Less than a month before Election Day, most major public polls point to a victory for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. One national poll shows Clinton up by double-digits, and the former Secretary of State leads in polls in some swing states as well. Many prominent Republicans apparently have written off Trump’s chances---a group of former senior Republican National Committee (RNC) staffers last month penned an open letter to the RNC calling on it to stop funding Trump’s campaign and save money for downballot races.
Yet neither Trumpism nor Trump himself is going to vanish, even if he loses the election. The recent history of demagogic candidates like Trump, in both richer and poorer countries worldwide, suggests that they often come back for second and even third attempts to win power. In the meantime, they force political parties to bend to their will, and their authoritarian style has a long-term, corrosive effect on their country’s politics.
For more on my analysis of how Trump’s candidacy fits into the global democracy regression, see my new piece in BloombergBusinessweek.