether he believes in his positions or not, they are mostly too extreme to be credibly revised. Apparently vindicated by his success in the primaries, Mr Trump seems to have little interest in changing tack. That also goes for his aggressive, often offensive methods. Turning to Mrs Clinton, his one-time wedding guest, the presumptive Republican nominee is disdainful. “She’s playing the woman card. That’s all she’s got going. She’s got nothing else going. The only thing she’s got is the woman card. And she plays it to the hilt,” fumes Mr Trump, whom 70% of American women dislike.

Tidskriftsomslag: The Economist, 7-13 maj 2016.

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VAL 2016 | Den amerikanska väljarkåren är i stort sett uppdelad på 50 procent demokrater och 50 procent republikaner.

The Economist March 5th-11th 2016

Detta gör att det oftast är mer kostnadseffektivt att lägga kraft på att övertyga de egna kärnväljarna att gå och rösta än att försöka locka över motståndarens väljare.

Men detta förutsätter naturligtvis att man inte gör de egna väljarna så upprörda att de hellre väljer att hålla för näsan och röstar på motståndarsidans kandidat.

Och det är detta som nu håller på att hända i USA där Donald Trump har gjort så många kärnväljare på högerkanten att de redan har börjat fundera på att rösta på Hillary Clinton om Trump blir deras partis presidentkandidat.

Det ser mer och mer ut som om valkampanjen – om det blir Clinton mot Trump – kommer att handla om att inte skrämma bort potentiella väljare (Clinton) och att övertyga tveksamma (Trump).

Team Hillarys strategi kommer därför att handla om att försöka minimera antalet uttalanden som riskerar stöta bort presumtiva republikanska väljare.

Risken för väljarflykt från den demokratiska sidan framstår ett av Clintons minsta problem.

En större risk är i så fall att Clinton, för att inte stöta sig med någon, väljer att kommunicera ett politiska budskap som är så utslätat att ingen orkar bry sig om att gå och rösta.

Men med tanke på att demokraterna har möjlighet att rösta fram USA:s första kvinnliga president framstår detta inte heller som speciellt sannolikt.

Vad Team Trump måste göra är att försöka övertyga både demokratiska och republikanska väljare att han är värdig deras röst. Med ett sådant scenario står Trump inför en rejäl uppförsbacke.

The Economist är inne på samma tankar i en ledarartikel.

Om hon bara kan undvika att framstå som lika aggressiv och arg som sin motståndare kommer hon att få det lättare att övertyga republikanska väljare som inte vill rösta på Trump.

For Mrs Clinton, going down the angry route might not split the party, but would almost certainly result in defeat. Democrats tend to fare poorly when their anguish overflows and begins to sound like contempt for America. It is hard to imagine Mrs Clinton credibly playing the political insurgent. She has decades of experience when the angriest voters want a novice. Nobody can out-hate Mr Trump. So it is encouraging that Mrs Clinton celebrated her victories on Super Tuesday by calling for more “love and kindness” in politics.

The opportunity for a better outcome lies in the asymmetry of the risks. Mrs Clinton has the opportunity to put together a coalition of anti-Trump voters broader than the one that carried Barack Obama to victory in 2008 and 2012. Despair over Mr Trump has reached such an intensity among some Republicans that the usual rules about there being no swing voters may no longer apply. If Mrs Clinton were to combine a high turnout on her own side with a sizeable number of Republican abstentions and spoilt ballots and some voters who are prepared to switch from red to blue, then Democrats could not just win the presidency with a landslide, but also wrest back control of the Senate.

To form this coalition for stopping the blond Berlusconi, Mrs Clinton would have to woo moderate, business-minded Republicans, and such folk would in turn have to put the national interest ahead of their tribe’s victory in November. Republicans like to talk about the importance of character (see Lexington); Mr Trump offers a chance to show that means something. Mr Trump often insults other Republicans; they owe him no loyalty. Some prominent Republicans have already begun to attack him, including Mitt Romney, the party’s nominee in 2012. More will have to make that move.

