GOP Begins 2016 General Election Race With A Big Electoral College Disadvantage

A first look at the Electoral College paints a very grim picture for Donald Trump and the GOP.

Donald Trump

Chris Cillizza points to a fact that I have made several times in recent years myself, namely that the Republican Party faces a decided disadvantage in the Electoral College that transcends the problems that nominating Donald Trump bring to the race for the White House:

Republicans have a major electoral-map problem in November. Major.

Donald Trump’s victory last week in Indiana’s primary not only effectively sealed the GOP nomination for the real estate billionaire but also brought into sharp relief how difficult it will be for any Republican to get to 270 electoral votes and beat Hillary Clinton to become the 45th president this fall.

Start here: Eighteen states plus the District of Columbia have voted for the Democratic presidential nominee in every election between 1992 and 2012. Add them up, and you get 242 electoral votes.

By contrast, 13 states have voted for the Republican presidential nominee in each of the past six elections. Total them up and you get 102 electoral votes.

There are two important takeaways from these facts: The generic Democratic nominee starts with an electoral vote lead of 140, and the Democratic nominee needs to find only 28 votes beyond that reliable base to win the presidency.

What that means in practical terms is that if Clinton wins the 19 states that every Democratic nominee dating to her husband has won and she wins Florida (29 electoral votes), she wins the White House. It’s that simple.

Or if she wins the 19 reliable Democratic states and Virginia (13 electoral votes) and Ohio (18). Or the 19 states plus Nevada (6), Colorado (9) and North Carolina (15).

You get the idea. There are lots and lots and lots of ways for Clinton — or any Democratic nominee — to get to 270 electoral votes. There are very few ways for Trump — or any Republican nominee — to get there.

Or, to put it another way, in order to win the Presidency in November Trump and the Republicans must win every state that Mitt Romney won in 2012. This includes North Carolina, which Barack Obama won in 2008 by just about 20,000 votes and which R0mney took back four years later by just under a 100,000 vote margin, and Indiana, which Obama won by just under 30,000 votes and which Romney won by just under 270,000 votes in 2012. It also assumes that Trump doesn’t lose other states where his own vulnerabilities with certain ethnic groups make holding on to those states more difficult. One example of this can be found in Georgia where a recent poll found Trump and Clinton in a statistical tie in a state that John McCain won by more than 200,000 votes in 2008 and Romney won by more than 300,000 votes in 2012. Assuming he can do that, Trump has would then need to win Florida, Virginia, and Ohio, all three of which have gone to the Democratic candidate in the last two elections, as well as at least one other state, such as Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, or New Hampshire, all of which are swing states that have decided ended up in the Democratic column in recent years. Given Trump’s historically high negative approval numbers among a wide swath of voting demographics — including Latinos, African-Americans, women, and younger voters — this is going to be a difficult task to say the least.

The Trump campaign and its supporters have suggested that the primary campaign,and Trump’s apparent ability to attract blue collar voters, including white Democrats who apparently crossed party lines in open primary states to vote for him, mean that he has alternative routes to 270 electoral votes. The most common strategy that has been mentioned has Trump winning across the Industrial Midwest and thereby bypassing the disadvantages he would face in states such as Virginia and Florida. It is indeed true that if Trump were to win in Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, and hold on to the Romney 2012 states then he would get right to 270 Electoral Votes and win the election. However, it’s worth noting that Republicans have not won Wisconsin’s Electoral Votes since the 1984 Reagan landslide, and have not won in Michigan and Pennsylvania since George H.W. Bush defeated Michael Dukakis in 1988. Since then, the demographics in the Midwest have arguably become even less favorable to the GOP than it ever has been. It’s also worth nothing that in all of these states except Ohio, the victor of the Democratic Primary received more votes than the victor in the Republican primary, a fact which suggests that the Democrats continue to have a natural advantage in these Midwestern states that will be difficult to overcome. Finally, Trump himself has suggested that he could open the map even more and that he would win states like New York, which Republicans have not won since 1984, and New Jersey, which the GOP hasn’t won since 1988. The most recent polling, though, has Trump losing the Empire State to Clinton by 21.6 points and losing the Garden State to her by 14 points.

As Cillizza notes, these Republican problems aren’t necessarily related to Donald Trump, but he doesn’t help the situation:

The current Republican disadvantage in the electoral map is less about any individual candidate than it is about demographics. As the country, and the voting public, has become less white and as Republicans have proved incapable of winning over nonwhite voters, a number of states have moved toward Democrats over the past decade

Perhaps the best example of this movement and how it has hurt Republicans is New Mexico, whose population is almost half Hispanic. In 2004, George W. Bush won the Land of Enchantment in his bid for a second term. (His margin over John F. Kerry was 588 votes.) Eight years later, Obama won the state by 10 percentage points over Mitt Romney; neither side targeted it in any meaningful way. In 2016, it’s not even on the long list of potentially competitive states.

