With Eleven Weeks To Go, Hillary Clinton Appears To Be Unstoppable

It's eleven weeks --- just 77 days --- until Election Day, and things are looking pretty good for Hillary Clinton, and pretty bad for Donald Trump.

Trump Clinton

Election Day now stands just seventy-seven days, eleven short weeks, away and its already been quite an eventful General Election campaign. We’ve seen Donald Trump sink in the polls in the wake of a Republican National Convention that was widely seen as something of a mess and a week in which he engaged in a seemingly irrational war against a mother and father who lost a son in Iraq, suggested that “Second Amendment people” may need to act if Hillary beats him, called President Obama the “Founder” of ISIS, alleged that the only way he could lose is if Democrats cheated, attacked the media yet again, and dealt with chaos inside his campaign that led to the kind of campaign shakeup that is seldom good news when we’re this close to Election Day. And all of this happened before Labor Day, which is supposed to mark the traditional beginning of the Presidential campaign. Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, has had a somewhat better time of it, although even in her case things have not gone entirely smoothly. A successful Democratic National Convention led to a significant bump in the polls for the Clinton campaign that has manifested itself at both the national and state level in the polls, but at the same time she is still dogged by questions regarding her use of a private email server and, more recently, allegations that donors to the Clinton Foundation were given preferential access to the State Department while Clinton was Secretary of State, as well as questions about what exactly would happen to the Foundation if she were elected President. So far, it doesn’t seem as though those questions have harmed Clinton in the polls, but their persistence has been a problem for the campaign that just won’t go away.

In any case, with eleven weeks to go before the election it seems as good a time as any to see where the trends are headed and what that might tell us about how the election is likely to turn out.

Looking first at the national level, we see that Clinton continues to dominate the race just as she did in the week after the party conventions. According to RealClearPolitics, Clinton (47.0%) with a 5. 5 point lead over Trump (41.5%). In a four way race that includes Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson and Green Party nominee Jill Stein, Clinton’s lead dips slightly to 4.4 points and the average shows Clinton checking in at 41.6%, Donald Trump at 37.3%, Johnson at 8.9%, and Stein at 3. 4 %. The Pollster numbers for a head-to-head match and a three-way race that includes Johnson but not Stein are roughly comparable. These numbers have been relatively stable in the roughly three weeks since the party conventions, with some fluctuations in both Clinton’s and Trump’s numbers, but nothing significant in either direction for the past week or so, as the RealClearPolitics chart for the two-way race shows:

RCP82214

As can be seen, Trump has bounced back a little bit from the depths his numbers fell to in the wake of the Democratic convention and finds himself at roughly the same level he was at prior to the conventions themselves. The problem with that is that we are now a month closer to Election Day and that, even after leveling off to some degree, Clinton’s numbers are significantly higher than they were before the convention and show little sign of deteriorating. One sign in favor of that trend continuing is the fact that, notwithstanding the recent revival of the email and Clinton Foundation stories, Clinton’s favorable/unfavorable numbers are both better than Trump’s favorable/unfavorable numbers and her numbers have shown signs of improving as time goes on while his remain currently mired in the cellar and seemingly immune from being repaired. In any case, what all these national numbers tell us is that, notwithstanding Donald Trump’s dominance of the polls throughout the race for the Republican nomination, the General Election race has been all about Hillary Clinton and, so far at least, there’s little sign that this is going to change.

While they are a generally good guide to the state of the race at a given point in time, national polls aren’t really where the election is decided, of course. That happens at the state level and in the Electoral College. If anything, though, Clinton seems to be in a far better position there than she is in the national polling, as this map from RealClearPolitics shows:

RCP Map 82316

Based on this map, the election would essentially be over if today were Election Day even before any of the states still considered toss-up states, represented by those colored gray, are decided. The bad news for Trump is that Clinton has seemingly cut off not only the Virginia-Ohio-Florida option for Trump, but she has also cut off what is likely his only other path to 270 Electoral Votes. In Virginia, for example, the current RCP average has Clinton ahead of Trump by 12.8 points in a head-to-head race and 11. 6 points in a four-way race thanks in no small part to several recent polls showing Clinton with a double digit lead, including one released today by Roanoke College that shows Clinton up by 19 points in a head-to-head race and 16 points in a four-way race. This is far above where President Obama stood at this same point in the race in either 2008 or 2012. Clinton also leads strongly in states in the industrial Midwest, including Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, which are four states that Trump’s campaign hopes it can create an alternate path to 270 Electoral Votes that doesn’t necessarily require winning in states such as Virginia and Florida. Worse for Trump, though, is the fact that Clinton appears to be becoming competitive in states that Mitt Romney won in 2012, including North Carolina, Georgia, Arizona, and Missouri. Trump still maintains modest leads in most of these states, but they are far below where Romney was four years ago, or where John McCain was eight years ago. This is a classic sign that Trump’s own Republican base is eroding, and that it may no longer be possible for him to get to 270 Electoral Votes at all absent a drastic turnaround in this race that, for the moment at least, appears unlikely.

