Sabato Predicts Electoral College Landslide for Clinton

Donald Trump has a steep hill to climb to reverse a quarter century trend.

University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato projects Hillary Clinton to get 347 Electoral College votes.  This is the same number he projected back in March, although he’s changed a few states.

sabato-20160331

He notes that a lot has changed since then, most notably:

A big initial Clinton advantage faded after Trump became the presumptive nominee, and a couple of surveys actually showed Trump with a narrow national lead. Lately Clinton has regained her advantage: Both HuffPost Pollster and RealClearPolitics had Clinton up by about six percentage points as of Wednesday afternoon. Trump has not led any national poll since May.

His revised map:

sabato-20160622

The changes are minor and, as he notes, anticlimactic.

So to us, the state of the general election has not shifted much at all in the nearly three months since we issued our first Clinton-versus-Trump map. Clinton remains a substantial favorite. If this is how the election actually turns out — and it probably won’t, at least not exactly, because there is a long way to go — Clinton would win a victory smaller than Barack Obama’s 2008 win (365 electoral votes) but bigger than his 2012 reelection (332).

The ratings tweaks

We are shifting one state a bit toward Trump, although Democrats retain an advantage there.  Pennsylvania, potentially the most important state in 2016, moves from Likely Democratic to Leans Democratic. Trump is targeting the state, and a number of his more plausible paths to 270 include turning the Keystone State red for the first time since 1988.

Here’s where we’ll see the success or failure of the Trump appeal to white blue-collar voters (culturally and/or economically). The state as a whole has moved slightly toward the Republicans over the past few cycles. However, we’ve seen much larger average shifts at the county level. Western Pennsylvania has reddened sharply — over the past four cycles, the nine counties with the largest relative movement in the GOP’s direction are located there — while eastern Pennsylvania, particularly near Philadelphia, has trended notably Democratic. But Pennsylvania remains a fairly white state (19th by non-Hispanic white overall), so it’s perhaps unsurprising that early polls there show Trump, who will be very reliant on white voters, has a shot to compete for the state’s 20 electoral votes.

If Trump’s blue-collar strategy is going to work, the Keystone State is a logical target. But it’s an open question how many more votes a Republican can add to the party’s net tally in areas such as southwestern Pennsylvania, considering the edge the party has there already. In addition, Trump will also have to overcome what should be at least a 400,000-vote Democratic plurality just from Philadelphia County, not to mention challenges in the big, wealthy, well-educated suburban counties that ring the city. Terry Madonna and Michael Young, two keen analysts of Keystone State politics, see a path for Trump, albeit a narrow one.

Ultimately, for now at least — given Trump’s strategy — we think Pennsylvania should be rated the same as states such as Florida and Ohio, both of which we call Leans Democratic.

The bottom line is that there’s not much reason for Republicans to expect much improvement over the last two cycles with Trump at the top of the ticket:

Currently, we show every Obama 2012 state at least leaning to Clinton, along with North Carolina, the one state won by Mitt Romney where we currently see a Democratic edge. Obama carried North Carolina in 2008 along with Indiana, a traditionally conservative state that has long been the most Republican state in the Midwest. If Clinton’s national lead does grow further, it’s far from impossible that she might be able to carry Indiana, as well as Missouri, which Obama did not carry in either of his elections. But as of now, we think that is unlikely, and Trump remains the favorite in both.

Two Republican-leaning states where Democratic chances might be better are Arizona and Georgia. Both states typically vote several points more Republican than the nation, but they are both becoming more diverse: Arizona has a growing Hispanic population that will in all likelihood be quite hostile to Trump, an anti-immigration hardliner, while Georgia has a significant and deeply Democratic bloc of African-American voters as well as a growing, educated, white-collar professional class that might be turned off by Trump. While Trump is still a favorite in both places, we see Clinton having the potential to grab one or both if she ends up winning a big national victory, so we’re moving Arizona and Georgia from Likely Republican to Leans Republican.

