Monday, February 8, 2016

All Eyes on New Hampshire.

Today, all eyes turn to New Hampshire for the nation's first primary.  Instead of analyzing what to watch in New Hampshire (which I think isn't much because nobody has really been moving in the polls), I decided to look to history in order to predict the outcome of tonight's results.

What I decided to do was run a linear regression model on the data points of each candidate from the 2000 election cycle to the 2012 election cycle in order to make my predictions on the 2016 election cycle.  The variables I looked to consider in the analysis were Iowa's polling predictions, Iowa's results, whether a candidate won Iowa, a candidate's national polling average at the time of the Iowa caucus, New Hampshire's polling predictions, national polling at the time of New Hampshire, the difference in the actual Iowa results and the Iowa polling, and the national polling difference between New Hampshire and Iowa in order to predict the actual New Hampshire primary result.

I'll spare you the boring details and just say that I constructed some linear regression models, but found no variable was statistically significant besides the New Hampshire polling values when Republican and Democrat data points were used together in the same model.  Therefore, I though that since Republicans and Democrats diverge in how they think about the country, why wouldn't they diverge in different linear models?  This question proved correct.

For both Republicans and Democrats, Iowa results do not directly influence the results in New Hampshire.  However, for each party, they effect the models in significantly different ways.

For Democrats, Iowa seems to effect the results in New Hampshire through the change in national polls for candidates from the time of the Iowa caucus to the New Hampshire primary.

The effect is actually strange when you think about it.  Those that experience increases in the national polls after Iowa actually receive a negative effect in New Hampshire.  The way I would best try to explain this effect is that there are significant differences in the electorates of Iowa and New Hampshire.  Therefore, what voters like in Iowa, which influence the national polls in the aftermath of the caucus, is not necessarily what Democratic voters in New Hampshire like in a candidate.

Therefore, I believe the best linear equation for predicting Bernie's and Hillary's outcome in New Hampshire will be predicted by the following linear equation:

NHActual = 1.00695 * NHPredict - 0.77068 * NatDifference + 0.73230

Therefore, the prediction is that Bernie Sanders will easily win New Hampshire.  I used two different sets of numbers to test the linear regression.  The first set is the average of polls on RealClearPolitics.  The Silver numbers are based on the numbers at FiveThirtyEight, which is run by Nate Silver.  The numbers appear slightly different because each weights polls differently.  If I had to guess which will be more accurate, I believe it will be the prediction run with the Silver numbers because they weight the polls based on when the poll was taken as well as how good of a track record the polling institution has.  Based on the model, he should win by about 12 or 13 percentage points.

The Republican side was much different.  The results on the Republican side were not influenced by the change in the candidates' national poll numbers, but the candidates' national poll numbers themselves.  Similar to the Democrats on this, an increase in national poll numbers actually results in a negative effect on the New Hampshire results, which leads me to believe that New Hampshire is greatly different from the rest of the nation, not only on the Democratic side but also the Republican side.

Therefore, the model I think best fits the Republican candidates is:

NHActual = 1.25411 * NHPredict - 0.21161 * Nat@NH - 0.17777

Therefore, the model predicts Trump wins, Kasich comes in a distant second, and Rubio comes in third.  Based on which numbers you weight as being more accurate (I assume Silver's), then your assumptions as to how close the race for second and third are differ.  In the RealClearPolitics numbers, Kasich holds over a percent on Rubio.  However, in Silver's numbers, that lead shrinks to about 0.3%.  Additionally, Rubio increases his lead over Bush from about 1% to 2% going from the RealClearPolitics to Silver numbers.

It'll be interesting to see how these results play out.  Remember that the sample sizes for these are EXTREMELY small.  Most linear regression analysis is performed on thousands of data points.  There were only 12 data points for Democrats and 18 for Republicans.

Personally, I think Bernie will beat Hillary, and the top 3 for the Republicans will be Trump, Rubio, and Cruz.  However, the data bares a different result.  Less than 24 hours to see which is correct.

All the data and code I used to conduct this analysis can be found on my GitHub page at:

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Why Debates Don't Effect Primaries and Caucuses That Much.

