A picture of America’s modern presidential campaign model. Candidates seek to:
- • Segment the electorate into as many groups as practical, particularly at the state level,
• Empathize with sympathetic groups to create the illusion of a supportive coalition,
• Ignore conflicting interests within their coalition, speaking only of common goals,
• Hurry to the primary/caucus before tensions in the coalition become unmanageable,
• Repeat, in each state, adding/deleting groups as necessary to secure enough delegates,
• Discard nationally unappealing or “extreme” groups at the convention, and
• Craft a party message that:
– Slights true believers,
– Dupes fence-sitters,
– Placates the disaffected, and
– Appeals to voters not in the party.
Call it a “Divide, Destroy, then Cobble Together” strategy, a key feature of which is, no matter the general election result, the nominee has a reasonable answer for those offended by his campaign positions: “Compromise”.