There’s a lot more data and analysis at the link.

I haven’t delved enough into the polling this cycle—it’s really too early to do so, frankly—but see no reason to quibble with Sabato’s overall assessment. Barring an extremely unlikely Justice Department indictment of Clinton or some other major scandal, I just don’t see how Trump reverses the longrunning trends.  Since George H.W. Bush’s landslide in 1988, no Republican has come close to winning California, far and away the biggest prize.  Democrats have won the popular vote in five of the last six presidential elections and the Electoral College in four of six. Given that the core of the Republican base is getting older and that Republicans have further alienated the growing Hispanic electorate—and doubled down on that with Trump as the standard bearer—I don’t see how that changes.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2016, Public Opinion Polls, US Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. James in Silverdale says:

    The problems for the GOP on the electoral college map remain institutional, since the GOP has spent decades alienating the exact voters they needed to win. The beginning of the end was W’s squeaker in 2004, the last election, for example, where anti-gay rhetoric was used to secure “conservative” support. The GOP was already finished nationally, as constructed.

    Then came Donald Trump to pour gasoline on that tire fire…

  2. rachel says:

    Trump is targeting [Pennsylvania], and a number of his more plausible paths to 270 include turning the Keystone State red for the first time since 1988.

    How is he targeting them, sheer force of will? He better come up with some funds and personnel fast if he wants to target anywhere.

  3. grumpy realist says:

    And in the midst of all of this, Trump has decided to wander off to Scotland to snip the unveiling ribbons on his new, YUUUGE golf course….

    I want a new sticker for my car: “Trump delendus est”. I don’t want him to just lose. I want the little sh*t to get hammered into the floor even worse than Goldwater. I want him to lose every single state, have his finances dissected in public down to the last penny, and have him turned into a laughing stock ringing down throughout history: “To Trump: to pretend you’re a financial genius and absolute fat cat when you have no money in the bank and are nothing more than a scam artist.”

  4. michael reynolds says:

    @grumpy realist:

    I endorse that position enthusiastically. Winning is vital. But a crushing, obliterating, humiliating defeat of Trump would be a nice, thick layer of icing on that cake.

  5. Andrew says:

    @rachel:

    How is he targeting them, sheer force of will?

    No, no. Nothing like that. It’s a Yuuuuge sheer force of will. There is a difference.

  6. Moosebreath says:

    Interesting that the only state Sabato downgraded Clinton in was PA, while downgrading Trump in AZ, GA and UT.

    On the other hand, if PA ends up being the tipping point state (as Nate Silver has said, and Sabato’s analysis also suggests), I am not looking forward to watching TV this fall. Looking at Sabato’s map, I suspect that is not the case, as Hillary needs to win so few of the light blue states to win (among other combinations, she gets 271 EV’s with nothing more than CO, FL and NV, all of which seem like they would be harder for Trump than PA).

  7. Pch101 says:

    The GOP is well positioned to control the House at the expense of the presidency.

    In the old days (well, 2000, anyway), Missouri was a swing state with 11 electoral votes. Now it’s pretty much a red state with 10 electoral votes. Advantage: GOP.

    But NV, CO and VA have gone from leaning red to almost blue. Instead of 25 electoral votes that were almost destined to be Republican, there are 28 electoral votes that are likely to be Democratic.

    Also, North Carolina has gone from being a red state to a swing state. 14 electoral votes for the GOP have become 15 electoral votes that are now in play.

    The upside for the GOP is that the GOP states of the South, Midwest and Southwest have become somewhat more valuable (171 electoral votes in 2000 vs 181 now.) But given today’s map and the unlikelihood of some sort of realignment election this year, it would take a perfect storm to turn that 181 into 270.

  8. Kylopod says:

    If Clinton’s national lead does grow further, it’s far from impossible that she might be able to carry Indiana, as well as Missouri, which Obama did not carry in either of his elections.

    Obama came within less than 4,000 votes of winning Missouri in 2008.

