Why I’m hitting the Pause Button on the March to the Clinton/Kaine White House
I just did my projection for November 8th’s election yesterday, and I had Hillary winning a crushing electoral vote landslide of 363–175, a margin that is 30 electoral votes better than President Obama’s 2012 win. With numbers like that, you’d think I expect her to win, and I guess that I do, but I’m not feeling as certain as I was three weeks ago. Why, you ask?
- That’s a misleading margin. Florida (29), Georgia (16), North Carolina (15), Ohio (18), Wisconsin (10), Iowa (6), and Nevada (6) add up to 100 electoral votes, and all are within the margin of error in recent polls. If Trump swept them, he’s President. Notice I didn’t include Pennsylvania (20), New Hampshire (4), Virginia (13), Michigan (16), Colorado (9), or New Mexico (6), all of which she has healthy leads in, but all of which usually end up close. There’s more than enough meat on the bone yet for him.
- The press hates her. The coverage of her has slanted so far against Hillary, towards making her a crook, that polling suggests it’s actually hurt her approval. Meanwhile he gets credit when he kind of, sort of isn’t a racist. She is losing the press battle. Sure, some of it is self-inflicted, but a lot more of it is a ridiculous e-mail and foundation story that has no real substance, but the media won’t drop.
- This somewhat comes out of #2, but her high negatives diminish enthusiasm about her, which gives her higher negative approvals, and a lower ceiling. Even today, not many prognosticators think she will reach 50% of the popular vote, despite her solid leads. A candidate below 50% can’t ever be considered a lock.
- Democrats win big turnout, high enthusiasm elections. The groups we rely on to win elections are not the consistent voters, year in and year out. Youth, African-Americans, Latinos, and unmarried women are not the locks to turn out that Trump’s white male electorate have been, especially since they are excited by his rhetoric and persona. Her more traditional message is tempered by her low approval.
- She has been hammering him for months now with negative ads. He is just starting to run ads. They’ve already called him most of the awful things that he is, what new is there to say? She has a long record (of positive achievement, but I digress), of which he will cherry pick negative things to say. She should be more comfortably ahead now.
- She is running to be the first woman President, meaning no one has done it before. The last time Democrats won three straight terms in the White House was the five terms of FDR and Truman. Hillary may be the smartest, most qualified candidate for President I have ever seen, but she lacks the political talent of her husband or President Obama. Her winning is amazingly uphill to begin with.
I’m not saying Trump WILL win the election, I’m saying he absolutely can. I’m saying Democrats have to work hard to win. I’m saying nothing should be assumed- regardless of how ridiculous Trump seems.