I’ve been waiting for polls in the battleground states post-convention, and as I suspected Clinton is well out in front in all of them. A slew of polls was released this morning and it’s ugly for Trump. There is also some indication that the race is having an impact down ticket.
Still waiting on an Ohio poll. Ohio is key since a win there is essential for any Republican hopes – I’m told but have not researched to confirm that no Republican has ever won the Presidency without winning Ohio.
Now Trump has had a rough week since the conventions ended, mostly self-inflicted because he can’t just accept criticism in a political campaign without freaking out about it. To be attacking a Gold Star family is one of the few “blunders” which can hurt him with his core constituency, though there are many who will support him to the end of the Earth because he represents the last gasp of hope for those who want to return to the post-war working class American dream.
It may be that some of these Clinton leads erode if there is a serious economic downturn, and there are signs of concern. But Trump’s problem is that you can only maintain a politics of rage for so long. Outside of that alienated portion of the white working class which sees him as a symbol of defiance and “change,” there are people who see the Presidency as a position which requires even temperament and what Clinton is calling “steady leadership.” Clinton hasn’t been in the headlines all week. Instead she’s been quietly touring the economically ravaged areas of the rust belt. It’s calculated, and it’s old school – but it’s effective.
People are on my case for such an early prediction, and yes, it’s three months to the election. “Anything can happen.” But part of the frustration of the white rage vote is that they’re finite. More finite than they were in 1972, 1984, 1994, and yes, even 2010. I’ve been taking in the campaigns for months now – the Trump wins in the primaries were surprising to me, but not shocking. But I’ll add another point to my list below – while the primaries were contested he only once broke 50 percent in a primary. That means more Republicans were against him than for him. Most of the time he won with percentages in the high 30s or low 40s.
Yes, there are some rural Bernie supporters who will vote for him – I think the last poll showed that 91 percent of Bernie voters intend to vote for Clinton. Some of the remainder will vote for Trump, but not nearly enough. Trump has a lead with “independents,” but not with “moderates.” They’re voting for Clinton. And now big name Republicans are openly endorsing Clinton, and those names may get bigger as the campaign moves forward. Shades of 1972 – roles reversed.
My prediction of a Clinton blowout is not one of optimism. I would prefer that it would be close. I don’t want Clinton’s politics to be given a “mandate.” But I think they will.
There is a silver lining in the news for Trump – he is surging in fundraising with small donations, emulating the Sanders model. There is no doubt that Trump has extensive grassroots support. But the non-white and women’s vote is going to shut it down.