It's been an interesting week now, and the media is certainly trying to squeeze every juicy detail out of the campaigns this week.  However, I do not believe there's been anything really that shocking or that much of a game-changer in the last week, which is what I want to discuss.

Let's go back a little over a week to the Fox News debate right before the Iowa Caucus.  Donald Trump was a no-show.  Ted Cruz was declared the ultimate loser of the debate.  You may remember this:

Marco Rubio was declared the winner, and pundits agreed that there was no way for Cruz to catch Trump in the polls.  I disagreed, and correctly predicted since January 10th I may add, that Ted Cruz would easily win Iowa.

Scott - 1.  Pundits - 0.

So, what are the pundits missing?  They're forgetting that this early in the game the debates don't really make or break a candidate.  What wins elections for a candidate in Iowa and New Hampshire is a strong ground game.  Cruz had the strongest ground game and a message that resonated with the typical Iowa voter; therefore, Cruz easily won.

You may ask in this case: then why did Rubio surge if debates don't matter?  They do matter, but not in the way you think.  Debates in these early states do not make you want to vote for someone or not vote for someone simply based on debate performance.  The typical caucus or primary voter is going to be much more passionate or much more informed than the typical voter in the general election.

In states such as Iowa and New Hampshire, this is how I believe it works, especially since people in those states have such easy access to candidates.  A person's debate performance only piques a voter's interest.  With the crowded field this year, it has been extremely hard for candidates to gain any attention, especially with Trump sucking up all the oxygen in the room.  Therefore, I'm operating under the assumption that any news is good news for a candidate.

Let's look at Iowa with Cruz.  His people on the ground clearly had the incentive to spin the story that Cruz had a bad debate as an effort to get his voters to the polls.  The caucus-goers would hear things such as, "This was the media choosing winners and losers."  Additionally, he got the added bonus of people writing news articles about him.  With this added attention, it drove potential Cruz-leaning caucus goers to his rallies in the past few days for him to easily claim Iowa.

Now, let's turn to Marco Rubio, so I can predict what will happen Tuesday.  Pundits claim Marco Rubio lost the debate for one exchange with Chris Christie early on in the debate Saturday night.  As Christie put it, the media's desire to crown Rubio as the Establishment candidate went up in flames that night.

I'll get this out of the way:  Keep dreaming Chris Christie.  I look forward to hearing your speech to drop out of the race Tuesday night or Wednesday morning.

If anything, this is a speed bump in Rubio's current surge in polling.  When you look at the actual numbers, I don't think Rubio has anything to worry about Tuesday night, like Cruz didn't have anything to worry about last Monday.

I predict Trump will win New Hampshire, but by a smaller margin than the polls state because we have seen the over-exaggeration of Trump's support in the polls already.  Rubio will finish second, probably in the mid to upper teens.  Then, it's a tight race for third place.  I think at this point Cruz will edge out Kasich for third.

Here's why I believe Rubio doesn't have much to worry about:

1)  This was the first debate Trump lost his dominant social media presence.  He edged out Rubio on Twitter, but lost to him on Google.

What I find interesting here is two-fold.  First is that the Christie moment measured just as high as other strong Rubio moments.  Secondly, the large spike in interest at the end was the moment that drove people to google Rubio the most.  It was his answer on abortion where he said he would "rather lose an election than be wrong on the issue of life."

2)  Rubio people said that answer he gave on abortion drove people to their website in such high volume that they raised triple the highest amount of money they raised in any previous debate.  People talk with money.  They don't hand money over as easily as a vote either.  Where the money is going to candidates, so is the passion.

3)  Rubio's Google interest (as well as Ted Cruz's) has kept up with Donald Trump in New Hampshire and is starting to draw large crowds.  People don't vote based on a single debate - especially in New Hampshire.  They are going to google your positions, and they are going to attend a town halls of people they are considering supporting.

These are the search volumes on Google for the top 4 candidates, also including Christie for comparison, over the past two days:

As you can see, Marco Rubio has kept pace with Trump.  Cruz has been doing middle of pack, but catching up after the debate into Sunday.  However, Kasich and Christie haven't really been able to hold their own.  And while this isn't a completely scientific way of understanding how many people are showing up to their last minute rallies and town halls, it is one of the best proxies out there because a search for a candidate shows that someone is interested in learning more about him or her.