What has become increasingly clear is that any state with a large or growing nonwhite population has become more difficult for Republicans to win. Virginia and North Carolina, long Republican strongholds, have moved closer and closer to Democrats of late. (Obama won both states in 2008 and carried Virginia in 2012.)

At the same time, as these states have grown friendlier to Democrats, there are very few states that are growing increasingly Republican. Wisconsin and Minnesota are two, but neither is moving rapidly in Republicans’ favor just yet.

Trump isn’t to blame for any of that. But his remarkably high disapproval numbers among Hispanics and his hard-line stance on illegal immigration — we are going to build a wall and make Mexico pay for it! — could make what is already a huge demographic or electoral-map problem for Republicans even worse.

All of this adds up to a fairly grim picture of the Electoral College if you’re a Republican:


Click the map to create your own at 270toWin.com

This is a very preliminary projection based on history,demographics, and some early polling, but it strikes me as a fairly accurate picture of where things stand right now. As the race goes on, we’ll see how things change as voters start to pay attention to the race. As things stand, though, it’s not looking good for Trump or the GOP.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2016, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Politicians, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Hal_10000 says:

    Georgia in play. Jesus. If you can’t even win the South …

  2. Georgia has been on the way to becoming a Purple State like Virginia for a while now thanks to the huge influx of new residents in and around Atlanta. If it doesn’t happen in 2016, it will most likely happen by 2020

    And it is worth noting that Bill Clinton won Georgia in 1992, and only lost it by ~30,000 votes in 1996.

  3. Mark Ivey says:

    Trump will win in a landslide, just like Romney in 2012.

    YUGGGEE

  4. humanoid.panda says:

    The problem with election coverage is that in the next 6 months, billions upon billions of dollars depend on media straining very hard not to notice the following:

    To win the election, Trump needs
    1. Either do better than Romney with minorities
    2 Or significantly out-perform Romney with White voters- while running against White women, and having a brand toxic to women and educated voters.
    3. Somehow mobilize about 8-10 million people who didn’t vote in 2012, to overcome Romney’s deficit,demographic changes since, and losses among Romney 2012 voters.

    One could at least argue that no.3 is somehow possible, but 1 and 2 are just a pipe dream.

    Given that state of the game, the really interesting questions are: whether Hillary can make Georgia, Arizona, and maybe Texas interesting, how much of an effect Trump has on downticket races, and, most importantly, what are the long term effects of this election.

  5. humanoid.panda says:

    Just to reiterate my final point: if Trump loses, even in a landslide, but does well in, say, Maine, Iowa, and Wisconsin (i.e losing by small margins), we will know that we might be facing a harbinger of a future populist-white nationalist GOP. If, after all the sturm and drung, he loses those states by more than Obama in 2008 margins, then nothing much changes..

  6. Pch101 says:

    My approach has been to start with the 2012 map, assume that the Democrats cannot win any states in 2016 that it didn’t win in 2012, and then try to determine the states where the Democrats are vulnerable.

    Starting from that vantage point, I’m not seeing how the Dems could lose so many states that they don’t win the election. Unlike an election year such as 2000 in which Florida could determine the winner, it should be possible in 2016 for the Democrats to lose both of the tightest swing states (Ohio and Florida) and still win. Demography helps the Dems.

    The possible spoilers to this are (a) greater Democratic apathy than anticipated or (b) Sanders opting to go full Nader with a third-party campaign. ( I expect that Sanders won’t run, but we’ll see.) In any case, Democratic apathy could potentially be offset by disgruntled Republicans who stay home or vote for someone else.

  7. charon says:

    Florida looks very difficult for GOP. (Demographic trends.)

    Very hard to create a winning GOP map without Florida.

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/05/gops-impending-florida-apocalypse.html

  8. Kylopod says:

    @humanoid.panda: A while back I examined Roper Center’s exit polls and determined that if Bush in 2004 had gotten the paltry level of support from Hispanics that Romney received in 2012, it’s very likely he would have lost the election and John Kerry would have become president.

    Specifically, Bush won 44% of the Hispanic vote while Hispanics overall constituted 8% of the electorate. In 2012 their share of the electorate had increased to 10%, but Romney received only 27% of that demographic. By my calculation that comes out to a net loss of 0.82% of the popular vote. That would have been enough to push Bush (who won 50.7% of the popular vote) below 50%. Electorally, he probably would have lost Nevada and New Mexico, two states he won narrowly and which have large Hispanic populations; that alone would have put him below 270. Ohio wouldn’t have mattered.

    That’s the only election since 1988 when Republicans have won the popular vote, and it involved a Republican who was fairly popular among Hispanics and who made a serious attempt at comprehensive immigration reform. Now it’s up to Donald Trump to improve on those numbers.

