Given the endless political campaign and how often I hear and see these two words misused, I thought it was time to reprise them. Here for your consideration are founder and flounder. Both are used here as verbs.
FOUNDER means to sink. For instance, if a candidate starts out with seemingly enormous support and then makes a mistake, that support may evaporate. He or she may go from 83% popularity to 27% popularity. You would say the candidate’s campaign founders.
FLOUNDER means to act confused and struggle mentally. Think of a flounder flopping around on the deck of a boat, flopping from side to side. That behavior suggests a candidate floundering, not answering questions clearly and contradicting previous positions.
OK, let the endless presidential campaign continue. Only one year to go.