Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Trump and Publicity

There's an old idea that all publicity is good publicity.  I seem to have have written something about this a few years ago but I should repeat the important bits.  If you're trying to sell something and you don't care about getting a majority of people to like you then your biggest foe is anonymity and the old chestnut is perfectly valid.  But if you're doing something that requires you to persuade a majority of people that you're correct then no, not all publicity is good publicity.

I think this principle is very much applicable to the potential election of Donald Trump.  If you're looking at a 17 way contest and you only need a plurality, and besides only 13 of the 29 million people in the Republican primary voted for Trump compared to the 126 million who voted in the 2012 presidential election.  So it's very much true that for Trump in the primary all publicity is good publicity.  But that won't hold for the general election. 

I suppose that's why the betting markets are only giving him an 18% shot at winning.  That's still a lot and many things could happen between now and the vote but Trump's strengths in the primary ("bad" publicity) aren't a strength in the general election.

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