As many have written, although Donald Trump is despised by the Republican party establishment, he is an unintended and unfortunate creation of that party. They built up a system where you needed money to enter politics, because they controlled the money. (It is to Sanders’ credit, and the popular will behind his campaign, that he has overcome this hurdle.) But that allowed someone very rich to highjack the system. The Republicans have exploited prejudice to win votes, which allowed someone to throw away the dog whistle and openly attack those from other religions.  And so on. In these ways, Trump represents the Republican’s chickens coming home to roost. As Matt Taibbi writes (sorry about ad in link), Trump is a rather good con man and so for him the US political system is an easy mark.
Will the EU referendum be the moment David Cameron’s chickens come home? Although economic arguments are central, and the case for staying is strong and the case for leaving weak, how much will voters without any economics background be able to come to that conclusion? Most newspapers will push the weak arguments, or more generally just try and muddy the waters as they do all the time on climate change. The visual media’s natural format is to set this up as a two-sided debate, and if the leave campaign can find enough credible advocates to put the economic case for leaving the main outcome might be confusion. 
In contrast, to many voters the other key issue - immigration - looks clear cut. For the large section of the UK electorate that place migration among their top concerns the logic of the Leave campaign’s claim that we will finally ‘control our borders’ will seem obvious. This will be constantly reinforced by news about refugees and fears about terrorism. Here the Conservative government’s focus on the costs of migration (and the pretense that UK benefits are a big draw) may come home to roost. Many in the Conservative Party truly believe large scale migration is a threat to the country, but I suspect Cameron and others running the party are not among them. Until now ‘cracking down on immigration’ has been a useful ruse for the Conservatives to win votes, but for the Remain campaign it has become a huge liability.
That is one of Cameron’s chickens that may come home to roost. Another is his deal. From what I have seen so far, Cameron will not try and counter migration concerns by arguing the benefits of migration, because it runs counter to what he has previously said. For the same reason he will not emphasise that to maintain preferential trade agreements after leaving we would probably have to accept free movement. Instead he will argue that his deal will make all the difference, and in this case he will not impress. His deal will make no tangible difference to migration flows, and for once the right wing press will go with the evidence.
Nor can Cameron expect that much help from other party leaders. Andrew Rawnsley and Polly Toynbee give some of the reasons, but one they do not mention is what happened immediately after the Scottish referendum. Labour, and Gordon Brown in particular, came to Cameron's rescue when it became clear in the final days of the referendum that he could lose Scotland. The thanks they got was a speech from the steps of Downing Street the next day proposing English votes for English laws. In that case it was in Labour’s self-interest (in terms of being able to win an election) to be Cameron’s chicken, but the political arithmetic is far less clear this time.
The EU referendum is therefore another test of how much economic expertise can influence public opinion. As regular readers will know, we have been here before, and not just on austerity. The overwhelming evidence was that independence would initially leave Scottish people worse off, but for many this evidence was successfully counteracted by the SNP’s wishful thinking projections. From recent experience, therefore, I am not too optimistic that the economic evidence will prevail.  For a Prime Minister who has preferred the economics of the Swabian housewife to anything taught in universities, this too is a chicken come home to roost.
 Tactics those supporting the Conservative candidate for London mayor seem happy to employ, as Mehdi Hasan notes.
 In terms of the economics, you have first to guess what type of trade arrangements would be made if the UK left, and then quantify the impact of the reduction in trade that would result. Like most economics this is not a precise science, but the only question is what the size of the income loss will be. Yet the many alternatives if the UK left adds to any confusion.
Patrick Minford, on the other hand, argues that increased regulation and market interference will lead to large output falls if we stay in. Patrick is a very good and inventive macroeconomist who I learnt a great deal from, but his conclusions have always followed his political views. In this case his numbers depend on very dubious assumptions about how staying in the EU will raise future ‘costs’.
 For the record, as some will ask, I will be voting Remain. Apart from the economic arguments, in my own experience interventions from Brussels have more often been positive than negative. I also have an instinctive feeling that in today’s globalised world the UK should be part of Europe, for the reasons John Harris gives for example.