Why Trump is likely to Win

Created on Friday, 26 August 2016 06:40
Written by Ax D. WhiteMan
View Comments

This morning the RCP 4 way poll average shows Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump by 4.5% with over 10 weeks and 3 debates to go prior to election day.

In 1980 Gallup showed Carter with an 8% lead over Reagan in late October.

Yet, many on both sides of this election have rushed to call this election "over."

Equally puzzling are those on the right that wring there hands in serious thought asking, "Is there enough time - to turn this around."

If this were the Super Bowl, it would be the equivalent of asking if it were possible to come back from a 7 - 3 deficit - in the first quarter.

This is NOT to say the polls are wrong. I do think they probably under poll Trump support by a point or two, but it's foolish to not realize that at this point in time; Trump would be likely to lose if the election were this coming Tuesday.

But it's NOT this coming Tuesday. It's about 10 Tuesday's from now. That's a political eternity, especially in the current era of the 24 hour news cycle where opinions change on a dime.

During the next 10 weeks, Trump has positioned himself to benefit from likely major new events of the day. Unrest in the Middle East, violent domestic protests, any terrorist event - ALL tend to favor Trump. 

Perhaps most importantly, Trump is running, and running hard. He's doing major rally's - in person almost every day. Sometimes more than one per day. Every rally draws thousands. All leave energized and hopeful. No, he's not really started an air campaign yet - and that's a gamble. It's likely a good gamble though. Hillary has burned through 10's of millions in a unilateral air campaign and has managed to eek out a 4.5% margin.

Hillary, by contrast, has gone into the "prevent defense." She seems willing to let the media run for her; doing scripted  interviews, reading answers to pre-arranged questions, and believes that she can hide for 10 weeks without answering concerns about emails, her health, Clinton Foundation corruption, or the failed policies of her State Department. Maybe she can, and the ugly truth for Democrats is - that's her only hope. She can't do more events, because the more people see her, the more unlikable she becomes.

Trump offends some people. But he clearly has an appeal to many, and honestly he has a way of wearing down opposition and growing on even those that initially dislike him. His current appeal to Blacks is a good example. Trump won't win a majority of the Black vote. He doesn't have to. If he gets 10% he'll win Ohio. If he gets 15%, he'll also win Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. During the next 10 weeks Trump will continue landing body blows with large public rallies, and chip away at the Clinton lead.

In the end, this race will be decided by turnout. 

Turnout is driven by enthusiasm.

Hillary does little to inspire enthusiasm, especially in the minority communities. Hillary not only needs to win Blacks at 95% and Hispanics by 75% - she needs "Obama like" turnout from both groups. It's just difficult to see how an elderly white woman hiding on friendly media outlets will generate the record breaking minority turnout that propelled her predecessor to consecutive victories.

But what of #NEVERTRUMP and a possibly depressed GOP turnout?

It's possible. It's the best hope for a Hillary victory. But the empirical evidence seems to contradict it. More people turned out to vote for Trump in the primary than any other candidate in GOP history. The #NEVERTRUMP movement was stronger then, than it is now.

There are two common characteristics about Jeb Bush, Eric Ericson, Ben Shapiro, and the rest of the #NEVERTRUMP folks. They each are only 1 vote, and NOBODY will change their vote because of what they say.  

In the end, the question becomes will there be more new Trump voters than there are Bush, Ericson, and Shapiro types that reinforce their own irrelevance by abstaining from voting. In conclusion, it seems almost inevitable that the candidate that is aggressively attacking the candidate in "duck and cover" mode - will eventually prevail.

Of course none of us knows with certainty what the future will hold, but if the current of arc of both campaigns remains as they are, it's likely that we'll all soon be saying, "President Trump."