Tidskriftsomslag: The Economist, 5-11 mars 2016.

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VAL 2016 | Donald Trump är mer populist i dess amerikanska betydelse än republikan. Så här långt har detta knappast missgynnat honom.

The Economist

The Economist har tittat på hur det brukar gå för populister i amerikanska presidentval.

Populist insurgencies are written into the source code of a polity that began as a revolt against a distant, high-handed elite. The electoral college devolves power from the centre. Primaries attract the 20% of eligible voters most fired up by politics. Candidates with money behind them—his own in the case of Mr Trump, someone else’s for Mr Cruz—can sneer at their party’s high command.

Hence populists and anti-establishment candidates make frequent appearances in American presidential races. But as the thrilling spectacle runs its course and voters reluctantly compromise with reality, they tend to fade. That usually happens early (Pat Buchanan, a Republican firebrand who promised a “pitchfork rebellion” in 1996, won the New Hampshire primary, but was out of the race by the end of March). On the rare occasion when insurgents win the nomination, they have collapsed at the general election: Barry Goldwater lost 44 of 50 states in 1964. Those who stand as independents (as Ross Perot did in 1992) have also failed—which would not bode well for a self-financing candidate like Michael Bloomberg.

[…]

Goldwater’s surge came late; Mr Trump has mesmerised crowds, and been rewarded in the polls since July. Some Republican grandees who detest Mr Cruz even more than they despise Mr Trump have fallen in behind the billionaire. Perhaps on the day people won’t turn up for either man; perhaps the two of them will throw enough vitriol to destroy each other; perhaps what is left of Mr Bush’s $100m war chest will leave the elite time to mount a counter-attack. As of now, both populists have a chance of taking the fight to the convention and even, barring a backroom establishment deal, of winning the nomination.

Tidskriftsomslag: The Economist, 30 januari – 5 februari 2016.

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VÄGVAL | Många utanför Labour förvånades över att en person som Jeremy Corbyn kunde väljas till partiledare i Stobritanniens näst största parti.

The Economist September 19th-25th 2015

Personer som inte ville att de traditionella partierna skulle ge exempelvis UKIP politisk legitimitet genom debattera med dem är ofta samma personer som nu tyckte det var bra att Labour nominerade en av de mest vänstervridna politiker partiet upplevt under sin historia.

”Det är alltid bra om olika åsikter får komma till uttryck.” Så hette det när flera av partiets parlamentariker nominerade Corbyn så att han kunde delta i partiledarvalet. Få trodde att han hade en chans att vinna.

Frågan många nu ställer sig är om det är bra att så lättvindigt släppa fram extremister i den politiska debatten. På The Economist är man tveksam.

Så här skriver tidskriften i en av sina ledare:

A 66-year-old socialist, Mr Corbyn has spent 32 years as one of the hardest of hardline left-wingers in the House of Commons and a serial rebel on the Labour backbenches. On September 12th he flattened three moderate rivals (see article) to become leader of Britain’s main opposition party. Labour MPs are stunned—and perhaps none more so than Mr Corbyn himself.

Two views are emerging of Labour’s new leader. The more sympathetic is that, whatever you think of his ideology, Mr Corbyn will at least enrich Britain by injecting fresh ideas into a stale debate. […] The other is that Mr Corbyn does not matter because he is unelectable and he cannot last. His significance will be to usher in a second successive Conservative government in the election of 2020—and perhaps a third in 2025.

[…]

To see where Mr Corbyn’s heart lies, you have only to look at the company he has kept. He admires the late Hugo Chávez for his legacy in Venezuela. No matter that chavismo has wrecked the economy and hollowed out democracy. He indulges Vladimir Putin’s authoritarian kleptocracy in Russia and blames NATO for provoking its invasion of Ukraine. He entertains Hamas, which has repeatedly used violence against Israel and admires Syriza, the radical left party that has governed Greece with almost unmatched incompetence. Yet he is stridently anti-American, anti-Israel and anti-NATO and quietly anti-European Union (apparently, it’s a free-market conspiracy—see article). He even scolded China’s Communist Party for its free-market excesses.

