The Donald Works The Data

Part 3 of an Ongoing Series

The Donald was sitting in the back of seat of his SUV, alone, looking out across some random field. The campaign vehicles had pulled over to a truck stop and instead of going inside, The Donald had opted to just sit outside an wait. He was staring out at the weird type of nature that existed out here. Bristly yellow grass stretched off toward a skinny stand of trees by the highway on-ramp. A visible haze of pollen swirled over everything.

Even from within the dim light of the tinted windows and the blasting A/C, he could still feel the humidity surrounding him on all sides. He kept thinking about how terrible the terrain would be for golfing. The soil underneath the turf was probably only suitable for deep rough, if that.

A door suddenly sprang open and glare filled the SUV. Lost in thought, The Donald hadn't noticed someone approaching the car.

"Jesus Christ!" he growled, shielding his eyes with an annoyed salute.

"Good morning, Mr. Trump," said a voice coming from the glow.

"What are waiting for?" The Donald commanded. "You're letting everything in."

The door shut and a body dropped into the seat next to him. As the brightness cleared from The Donald's eyes, a young man came into view. Very young. His hair was slicked back, like the greasers used to do back in the day. He had on a gold tie clip and gold cufflinks,which looked decent together but didn't quite pass as a matching set.

"I don't know you," said The Donald.

"I'm Ed," the young man replied, "Your new pollster."

Ed didn't offer a handshake. The Donald knew there was some kind of power play going on here. He just wasn't sure if this kid was trying to be intimidating or impressive.

"How old are you?" The Donald asked.

Ed laughed.

"I'm 26," he said. "I think the last pollster was 32."

The Donald smirked and brushed some pollen-y looking stuff off his sleeve.

"I guess that means you got a lot of energy," he said.

"Without a doubt," Ed leaned in a little. "I just came over to say, Mr. Trump, I'm really excited about this campaign. I think you really got a shot at this thing."

"Of course I do! I'm winning every poll that comes out," The Donald shrugged. "I mean, c'mon. You're the poll guy. I'm basically doing your job for you right now."

"That's exactly what I'm talking about," Ed said with a surge of excitement. "That's what you do best, Mr. Trump. We need to emphasize your inevitability."

The Donald paused for a second and looked at Ed in disbelief.

"Absolutely I'm going to be inevitable," he said. "It's all over the news. All the most important people, the respected commentators, they're already saying: You know what? It's done. Boom. He's inevitable."

"The way I like to think of it, Mr. Trump, strength equals success."

The Donald chuckled.

"You got something on your mind, Eddie?" he asked.

"I have a few ideas, mostly about how we can get past the first layer of poll numbers. I want to develop a strategy that goes a little deeper. Polls ask lots of questions, and 'Who would you vote for?' is just one of them. What I'm focused on is a different question, which is 'Who do you think is going to win?'"

"Yeah, sure. Okay. Why?" The Donald was cautiously intrigued.

"Think about it," Ed said and gestured toward the windshield. "We don't need to convince people to vote for you. That's already happening. We need to convince the idiots who might want to vote for somebody else that it doesn't matter what they do, you'll win anyway because nothing can stop you. If we play these numbers right, we can put Iowa and New Hampshire in the bank."

The Donald just shook his head and smiled.

"All right, Eddie, good work," he said. The Donald looked at his phone and saw there were a couple new emails.

Ed nodded respectfully and said something about looking forward to going over the details, then stepped back outside the SUV. He rapped a knuckle twice against the tinted window.

"I'll see you later, Mr. Trump."

The Donald watched as Eddie jogged across the truck stop parking lot to a far corner where a bunch of the campaign staffers were standing around smoking. They all looked like bankers in their blue Oxfords and tailored suit pants. A couple of them high-fived Eddie. It was a little bit of a mystery what exactly that kid was up to, but The Donald didn’t really care much one way or the other.

He turned his head to look back out at the grass. The Donald tried to remember what he had been thinking before. Something about a golf course. He squinted at the highway. He could just barely see the traffic zooming by through gaps in the pine trees. It made him wonder if he could drive a golf ball over the top and land it on a windshield. He figured he probably could.