Observing the Donald Trump campaign, for many, has involved stages of amusement, disgust, and finally horror—as in, “ha ha ha, this is so ridiculous,” “ugh, I can’t believe people are falling for this,” and ultimately “oh my God, this is really happening and I need to start building the bunker.” With Trump currently in pole position in the Republican primary race, it looks like it will be at least three-plus months—until the Republican convention, which begins July 18—until he can be knocked out of presidential contention. Even longer if one assumes he’ll run as an independent if he’s denied the official GOP nomination. There is also, of course, the possibility that he somehow wins the nomination and then the presidency.
It is with all this in mind that Slate introduces its Trump Apocalypse Watch (or Trumpocalypse Watch, if you prefer, which we do not). The Trump Apocalypse Watch is a daily estimate of how likely Trump is to be elected president on a scale of zero to four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Zero will mean he’s dropped out of the race or lost in November; four would mean he’s become president, although it’s unlikely we’ll actually get that post up considering that the United States’ communications system will be knocked out instantly when every other country in the world collaborates to pre-emptively nuclear-bomb us into oblivion in the event of a Trump electoral victory.
We’ll start with the meter set at exactly two out of four horsemen to reflect the current polling/electoral-math consensus that Trump is likely to win the Republican nomination but then lose to Hillary Clinton in the general election. (To be clear, while our estimate will be adjusted in accordance with polling data and projections, it is ultimately subjective; the TAW will respond speculatively to news events and subjectively to factors such as the amount of personal fear and terror I wake up feeling.)
Today’s rating, then:
Check back often to see how likely it is that Trump will be elected president/that you will be driven from your home by a raining plague of blood and lizards!