  9. CSK says:

    @grumpy realist: @michael reynolds:

    As blinded by narcissism as Trump is, even he is probably aware of the distinct likelihood of him being squashed like a bug come November. That’s why I think he’ll bail a week or so after the Coronation in Cleveland. You’ll see. He’ll get his hollow tinsel crown–no way he’d pass on that–and then suddenly develop a mystery ailment.

  10. MarkedMan says:

    There is an interesting article in The Atlantic about the Republican Party’s current White Strategy, comparing it to Pete Wilson’s very similar strategy in CA 20 years ago. To most observers and, critically, to almost all Hispanic voters, Wilson led an anti-Hispanic movement. The result was basically creating a hostile voting block, as previous to Wilson’s efforts people of Latin American family history saw themselves as being of Mexican or Venezuelan or Columbian, etc. descent and did not feel they had a great deal in common with each other. As a whole, they were voting for state-wide and presidential Republicans in the mid-40’s percentages and were seen as increasingly conservative and amenable to the Republican party. Within a few election cycles that percentage had dropped to less than 15% and the Hispanic voters share had increased to 25% of the voting population. Since Republicans had lost black voters with their Southern strategy a couple of decades before, it produced such an overwhelming deficit in votes that Democrats have now obtained super-majority status in CA and it is considered one of the most reliably Democratic states.

    My own belief is that one of the huge enablers of this Republican self destruction was the very pronounced tendency of non-bigoted Republicans to insist that if an action or a statement could be interpreted in any way as non-bigoted, then they were obligated to accept it as non-bigoted. Today, more than ever, this tendency is in full effect. Voting rights curtailment of minorities? Well, the proponents say it is only about stopping fraud, so we have to accept that. Trump gets his rallies primed up with a little Ann Coulter, one of the most out and virulent racists in the Republican party? Well, some people might say that but she is not overtly racist in front of the crowd, so we have to give the benefit of the doubt. Complaints about “urban” violence (wink, wink, nudge, nudge), well they didn’t explicitly say “black” so we have to accept that they were talking about the higher crime rates in cities and really not dog-whistling racists. (BTW, big city crime, on average, is only slightly higher today than in small cities. And with meth, opiods, unemployment and the gun culture, there are rural areas where you are much more likely to be a victim of violent crime than in say, NYC.) This is classic enabling – the non-bigoted Republicans can’t bring themselves to admit that a substantial part of their parties appeal is racism so they keep making excuse after excuse. Like the spouse of an alcoholic, they make endless justifications, while everyone outside the co-dependent relationship has no trouble seeing it for what it really is.

  11. grumpy realist says:

    Oh boy: (swiped from a comment string over at HuffPo):

    Even worse, a contractor who helped build the Doral only to get stiffed by Trump got a $70,000 court judgment against Trump and the right to put the Doral up for auction to get his $70,000. Trump is appealing the judgment, but one of the original lawyers representing Trump in the lawsuit is now suing Trump for $200,000 in unpaid fees.

    Pass the popcorn again, guys.

  12. michael reynolds says:

    @CSK:

    I don’t dismiss that possibility out of hand. I would not be shocked.

    @MarkedMan:

    They’ve done a very good job of fooling themselves, but it tends not to travel outside the bubble.

  13. SenyorDave says:

    @grumpy realist: I pray that the Democrats have ads with ordinary businesspeople who have been screwed over by Trump. Let people see how Donald treats small business owners (since the Republicans love to position themselves as the champions of small business owners).

    Much of Trump’s behavior is campaign ad fodder, but his habit of stiffing small contractors can’t play well with anyone.

  14. michael reynolds says:

    There are problems down the road for Democrats with our easy assumption that demography = votes.

