2016 is proving to be a shit year. Our iconic celebrities are dying, the Tories have no real opposition and don’t even get me started on Brexit. There is enough shit news out there at present but potentially even worse is to follow. I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but Donald Trump has a real chance of becoming President. This horrible, borderline fascist, bullying, dangerous salesman may well have his hands on the nuclear button very soon.
Numerous left of centre, liberal friends of mine remain unconvinced. They point to historical trends, demographics and polls to highlight why he will lose, and yet, unfathomably, he is surging in the polls. He has moved ahead in national polls, and critically has moved ahead in key swing states of Ohio and Florida and is running neck and neck in states like New Hampshire.
Perhaps we all live in an echo chamber seeking out confirmation as to why Trump can’t win. Perhaps he will lose. Perhaps perhaps perhaps. That is all we have right now, a whole set of presumptions about old election trends to keep us warm at night rather than keeping us awake at night worrying about the appalling consequences of Trump winning. We remain utterly convinced that a flawed yet capable politician like Hillary Clinton will win. Surely the American electorate are not so dumb as to vote for Trump?
Yet, there he is. Teflon coated billionaire Donald Trump, winning the GOP nomination and now pushing ahead of Clinton in the polls. So, we all have to get our heads out of the sand and consider a massively inconvenient truth. Donald Trump can win this election…And here’s how:-
Trump has already succeeded in winning elections – over the past year of 56 primaries and caucuses, the GOP establishment threw the kitchen sink at Trump and yet they still lost. Despite Trump’s pissing off the entire party and offending millions of people with his fear and loathing brand of xenophobia, nothing could stop his momentum. This has to be acknowledged and to prevent him winning in November, the reasons behind his ongoing success have to be tackled (and quickly) by the Democrats.
Turnout is key – Trump gets his vote out and gets new voters in. And therein lies a massive problem for Hillary in November – who is going to have the most obsessive, motivated, angry protest voters – who will actually show up to vote? Yes. It is him. Hillary meanwhile has a major apathy problem. If she doesn’t get her vote out then she is in big trouble. And this leads me onto…
Hillary’s terrible campaign – she is continuing to pick the wrong fights with Trump. By stating that he is a nasty piece of work is the wrong strategy. The GOP tried this and failed. She is continuing down this path and guess what? she is failing. We all know what Trump is, yet his momentum continues. So why bother even going there? What Hillary needs to do is change the message and fast. Hope is surely a better selling point than fear, or perhaps I am being idealistic. Perhaps we now live in a world where fear beats hope. If so, we all live in dangerous times.
The key swing states – The US election now feels like the EU vote. It is turning into a massive protest vote based on all the wrong things to get angry about – like immigration. But, the actual result will be decided by a number of key swing states – within the rust belt north east (and also Florida). The rust belt states and their communities have had their hopes dashed and their American dreams broken. It feels like a Springsteen lament up there. This creates a hopeless disenfranchised mentality – and one that Trump is manipulating and exploiting by stating that he will ‘Make America Great Again’. Although Clinton was ahead in these key states, her poll lead is slipping fast, and in the case of Ohio, Trump is now ahead in the polls. If she loses in the rust belt, it is over. She is toast.
Trump is likely to hold the traditional midwest and southern GOP states, so it becomes a dogfight over the swing states in the rust belt and also in Florida. In 2012, Mitt Romney lost by 64 electoral votes. Add up Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin – that is 64. Add in Florida and Trump wins. Recent polls indicate that he is now within the margin of achieving this.
So what is the situation right now? The polls in the key states are narrowing. Clinton has health concerns. Trump has momentum and energy. This one is going down to the wire. It is getting very scary now.