  9. HarvardLaw92 says:

    Sanders opting to go full Nader with a third-party campaign

    Between sore loser laws and simultaneous registration deadlines for primary / caucus and general election, in the vast majority of states Sanders wouldn’t be able to get on the ballot as an independent OR change parties to run with Jill Stein as a Green.

    He could conceivably mount a write in campaign, but it’s doubtful that it would have any real effect on the outcome.

  10. HarvardLaw92 says:

    OT – rather than reconsider the desirability of HB2, NC is doubling down on the stupid & the pandering …

    The state just filed suit against the federal government.

  11. Facebones says:

    It’s still amazing to me that after all of the hand-wringing the GOP did after 2012 – the autopsy, the long promised reboot, etc – they concluded that they had to do more to appeal to minorities and women, since demographic trends showed that they couldn’t count on angry, old, white men to carry the white house.

    Four years later, the nominee is… the angriest, old white guy they could find who has record negative ratings with women and minorities.

    I’m still expecting Trump to pull off the mask and show that it was Sasha Baron Cohen the whole time.

    On a side note, I’d like to offer the services of Facebones Consulting, Inc. to perform the autopsy after the GOP loses yuuuugely in Novemeber. I’ll do it for half what the other guys charge. Maybe they’ll listen this time.

  12. Facebones says:

    @HarvardLaw92: OT, but the problem I have with Sanders and other liberals (and I consider myself very liberal) is their complete refusal to take yes for an answer.

    The best case scenario for Sanders was always pushing Clinton’s campaign to the left as well as the party platform and reviving a left wing of the party. He’s done all of that, and the smartest course of action would be to keep up the pressure on the left, while getting his base to go out and get the most liberal congress possible.

    Instead, he’s complaining about primary rules, flipping super delegates, and acting like a sore loser. He’s squandering all of the progress he’s made.

  13. Jen says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Agreed, and was just going to point out that today is the deadline for filing in Texas for a party ballot position.

    CNN’s panel on John King’s show yesterday noted that anyone who buys a ticket to the Libertarian convention is considered a delegate, and that organizing supporters to swarm the Libertarian convention to nominate a candidate is just about the only path to getting on the ballot in all 50 states at this point. I’m paraphrasing, but that was the general gist of it–and that doesn’t really sound like a good idea.

  14. al-Ameda says:

    Unfortunately for Democrats, Trump could win.

    Yes, he’d have to run the table in those gray shaded states but really – Virginia, Ohio, Florida, New Hampshire, Nevada, even the light blue states of Iowa and Colorado – it’s all quite possible. Perhaps not highly probable but not out of the question at all.

    Democrats should not be complacent.

  15. Mikey says:

    I don’t know why Virginia isn’t blue on that map. Trump has zero chance here.

    I mean, Obama won here in 2008 and 2012, and the state certainly hasn’t become any less favorable to the Democrats since then. They will win Virginia handily, which on that map results in 275 electoral votes. Game, set, match.

  16. humanoid.panda says:

    Democrats should not be complacent.

    Well , anything can happen, but I am not sure what complacency means in the context of a presidential election.

    If it means that the Clinton campaing won’t spend any dime it can on the election- I seriously doubt that, if only because campaign operatives get commisions, and 1-2% of 2 billion dollars is a nice take home..

    If it means voters stay home- it flies in the face of empirical studies (people like to vote for winners), and neglects the fact that Trump is a great opposition GOTV tool.

  17. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Facebones:

    This is the problem with ideological purists – they’re incapable of compromise and they’ll ride a sinking ship all the way to the bottom of the ocean rather than act prudently. If they can’t get what they want, they consider burning down the building to be the next most palatable alternative.

  18. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jen:

    It still wouldn’t save him. California, for example, has a firm deadline for ballot access registration that passed way back in March. Their deadline for a write in candidacy is May 17th, so Sanders can’t be on the ballot as anything other than what he registered as (a Democrat) prior to the deadline, and in order to run as a write in candidate in CA, he would have to withdraw from the California Democratic primary (which he also can’t do, as that deadline is also March 31st).

    Many states are similar. In those states, Sanders either wins the Democratic nomination or he won’t be running at all in them in the general election. It’s a way of imposing de facto sore loser laws onto presidential campaigns, and was created specifically to prevent what his fans want him to do.

  19. Pch101 says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    (Sanders) could conceivably mount a write in campaign, but it’s doubtful that it would have any real effect on the outcome.

    That’s probably true. But in the worst case scenario, such an effort could reduce voter turnout for the Dems so that the GOP wins by default.

    The greatest threat to the Democrats is low turnout. I would not presume that anti-Trump sentiment among Dems and swing voters would be strong enough to make much of a difference outside of Nevada and Colorado.

