Donald Trump Could Be This Election's George McGovern, Says Democracy Expert

Article ID: 645142

Released: 18-Dec-2015 9:05 AM EST

Source Newsroom: Swarthmore College

Expert Pitch
  • Associate Professor of Political Science Ben Berger

Contact: Mark Anskis, manskis1@swarthmore.eduSwarthmore College610-328-8271

Newswise — Swarthmore College Associate Professor of Political Science and democracy expert Ben Berger does not expect Donald Trump to win the Republican nomination for president, despite his lead in the polls. But if Trump does defy the odds to earn the nomination, Berger believes it could be a repeat of the 1972 election - with Trump in the role of George McGovern.

"If he does manage to win the nomination, which I still doubt, I envision him as George McGovern in 1972, with Hillary Clinton reprising Richard Nixon's role. McGovern was the outsider candidate who surprisingly beat out the establishment candidates in a fractured Democratic field, and who then lost overwhelmingly to the veteran but vulnerable Nixon."

Berger believes that Trump's lead in the polls is fueled by an American public extremely dissatisfied with its government, and because Trump has yet to face any kind of close scrutiny and opposition. "This is in part because other candidates have wanted to keep alive the possibility of winning his supporters once he fades," says Berger. "Americans periodically fall in love with the notion of relatively inexperienced outsiders who offer hope that they'll do everything differently. It almost never pans out as promised.”


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