Dilbert creator Scott Adams, the author and persuasion expert who correctly predicted the rise of Donald Trump, says the Republican party has a choice: strengthen itself with a Trump candidacy or face certain destruction with a contested convention.
In an “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) question-and-answer session, Adams told “The Donald,” Reddit’s community for Trump supporters, that the GOP can only hurt itself if it “screws” with the billionaire frontrunner’s chances of securing the presidential nomination at July’s convention.
“If Trump is nominated, the GOP will grow stronger and become a bigger tent,” Adams wrote. “If Trump is denied after getting the most votes in the first round, the GOP will be done, one way or another.”
In his final post before logging off for the day, he reiterated this point. Asked whether a viable third party could rise, Adams responded, “If Trump gets screwed by the GOP, the third party will be bigger than the GOP fairly soon.”
He suggests the latest news cycle has helped Trump prepare this narrative, especially after the optics of Ted Cruz winning all of Colorado’s delegates while the public could not vote in a primary or caucus.
“It’s a huge win for Trump,” Adams wrote. “It turned him into a victim of the machine at the same time he is fighting to break it. Emotionally, it looks as if Trump got screwed and that democracy isn’t working. That plays to Trump’s strengths.”
Adams concedes that the GOP may have a perfectly legitimate explanation for the Colorado outcome, but it will be impossible to change the public’s perception of it: “The reality is that the Republican party is not a government entity and it can make any rules it wants. But the ignorant public will not care about the lawyerly truth of it.”
Several other highlights from the AMA show Adams’ take on:
Bill Clinton: he is subconsciously “sabotaging” Hillary and may continue to do so in the general election — “because he doesn’t want her to win.” This claim is one of eight reasons he suggests could lead to a general-election Trump victory.
Megyn Kelly: Adams says he realized how great a persuader Trump is during the first Fox News debate: “I didn’t realize how much skill he had until he answered Megyn Kelly’s debate question with ‘Only Rosie O’Donnell.’ That’s when I came off the couch.”
He also predicts Trump is keeping a one-on-one interview with Megyn “in his back pocket.”
Megyn Kelly already likes Trump. He did wonders for her career. She’s a professional, not a victim. She handled everything great, in my opinion. I became a fan because of it.
Both would benefit (greatly) by a one-on-one interview. Imagine the press. And they both know it.
Trump’s General Election Chances: “A great persuader can only move about 20% of the public. That’s generally enough for a landslide.”
And, regarding a race against Hillary Clinton:
Let’s say Trump’s unfavorability is 70%, which is ghastly.
But he’s running against Clinton who is at 58% or so.
That’s a difference of 12. Trump only needs to persuade half of that gap to change their minds and it is a tie.
Can the best persuader of all time move the public 6 points in six months?
All he needs to do is improve his own rating by 3 and decrease Clinton’s by 3.
And what if Clinton is indicted?
And what does Trump need to do to improve his favorability that much?
He could just stop acting provocative for a few months. Or he could get a haircut.
Trump’s path is almost laughably easy if he gets nominated.
Immigration: “Trump will add some nuance to his immigration stand if he reaches the general election.”
But it may just take some positive optics to defuse that issue:
Trump has never mentioned race. He mentions illegal immigrants and he mentions Islam (which is open to all races). But facts won’t matter.
Trump probably needs lots of high-profile visual events that involve love for various ethnic groups. People need to see him physically and literally loving on people of all types.
[H]is wife will be central to the message about women and immigration.
Read the full Q&A here.