An interesting column in WaPo by Dan Drezner that relies heavily on a (somewhat iffy) analogy to the declining success of pitch framing in baseball. It used to work for a catcher to position himself to make a ball look like a strike, but then baseball analysts observed and explained the phenomenon, and the umpires — made aware — stopped letting the catchers fool them into calling strikes.
How does the analogy work? Political scientists correspond to the baseball analysts. The GOP elite corresponds to the umpires. That's a bit off, because in baseball there really is a strike zone and the umpire knows he's supposed to see where it really is, and the positioning of the catcher's mitt is not a proper factor in the decision. The umpires understood that they were doing their job wrong and managed to exclude the distraction.
In the primary, what corresponds to the truth of the strike zone and the need for the umpire not to be influenced by something that shouldn't play a part in his decision-making? In baseball, the strike zone is the position of the ball as it crosses the plate in relation to the batter's body, so I guess the strike zone is the position of the voter's head on election day in relation to a particular candidate.
But the GOP elite is only trying to predict where that head will be, not calling it as it happens, and it is trying to influence the voter's mind by spending money and making various arguments. Drezner's point is that the GOP elite didn't spend enough and attack Trump enough because they were fooled into thinking the voter's mind on election day wouldn't be anywhere near voting for Trump.
Drezner makes some sense, even though the analogy is off. What if the political scientists had done better analysis and shown that Trump in fact had an excellent chance? The GOP elite would, the theory goes, have seen the need to attack Trump with great force. But the GOP elite isn't like the umpire. The umpire can start to see the ball where it really is and start calling balls and strikes correctly. The GOP elite, with better political science analysis, would know it doesn't like where the voter's head is, but it couldn't solve the problem by stating the correct location. Unlike an umpire, it has a preference in the election/game. It wants to change the location of those heads.
I think if the GOP elite had the power to move those heads, we'd be seeing powerfully effective anti-Trump ads by now. Where are they?