Donald Trump-mentum is steam-rolling Hillary Clinton across the country.
The third-party candidates are dragging down her already bedraggled chances. Her coughing fits, her unsure (or rather non-existent) relationship with facts, truth, and anything else pertaining to reality have harmed her already marred image.
Clinton could be heading to the Big House before she sets foot in the White House.
I must admit, I didn’t think the brash populism of the NYC real estate mogul would be enough. He kicked political correctness in the teeth, and he savagely assured the widespread silent majority (now shouting for leadership) that he would stop illegal immigration, bad trade deals, and unsure national security.
He has brushed up his public act. Still unimpeded, but more on message. He talks about conservative Supreme Court Justices (in fact he rolled out an impressive list of SCOTUS nominees). He wants to repeal the free-speech muzzling Johnson Amendment. He talks to people who don’t look like him, and goes to states that Republicans have written off as possibilities for the last 30 years.
And he’s not Hillary.
Of course he’s gaining ground!
I didn't know what to expect after the Republican National Convention. Yes, the polling during the RNC Media bump placed Pennsylvania ever so slightly in the Trump column, and FiveThirtyEight advertised the Republican nominee with a 55 percent chance of winning the Presidency.
Then came Hillary Clinton’s week in the sunlight—protected from the heat of imposing scrutiny. The fawning, marginalized media went to work suppressing Bernie dissenters, propping up the sick old lady (who was pretending to be healthy), and playing up the implausible narrative that all is well with the Democratic Party—despite all the booing and walking out. Clinton was grabbing all the attention, and the Democratic Party candidate (despite lying, cheating, and stealing) was the nominee.
For three weeks, she was going to be the next President.
One month later...
She is losing Ohio.
Colorado is not the sure thing that the Democratic Party thought it would be.
Florida, Iowa and even Georgia are jelling into distinct hues of red for Election Day. Republicans have been achieving notable successes at the state and local level, all of which is strengthening their brand, broadening their base, boosting their influence.
Iowa has more Republican than Democratic voters, and the registration gap is narrowing faster than ever. US Senator Chuck Grassley took the lead on fighting illegal immigration, including sanctuary city policies. Grassley recently praised the campaign chairmen in each of the state’s 99 counties! He is now double-digits ahead of his Democratic challenger. Iowa is a Republican state by and large.
Grassley has the grassroots, and they are going to grow into an epic victory, and pull the Hawkeye State into Trump's column, too. This trend goes double for Rob Portman of Ohio, which will help Trump big time.
The one-month swing toward the Donald is not lost on FiveThirtyEight, either.
The latest FiveThirtyEight map depicts more swing states as pink instead of baby blue. Just this week, Nevada has caught a light pink hue, too! This growing up-ticket swing will surely help Joe Heck with his steady-yet-still-close bid to replace Harry Reid in the Senate.
With North Carolina and Florida gently snuggled into the Trump column, what does Donald have? 265 Electoral votes.
If the polling in Maine remains consistent, then Trump could pick up one more electoral vote, since Maine apportions their electoral votes based on proportional representation (one for each House district, and two votes to the candidate who wins the statewide popular vote).
My current analysis on the Electoral College outcomes for Election 2016:
Trump will carry away all five electoral votes in Nebraska (Congressional apportionment a la Maine notwithstanding).
Trump wins that extra electoral vote. He might scoop three of the four votes in the Pine Tree State. After all, Ted Cruz won the primary caucuses, indicating a decisively conservative undercurrent.
Now Trump needs four more electoral votes to win.
The latest polling shows up him ahead by four points in Colorado.
He wins the Colorful state, he gets an off-color win easy. If Trump wins New Hampshire, which was tilting his way before, then he lands right on 270. The Granite State might present his best path to victory, but so could Colorado. George W. Bush won New Hampshire in 2000, but he won Colorado in 2000 and 2004.
Also, Trump is scoring higher in Colorado, since Hillary Clinton let her guard down long ago in that state. Besides, the state delegates are more energized and organized, there. Trump should invest more time, resources, and face-to-face campaign interaction in Colorado.
But now he has the time to take on bigger challenges in other "solid blue" or "sold out Democratic" states like Virginia, Michigan (where he was tied) or even Wisconsin (which also has a GOP trifecta).
This is Trump's campaign to lose, and Hillary Clinton is all but handing it to him at this point.