As we get closer to Election Day, there will be a new flurry of stories showing how Hillary has an 85+percent chance of winning—and that her Electoral College count is going to be a landslide. It’s over, basically—that’s the theme. For Reuters, they’re projecting Clinton to win 326 electoral votes, with a 95 percent chance of winning:
In the last week, there has been little movement. Clinton leads Donald Trump in most of the states that Trump would need should he have a chance to win the minimum 270 votes needed to win. According to the project, she has a better than 95 percent chance of winning, if the election was held this week. The mostly likely outcome would be 326 votes for Clinton to 212 for Trump.
Trump came off his best debate performance of the campaign Wednesday evening but the polling consensus still showed Clinton winning the third and final face-off on prime-time TV. Trump disputes those findings.
And some national polls had the race tightening a wee bit this week though others had Clinton maintaining her solid lead. But the project illustrates that the broader picture remains bleak for Trump with 17 days to go until the Nov. 8 election.
Trump did gain ground in South Carolina where his slim lead last week expanded to seven points, moving it into his column from a toss-up. Unfortunately for him, he lost ground in Arizona, which is now too close to call.
On one hand, some in the GOP will rejoice—this means the end of Trumpism, the ignominious defeat of the alt-right. Well, I’m not so sure these folks are leaving just yet. Second, Clinton would be president. Why is that a good thing? It’s a nightmare for the country. If this ends up being the end result on Election Day, it will not be without a sense of irony. When Mitt Romney decided to get on the Never Trump train, the billionaire lashed out at him, blaming him for losing a winnable election. In 2016, Reuters’ Electoral College map closely resembles that of 2012 (Romney got 206 electoral votes), and this was yet another winnable election for Republicans that we pissed away thanks for nominating flawed candidates, but I don’t want to get into “I told you so” games—though that’s a point of inevitability post-election I’m afraid.
Again, how many epitaphs have we written for this political campaign? Every time Trump looks like he’s about to collapse, he regroups. He survives. It very well could be a drumming by Clinton, but we shall reserve judgment until Election Day. We have polls showing him trailing by four, six, nine, and now twelve points. Some have it at a virtual dead heat (i.e. LA Times), while other have him leading by a point (Investors Business Daily). Now, that doesn’t mean that all is well either. Texas and Arizona are now in the toss-up column, Florida is moving to the Democrats—all of this spell disaster on November 8. If we lose Florida, forget everything else—the jig is up. Even Trump campaign manger Kellyanne Conway said that they’re behind. But the RNC seems to have delved into fantasyland to combat these developments, with Chairman Reince Priebus saying that Trump is going to do better with black voters this cycles than with McCain and Romney, with the added notion that Trump is going to win because “people have had enough.” Yeah, let’s not kid ourselves; Trump is going to do poorly with Hispanics and black voters—and we don’t know if he’s going to win the election. This spin makes the Right look desperate and embodies everything that liberals think about conservatives—that we’re detached from reality.
There is one theory that Trump’s campaign seems to be hedging on, which is that there’s a swath of voters who don’t like to be polled, and if a firm contacts them—these voters tell lies to protect themselves. It’s a fear Democratic pollsters have this cycle, that the people they poll, like the one’s saying they’re either voting for or leaning towards Hillary Clinton, are really voting for Trump. It’s our version of the shy Tory theory, in which the 1992 election in the U.K. projected a Labour win, only to end with the Conservatives winning the most votes ever cast in a British election. It’s impossible to gauge, but if this is the case, it shows how embarrassing these two candidates are for voters for either party. Right now, it’s all about stopping Clinton. And 45 percent of Republicans seem pretty dead set on making that happen, as this cohort has said they will not accept the election result that ends in a Trump defeat.