Dear America, you’re already good. You’re not as great as you used to be in some categories compared to years past, but you’re still good. What you need is a leader that will lead you past these partially sunny days and onto greener pastures.
You can do a lot better than the past 16 years, but you can do a lot worse too. However, the reality is someone described as being dangerous, encourages despots and has authoritarian tendencies is one election away from President of the United States. A man that is authoritarian, an isolationist with no filter, and no experience in governance is one election away from Democrats wishing we had George W. Bush back and some Republicans wishing Barack Obama could stay another four years.
With roughly 180 short days left until the election, I implore every voter to think very carefully about our options. Why? Because almost exactly a year ago, when we wrote the GOP needed a hero, both Liberals and Conservatives laughed at the idea. Other than John Kasich, the Republican candidates not only did not excite me, but in most cases – Ted Cruz – scared me. I’ve already lived in a Theocratic Republic, and it’s not fun.
Our other option – Hillary Clinton – is not great. Whether one is a Liberal or Conservative, you can’t look at her without questioning some of her decisions and sometimes even her moral fiber. She’s also the establishment candidate so many Americans want to be free from.
Since Donald Trump became the de facto GOP candidate for President, Clintonites have taken to social media predicting a landslide. He made a mockery of the system, and vanquished his Republican opponents. Underestimating a very impactful, demagogue like businessman that is a towering anti-establishment populist could be perilous.
Consider CNN’s Electoral College map released the day after Mr. Trump became the presumptive nominee. 173 Electoral College votes are undecided.
Assuming the leaning states vote accordingly with their current polls, Hillary Clinton is 33 votes shy of 270 votes. Obviously, if she wins all the states Barack Obama did in 2012, she wins outright. The following charts illustrate why making that assumption is dangerous.
First of all, the Real Clear Politics Average national polling data shows Clinton with a slim lead of 47.3 to 40.8. Don’t forget, this is the popular vote, not the Electoral College vote.
To make this even more real, at various points in 2016, Clinton and Trump have both polled within +/- 1% points nationally.
Therefore, the notion that Clinton will crush Trump in a landslide election is far from a foregone conclusion. There are many variables that can turn this election around, such as an indictment – even if proven innocent – a snowy November day in Ohio, a terrorist attack, etc. The variables are infinite. What’s not confusing is how Obama’s 332 to 206 2012 victory in 2012 can flip on a dime.
Here’s just one scenario:
- With a large Hispanic population in Nevada and more liberal leaning laws in Colorado, let’s give those to Hillary.
- Arizona and Iowa are staunchly conservative, white and rural, so let’s give those to Trump.
- Wisconsin has voted Democrat going back to 1988, so let’s go blue there.
- Virginia and North Carolina have largely gone red, so we’ll give those to Trump – Virginia went blue for Obama twice.
This one particular scenario leaves New Hampshire, Ohio and Florida as the deciding states. Historically, Ohio has voted democrat in 4 of the last 6 elections, and currently has a popular Republican Governor, in John Kasich. Florida in turn has split their votes 50/50 over the past 6 elections, dating back to 1992.
Looking at the latest Real Clear Politics average spotlights this scenario, with Clinton almost within the margin of error in Florida and virtually tied in Ohio.
How can America go from good to awful on November 8, 2016? Apart from not being indicted over her email scandal, Mrs. Clinton needs to make two contradictory pivots. She has to not only pivot to the left of her party to attract Bernie Sanders supporters, but she also has to pivot to the center to bring aboard independents and center-leaning Republicans. Those are two completely contradictory options, but both of which are necessary.
If that strategy fails, or one of hundreds of variables lead to one or two counties voting differently in Ohio, Florida and New Hampshire, CNN will project Donald Trump the next president of the United States of America.
I leave you today with Will McAvoy addressing Clinton v Trump and how deadly close they are.
— Mark Halperin (@MarkHalperin) May 11, 2016