In fact, Rubio's own campaign has reported they have had to book larger venues to accommodate the crowds in New Hampshire, and still these larger venues are overflowing.  His earliest one Sunday morning was a pancake breakfast for 200; it turned into a muffin and fruit assortment for 1,000.

4)  Finally, an article on FiveThirtyEight (which is the best site for statistical-based political analysis) points out that there is a gap between political pundits and voters.  Political pundits have been following this race since 2014.  They can basically rattle off the policy positions of every candidate, list their strengths and weaknesses, etc.  To the average primary voter on Tuesday, they may get in the polling booth on Tuesday and not even recognize half the names on the ballot.  The average voter may not have seen the Rubio-Christie moment as being repetitive, but that Rubio was staying on his message that he wants to get across.  Remember, these people may have never heard Marco Rubio's message before now.  Or, if they are only slightly paying attention, probably forgot most of what his words were before Saturday night.

And every candidate does it.  It's nothing specific to Marco Rubio.  I've heard Chris Christie boast he's the best person to "prosecute Hillary Clinton in the general election," Kasich mention his father was a mailman, Carly Fiorina state that "you know you want to see a debate between me and Hillary Clinton," Jeb Bush mention his mother, Ted Cruz bash the media, and Trump want to "Make America Great Again!" more times than I can count.  They're all repetitive to me, but to the regular primary or caucus voter, they may have heard each candidate mention these once, maybe twice before.

Therefore, the electorate in New Hampshire, which pundits have also been saying will not be receptive to Chris Christie's seemingly relentless attack on Marco Rubio, may not have perceived the exchange between Christie and Rubio in the same view that a New Hampshire primary voter might have.  Luckily for us, we only have to wait one more day to know whether my analysis or the pundits' will be correct?

Saturday, February 6, 2016

If Candidates Campaigned for the Super Bowl.

I was just imagining what it would be like if presidential candidates were campaigning to be in charge of the Super Bowl.  This is how I think it would go:

Ted Cruz: The media has already chosen who they want in charge of the Super Bowl these next four years, and I am not their candidate.  But that person will not be chosen by the media!  Will not be chosen by the NFL!  Will not be chosen by biased ESPN reporters!  He will be chosen by you the people!

Marco Rubio:  I am running to be in charge of the greatest game in sports history because we are at an important moment in Super Bowl history.  Will we continue on the downward trajectory?  Or will we rise up and chose a new path?  There is nothing wrong with the Super Bowl that cannot be fixed and strengthen this monumental sports event for the generations to come.  And that is why I am running to be in charge of the Super Bowl.

Chris Christie: These Senators are great at talking, but they never have had to actually do something in their entire lives.  It's like I need an AFC-to-NFC dictionary just to understand them.  I am the most qualified to be in charge of the Super Bowl because when the snow needed removed from the stadium in New Jersey, I got people down there to clean the snow off the field.  We didn't sit around and talk about it.  I actually did it.

Jeb Bush: Please clap.

Hillary Clinton: I understand there has been some concern about my handling of past events, but I can assure you 100% that the NFL will find no wrong-doing in the handling of the Patriots balls.  As for these text messages on Tom Brady's phone, he had the right to dispose of them because they were his own personal e-mails, and I'm sure there was no classified, incriminated information on his phone.

Bernie Sanders: The wealth from the Super Bowl goes to the top 1%!  It is time for the Super Bowl to start paying it's fair share!  We are going to start a sports revolution!  The athletes, the announces, the performers, the advertisers are all going to have to start paying their fair share!  The system is broken, and it's time to redistribute that wealth to you the viewer!

Donald Trump:  We don't win anymore!  I am going to make the Super Bowl great again!  You have all these foreigners stealing our jobs!  The half-time show this year is Coldplay!  They're British!  They're losers!  They've been losing since the 1700's!  It is time we bring these jobs back to American performers!  And you can tell the English to go f*ck themselves!  I, Donald Trump, call for a total and complete shutdown of British entering the United States until the Super Bowl agrees to only book American performers!  I have to do it because I want to make the Super Bowl great again!  They say this will hurt me, but check my poll numbers!  My people love me!  I could walk outside and shoot somebody, and they say my people would still want me to be in charge of the Super Bowl!  It's crazy!  It's time for us to win again!  We're going to make great deals!  I'm going to bring in the best people to help me!  I know them, so they're the best people!  And we're going to win!  And we're going to make the Super Bowl great again!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

All Eyes on Iowa.

