Who Does Donald Trump Compare To, Nate Silver?

March 1, 2016  Tuesday
Dear Mr. Silver,

I have a historical question that I hope might be raised during a podcast or chat. Rarely, if ever, do I hear Trump placed in historical context, and I’ve been trying to square Donald Trump with past outsider firebrands in American history.  Who might everyone think Trump best compares to from past elections, and why or why not would he share a similar fate?  Because he seems to be such a singular individual FiveThirtyEight has him labeled outside the bounds of the five Republican spheres- would you have to Frankenstein him out of pieces of, say, Boss Tweed, William Jennings Bryan, William Randolph Hearst, Huey Long, George Wallace, or Ross Perot?

Thank you to all at FiveThirtyEight for all of the thoughtful and professional reporting and conversations that’s helped make sense of 2016!

Sincerely,

Will Carlson

One Comment Add yours

  1. I would say Barry Goldwater was the closest candidate example to Trump in my lifetime. The GOPe hated him and kept trying to distance themselves from his inflammatory rhetoric, but he won the primaries, so they had little choice but to nominate him. He ran as an outsider despite being a Senator. He was never able to draw votes outside his original base of supporters – older, less-educated white males in economic distress. He got totally clobbered in the general election, though LBJ didn’t have HRC’s negatives. And the down-ticket losses to Democrats provided the majority that made passage of his Great Society domestic agenda possible, and the confirmation of our first black Supreme Court justice, Thurgood Marshall.

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