To argue that Mr Corbyn’s ideas will improve the quality of political discourse in Britain just because they are different is about as wise as Mr Corbyn’s refusal this week to sing the national anthem at a service to commemorate the Battle of Britain. Policies this flawed will crowd out debate, not enrich it.

Tidskriftsomslag: The Economist den 19-25 september 2015.

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STRATEGI | Radikalism i dess olika former verkar vara det som entusiasmerar väljarna i både USA och Storbritannien.

The Economist September 5th-11th 2015

I Storbritannien har Labour valt socialisten Jeremy Corbyn till partiledare. Gladast för detta blev de konservativa.

I USA har en annan socialist, senator Bernie Sanders, lockat de riktigt stora skarorna. Till stor frustration för Hillary Clinton.

Och hos republikanerna är det naturligtvis Donald Trump som mest rört om i grytan. Enligt The Economist får republikanerna skylla sig själva för utvecklingen.

In the past generation, the number of Americans who call themselves consistently conservative or consistently liberal has doubled. Ideology and identity have coalesced, so that partisans do not just think alike about taxes or Iran, but live in the same neighbourhoods and have like-minded friends. Partisanship may yet curb Mr Trump’s rise.

An awareness of this may be why Mr Trump’s tactics are becoming more conventional, and more conventionally right-wing. His campaign has started touching on themes from the late 1960s, another era of bitter politics and widespread disenchantment in Middle America. The businessman points to rising murder rates in some large cities as proof that a recent focus on police killings and abusive arrests has left officers “afraid to talk to anybody”. Most police are “phenomenal people” and law and order is suffering, says Mr Trump, calling some cities “powder kegs ready to explode”. He has begun using the phrase “silent majority” to describe his supporters, four decades after Richard Nixon started using it to rally conservatives.

Mr Buchanan, who as one of Nixon’s speechwriters coined that phrase, hails Mr Trump for tapping into a mood of renewed nationalism. “The country is on fire,” he says. His main advice to Mr Trump is to rule out an independent or third-party candidacy if he fails to secure the Republican nomination—something which Mr Trump refused to do when pressed during the Fox News debate. Mr Buchanan warns that a third-party run instantly loses the support of those whose chief concern is stopping the Democrats. “If I were counselling Trump I’d tell him to stay inside the Republican Party,” he says. “It’s the only avenue that he has to the presidency of the United States.”

[…]

But appeals to partisan purity may be surprisingly ineffective in peeling away those who admire Mr Trump. His fan-base is characterised not by the fidelity of its conservatism, but by the ferocity of its rage. Frank Luntz, a Republican pollster, says he was shaken by a focus group he held on August 24th for two dozen self-declared Trump supporters. They included folk on the hard right but also ex-Obama voters. Unemployed Americans rubbed shoulders with the affluent. But the group had three things in common, says Mr Luntz. They are “mad as hell” about the state of America. Mr Trump speaks their language. And they do not care what anyone else says about him.

[…]

If Republican leaders do not know how to stop Mr Trump it is partly their own fault. Theirs is a smaller-government, pro-business party that wins elections by posing as an anti-government insurgency. Now they are facing the consequences: millions of voters dazzled by a showman who presents the next election as a hostile takeover, offering to turn America around with his dealmaking brilliance as if Congress, the Supreme Court and limits to presidential power are mere details to be negotiated. The Trump fantasy will fade at some point. It has already revealed a democracy in real trouble.

Tidskriftsomslag: The Economist den 5-11 september 2015.

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USA | Enligt The Economist uppskattar många Donald Trumps valkampanj för dess ”skunk-at-the-picnic” karaktär.

Newsweek 14 aug 2015

Trumps sätt att tala och agera uppskattas av en viss typ av väljare som är ilskna på det politiska etablissemanget i Washington. Många tycker att politikerna från båda partierna bara lovar runt och håller tunt.