Tonight, all eyes turn to Iowa.  The first votes of the 2016 Election will finally be cast - and may I say it's about damn time.  Below, I've tried to condense everything you need to know about tonight's Iowa caucus.


The real question will be how fast does winter storm Kayla move into Iowa tomorrow night.  Because if she moves in on time or even a little quicker than expected, the storm could very much affect the voters that come out tomorrow night - especially for the Republican race.

You may be asking why that is.  This is a map of the 2012 Presidential Election results of Obama vs. Romney.

As you can see, the Republican counties tend to be to the West side of the state and to the South.  Winter Storm Kayla is moving in from the Southwest.

Here are how many Republican caucus goers the Weather Channel say will stay home in the following weather conditions.

35302520151050A tornadoIceHeavy snowSnowHeavy rainRain

Who this drains support from is not quite clear, but the assumption is that it would be first-time caucus-goers, which would most likely be Trump supporters.

New Ballot Counting System

Both the Republican and Democrat Parties have developed a new app with Microsoft that allows the ballots to be sent to the state officials and then to media outlets in real time.

Here's Microsoft to explain more about how their app works:

This could end in one of two ways:

Everything works as planned: The app runs perfectly.  The precinct chairs are able to use the app properly.  The results roll in faster.  We have the correct winner the night of the caucus - looking at you 2012 Republican Iowa Caucus.

Something goes wrong:  Some precinct chairs cannot use the app properly.  There's a glitch in the system.  The app gets hacked.  When something goes wrong, this could be just as bad as the nightmare in 2012 when reporters were on air waiting for paper ballots to be shipped for hours and then called the wrong winner.

The Cruz, Trump, Rubio Race

Cruz needs a strong showing or he's done.  Period.  He's built up expectations so much that if he doesn't win he may be done.  I think he did himself a disservice by building up expectations so much that anything short of a 1st place looks like a loss for Ted Cruz.  With a lackluster performance, he may not even make it to South Carolina - especially if Cruz is edged out by Rubio.

Trump needs a 1st place win as well.  He's build his campaign under the persona that he's a winner and we're going to get sick of winning.  If Trump loses right out of the gate, the whole concept that his campaign is built on starts falling apart and can greatly hurt him in New Hampshire and South Carolina.  Trump cannot lose, and he certainly cannot come in 3rd.

Rubio has been the smartest out of the top 3.  He's downplayed expectations to a point that even a strong 3rd place showing - say about 20% of support - would look like a win for him in the news.  If he could pull out a 2nd place or even an (unlikely) 1st, I think Rubio is easily on his way to the nomination.  Even though his team won't admit it, they are playing a 3-2-1 strategy.  Get a strong 3rd in Iowa.  Come in 2nd in New Hampshire.  Let the other candidates drop out, pick up their voter support, use Trey Gowdy to campaign in South Carolina, and win.  Then, Nevada is a very good state for Rubio.  And if we're down to 3 candidates by Super Tuesday, Rubio could dominate and secure the nomination.  He has a good path, but it all start with at least a strong 3rd in Iowa.

The Hillary, Bernie Race

Hillary and Bernie are essentially tied.  It's going to come down to voter turnout.  If the turnout is high, look for Iowa to be Feelin' the Bern.  If the numbers appear average or low, Clinton probably takes the state.

Bernie needs a win in Iowa.  In order for him to have a chance at this nomination, he doesn't need a strong showing.  He needs to utterly shatter expectations.  He needs a win in Iowa.  With his win in Iowa, he needs to go to New Hampshire and put Hillary away by a 20-point margin, which if he wins Iowa could be fairly easy for him.  He needs to use that to break through with black voters in the South.  He has a 30 point disadvantage right now in South Carolina.  His goal needs to be to break the Hillary firewall in the South.  If he does that, he may be able to overcome the super delegate disadvantage she would hold going into the convention.