    African-American voters are with the Dems in large degree because they’ve got nowhere else to go. Ditto Latino voters. Neither black nor Latino voters are aligned with the Campus wing of the Democratic Party, a fact made obvious by the split between the largely white Bernie folks and the more diverse Hillary folks. Asians and Jews vote Democratic in part because they are revolted by GOP racism. Our coalition is defined by the GOP’s racism. A less obviously racist GOP could peel some of that support away. A less obviously racist GOP could also appeal to centrist whites who feel as a matter of conscience unable to vote for Trump. If you took the GOP and moved it about 20% left on social issues and 50% left on racial issues, you’d have a viable party.

    Our mission as Democrats since 1968-ish has been to liberate minorities. We’re down to trans folk now, and I don’t see a line of disenfranchised minorities standing behind them. Now it appears we are shifting from liberation to equalization, focusing not on equal access but on equal outcome, and equality of outcome that goes beyond race.

    This is not an easy shift. It is obvious to most decent folks that race, ethnicity, etc… is not a rational basis for denying rights. It is far less obvious that unequal economic outcomes are analogous to that injustice. We could be heading toward a rich-poor split that supersedes the white-non-white split or the straight-gay split. Labor and Tory.

  15. grumpy realist says:

    OT, but the Led Zeppelin copyright case ended in their favor.

    Good. I hate this “oh, you must have copied those two bars off me even though it’s a musical motif that started getting used in the 17th century” shtick. You’re not that important.

    (I would have also gone for a laches argument: you don’t get to sit on your duff and then suddenly 45 years later decide you have a case. You snooze, you lose.

  16. gVOR08 says:

    Last night I read a good review in The New Yorker of David Daley’s book Ratf**ked: The True Story Behind the Secret Plan to Steal America’s Democracy. It goes into the Republican’s successful REDMAP project to win legislative majorities and redraw congressional districts in 2010. It strikes me that Sabato’s map is a pretty good approximation of what the House would look like with non-partisan district maps.

  17. CSK says:

    @michael reynolds:

    A bonus would be to witness the reactions of the Trumpkins. The rationalizations would surpass anything in the wildest fantasy fiction.

  18. Hal_10000 says:

    I think Clinton is going to win but, with 4.5 months left, I am very hesitant to predict a landslide. The main reason is the opposite of what James said above. I think the Democrats have also done a good job of alienating many voters in red states and there is red wall that will support Trump no matter what. I realize this sounds odd to the left-leaning commentariat here, but there are a lot of people out there who take just as much offense to Democratic rhetoric on guns, immigration and culture issues as you do to Republican rhetoric on same. It’s part of what Trump has tapped into, people getting sick of hearing that opposing illegal immigration makes them racist or opposing gun control makes them violent nuts.

    There’s also a lot of unknowns — the state of the economy, events in the War on Terror, the economy, Clinton’s health, the economy, Clinton’s e-mails, the economy, Trump’s hypothetical “pivot”, the economy, whether there is a revolt in the GOP donor class, the economy.

    This year has defied all expectations. I see no reason to think it will stop defying them. And I see every reason to stock up on whisky for election night.

  19. grumpy realist says:

    @michael reynolds: That’s why we liberals have to really start supporting the working class and employees against Big Business instead. From a political viewpoint I’d stop pouring any energy into the whole transgender stuff–there are too few of them to make a difference and the whole transgender bathroom thing has been taken over by the SJW and the social conservatives anyway. (My own solution is: have one separate bathroom for people who haven’t transitioned completely. Everyone else: use the bathroom of the sex corresponding to your genitals. You got a dick, use the men’s. You got an vay-jay-jay, use the women’s. You got both, use either.)

  20. michael reynolds says:

    @grumpy realist:

    I’m glad to see that.

    There’s a Canadian TV show right now that fans keep telling me is a rip-off of one of my book series. It may be. There are books on the shelves right now that were unmistakably “inspired” by stuff I’ve written. But that’s the way creativity is. I don’t own ideas, I can only own the specific way I express those ideas. A few ideas do not make a book, and a few bars do not make a song.

