“Gehrke: What BYU’s David Magleby learned in his four decades studying Utah politics, and why he thinks we live in a scary time”

Salt Lake Tribune:

After nearly 40 years teaching political science at Brigham Young University, David Magleby taught his last class just before Christmas break….

Gehrke: “Peering into the crystal ball, what do you see the future to hold? Can you give us your best forecast on that?”

Magleby: “Well that’s very hard because I would never have thought that a person with as limited a set of credentials or political experience as Trump would win. …

“I think most political scientists would say what I’m just saying, that all of our normal ‘expectations’ about candidacy and presidency, he’s violated. Having said that I think as the midterms showed his very low favorability rating, and not being able to have that move up over time in any periodic way even, suggests that if the Democrats nominate an electable candidate he could very readily be a one-term president.

“A lot is going to happen between now and November of 2020. But a lot of what could happen between now and then could be bad for him as well. … But we have become so polarized and so negative and so doubtful of respected media that we’re just in uncharted waters. And that’s why in [my] closing lecture I wanted the students to realize things we’d been studying that Madison and others established and that Lincoln through the Civil War reinforced about division and not secession are what give me a hope for the future. But I can tell you… I’m more worried now than I’ve ever been about the country’s future. I think it’s a very scary, very scary time.”

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