The O'Malley Factor

Currently, Martin O'Malley supporters could be kingmakers in the Democratic Caucus this year.  The difference between Clinton and Sanders is about 3%.  O'Malley has the support of about 4.5%.  According to polling, O'Malley supporters favor Bernie over Hillary, and since he will most likely not be considered a viable candidate at most Democratic precincts, his supporters will probably have to vote for Clinton or Sanders.

There is one other tricky political move in play.  It's being reported that specific Clinton supporters may be at precincts where O'Malley may be on the verge of being viable.  In their efforts, they may try to convince Bernie supporters to switch to O'Malley so that the supporters will not be dissolved into the Sanders support.

The Wildcard

With 11 candidates on the Republican side, there's bound to be something unpredictable that will happen.  Here are some of my guesses:

  • Rand Paul greatly surprises by over-performing with the college demographic, putting him in 4th place.  In this scenario, Paul greatly over-performs because college students were not well represented in the polling samples.  Additionally, Carson under-performs, which could be good for Rubio.
  • Ben Carson greatly over-performs.  Carson has said he will surprise everyone tomorrow night.  If Carson has some support that nobody was expecting, maybe he could finish in 3rd or 2nd - which would be damaging to Rubio, Cruz, or Trump depending on who the candidates are that don't take the number 1 spot.
  • Someone polling at 2% scores well.  Watching the news, nobody is expecting any of the people polling at 2% in the Des Moines Register Poll to do any better than 2%.  Actually, they're expecting worse because they're expecting their supporters to back a more viable candidate - say Rubio.  If one of them actually garners more support, even if they just get to 5th place, they may get a good news cycle they could use as a springboard in New Hampshire.
Anything can happen here.  Let's wait and see.  The official start to the 2016 Election is here.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Trump's and Cruz's Caucus Problem.

I think Donald Trump has a greater problem in Iowa than not just showing up to the debate tonight, and I have not seen anyone mentioning it.  The process of the caucus is not good for Trump.

To understand this, I think it's important to give a little background into what I look for in the polls.  When you look at the polls in the aggregate, I look for trends as to if a candidate seems to be on the rise or fall, but more importantly, I look for outliers.  This is where Trump and Cruz have a significant downfall that may be overlooked by the media.

Take a look at the most recent polls from RealClearPolitics:

The key to understanding the outlier I'm observing is knowing more background on the polls than simply the numbers given.  The key here is that the CBS News/YouGov poll is conducted online instead of telephone for the others.  Another thing here to notice is the extremely small sample size for the CNN/ORC poll.

With CNN's track record with polls - like saying Sanders is up almost 30 points in New Hampshire - I exclude this from the observation.  (Understand that this poll could be completely correct and all other others be incorrect, but with a small sample size and poor track record, I do not trust the accuracy of this poll.)

So, what is the observation here?  The CBS/YouGov poll appears to be an outlier from all the others.  The average of three polls before and after the CBS/YouGov poll for Trump is 30.5.  For Cruz, it's 26.3.  Both Trump's and Cruz's CBS/YouGov percentages are about 8% above this average.

What does this mean for the candidates?  It means Trump and Cruz supporters are more likely to express their opinions behind some secrecy - whether it be the internet or the curtain of a polling booth.

However, that is not how the Iowa Caucus works.  For the Iowa Caucus, you have to show up and discuss the candidates with your friends and neighbors.  Then, you vote sitting next to your friends and neighbors.

There is a social stigma against voting for Trump and Cruz, and this could greatly hurt them on the caucus night.  Remember: an internet poll is almost completely secret; however, a telephone poll still has some secrecy.  When you talk to someone on the phone, there is still a wall between the communication.  There is some social stigma, but not as much as if you were to speak to someone face-to-face.

On caucus night, they will be face-to-face with people who know them and the social stigma will be present.  Sway-able people will be convinced to go with the crowd, and this benefits the Rubio and Carson campaigns.

Additionally, Rubio has been on a good trend lately.  The last 4 polls have him on an 11-13-16-18 trend.  With a good debate performance tonight, he does have a shot at winning this caucus.