  21. Thomas M says:

    <Our mission as Democrats since 1968-ish has been to liberate minorities. We’re down to trans folk now, and I don’t see a line of disenfranchised minorities standing behind them. Now it appears we are shifting from liberation to equalization, focusing not on equal access but on equal outcome, and equality of outcome that goes beyond race.

    This is not an easy shift. It is obvious to most decent folks that race, ethnicity, etc… is not a rational basis for denying rights. It is far less obvious that unequal economic outcomes are analogous to that injustice. >

    That’s important, and needs to be addressed. .

  22. michael reynolds says:

    @grumpy realist:

    I’d start looking to revitalize unions. That’s a state-by-state slog, which is why I was happy to see that Bernie’s request for his followers to sign up as candidates got pretty amazing response. Long ago I did media for the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee. In Democrat world it’s DNC, DSCC, DCCC, DGA and then, way down at the bottom, the DLCC. We’ve been getting our asses kicked in the legislatures and state houses.

  23. Kylopod says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Asians and Jews vote Democratic in part because they are revolted by GOP racism.

    I think Jewish support for the Democratic Party is much more deep-seated than that. After all, Jews have been voting Democrat for a long time; Republicans like Eisenhower, Nixon, and Ford weren’t any more popular among Jews than today’s Republicans. (In contrast, Asians used to support the GOP; Bob Dole won a majority of the Asian vote in 1996.) And they remain consistently the Dems’ second-most reliable ethnic voting bloc, right after blacks.

    I think Jewish liberalism has deep cultural and religious roots. I think, also, that Jews today retain a strong sense (or at least memory) of being a persecuted minority–much more so than other white immigrant groups who eventually assimilated.

    Republicans are always talking about making serious inroads with Jews (they’ve been talking this way for more than a half-century), but it never happens. In contrast, the last GOP president did make serious inroads with Latinos, so it’s certainly possible, even if they’ve been doing everything in their power to reverse that achievement ever since.

  24. SenyorDave says:

    @michael reynolds: To be fair, it should be noted that Led Zeppilin has settled out of court many times for using people’s work without credit. There’s a whole Wikipedia page about it:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Led_Zeppelin_songs_written_or_inspired_by_others

  25. michael reynolds says:

    @Kylopod:

    I was short-handing. I think Jewish revulsion against GOP racism is intimately tied to our memories of persecution. But Jews are not a monolithic group. The ultra orthodox folks are not liberal in any real sense. And a lot of Jews might see their economic interests as more aligned with the GOP than with the Dems but cannot get their heads around right-wing evangelicals and white racists.

    Jews and Asians are seen as “wealthy” minorities while African-Americans and Latinos are seen as “poor” minorities (setting aside the obvious fact that there are plenty of outliers all around.) If we pivot to an American version of Labor, focusing on disparate economic outcomes, will Asians and Jews stay with Democrats? Not so sure. Also not sure we wouldn’t lose black and Latino entrepreneurial class.

    I’m just saying I think we are playing out the last of the minority-lib string, and if we shift focus it is by no means certain that we’d hold onto “our” demographic groups.

  26. C. Clavin says:

    @grumpy realist:

    “Trump delendus est”

    I have to look up more shit from your comments than anyone elses…thank you.

  27. michael reynolds says:

    @SenyorDave:

    One of our books was taken bodily from a Star Trek episode. We knew it’d be okay, because the Star Trek episode was taken bodily from Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Another book looks as if it is inspired by Lord of the Flies (actually, I didn’t make the connection until I’d written the damn thing.) In fact it was inspired by the TV show, Lost. But Lost is LOTF, which is itself just a Robinson Crusoe story, which is in turn an expulsion from Eden story, which is no doubt some Babylonian legend.

    There’s nothing new under the sun. Unless Apple has a new iPhone. . .?

