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Why Donald Trump Won’t Drop Out

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Donald Trump is having a bad week. After a number of controversies, his poll numbers are dropping and his chances of winning the election — at least for the moment — appear slim. It’s gotten to the point that many are speculating as to whether he could drop out of the race. He won’t — and on the latest Keepin’ It 1600, Dan Pfeiffer and Jon Favreau explained why.

For a full breakdown of the week in politics, check out the podcast here. This transcript has been edited and condensed.

Dan Pfeiffer: The media, unfairly I believe, is so conditioned just to be like, “Ugh. Trump and Clinton, they’re the worst. Why are we stuck with this choice.” So if they get a new choice, there would be a halo effect there. Like I don’t think Mike Pence is going to be the guy for that, but having said all that —

Jon Favreau: But apparently members of the RNC would vote for this. So, basically all the [members] that voted at the convention would vote again for another candidate. That’s the mechanism, which is quite interesting. You’d have to be a Republican National Committee member — not the delegates — so the members of the RNC would vote for this.

D.P.: Mitt Romney — that would be the guy right? Who would be a consensus candidate …

J.F.: I guess, unless they think it’s fair to give it to Ted Cruz.

D.P.: I mean what a kick in the gut that would be for the Clinton campaign to have to now start running against Mitt Romney, who’s not some great candidate, but he’s not Donald Trump either.

J.F.: Well, it would be the best thing Mitt Romney could do for his reputation, right, because of what you just said the media will think — I mean Mitt Romney compared to Donald Trump is like Barack Obama.

D.P.: Until he did his first interview and just lit himself on fire with 75 elitist gaffes, and then they’re like, “Oh yeah, that’s why we don’t love this guy.”

J.F.: Right. Anyway, I don’t see it in Donald Trump’s composition as a human to have dropping out in him, you know?

D.P.: I don’t either. He would also have to have some actual semblance of the state of the race. He would have to believe he was gonna lose, and I don’t think anyone has told him that — and they just say, “Yes, Mr. Trump,” and he thinks he’s winning because he sees these big crowds and he watches Fox News and he lives in a bubble. And he doesn’t know enough about campaigns to understand why not having a field organization in states like Virginia is a problem and what a narrow path to 270 is.

Colorado. When we were doing our 2012 internal White House campaign pool about what states we’d win, North Carolina was the biggest stretch state, but the next state after North Carolina was Colorado. It was the one that moved in our direction the latest in the campaign and we were pretty nervous about it. The fact that the Clinton campaign is so confident and the Democratic groups are so confident in Colorado that they’re paring back their advertising and the Republicans are writing it off means Trump is screwed.

And the metaphor you always use for the Republican Party right now is they have to draw an inside straight to win. The odds of an inside straight are much higher than the odds of winning some combination of Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania if you are screwed in Virginia, screwed in Colorado, and you are getting [13 percent] of the hispanic vote in Florida. You can’t win like that. And he’s either not smart enough or not knowledgeable enough, and his campaign staff is too stupid or scared of him to understand what that means in terms of his chances of winning for him to be able to decide to drop out.