  20. Electroman says:

    @Jen: The Libertarian party is not on the ballot in all 50 states. According to the party itself, it is on the ballot in 32.

    https://www.lp.org/ballotfund

  21. Neil Hudelson says:

    My own map:

    The Dem’s start off with 269 votes likely, the GOP 154. Of the 115 EV’s up for grabs, I have the Dem’s picking up 88 of them, the GOP 27, for a final tally of 357 to 181.

    (For historical context, 2012 resulted in 332 EV’s to the GOP’s 206. 2008: 365 to 173)

  22. Jen says:

    @Electroman: Thanks–I’ll admit I didn’t check that, and I don’t think that the panel I was listening to qualified it either–it was referenced in relation to the GOP fielding an alternative, and how someone could stack the deck at the Libertarian Convention.

    Again, I think it’s a lousy idea to try and do something like that.

    I’ve repeatedly pointed out to friends on both sides who are demanding “better options!” “a third party!” etc., that it is very hard to get on the ballot in many states. Honestly, if a party as organized and long-standing as the Libertarians isn’t on in all 50 states, I just don’t see there being any additional choices in the near future. Putting together a national party, fielding candidates for down-ticket races, organizing county and state conventions, having leadership in place–it all takes work (a LOT of volunteer time, energy, and effort) and frankly it also takes some money.

  23. Raoul says:

    Kylopod: the 44% W 2004 Hispanic vote was a bad sample- most people agree that he got 40% that election.

  24. Neil Hudelson says:
  25. Mikey says:

    @Neil Hudelson: The only surprise to me in your map is Georgia–what’s your thinking there? (Not trying to be confrontational, I’m very interested in how you got there.)

  26. Tyrell says:

    This points up the flaws in the current electoral system. It either needs to be reworked or done away with. It puts too much power in a few states.

  27. grumpy realist says:

    I think this falls under the title of “Handing Him The Rope…”

    Migod, Trump may end up being the first man in history of being impeached before being elected POTUS.

  28. Moosebreath says:

    @Mikey:

    I am surprised at Georgia on Neil’s map as well — I would have put it into light red. Its demographics are slowly turning it purple, but I doubt this year it goes for Hillary.

    I also would have lightened Arkansas by at least one shade of red, as I think the Clintons still have a well of support there.

  29. grumpy realist says:

    @Jen: Um, Libertarian Party “organized”?

    Nope nope nope nope. These guys would screw up a two-car funeral. “Organization” is a naughty word for these folks.

  30. Ben in RI says:

    @Facebones:

    the problem I have with Sanders and other liberals (and I consider myself very liberal) is their complete refusal to take yes for an answer.

    The best case scenario for Sanders was always pushing Clinton’s campaign to the left as well as the party platform and reviving a left wing of the party. He’s done all of that, and the smartest course of action would be to keep up the pressure on the left, while getting his base to go out and get the most liberal congress possible.

    Instead, he’s complaining about primary rules, flipping super delegates, and acting like a sore loser. He’s squandering all of the progress he’s made.

    I can’t speak for all liberals, but among my acquaintances, they think that as much as Clinton has been “pushed” to the left, she’s going to snap right back where she was the second the Convention is over. There is extreme skepticism that any of the concessions to the Sanders wing are going to be honored or given any weight whatsoever. It’s Lucy and the football all over again.

  31. Neil Hudelson says:

    @grumpy realist: @Moosebreath:

    It’s shaded blue on there for two reasons:

    1. I took a few breaks in between making this map, and I vacillated between trying to show the race as it is vs. what the final outcome will be. Georgia, in that sense is a mistake. Georgia is absolutely leaning red currently, but I do think it can get picked up. Out of all the states on this map, GA and NC are the ones I’m least sure about. (Indeed, as it currently stands, NC is also “lean red”, but I believe they’ll switch for the Presidential race, even if their downballot races are GOP wins.)

    2. My reasons for predicting that GA goes blue are for both the reasons @Doug Mataconis mentions:

    Georgia has been on the way to becoming a Purple State like Virginia for a while now thanks to the huge influx of new residents in and around Atlanta. If it doesn’t happen in 2016, it will most likely happen by 2020

    And it is worth noting that Bill Clinton won Georgia in 1992, and only lost it by ~30,000 votes in 1996.

    The second reason was that when I made this map, I had thought Georgia had passed their RFRA–I had forgotten that the Governor vetoed it. (That is, I figured out this mistake as I typed this comment.) Living here in Indiana, I’ve seen very recently how much a RFRA can both activate the Democratic base and turn urban swing voters/corporatist Republicans against a socially activist GOP. Combine that with a state Democratic party that’s on the rebound, and you have a decent recipe for flipping the state.

