Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Will Scott Brown...

...be Donald Trump's running mate? Who? You know, that guy who served out Ted Kennedy's term in the Senate?

According to Paddy Power, the leading candidates are:

Newt Gingrich, 6/4 odds
Scott Brown, 7/2
Joni Ernst, 8/1
Bob Corker, 8/1
John Kasich, 8/1

I used to think the establishment would "draft" Gov. Kasich of Ohio (click here). Then I considered the possibility of Gingrich (click here). Tennessee Sen. Corker hit my radar when I heard his name mentioned by both Jonathan Alter and Dan Senor (click here). And I even weighed the prospect of Sen. Ernst of Iowa (click here).

But I hadn't heard Scott Brown's name until recently. I mean, come on, the guy only served in the Senate for three years! (He was defeated for reelection by a little-known college professor by the name of Elizabeth Warren.) He's a . . . a . . . male bimbo -- a "mimbo."

And, yet, Scott Adams (whom I just discovered) thinks it will be Brown. Why? From his blog (my emphasis):

Of the remaining options, Scott Brown is probably the best fit to run for office on a ticket with the Master Persuader. Trump says he wants someone with legislative experience, and Brown has that. He’s also an ex-attorney with a good education. Smart. But he is also famously handsome. Attractiveness is more important than most other factors, whether we like to admit it or not.

Brown’s “flaws” as a Republican are the kind that will help in a general election. He’s in favor of abortion rights and banning assault rifles. Trump could make that work, one way or another. It plays to “common-sense conservative.”

Another advantage Brown has is his last name. As silly as this sounds, it makes him seem less white. Science tells us that people are more influenced by names than common sense would suggest. For example, people with so-called “lower class” names such as Justin are less likely to get job interviews. People named Dennis are more likely to become dentists, according to studies.* And my guess is that people named Trump are more likely to be associated with winning (trumping). By this same line of thinking, Brown would take some of the white off of Trump. That could help in the general election. And yes, I am totally serious. People trained in persuasion would likely agree.

As I said, predicting a VP choice is nearly impossible until the last minute because the situation is fluid. A candidate might need some help in a key state, based on current polling. Or the opponent might open up a new line of attack that needs a defense. A lot can change in a few weeks.

But as of today, and according to the Master Persuader filter, I put the odds at 90% than Trump picks Brown as his running mate.

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