  28. al-Alameda says:

    @grumpy realist:

    I want a new sticker for my car: “Trump delendus est”. I don’t want him to just lose. I want the little sh*t to get hammered into the floor even worse than Goldwater. I want him to lose every single state, have his finances dissected in public down to the last penny, and have him turned into a laughing stock ringing down throughout history: “To Trump: to pretend you’re a financial genius and absolute fat cat when you have no money in the bank and are nothing more than a scam artist.”

    You’re a bit more restrained than I am.
    I can only add that I want him to be blindfolded, flown halfway around the world, and air dropped (by parachute and still blindfolded) into a Syrian refugee camp.

  29. grumpy realist says:

    @C. Clavin: Oh, you should see what a similar string over at TAC turned into. Rod had tried to say “Falwell fell” in Latin, and the thread immediately turned into a catfight over the passive paraphrastic and what gender to use.

    God I love Latin. It’s such a wonderful language to be rude in.

  30. bookdragon says:

    @grumpy realist: Sola bona lingua est mortua lingua (my HS Latin club’s motto)

  31. grumpy realist says:

    Trump has now claimed he is “forgiving” $50M in loans to his campaign.

    I’m still not impressed. Aside from the fact that fully 20% of the cash spent was funneled back to Trump Hotels and Trump products and “salaries” for his kids, the fact is that $50M is diddlely-squat for Trump. It’s less than 1% of his worth.

    And he’s going to go out and based on that $50M get a whole bunch of suckers to throw in $20, $50, or even more to his campaign.

    I do hope that any of you who have Trump supporters in your families manage to convince them to only support up to the same level of their worldly goods as Trump does: less than half-a-percent worth. He doesn’t deserve more.

  32. Pch101 says:

    @Hal_10000:

    I think the Democrats have also done a good job of alienating many voters in red states and there is red wall that will support Trump no matter what.

    But that math doesn’t matter.

    If you take Sabato’s entire list of red states versus his “safe” and “likely” Democratic states, then you end up with 191 R vs 227 D.

    I largely agree with Sabato, but I’ll go further and move CO, IA, NV and PA to the likely Democrat column, which gets me to 191 R vs 268 D.

    That leaves the Dems with only one more state to win:

    NH-4
    VA-13
    NC-15
    OH-18
    FL-29

    With a 79 vote deficit and only 79 votes in play, the GOP has practically no chance. It would be necessary to run the board or to replace one of the states above with a more committed blue state in order to shift things to the Republicans. That’s not a winning bet.

    Note the implication: the Dems can lose large several swing states and still win, while the Republicans have to hit the ball out of the park just to squeak past the 270 mark. There would have to be a major shift to the right that realigns blue states for the GOP to win, and there is no reason to expect one this year.

  33. JohnMcC says:

    @grumpy realist: I read that string with wonder and respect, having labored with German more than any other class I took in college and got only a charitably awarded ‘C’. Wanted to warn you that a ‘Trump delendus est’ bumper stick in my home state would have folks wondering how exactly you know that Trump is delicious.

  34. grumpy realist says:

    P.S. Which is why that “matching” he claimed he was doing was so putrid. It wasn’t a real match. if it had been a real match, he would have put up the equivalent percentage of his worth that those $20, $40 were to the worth of the poor deluded fools donating.

  35. wr says:

    @grumpy realist: “(I would have also gone for a laches argument: you don’t get to sit on your duff and then suddenly 45 years later decide you have a case. You snooze, you lose.”

    To be fair, the author of the song never had a problem with Stairway — the suit was brought by whoever is managing his catalogue after his death.

  36. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kylopod: After 8 years of a black man in the White man’s House, things have changed here, mostly a hardening of the latent racism..

  37. grumpy realist says:

    @JohnMcC: Sigh. I’ve just been informed at work that I’m going to have to be dealing with some German trademark litigation material. (Our native German speaker is on vacation.) The sort of stuff I have to dump into my brain….

    The best bumper sticker I’ve ever seen was the “EARTH FIRST! (We’ll strip mine the other planets later)” one. I laughed and laughed.

  38. grumpy realist says:

    Oh, you HAVE to read this…..