    Now that I see that I was wrong regarding RFRA though, I’m very much rethinking GA’s prospects.

    @Moosebreath:

    Good point re: Arkansas.

  32. PJ says:

    Doug, someone has to say it, but with this post your outing yourself as a Hillary shill. Without Bernie voters, Hillary can’t win. No Bernie voter will vote for Hillary unless she replaces everything she believes in with what Bernie believes in. Without Bernie’s voters, Trump will win every state. If Democrats had picked Bernie, the Democrats would have won every state, they didn’t, and will now suffer the consequences. Instead of dropping out and saving the Democratic Party, Hillary is instead getting the media to publish these lies.

    This is a very serious comment and not at all something else.

  33. charon says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    I think AZ is potentially in play – especially if there is significant improvement in the usually low turnout of AZ latinos.

  34. Neil Hudelson says:

    @charon:

    I think so too, but I also think there is a large part of the electorate there that loves the Xenophobia/Knownothingness of Trump’s campaign–a larger section than other maybe-swing states. Remember, this is the state that brought us “Show me your papers” law, and re-elected Jan Brewer. I can’t quite predict if Trump will create a Latino turnout that is bigger than the bigot turnout he’ll also create.

  35. Tyrell says:

    @PJ: It does seem that Bernie has the larger, more excited crowds wherever he goes.
    The party leadership definitely looked and acted like they favored Hillary from the start and viewed Sanders as a bother, a bump in the road.
    I think that there are a majority of disaffected people who would support a 3rd. party candidate.

  36. Scott F. says:

    @al-Ameda:

    Democrats should not be complacent.

    I’m actually fairly confident there should be nothing to worry about on this front.

    First, Hillary Clinton isn’t going to let up. It’s just not in her nature. That means complacency won’t be an issue as far as the candidate is concerned.

    For the party in general, there is a very strong narrative to be deployed and any reservations about Mrs. Clinton herself will pale once it gets some play.

    To wit, Scalia (inevitably), plus Ginsburg and Kennedy (likely) will be replaced on SCOTUS in the next 4 years. Add to that what appears to be an implosion of the Republican establishment and you’ve got an opportunity for the Democratic Party to dramatically shift the direction of the country on the horizon. Sanders will get this, once the dust settles, and he’ll throw in just to be a part of it. I’m a Bernie supporter and there’s no way I would let a chance like this slip by. I don’t think I’m alone among his fans.

  37. KM says:

    @Ben in RI:

    It’s Lucy and the football all over again.

    I know you’re casting Sanders voters as Charlie Brown here in terms of being frustrated with/jerked around by the system but in reality, they are acting more like Lucy in this context.

    It’s true that the first time Lucy pulls the football away from Charlie Brown, it’s an innocent gesture—she simply doesn’t want Charlie Brown’s dirty shoes to mar her brand new football.

    It’s all about purity. See, Lucy doesn’t give a damn if the ball is actually kicked, it’s all about messing with Charlie Brown and controlling whether he has a shot at the touchdown in a time and fashion she approves of (the clean ball). Lucy doesn’t care if they lose or if practice continues; Lucy didn’t want “dirty” Charlie Brown to do what footballs are made for (get kicked by dirty feet) because the ball was “clean”. However, her innocent gesture caused him to get hurt – meaning she favored the status of the ball over the safety of the kicker.

    Some Sanders voters are ready and willing to jerk the ball away and let Democrats crack their skulls on a Trump Presidency just so “dirty” Hillary won’t touch the “clean” ball. I understand holding her feet to the fire and making her keep promises but that’s not what’s happening here. Countless tweets and Facebook feeds are full are people who think he’s going to win – #DropOutHillary anyone? This is DINO-ism in the making, just by another name.

  38. charon says:

    @Tyrell:

    It does seem that Bernie has the larger, more excited crowds wherever he goes.

    Rallies are expensive – hire the site, hire security personnel, cleanup the site afterwards.

    Hillary is saving her money for the general election, Bernie does not have that problem. Plus, big rallies are good for the ego if, like Donald Trump, you are into that sort of thing.

  39. Mister Bluster says:

    @PJ:.. If Democrats had picked Bernie, the Democrats would have won every state,..

    HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA!

    This is a very serious comment and not at all something else.

    No it’s not!

  40. Rafer Janders says:

    @Scott F.:

    To wit, Scalia (inevitably), plus Ginsburg and Kennedy (likely) will be replaced on SCOTUS in the next 4 years.

    If you assume the next eight years, it’s also not impossible that Thomas, who is 67 now and does not appear in the best of health, might be replaced.

  41. Jen says:

    @Rafer Janders: …and Justice Breyer, who will be 78 in August, taking him into his 80s during the next president’s first term.

  42. charon says:

    @charon:

    Also, forgot to mention, Bernie is using rallies to build his mailing list, which will be a fungible asset.

