This is an amazing—if not frightening—election. Amazing that anyone as unqualified as Donald Trump is the presidential nominee of a major party. Amazing that Trump has no policies only stated goals, most of which are offensive not to mention unrealistic (e.g., deporting 11 million “illegals,” building a wall on our southern border, changing our foreign alliances like NATO, banning Muslims from entering the USA, etc.). Frightening because Trump has no government experience whatsoever. He is a New York City real estate developer, and he does not even have a good newspaper knowledge of what presidents can and cannot do with our highest office. He has virtually no true understanding whatsoever of how Washington works.
Frightening also because Trump is an authoritarian personality, which makes him unsuited for the Oval Office. Trump is so taken with himself he is unable to acknowledge that he is not qualified for the job; he thinks he can fake it until he figures it out. Or that he can hire people—of course having them all sign nondisclosure agreements—who can guide him until he understands the job. Unfortunately, it does not work that way and our nation’s enemies are not going to give him a grace period to learn on the job. Therefore, national security experts from both parties have publicly declared he must not become president.
The only reason that Trump has not been shut out of any chance whatsoever of winning the White House, and remains competitive with Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, is Republicans have spent the last 35 years trying to destroy Hillary Clinton. While they failed, they have confused enough people to seriously tarnish her. Trashing her began when she became the First Lady of Arkansas, the wife of the governor. When the Clinton partnership arrived on the national stage, and President Clinton gave his wife responsibility to develop a national healthcare program, she became a serious and more focused target of conservatives. Indeed, there was (and still is) “a vast right-wing conspiracy” devoted to destroying Bill and Hillary Clinton.
If Donald Trump wins the election, this country will have a national disaster of unprecedented dimensions. The blame for this calamity is on the mainstream media (e.g., The New York Times, The Washington Post, ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News) which gave Trump endless free coverage during the Republican primary contests (where competent candidates were ignored to cover his more interesting shenanigans), coverage which has extended into the general election. And that same news media has made a great issue out of Hillary Clinton’s uses of a private email server as secretary of state, a totally bogus scandal of no consequence whatsoever, ignoring that her predecessor Colin Powell used private email and the Bush II administration “lost” 22 MILLION emails.
Voting is now underway, but no one knows for certain how it will end on November 8, 2016. For example, while Hillary is leading by varying amounts in all the legitimate polling, nobody thinks her victory is a sure thing. For example: Michael Moore: Here’s why Trump will win election – WND; Stop it with the Clinton coronation. Trump can still win – CNBC; Why Trump can still win and most likely will win this election – Daily Kos; Yes, Trump can still win this election – TheBlaze.com.
Donald Trump knows he is a longshot, yet he believes he is still very much in the race. We now have evidence of his thinking, why he is still in the game. He recently released an electoral map as part of his fund-raising efforts, which is instructive, and Bloomberg Businessweek was able to look inside the Trump bunker in San Antonio, where the number crunchers operate. Let’s examine both.
Examining Trump’s Map
[To avoid your eyes glazing in this section, where I wanted to check the electoral college numbers, I have highlighted in bold the important information:]
Trump’s electoral map shows the states he believes he will carry as well as the states he concedes to Hillary and those that are too close to call. Not surprisingly, Trump’s map reveals more optimism than current polling can support, not to mention historical trends of the states. For purposes of comparison, I have used the more neutral map site, 270toWin.com. (States in all the maps are deemed red or blue with a simple majority making the determination. Apart from Maine and Nebraska, all states award all their electoral college votes based on a majority winner takes all.)
Trump States Conceded to Hillary: Trump’s map concedes the following states (and electoral votes) to the Democrats: California (55), Connecticut (7), Delaware (3), District of Columbia (3), Hawaii (4), Illinois (20), Maryland (10), Massachusetts (11), Minnesota (10), New Jersey (14), New Mexico (5), New York (29), Oregon (7), Rhode Island (4), Vermont (3), and Washington (12)—for a total of 197 electoral votes for Democrat Hillary Clinton.
By comparison, 270toWin.com finds that Hillary will start with 258 electoral votes, which would include the following states that Trump’s map does not concede: Colorado (9), three quarters of Maine (3), Michigan (16), Pennsylvania (20), and Virginia (13) for an additional 61 electoral votes.