  39. Kylopod says:

    @michael reynolds:

    But Jews are not a monolithic group. The ultra orthodox folks are not liberal in any real sense.

    But they aren’t more than a tiny slice of the overall Jewish population in the US. They’ve been voting Republican for at least a few generations, and so far it hasn’t fundamentally changed the voting patterns of our community as a whole. There’s also something of a “What’s the matter with Kansas?” phenomenon among them, as a lot of them are poor and on welfare, but drawn to the GOP over social issues (and to some extent Israel). The difference with their Christian counterparts is that they mostly live in strongly Democratic states.

    This dynamic–where the GOP draws from poor but socially conservative voters as well as the affluent and more socially liberal–is not a situation I expect to last indefinitely. So even if you have the higher income Jews becoming more Republican (which so far hasn’t happened), it’s possible that by the time that occurs the GOP’s ability to maintain this sort of coalition will have fallen apart, as appears to be happening already.

  40. Moosebreath says:

    @Kylopod:

    “But they aren’t more than a tiny slice of the overall Jewish population in the US.”

    They are growing rapidly, both because they have more kids, and because far fewer intermarry and become members of other faiths.

  41. Pete S says:

    @grumpy realist: This is an enjoyable thought but it is way too early. You don’t think about running up the score when you are up by 7 points in the first quarter no matter how much you dislike your opponent. You keep working on fundamentals. You start thinking about running up the score when you are up by 28 points in the fourth quarter, and you are looking to humiliate your opponent so badly they are dreading going up against you later on.

    But right now, its too early. Things look promising for the Democrats, in the presidential race. There are no guarantees but it is sure better to be in their spot than the Republicans. But if you start thinking now about how much you will enjoy the beatdown you want to administer it is too easy to forget about the things you still need to get done to make sure you keep your lead.

  42. Rick Zhang says:

    @Kylopod:
    As an Asian in California, I consider myself a moderate who is socially liberal and fiscally conservative. Like many of my friends, I will never vote for the present incarnation of the GOP on a national level. I suspect that we, like Jews, blacks, and Hispanics, are turned off to the party’s virulent racism, homophobia, and evangelical [Christian] nature.

    Even if some party elites (Paul Ryan, to a lesser extent Mitch McConnell) seem very reasonable and condemn such bigoted statements, they are guilty by association. They may be able to keep a lid on things for a while, but every so often there is a Todd Akin or Sharon Angle or Donald Trump who emerges. By refusing to condemn dog whistle statements that rev up white supremacists, they tacitly create an atmosphere of hatred and fear of anyone who is different from them. It’s no longer the party for sensible pragmatists like GHWB, Gerald Ford, or Brent Scowcroft.

    How can they win minority votes again? They can start by shedding the baggage of evangelicals, racists, and anti-immigrant fanatics. A new centrist party (perhaps renamed Whigs or Federalists) modeled after the FDP in Germany or Liberal Democrats in the UK can work. This party would espouse the tenets of personal freedom, individual responsibility, fiscal prudence, cautious internationalism, skilled immigration (with assimilation), entrepreneurism, tolerance, diversity, and religious pluralism. Such a position shift would no doubt cleave off moderate Democrats (such as the Clintons), leaving the new Dem party far out to the left (mainly with a base of trade unionists, Sanders students, and the unemployed).

  43. grumpy realist says:

    From the string I gave a link to above:

    Our nominally expert-level political class was outpaced and out-maneuvered by a penny-ante real estate developer on autopilot.

    So true…..

  44. Ebenezer_Arvigenius says:

    @grumpy realist: German lawyer here. If you need any free language assistance to make your life as a fellow OTBer easier hit me up at Skype: ebenezer.arvigenius :-).

  45. grumpy realist says:

    @Ebenezer_Arvigenius: thanks! Do you know of any resources on the web explaining (in German) German trademark law? I basically need the vocabulary….