  43. @Scott F.:

    If Clinton wins, you can pretty much guarantee that Ginsburg will aim to retire sometime early in HRC’s first term, perhaps as early as June of 2017. Breyer may not be far behind. Of course, a Democrat replacing these two Justices won’t change the balance on the Court much at all. In addition to Scalia’s replacement — which will either be Garland or someone appointed by the next President — it will be whomever replaces Kennedy that matters. Of course, Kennedy may not retire any time soon.

  44. KM says:

    @charon:

    build his mailing list, which will be a fungible asset.

    Wouldn’t that be selling out?

  45. grumpy realist says:

    @KM: These are the same type who voted for Nader in 2000, because “there’s no difference between the parties.”

    Stupidity never fails to regenerate itself.

    I wonder how many Bernie voters are like me? Someone who voted for Bernie in the primary but is perfectly happy to vote for Clinton in the general.

  46. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jen:

    Yes, it could be theoretically possible that the next Democratic president, if they serve eight years, could appoint five Supreme Court justices. (As well as replacing a fair number of the Bush I, Clinton I and Bush II federal court appointees). If Clinton wins it will be her judiciary for a generation.

  47. PJ says:

    @Tyrell:

    It does seem that Bernie has the larger, more excited crowds wherever he goes.

    I’d rather have more people voting for me than larger excited crowds.
    Clinton has more people voting for her, Sanders has excited crowds.
    Sure, excited crowds help you win caucauses, but the general election isn’t a caucus…

  48. Tyrell says:

    @Rafer Janders: So that would most likely be a Supreme Court that is pro-big government, pro-corporations and big business, and antagonistic to the small guy, small business, and the middle class working people who pay the tax bills to keep the government going. After a generation of that, the Constitution would be a relic of history that we would reminisce about .

  49. DrDaveT says:

    @Facebones:

    Maybe they’ll listen this time.

    Oh, they listened last time. The problem is that the GOP is no longer controlled by the GOP ‘leadership’. The Party (by which I mean its officers and organization) wants no part of Trump; they just can’t convince the membership at large to go along with them.

    I am reminded of the time, during my undergrad years, when a large fraternity organized a movement to have Anglo frat-boys join the Chinese Student Union, become members in good standing, then vote out all of the Chinese and Chinese-American officers. That was a childish prank; this is karmic payback.

  50. bk says:

    @Facebones: AGREED!

  51. Barry says:

    @Hal_10000: “Georgia in play. Jesus. If you can’t even win the South …”

    And even if we don’t get it, we can force the GOP to defend it.

  52. Hal_10000 says:

    So here’s the question: IF the polls continue to show Trump losing, what’s going to happen when the Trumpers meet the poll unskewers?

  53. PJ says:

    @PJ:
    I seem to have got six down votes.

    Must say that I’m sad to see all these Hillary supporters who refuse to understand that Bernie is the only candidate that will win the general election for the Democrats. All while refusing to voice their feelings and instead chosing to scurry away and hide under their rocks in darkness.

    This is a very serious comment. More serious than my previous comment.

  54. Barry says:

    @Facebones: “On a side note, I’d like to offer the services of Facebones Consulting, Inc. to perform the autopsy after the GOP loses yuuuugely in Novemeber. I’ll do it for half what the other guys charge. Maybe they’ll listen this time.”

    Here at de Sade Educational Consultants, we have some skills to offer as sub-contractors.
    We bring traditional, old-fashioned methods to the task of educational motivation.

  55. Barry says:

    @Hal_10000: “So here’s the question: IF the polls continue to show Trump losing, what’s going to happen when the Trumpers meet the poll unskewers?”

    I just chuckled at that one. I’ve already run into right-wing commenters who think (say) that Trump is going to pull in record (high!) black, asian and hispanic support.

  56. stonetools says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Oh, If I think if we get to 5 young liberals on the Supreme Court by 2018, we liberals will be in pretty good shape and that’s very doable if, as is likely, Clinton wins and the Dems take the Senate.As Brennan said, all it takes is 5 votes. Replacing Kennedy would be a bonus, but with 5 solid liberals on the Court, we could start rolling back the worst (for liberals) Robert Court decisions, all of which were decided 5-4.

  57. stonetools says:

    @KM:

    I’ve interacted with Bertnie voters on Twitter, and honestly, they are some of the most sanctimonious and self-deluded people on earth. One posted this gem:

    @TheDemocrats need to accept @HillaryClinton is a disgusting choice for Dems who want change. #PoliticalRevolution

    My response was :

    Its not disgusting for those who can put aside their fee fees and make rational choices.

    and his reaction was to block me!