Trump’s Perceived Safe States: Per Trump’s map he believes he has a lock on the following states (and electoral votes): Alabama (9), Alaska (3), Arizona (11), Arkansas (6), Georgia (16), Idaho (4), Indiana (11), Kansas (6), Kentucky (8), Louisiana (8), Mississippi (6), Missouri (10), Montana (3), Nebraska (5), North Dakota (3), Oklahoma (7), South Carolina (9), South Dakota (3), Tennessee (11), Texas (38), Utah (6), West Virginia (5), and Wyoming (3) for a total of 191 electoral votes.
Again, Trump’s analysis is more optimistic than the consensus found at 270toWin.com, which does not place Arizona (11), Georgia (16), Maine (potentially 1 of 4), and Utah (6) among safe states for Trump.
Trump’s Too Close To Call States: Based on Trump’s electoral map, he believes the followings states are toss ups: Colorado (9), Florida (29), Iowa (6), Maine (4), Michigan (16), Nevada (6), New Hampshire (4), North Carolina (15), Ohio (18), Pennsylvania (20), Virginia (13), and Wisconsin (10) for an electoral total of 150 votes.
Using Trump’s numbers for the math, with 191 perceived safe states voting for him, he needs only 79 additional electoral votes of the 150 available to reach the magic number of 270 electoral votes. Notwithstanding the fact that virtually all polling shows Clinton winning Colorado (9), Michigan (16), New Hampshire (4), Pennsylvania (20) and Virginia (13) with 62 electoral votes, this polling merely shows that she has many routes to 270 while he has few. Here is his current strategy to win.
“Inside the Trump Bunker, with 12 Days to Go”
Writing for Bloomberg Businessweek, Joshua Green and Sasha Issenberg report the final days strategy of the Trump campaign, not from Trump Tower in New York rather from inside a digital consulting firm in San Antonio, in their piece titled “Inside the Trump Bunker, with 12 Days to Go.” Brad Parscale, the president of Giles-Parscale in San Antonio, has become the digital wizard of the Trump campaign operation.
Parscale started by designing the-price-was-right web pages for the Trump family, then the campaign, and as Trump’s campaign managers—Corey Lewandowski and Paul Manafort—fell to the wayside, Parscale assumed more and more responsibility, and developed a close relationship with Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner. His San Antonio firm folded in the Republican National Committee’s digital operation, which arrived with Trump winning the nomination, and then the UK based Cambridge Analytica, when Steve Bannon became the campaign’s CEO. (Bannon is on the board of Cambridge Analytica, apparently watching the interests of investor Robert Mercer and daughter Rebekah, who have become big money players in the Trump campaign.) Parscale developed a database just for Trump, naming it “Project Alamo.”
In a rare interview, Steve Bannon told Bloomberg, when addressing the database, that they have built “the underlying apparatus for a political movement that’s going to propel us to victory on Nov. 8 and dominate Republican politics after that.” To win on November 8 the Trump campaign does not plan to get out the vote, rather than are seeking to suppress Hillary’s vote. Reporting by Green and Issenberg, and quoting a senior official with the Trump campaign, suggests they have only “three major voter suppression operations underway.” They are groups Hillary needs to win overwhelmingly: “idealistic white liberals, young women, and African Americans.”
In this report the suppression is being done by Trump raising Clinton’s emails and one-time support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership—both turnoffs to Sanders supporters. Trump is using the charges of sexual assault against Bill Clinton to turn off young women. And Hillary’s 1996 statement about African American men as “super predators” is being used almost subliminally to undermine Hillary’s support from black voters. The Bloomberg report addresses the problems with these approaches, while explaining them more fully.
What is not included in this report, I suspect, are the less subtle and unsophisticated efforts to suppress Democratic voting. Indeed, Republicans have been working for years in all the swing states to suppress minorities that tend to vote Democratic. At his current rallies, Trump is urging his supporters to become “poll watchers”—wink, wink, nod, nod—on election day. The poll watching/intimidation scheme is so blatant that the Democrats have gone to court to enforce the standing consent decree against the Republican National Committee prohibiting such activates, since this had long been Republicans’ standard practice.
As we head to the finish line of the 2016 presidential race the only way Trump believes he can win is to suppress the vote. Given the way he has run his campaign, it is impossible to believe he is going to limit his suppression efforts to merely more negative campaigning and nasty ads. So, Democrats must prevent Trump and his supporters from using physical intimidation to suppress the vote. Anyone who does not understand that Trump will bully his way into the White House if possible has not been paying attention to his campaign.