Men för de väljare som är mindre imponerade framstår Trump mer som sinnebilden av republikanernas ständigt återkommande freakshow när det nu återigen är dags att nominera en presidentkandidat.

Många oroar sig för att Trump skapar ett så pass negativt intryck av republikanerna att det kommer att spilla över på övriga kandidater.

Bill Powell följde Trump en tid under den pågående valrörelsen för tidskriften Newsweek. Powell är ingen politisk reporter men har bevakat Trumps affärsverksamhet under trettio års tid.

För att försöka förstå de opinionsmässiga framgångarna för The Donald har han också talat med Trumps politiska rådgivare Roger Stone. Stone har till och från varit Trumps rådgivare och lobbyist under tjugo års tid.

To try to understand it, I turned to one of the most fabled political operatives of the last 40 years: the famous (or, depending on your politics, infamous) Roger Stone. As a young man, Stone worked for Richard Nixon when he was in the White House, after being hired by Jeb Magruder, who went to jail for his involvement in the Watergate scandal. Stone was part of the so-called dirty tricks team, which did clever/evil things like make donations to political opponents in the name of nonexistent organizations, such as the “Young Socialist Alliance.”

[…]

His core tenet as a campaign adviser has always been, “Attack, attack, attack—never defend,” and Trump is a more than willing pupil. You don’t grow up in the New York real estate business and not know how to fight. His instinct is to fight. Trump tells me that he hasn’t initiated the campaign fire this round—“Not once, Bill!”—but he returns it, always with a heavy bit of topspin, in his inimitable and endlessly entertaining style. He’s gone after not only Bush but also Lindsey Graham (“Every time I see him on TV, he wants to bomb somebody!”), Rick Perry (“He bought a pair of glasses so he could look smart!”) and Walker (the Wisconsin governor who Trump, as of late July, trailed in Iowa). “Wisconsin,” he snarled the other day, “is in turmoil!” Hell, these days, Trump even goes after the pundits who have the temerity to criticize him. “George Will,” he declared on the radio, “is a dope!”

[…]

Stone is more than happy to fill in my blanks. He starts with the point everyone makes: A significant percentage of the American public is really angry, and they hate the political class, whom they see as phonies who don’t “do what they say they’re going to do,” as Stone puts it. “I’ve never seen the voters this sour in my life, and they are responding to someone they see as authentic. Who’s a billionaire, says what he thinks, doesn’t need the Koch brothers’ or anyone else’s money, and yet still comes across as a regular guy. Compare that with, say, Mitt Romney.

“And the thing of it is, that’s what Donald is. He is a regular guy. He’s the opposite of a phony. He is what he is, and he has always been this way.”

[…]

For one thing, Stone tells me—and political reporters I respect, like Robert Costa of The Washington Post, have reported—that the Trump campaign has hired very credible operatives in the key early states. That suggests this is not just a lark, a clever way for Donald Trump to extend his brand even further.

And there’s more. Listen, again, to Stone, and what I’ll call his The Apprentice theory of politics. For 15 seasons, The Apprentice was a popular TV show. “Millions of people watched it,” Stone says, and what did all those people see on The Apprentice? “They saw a guy in a blue suit in a red tie, a guy who looks presidential, sitting in a high-backed chair. They see a guy in control. A guy making decisions. He appears thoughtful. He mulls things for a few seconds” before deciding whether he should tell someone, “You’re fired!”

The Apprentice, Stone says, “transformed Donald’s image for good.”

I’m reeling a bit as he lays this out. “Wait a second,” I say. “Because he’s shown mulling things ‘for a few seconds,’ a lot of people think he can be president?”

“Yes.”

[…]

But then comes this: “You know,” Stone says, “I worked for a guy they used to say the same thing about. That he didn’t know enough.’’

Oh no, I’m thinking. Please don’t do it, Roger! Please don’t compare Trump with…

“That he was just an actor.”

Oh God.

“And he turned out to be the most consequential president of our lifetime.”

Yes, folks, Donald Trump is the new Ronald Reagan. You read it here first.

Tidskriftsomslag: Newsweek den 14 augusti 2015.

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