    I keep on reminding myself that he represents just a tiny minority of Bernie voters and that most Bernie supporters will happily vote for Hillary in November, but these people are incredibly annoying. I am also a bit worried that since so many Bernie supporters have declared themselves # NeverHillary on line , it’s going to be harder for them to etch -a-sketch themselves back into supporting her. I’ve heard numerous pundits soothingly say that a hotly contested primary is a Good Thing ands all this will be forgotten come the general election, but it seems to me it would be hard to walk back numerous tweets and Facebook posts saying that Hillary is a corrupt, criminal, corporate whore who you would never vote for.This age of social media may be new territory here.

  58. Mikey says:

    @stonetools:

    but it seems to me it would be hard to walk back numerous tweets and Facebook posts saying that Hillary is a corrupt, criminal, corporate whore who you would never vote for.This age of social media may be new territory here.

    You should head over to Reddit. The front page is absolutely inundated with pro-Sanders, anti-Hillary stuff (and there’s a depressingly huge number of pro-Trump items, too, but I don’t see those anymore thanks to filtering). People post links to anti-Hillary items on websites Reddit’s generally-liberal user base usually wouldn’t be caught dead visiting, but the anti-Hillary bias is so strong they don’t care.

    There are some voices of reason, like the person who posted the link to this Slate piece, but they are drastically outnumbered.

  59. Hal_10000 says:

    @Barry:

    I always remember what Seth Meyers said in 2011: “Donald Trump said recently he has a great relationship with the blacks, but unless the blacks are a family of white people I bet he is mistaken.”

  60. MBunge says:

    @Scott F.: I’m actually fairly confident there should be nothing to worry about on this front.

    Maddow had some new polling numbers from PPP on her show. They found that Trump was substantially less popular with the public than things like lice and root canals, but the numbers also had the head-to-head match up as Hillary 42% and Trump 38%. And while Trump’s favorable/unfavorable split was like -27, Hillary’s was -19.

    I really do not understand how anyone who saw Hillary’s performance as a candidate in 2008 or now can be all that terribly confident.

    Mike

  61. grumpy realist says:

    @stonetools: That’s why we have closed voting booths.

    The only problem is if these sanctimonious eejits decide that it’s better to “burn the whole place down!” rather that live with someone who, if you look at her rationally, is no more horrible than your average Rockefeller Republican.

    We seem to have a lot of Americans who, if they can’t get exactly what they desire, are quite willing to blow up the whole thing. “So what if it all goes to pot! See if I care!” Of course, most of them are also working from the assumption that they know what it would be like if the whole system really went under.

    Someone should send them some history books. On the French and Russian Revolutions, precisely.

  62. @Doug Mataconis: Not really, let’s assume the following seats are replaced by October 2017 — Scalia, Ginsburg, Breyer. Let’s also assume that Hillary Clinton nominates and a Democratic controlled Senate confirms Garland and a pair of judges who are in their late 40s/early 50s with no known health issues and who are standard issue liberal nominees.

    That would give a 5 seat majority where the oldest member is Garland and working the actuarial tables, a high probability that the next death or resignation due to health reasons is a conservative justice.

    In that arrangement, the most likely scenario is a liberal 5-4 coalition for 10+ years, and more likely 15+ years assuming no other changes to the court’s composition.

    All replacing Kennedy does with a Democratic nominee is give the liberal wing a one seat cushion against early deaths. That in and of itself is very valuable but it is far less valuable than moving the median vote in most cases from Roberts or Kennedy to Breyer or Garland.

    Kennedy won’t matter much when Garland gets confirmed.

  63. Neil Hudelson says:

    @grumpy realist:

    I continue to believe the vast, vast majority of Bernie supporters will turn out for Hillary if she does even just a little work reaching out to them. I was married to a “Bernie or Bust” fan. Now I’m married to a “Ok, Hillary isn’t that bad I just really liked Bernie a lot more” fan. And I’m seeing it happen more and more. Most people I run into who can’t fathom ever, ever, EVER voting for Hillary are people either around the age of 18, or 45 year olds who have never voted in their life anyway. It was unlikely that they were going to go out to the voting booth anyway.

    BTW, I’ve been a lurker at TAH for awhile, mostly on just MIlliman and Larison’s posts. Because I, too, enjoy a good car wreck, I’ve been drawn to Dreher more and more.

    My question to you–how do you do it? While 30% of Dreher’s commentariot is interesting, wading through the rest of the “Transgender people peeing where they want is what caused the fall of Rome!” is yeoman’s work.