Even though I still think Cruz will win on his ground game, don't count Rubio out at this point.  It's no longer a Trump vs. Cruz in Iowa.  The real race is Trump vs. Cruz vs. Rubio.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

My Final Straw of Donald Trump.

This is my final straw on Donald Trump.  This man, under no circumstances, can become President of the United States.  This man is not conservative.  This man has no right belonging in the Republican Party.  This man is a despicable, abhorrent human being that does not represent myself and others.

The final straw is the Republican debate.  Trump refuses to debate because he knows he isn't going to be asked soft-ball questions.  He's actually going to have to answer for the deplorable comments he's made, especially against Megyn Kelly.

Megyn Kelly is the gold standard of journalism.  Fair and balanced.  Her record has shown she is the same with every person she questions and interviews - tough.  If Megyn Kelly is interviewing you, you can be certain she has done her research and is going to try to trip you up.

This can easily be evidenced with her tough interviews of Republicans.  First, Dick Cheney:

Then, Jeb Bush:

It's reported that Jeb Bush stormed out of that interview irate before the staff could even thank him.

She's also been just as tough and critical of Democrats - even going so far as to conduct an entire show in which she hammers Bill Ayers with questions for the entire hour.

There is a reason I watch Megyn Kelly to get my news, and that is because she epitomizes the fair and balanced standard on which Fox News was built.  She cuts the fluff and asks the tough questions.

Returning to Trump now.  Donald Trump is nothing but a narcissistic ego-maniac who cannot handle when he doesn't get his way because he's been the boss his entire life.  What he does not understand is that the President of the United States is not a CEO - the President of the United States has great restrictions placed on him because we were meant to be a government "of the people, by the people, for the people."  If he wants to run for Dictator in Chief, he can relocate to North Korea.

It is now being reported that Trump's campaign manager called Fox News over the weekend, threatening Megyn Kelly if she was not removed by the network from the debate.  Fox News refused to back down - as they should have.  The network stated they would not be "terrorized" into complying with the demand.

If Donald Trump believes he and his team have the authority to control which news reporters get to ask the questions at debates, what will he do if he does become President of the United States?  Would he force Fox News to remove Megyn Kelly, or else?  Would he shut down a network critical of him?  Would he go so far as kill a journalist?

I do not kid when I ask that last question.  Donald Trump has joked about killing journalists.  He went as far as to defend Vladimir Putin from claims that Putin has journalists killed, and he's even stated that he could shoot someone and his supporters wouldn't mind.

Donald Trump has gone full-on fascist.  He an abhorrent, disgusting figure.  He cannot be President of the United States.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Donald Trump is Not Conservative.

It's no surprise to anyone even remotely familiar with my opinions that I am not a fan of Donald Trump.  I do not want him to be president not only because I do not believe he could properly execute the position but also because I fear he will not execute his duties from a conservative viewpoint.  In short, I do not believe Donald Trump is conservative.

Donald Trump often likens his conversion to conservatism similar to that of Ronald Reagan.  However, it is anything but.

Reagan grew up with a typical American lifestyle; his father was a salesman, and Reagan saved 77 lives growing up over the course of 6 years as a lifeguard.  Reagan worked his way up from radio announcer to "B film" career to commercially successful Hollywood star.  As you may recall from Trump's own words, he received a "small" $1 million loan from his father after graduating college.

Reagan's conversion from Democrat to Republican was official in 1962.  However, as early as his employment with GE in 1954, Reagan's speeches across the country for the company are often cited as conservative with pro-business overtones.  He even left his job with the company so he could officially register as a Republican and enter the political environment, which was forbidden by his employment at GE.  From here, he endorsed Barry Goldwater for president in 1964, created a recording for the American Medical Association warning against Medicare, and became a national member of the National Rifle Association.

After his "A Time for Choosing Speech" put him on the national stage, Reagan successfully launched and won the governorship of California, which he successfully served for two terms implementing conservative values as he governed.  Then, after almost 20 years as a registered Republican who had a proven track record for the principles on which he stands did Reagan become the President of the United States.

