New York, March 18
Even if Donald Trump goes on to win the Republican nomination despite a “dump Trump” campaign within his own party reportedly getting stronger, the chances of the billionaire businessman winning the presidential election may be slim as researchers have found that divided political parties rarely win the race for the White House.
The study, which examined national party division in past presidential elections, found that both national party division and divisive state primaries have significant influence on general election outcomes.
"History shows that when one party is divided and the other party is united, the divided party almost always loses the presidential election," said one of the researchers Paul-Henri Gurian, associate professor of political science at the University of Georgia in the US.
"Consider, for example, the elections from 1964 through 1984; in each case the divided party lost," Gurian explained.
The study, published in the journal Political Behavior, measured party division during the primaries and indicated how much the more divided party loses in the general election.
The study found that divisive state primaries can lead to a one to two percent decrease in general elections votes in that state.
For example, Hillary Clinton received 71 percent of the Democratic vote in the Georgia primary, while Donald Trump received 39 percent of the Republican vote.
According to the historical model, a Republican-nominated Trump would lose almost one percent of the Georgia vote in the general election because of the divided state primary.
National party division has an even greater and more widespread impact on the national results, often leading to decreases of more than three percent nationwide, the study said.
Looking again at the current presidential election cycle, Trump had received 39.5 percent of the total national Republican primary vote as of March 16, while Clinton had received 58.6 percent of the Democratic vote.
If these proportions hold for the remainder of the nomination campaign (and if these two candidates win the nominations), then Trump would lose 4.5 percent of the vote in the general election, compared to what he would have received if the national Republican Party was not divided.
"In close elections, such as 2000, 2004 and 2012, four to five percent could change the outcome in terms of which party wins the presidency," Gurian said.
Clinton gets Obama backing? Dump Trump move grows
ArrayWashington, March 18 As Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump surged forward in the US presidential race, President Barack Obama reportedly threw his weight behind the former, while the Republican establishment intensified efforts to dump the brash billionaire.
In unusually candid remarks, Obama privately told a group of Democratic donors last Friday that time is coming to unite behind his 2008 rival, the New York Times reported.
The President, according to the Times, told the group in Austin Texas that Clinton's rival Bernie Sanders was nearing the point at which his campaign would end, and that the party must soon come together to back her.
"Obama acknowledged that Clinton was perceived to have weaknesses as a candidate, and that some Democrats did not view her as authentic," it said.
"But he played down the importance of authenticity, noting that President George W. Bush - whose record he ran aggressively against in 2008 - was once praised for his authenticity," the Times said.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest denied Thursday that Obama had endorsed Clinton, but acknowledged that he had made a case for party unity.
The Democrats, Obama told them "need to be mindful of the fact that our success in November in electing a Democratic President will depend on the commitment and ability of the Democratic Party to come together behind our nominee."
"And the President did not indicate or specify a preference in the race," Earnest insisted noting that Obama had praised both Clinton and Sanders.
"But once this (primary) process comes to a conclusion, everybody in the Democratic Party will understand the stakes of the debate, and given those stakes, will need to unify behind the Democratic Party nominee to ensure that he or she can win in November," he said.
The Washington Post said Obama and his top aides have been strategising for weeks about how they can reprise his successful 2008 and 2012 approaches to help elect a Democrat to replace him.
Thus out of concern that a Republican president in 2017 would weaken or reverse some of his landmark policies, Obama "is poised to be the most active sitting president on the campaign trail in decades," it said.
Meanwhile, on the Republican side, prominent conservatives called for a unity ticket and a convention fight to stop in "a sign of the growing desperation in the party establishment to find an alternative to the billionaire businessman," CNN reported.
Conservatives gathered in Washington Thursday to discuss ways to thwart Trump's march to the nomination.
One proposal included a unity ticket involving Trump's closest rival Ted Cruz and Ohio Governor John Kasich, CNN said citing a source familiar with the conversation.
But the group decided not to commit to that pairing "because of the egos involved," it said.
It also left the door open to potentially supporting a third party race if Republicans are unable to stop Trump.