Friday, September 16, 2016

Donald Trump’s Electoral Map to Victory

Hey, don't get cocky kid (as Instapundit loves to say).

 At U.S. News and World Report, "Trump’s Electoral Map to Victory, Yes He is Going to Win":
Donald Trump’s path to the White House has gained growing plausibility with a flurry of poll numbers showing the Republican nominee on the ascent over Hillary Clinton in some of the most crucial battleground states.

Trump’s new momentum is the product of a hazardous period for Clinton, in which she earned fervent backlash for deriding half of his supporters as belonging in a “basket of deplorables” and then nearly collapsed in public while fighting a previously undisclosed bout with pneumonia that renewed lingering questions about her health and took her off the campaign trail for most of this week.

Three polls showing Trump inching ahead in Ohio, survey results placing him in the lead in Florida and still another poll giving him a slim advantage in Nevada have jolted hardened perceptions about the race 11 days before the first debate in Hempstead, New York. Additionally, a CBS News/New York Times survey of the contest released Thursday found the candidates statistically even nationally, knotted at 42 percent apiece.

Many political observers who concluded the race was slipping out of Trump’s reach after his disastrous August are now recalibrating their opinions and wondering how Clinton will stop her own September slide – a stark indication of how volatile the campaign remains with more than seven weeks until Election Day.

"Hillary's just not a very good candidate. She doesn't have campaign skills, comes off as shrill, and has a cloud hanging over her," says Scott Reed, the senior political strategist at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Trump has "shown a new level of message discipline. That's why this election has tightened up."

Polling out of Ohio – where surveys are now tracking Trump ahead by 3 to 5 percentage points – set off alarm bells within the Clinton campaign, which suddenly announced it was dispatching Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Clinton's former rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, to the Buckeye State this weekend to pitch the former secretary of state to young voters uninspired by her candidacy. Warren and Sanders will promote Clinton's plan to make college debt-free across five cities on Saturday.

"We always expected the race to tighten up," Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta said on a conference call Thursday. "They call these 'battleground states' for a reason. They are going to be hard-fought."

A Bloomberg survey of Ohio found that a higher proportion of men and older voters are indicating their likelihood to cast ballots – a glaring sign that Clinton needs to rally younger voters and minorities in order to offset that surge benefiting Trump, whose victory is predicated on garnering an unprecedented portion of the white vote.

Liberal advocates also are openly expressing worry that millennials ages 18 to 34 – 45 percent of which are minorities – don't recall or care that the last sustained era of economic prosperity occurred under President Bill Clinton.

"My concern is that they're not turned on to participate," Maria Teresa Kumar, president of Voto Latino, said at a Brookings Institution event in Washington on Wednesday.

Facing little room for error, Trump's climb remains uphill, but Republican strategists are beginning to see an emerging electoral map that would allow him to squeak out a victory.

Trump must hold all 24 states carried by Mitt Romney in 2012 and add Ohio and Florida to the tally. A loss in Florida, Ohio or in increasingly competitive North Carolina – which Romney carried by just 2.2 percentage points over President Barack Obama – would hand Clinton the presidency.

Virginia, the fourth-most competitive state in 2012, has drifted into Clinton's column, analysts believe...
I'm not getting too excited about this.

Now, like I said before, if Pennsylvania looks likely to flip to Trump on election day, I might get a little more emotional. I suspect the Keystone State would perform a bellwether service in that case, with perhaps even a couple more surprises to come as well.

Still, Trump must run the table, so to speak. He's got no margin for error. His election frankly will need to look like a tsunami. That's not the case for Hillary, although they're shitting bricks either way.