Musings —08.16.2016 08:13 AM—
Here’s FiveThirtyEight’s model that aggregates more than 500 polls.
What you see, there, isn’t the proverbial snapshot. It’s a trend line. And, for the racist, extremist, nationalist Republican nominee, the trend line is all downward. As things stand now, he is going to lose: as of today, in fact, projections show Hillary Clinton already has the electoral college votes needed to win the presidency.
So, if you were a GOP strategist trying still to elect Trump – or, more plausibly, to save “down ticket” Republican candidates – what do you do?
- Try and convince Trump to stop saying stupid things: Won’t work. Has been tried many times, but he continues to self-immolate.
- Run a paid campaign against your own party’s nominee: Some desperate folks are already doing this, as seen here. This, too, is unlikely to work. Voters will simply say (as they did with the Martin-era Liberal Party): “If they can’t manage their own affairs, how can they be trusted to manage the affairs of the nation?”
- Disavow Trump, run letter campaigns against him, etc. See above. It may make you feel better in the morning – but you still are going to be out of work, on that morning after Election Night. Per Stein, a Republican is a Republican is a Republican. Voters can’t ever be counted on to make fine distinctions when staring at a ballot.
- Pray for an October Surprise. This, I have felt for some time, is all that Trump has left, but no one should doubt the impact an October Surprise can have. Terror attacks typically work in Trump’s favour, and buttress his narrative that the world is a scary place and America needs a scarier guy in charge. It worked for W. in 2004, after all.
At this very moment, Donald Trump’s two biggest fans – Vladimir Putin and ISIS – are busily concocting an October Surprise. In in the latter case, it will almost certainly be one with a big body count; in the former case, it will be something concocted by Putin’s hacker army.
I hope I’m wrong, of course. But, based on the numbers, October Surprise is really all that Trump has left.