What is the Impact of the Orlando Massacre on the Presidential Election, Now and in November?
With the Orlando massacre, the 2016 presidential election has just hit an electoral pivot point, if not a tipping point. Voters have been impacted dramatically. Voter intensity and voter momentum will likely change effective immediately. Polls will probably catch up within a week or so. What’s the impact on the Trump – Clinton race? How will it effect Sanders? What’s the probable impact on a potential third party candidate? How long will these impacts last? Let’s discuss these questions now.
Has the Historic and Critical 2016 Presidential Election Really Just Hit a Major Pivot Point or Tipping Point?
Yes! The presidential election has hit a major pivot point and possibly an election tipping point that might ultimately determine the election outcome.
In the “Ten Laws for Winning Presidential Elections” that I wrote decades ago, I identified the concept of a Dominant Issue. Here’s that Law:
Law #7. The Law of the Dominant Issue. There is usually one dominant issue in each election campaign. The dominant issue is usually one of the issues associated with the National Hierarchy of Needs. The candidate who has the best Need-Position-Message-Delivery system on the dominant issue will usually win the election.
By the way, only three potential issues fall into the National Hierarchy of Needs. These issues are peace (securing peace or avoiding war), prosperity (the economy, usually jobs), and the personality of the presidential candidates. The four critical traits of presidential personality deal with leadership. These traits sought by the electorate are in order:
- Courage (including integrity and optimism),
- Caring, and
After the Orlando Shooting, What is the Dominant Issue of this Presidential Election?
The Dominant Issue has shifted during this election cycle:
- From the Economy, To Terrorism (after the Paris and San Bernardino attacks)
- From Terrorism, To Personalities of the Candidates (after certain Trump comments and Clinton’s email issues)
- From Personalities of the Candidates, Back to Terrorism
What’s the Impact on the Trump – Clinton Race?
A few weeks ago, Trump and Clinton were essentially tied within the margin of error of most polls. When the Dominant Issue became the personalities of the candidates, both candidates suffered from high disapproval numbers. However, Clinton nudged ahead of Trump. But, Clinton did not pull away dramatically. The voters were taking a wait-and-see attitude, possibly waiting for the results of the so-called FBI Primary.
With the highly charged Orlando news, terrorism and illegal immigration (a closely related issue) have moved front and center to the hearts and minds of most voters. This is an issue that plays to Trump’s strengths. Even among the LGBT community (normally considered to be more favorable to Democratic candidates), Trump might jump ahead of Clinton. In his Monday speech, Trump clearly signaled the LGBT community that he intends to protect all Americans and they should favor his tough position on protecting Americans.
Clinton’s anti- gun rhetoric loses when Americans are worried about their safety and when terrorism is their Dominant Issue of the presidential campaign.
What’s the Impact on Sanders’ Santa Claus Strategy? Or, the Cruz Plan D Strategy? Or, Romney’s Never Give Up Strategy?
College kids might love to get free college, but Sanders’ Santa Claus socialism won’t dominate a presidential election when voters focus on protecting themselves from war. Terrorism is an issue of protecting American lives right here and now in America. It’s an issue of war and peace, not economic freebies.
The current situation works against the possibility of a Cruz Plan D, second ballot strategy.
The current dominant issue (after the Orlando massacre) makes Romney’s refrain about Trump not being the best candidate seem too weak, too late, and too inappropriate.
For More Information on This Year’s Presidential Election plus All of My Ten Surprising Predictions
Please read my new book Great News for America. In it, I make ten surprising predictions that will probably come true before, during, and after the 2016 presidential election. I also discuss in Chapters 5, 6 and 7 the political party realignments of the Republican Party, the Democratic Party, and a possible new third party. It’s available in a print edition from Amazon and other book sellers. It’s also available on Kindle and other e-book devices.