  46. Ebenezer_Arvigenius says:

    @grumpy realist: Unfortunately most German legal resources are walled off. If you just need the vocabulary this should probably do.

    Also, if you don’t know it already linguee.de is an excellent source for legal translations as the database is created by scanning bilingual professional documents.

  47. grumpy realist says:

    @Ebenezer_Arvigenius: Danke! (Now to get a beer down me and read it–my language acquisition skills seem to work better when slightly tipsy.)

    (As opposed to translating skills–which shut down completely. Weird.)

  48. An Interested Party says:

    A new centrist party (perhaps renamed Whigs or Federalists) modeled after the FDP in Germany or Liberal Democrats in the UK can work. This party would espouse the tenets of personal freedom, individual responsibility, fiscal prudence, cautious internationalism, skilled immigration (with assimilation), entrepreneurism, tolerance, diversity, and religious pluralism. Such a position shift would no doubt cleave off moderate Democrats (such as the Clintons), leaving the new Dem party far out to the left (mainly with a base of trade unionists, Sanders students, and the unemployed).

    Oh good luck with that…I guess the rump of Republicans left would form a White Power Party…wouldn’t that be fun…

  49. Barry says:

    @michael reynolds: “If you took the GOP and moved it about 20% left on social issues and 50% left on racial issues, you’d have a viable party.”

    That’s about like somebody pointing at the rapids and mountains and telling you, “just paddle a couple miles up river, and then carry the canoe up the ‘hill'”.

    For the GOP to *stop* moving to the right on both would require a drastic sea change in the base, let alone to move left.

    It’s clear that the GOP’s strategy was to use voter suppression and Big Money.

  50. Barry says:

    @michael reynolds: “And a lot of Jews might see their economic interests as more aligned with the GOP than with the Dems but cannot get their heads around right-wing evangelicals and white racists.”

    That’s the point. The GOP has made it clear to the overwhelming majority of Jews in the USA that they aren’t really welcome, and why don’t they go to Israel, so that Armageddon can start?

  51. DrDaveT says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Our mission as Democrats since 1968-ish has been to liberate minorities. We’re down to trans folk now, and I don’t see a line of disenfranchised minorities standing behind them.

    You can’t really be claiming that the work is done to undo a couple of centuries of damage to black Americans and their culture, right? We’re not “down to trans folk” until we’ve finished the job for the other disadvantaged minorities that are still disadvantaged, still discriminated against, still not starting on an even playing field, and still stuck with the culture we forced them into.

  52. Monala says:

    @michael reynolds: I’m a writer of fan fiction, which gets a lot of criticism. I read an article by a fanfic writer who responded to this criticism by pointing out how many famous works are actually “fanfiction” of an earlier work.

  53. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @michael reynolds: Yeah. Equality of outcomes is difficult to come by. We try for it in our K-12 educational system and have been failing spectacularly at it since before I started studying for my teaching certificate.

  54. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @grumpy realist: A friend of mine had that as the crawl on his office screen saver. His favorite though was “the beatings will continue until morale improves” (maybe a good model for a Trump administration?).

  55. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Rick Zhang: I think you have conceptionalized a majority or plurality that doesn’t actually exist in the real world. For a representative example of what I’m thinking about, consider the Alliance Party in Northern Ireland. With the end of “the troubles,” it may have fractured or been absorbed into more mainstream groups, but in its day, many people imagined that it represented a balanced approach to the politics of the region, yet it only captured 12% of the vote at its heyday.

  56. Paul Hooson says:

    I think Clinton does lead at this point, but I think Trump wins North Carolina and Colorado, Iowa, Arizona are \all close states that could even lean slightly to Trump as well, although Hillary still wins.

  57. JohnMcC says:

    @DrDaveT: I had the related thought that there is not likely to be a limit to the social groupings that find themselves in need of political affiliation. Who would have predicted that transsexual people would represent a coherent minority? Only a few years ago what was the chance that homosexual Puerto Rican young men would be embraced as “part of us” by the media and political leadership in this country?