Trump, Lemmings, and the Fundamentals

Although it’s depressing to realize that too many Republican Party voters think that Donald Trump should be President, it’s even more depressing to watch so many GOP notables beginning to line up behind him like lemmings. One hopes.

There are several possible explanations for the lemming-like behavior. First, some aren’t capable of recognizing the danger, think this is an election like any other, and are seizing on the dim signs that Trump is “pivoting” to justify supporting. Second, some don’t care a whit about the country, so long as they think their own position is secure. Third, some recognize the danger to the country, but place duty to party above all. Fourth, as with climate change, some are just squeezing their eyes shut, sticking their fingers in their ears, and singing “la-la-la-la” loudly enough to drown out the unpleasant truth.

Still, whatever’s going on with the GOP, the fundamentals of the election have not changed — and they favor Clinton.

She’s still ahead of Sanders in awarded delegates, superdelegates, and popular vote. Despite hope and delusion, Clinton’s pretty much a lock for the nomination, so much so that the media only gave passing mention to Sanders’ recent primary victory.

It still takes 270 electoral college votes to win the Presidency (and no, Donald, there isn’t time to amend the Constitution to your liking before November).

Clinton still is likely to carry all the states that the Democratic Party has carried in the last three presidential elections. They total 227 electoral college votes, leaving her 43 votes shy of victory. The tossup states, totaling 116 electoral college votes, are Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Obama carried Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia in both of his elections. Clinton can carry any of several combinations of tossup states to hit the magic number.

Demographic change, coupled with the intense disapproval of Trump among non-Caucasian whites, still is likely to put at least Colorado, Florida, and Nevada, 44 votes total, in the Democratic column. With those three, even if Clinton were to lose all the rest of the tossup states that Obama carried twice, she’d still have 271 electoral college votes. But she’s likely to win all the states Obama carried twice because (a) women are a larger share of actual voters than are men and (b) Donald’s approval ratings are abysmal among women and non-Caucasian whites. Which means there simply aren’t enough angry white men to win the election for Trump.

None of that means progressives can be over-confident. Trump presents far too great a danger to the country, a danger so real that we need to be working right now to make sure the progressive vote is going to turn out and get counted. We need to Get Out the Vote, contribute, and vote ourselves to ensure that, come November, we won’t wake up the morning after wondering what the hell happened as the country follows Trump over the cliff like the Republican lemmings are doing now.


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