ClintonI’ve been saying this and promising an explanation.  Well, its not just one thing.  It’s a number of factors.  I don’t have Nate Silver’s  psephology to work with.

What is going against her?  Donald’s angry approach fitting well into the current climate of weekly terror attacks.  The degree to which so many people dislike her.  The anger and disappointment of Sanders people – which seems to be melting away quickly.  The anti-status quo sentiment pervading the political climate, at least so far.  The scandals which are always simmering no matter how incompetent the Republicans are in trying to exploit them.  And yes, Trump appears to have generated a poll “bounce” following the convention, though the it’s extent seems to vary greatly from poll to poll.

These aren’t minor issues.  And any one of them could combine with some new development and turn the race around for Trump.  But I don’t think that’s likely.

So let me list the reasons I predict a Clinton blowout.

  1.  The polls. Yes, Clinton is ahead in some polls even after Trump’s “bounce.”  But that’s not the point.  Polls move up and down based upon the random thought processes of about twenty percent of people who probably have a hard time making up their minds on anything.  However, where Trump is doing well is in polls where third parties are doing well and there are high numbers of undecideds.  In polls which include the third parties, his numbers rarely go over 45 percent, and very often don’t exceed 40 percent.  This means that his support is almost exclusively the angry white crowd and the always-vote-Republican crowd.  I don’t see him drawing much from the center, and his convention was not aimed at the center (with the dubious exception of gay-friendliness in attacking Muslims).  But he appears to have a cap.  Where the polls are close, there are high numbers for third parties and undecideds.  When they are not, she has the latter in hand.  This suggests that those votes are hers to earn.
  2. Pantheon of political figures with gravitas – Bernie, Obama, Bill, Elizabeth, and so many others will be pumping for Clinton, and Bernie and Elizabeth will probably cut into that third party vote.  Trump has Christie and Giuliani.  Every other advocate is a nut, because the Republican leaders are running from him like he has the plague.
  3. Trump – he’s a one mood note – I watched his speech and thought that if I believed half of what he was saying I’d feel like committing suicide.  What Reagan knew, what Nixon knew, what Bush knew, but which McCain, Romney, and Trump seem to have forgotten is that you need a message of hope.  And you have to offer solutions – not too much detail, but independents want to know what you’re going to do.  Not just “trust me, it’ll be great.”  And his temperament plays well for angry white people.  But he’s not in Republican primaries anymore.  He’s in the real world now.
  4. The debates – the Republicans weren’t ready for Trump.  They got rattled.  They tried to get into the gutter with him, but he thrives their.  They lost their cool.  It’s natural for him.  Not for them.  Clinton has been attacked probably more viciously and broadly than any other figure in politics in the past couple of decades.  She has thick skin and she plays it cool.  And whether you like her policy, she knows much, much more about the world than Trump – at least in terms of policy.  She’s been attacked on Benghazi – slid through a hostile hearing and came out of it smelling like perfume while the Republicans were wrapping themselves in bandages.  The emails.  A slew of other scandals, mostly fabricated or exaggerated, but thrown at her constantly and relentlessly.   He may try to avoid debates, but that will cost him as well.
  5. The electoral map – It really doesn’t favor Republicans anymore.  Maybe Trump can draw some blood in the rust belt by attacking her from the left on trade, but I doubt it.  And the polls have them close in Georgia and Utah – the latter of which is about the most red state in the country.
  6. The organization.  Clinton has an enormous and intricate ground game and they’re organizing as I type.  They’ve invited a bunch of the Bernie folk who are young and social media savvy.
  7. The declining influence of money – over the past decade the actual results impact of large campaign donations has declined.  That’s not to say it’s isn’t a factor, nor to suggest that the obscene private donation amounts facilitated by Citizens United shouldn’t be regulated.  But the bulk of money has traditionally gone to television ad buys.  The problem for the Koch Brothers is that nobody under 60 watches commercial television anymore  Messages and images which have effect “go viral” online virtually for free, and having a younger crowd in your organization helps.
  8. It’s a much more liberal country than it was in years past.  The religious right has lost the culture war.  Capitalism has failed the millennial generations.  Even the terror attacks aren’t bringing out massive lizard brain calls for the alpha male approach  We may have turned a corner in American politics.
  9. Clinton – she’s going to be brutal.  It’s going to be a bloodbath, but she doesn’t have to hold back like she did with Sanders.  She has to be upbeat, but she can lay into Trump.  And Trump seems to freak out when attacked by women – his irrational responses to Elizabeth Warren were ill-advised and over-the-top.
  10. Authoritarianism – He’s an authoritarian who believes not necessarily in dictatorship, but in the strongman model of governance.  It’s in his business model, where it probably works for him.  His affinity for Putin, Erdoğan, and even Hussein is going to hurt him.  He stayed out of his party’s platform fight with the exception of one issue and one only – he demanded that the wording be scrubbed of all references to support for Ukrainian sovereignty.  He freaked out NATO allies last week by saying that he wouldn’t necessarily defend Baltic members from a Russian invasion.  This might play well, again, with certain elements of conservatism, but the country as a whole is saturated with democratic values whether or not they get practiced.
  11. President Obama’s freakishly high approval ratings, apparently setting records for an 8th year President.  Nobody seems to know why, but this can’t bode well for Trump or his ideology.  It suggests that Clinton can do very well if she can find a way to step into his shoes.

This is a partial list, and combined I just think there’s too big of a structural advantage to Clinton. Barring a major screwup, the collapse of the economy, or a major terror attack on American soil (and maybe not even then) I don’ see how Trump wins this.  The biggest thing – the campaign of “we” beats the campaign of “I” almost everytime.  I don’t believe there’s much of a “we” to the Clinton psyche, but she is selling it.

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