Donald Trump has quite a sorted past compared to Reagan.  He was a Democrat until he became a Republican from 1987 - 1999.  At that time he became a member of the Reform Party until 2001 when he became a Democrat again.  Then, he was a Republican starting in 2009 until he became an Independent in 2011, only to become a Republican again in 2012.  If that confuses you, it should.

And as you can imagine, Donald Trump's political positions have been all over the map during those times:

  • Trump supported partial-birth abortions throughout the 2000's, which is one of the most horrifying practices ever performed in the history of humanity, but now says he is pro-life.  
  • Trump also called for a 14.25% tax on individuals and trusts over $10 million, similar to Hillary Clinton's current proposal, but now says he agrees with the Bush tax cuts and that Obama should not have let them expire.  
  • Trump was also an outspoken supporter of gun control and criticized Republicans for their position on the Second Amendment.  Now, he says he is a Second Amendment supporter.  
  • Trump also supported a socialized healthcare system similar to the one Bernie Sanders wants to implement.  Now, he says he wants to repeal Obamacare and increase competition.
  • Trump has also been a supporter of Hillary Clinton - donating to her campaigns and saying in 2008 that she would make a "great" president or vice president.  Now, Trump says she would be a "terrible president."
  • Trump once favored legalizing drugs, but now criticizes Colorado for legalizing marijuana.
  • Trump at one point would have been called an "isolationist" because he didn't want to get involved in wars, but now vows to take the war to ISIS.
  • Trump also said Mitt Romney was too tough on illegal immigration and that he hired illegals to work on his golf courses.  You know where he stands now.
Beyond those flip-flops, Donald Trump continues to hold many non-conservative political views:
  • Trump is against any modifications to Social Security even though he's smart enough to know the funds will not be able to support his generation.
  • Trump supports the stimulus spending of Barack Obama even though economists agree the stimulus did not help and many were opposed to it at the time.
  • Trump also supported the bailouts.
  • Trump supports farm subsidies which are the bedrock of crony capitalism.
  • Trump wants to ban all Muslims from entering the United States on visas.
  • Trump suggested he would shut down Mosques.
  • Trump has abused eminent domain to seize the land of an elderly widow so he could build a limousine parking lot.
  • Trump also suggests that he will work unilaterally from the Executive branch to push through his legislation.  Even though working without Congress is one of conservatives' biggest criticism of President Obama.
  • Trump also thought the impeachment of George W. Bush would have been a good thing.
  • Trump attacked John McCain when McCain is clearly a war hero.
  • Trump is a big government person.
  • Trump is for huge international tariffs on China that would greatly hurt out economy.
  • Trump has said he would leave mandatory union dues alone.

Here's why I am frightened of a Donald Trump presidency, and you should be as well.  Donald Trump is nothing but an egotist looking to pump a few more gusts of helium into his over-inflated head.  He doesn't care about you.  He doesn't care about your positions.  The only person Donald Trump cares about is Donald Trump.

Say Trump were to win the nomination of the Republican Party.  Who would be able to tell where his policy positions will go in order to win the election?  We are talking about a man who goes through policy positions like he goes through wives.  Donald Trump seems to so freely and carelessly change his policy positions that it's possible he would run for president in the general election to the left of Bernie Sanders.

And to think - what if he actually became President?  Trump has already suggested he will work unilaterally to push his own agenda.  Additionally, Trump has touted that he is subject to no one - and based on statements he's made this also includes Congress.  So, what is to stop him from one day waking up and saying that he wants to once again re-instate partial-birth abortions?  Or that he will implement an automatic weapons ban?  Or, potentially most life-threatening of all, has decided that he wants to invade another country or use nuclear weapons?

Donald Trump is not a conservative.  Donald Trump is not even a populist.  Donald Trump is an opportunist looking for any chance to make people talk about him.  Donald Trump is the Kim Kardashian or Miley Cyrus of politics. 

What makes you think that a man whose entire life has been to game the system will all the sudden have a change of heart - especially when his children will be running his company?  The crony capitalism that his and other corporations have thrived off is like a drug.  The free hand outs feed the system like Donald Trump's ego feeds Donald Trump.

Do not let Donald Trump hijack conservatism and drag the principled philosophy through the mud for his own self-gain.  Dump the Trump.  Vote, but do not vote for Donald Trump.