  64. stonetools says:

    @Richard Mayhew:

    Spot on. My guess is that Obama withdraws Garland’s nomination at some point and Hillary nominates 3 young liberals to replace Scalia, Ginsburg, and Breyer, but even if Hillary sticks with Garland, that’s a big move forward for liberals. I expect HRC will also go into overdrive on filling other judicial slots before November 2018.
    There was a time-up through the early Obama Administration- when liberals were blase about judicial nominations,in contrast with conservatives, who have been laser focused on this issue for decades. The last 8 years of the Roberts Court have been a real wake up call, even though I still don’t think liberals emphasize this as much as they should. I am certain though, that judicial nominations are going to be high on Clinton’s agenda

  65. charon says:

    @stonetools:

    ” … Spot on. My guess is that Obama withdraws Garland’s nomination at some point and Hillary nominates 3 young liberals … “

    Not my guess. My guess is that Garland has been assured that both Obama and Clinton have his back. Why else would he agree to subject himself to this hassle?

  66. al-Ameda says:

    @stonetools:

    There was a time-up through the early Obama Administration- when liberals were blase about judicial nominations, in contrast with conservatives, who have been laser focused on this issue for decades. The last 8 years of the Roberts Court have been a real wake up call, even though I still don’t think liberals emphasize this as much as they should.

    Generally agree. I’ve also said that Democrats should turnout, no matter how ambivalent they are about Hillary, if only to ensure that a Democratic president is making the next 2 or 3 nominations to the Supreme Court.

    I mean, to me, it’s that simple, to the Sanders people, I’m not so sure.

  67. Electroman says:

    @Tyrell: So you’re saying that it would be a lot like the Roberts court.

  68. PJ says:

    @PJ:
    Seriously, I have now 14 down votes and no explanation for why.
    I bet all of them comes from the same paid Hillary operative using different computers.
    Hillary $hills refusing to understand the general election math.
    When we all live in gulags thanks to Trump replacing all liberals on the Supreme Court with The Apprentice winners, you know who to blame…

    This is my most serious comment so far in this thread.

  69. PJ says:

    @al-Ameda:

    I mean, to me, it’s that simple, to the Sanders people, I’m not so sure.

    A bird landed on Sanders’ podium! When he was speaking!

  70. Scott F. says:

    @MBunge:

    Re-read my post. It’s quite clear I’m saying I’m confident Democrats will not be complacent. Mrs. Clinton will be dogged in her pursuit of the last vote and Democrats have plenty of reasons to want to see her in the White House that are not about ensuring The Donald isn’t there instead. An affirmative reason for electing POTUS is important and the Dems have one.

    In addition, the Republicans have paved the way on the Supreme Court nominations. They are all over the record saying the people should have a say on who is named to the court through who they elect as President. Mrs. Clinton (and, with a Trump assist, a Democratic Senate) will pull that lever as soon as possible. Scalia tips the balance and Kennedy pushes it over. (Kennedy’s 2 years older than Breyer, Doug, so I don’t know that the latter is more likely to retire than the former). The benefit of a left leaning SCOTUS is not a hard case to make to most disgruntled Sanders supporters.

    That said, the PPP polling numbers you shared are largely meaningless. First, a 4% advantage at this stage of the game is pretty hefty, considering the Democrats haven’t fired a shot from the Trump oppo research canon yet. But more importantly, the electoral map looks much, much worse than the general polling numbers do for Trump. Show data where Trump threatens to capture states Obama carried in 2012 and that’s where to head first with the SCOTUS message.

  71. Mister Bluster says:

    @PJ:..Seriously, I have now 14 down votes and no explanation for why.
    I bet all of them comes from the same paid Hillary operative using different computers.

    This is a serious charge. If you have credible evidence of this skulduggery by all means it should be presented to the authorities.

    credible: able to be believed

  72. Pch101 says:

    @PJ:

    Some folks are unable to see the sarcasm font. It must be a vision thing.

  73. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    I think you might want to recalibrate your sarcasm monitor.

  74. Mister Bluster says:

    What!? Trolled on OTB?

    Well done PJ!
    You sound exactly like the Bernie Bots that infect my town.

  75. humanoid.panda says:

    @Neil Hudelson: I also comment there occasionally- bad habits are hard to kick..

  76. grumpy realist says:

    @Neil Hudelson: Well, at least most of what Rod lets through to get posted is written well, even if I don’t agree with it. If you want to see the equivalent of 5-year-olds calling each other poopyheads, look at the commentary over at The Atlantic, or god forbid, The Hill or Politico.

    And that’s not even starting with the real trash…..

    Trump’s latest and greatest attempt at outreach: listing a White Nationalist as one of his delegates. Oops. (He now claims it was all a mistake on the part of a database.)

  77. Mikey says:

    @grumpy realist:

    (He now claims it was all a mistake on the part of a database.)

    Of course he does. If there’s one thing at which he is indisputably great, it’s shifting blame. He takes responsibility for nothing.

    In the unfortunate event he’s elected President, the plaque on his desk will read “the buck stops anywhere else.”

  78. Monala says:

    @PJ: PJ, I got that you were snarking from your first post. 😉