Looking at the same map with toss-ups given to the candidate who is currently leading in each state even modestly, we see that Trump’s position is even more precarious than all the other numbers make it appear:

RCP No Tossup 82316

With the exception of Georgia and Indiana, this map is very similar to the results we saw in the 2008 race between President Obama and John McCain. The difference is that these numbers are showing up eleven weeks before Election Day at a time when it still appears as though the Trump campaign is struggling to find a new direction that could plausibly lead to victory. Absent a significant change in the very near future, it seems unlikely that Trump is going to be able to turn things around quickly enough to have a plausible chance at victory once we actually do get close to Election Day. Yes, things could change, but right now this is Hillary Clinton’s campaign to lose and, for now at least, her campaign is making far fewer mistakes than Trump’s, and Trump can’t afford to make many more mistakes at this point.

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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. Rafer Janders says:

    I, for one, welcome our new Clinton overlord. I’d like to remind her that as a trusted Internet commenter I could be helpful in rounding up others to toil in her underground FEMA camps.

  2. JR says:

    Yeah, we are at the point now that there is nothing Trump can do to make enough in-roads to win the election on his own merits. Hillary would have to have a total collapse for him to have a shot and I am not even sure that would be enough since Trump is simply unacceptable to too many voting blocs in this country.

    GOP should cut bait and focus on the Senate.

  3. MarkedMan says:

    I’m not relaxing until Clinton is consistently at 50%+

  4. Scott says:

    There are three debates to go. I think the electorate on an individual basis is quite volatile. Sorry, I cannot be so sanguine. There are some elections where I could accept the opponent of who I voted for. Not this time. I cannot accept Trump.

  5. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Scott:

    I think the debates are what will be the final nail in the coffin. Trump will continue to close the gap up until the debate, then she wipes the floor with him in a manner not seen since Bentsen/Quail. After which she nears 400 electoral votes.

  6. MarkedMan says:

    BTW, two factoids that may indicate Trump’s state of mind:
    1) Per Talking Points Memo Trump’s latest campaign filing showed that once he started receiving significant campaign donations, the space in Trump tower that he rents to the campaign went up in monthly charges by more than four times. It appears that it is the same amount of space but that he is simply charging the campaign more for it. In other words, he is drawing money out of the campaign and putting it into his businesses.
    2) Per James Fallow at the Atlantic, several years ago Trump approached NBC about hosting Celebrity Apprentice from the White House if he was ever elected president.

  7. gVOR08 says:

    @MarkedMan: You and me both. people keep talking about 70 or whatever percent think the country is headed in the wrong direction. If 42% of us would vote for Donald Trump, we are indeed headed in the wrong direction.

  8. MarkedMan says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    After which she nears 400 electoral votes

    But you have to consider that while you literally could not imagine a worse candidate, he is only 4-5 points behind. 40% of the population is saying they will vote for him. That’s just frightening.

  9. JR says:

    @MarkedMan: The first point doesn’t surprise me at all. The right wing has been a gold mine for grifters that last couple of years. Palin, Huckabee, Newt, Cain etc. have all had similar scamming operations.

    Trump is simply taking it to another level.

  10. al-Ameda says:

    @Scott:

    There are three debates to go. I think the electorate on an individual basis is quite volatile. Sorry, I cannot be so sanguine. There are some elections where I could accept the opponent of who I voted for. Not this time. I cannot accept Trump.

    Democrats should not be complacent.
    Republicans are probably going to continue the email investigation until November. These Republicans are the cockroaches that survive nuclear meltdowns.

  11. gVOR08 says:

    @al-Ameda: Until November? They’ll launch a Congressional investigation in January.

  12. Loviatar says:

    @gVOR08:

    If 42% of us would vote for Donald Trump, we are indeed headed in the wrong direction.

    @MarkedMan:

    But you have to consider that while you literally could not imagine a worse candidate, he is only 4-5 points behind. 40% of the population is saying they will vote for him. That’s just frightening.

    Within a 15 minute conversation approx. 27% of the Republican party will self identify as racist/sexist. Putting party above all else, another 15% of the Republican party will vote for a professed racist/sexist demagogue.

    These are not good people.

  13. C. Clavin says:

    @JR:

    GOP should cut bait and focus on the Senate.

    The Princeton Election Consortium (PEC), the gold standard in forecasting in my opinion, has Democrats winning the Senate.
    The only real bright spot for them is Portman in Ohio.

    RE: Clinton – too much can happen between now and then to be complacent. But I have to say that her campaign seems to have it’s head screwed on right.
    This ad is pretty devastating.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UqpQ4neS68g

    Trump on the other hand; Forget everything else. If you can’t run a small campaign effectively how in the world are you going to run the entire friggin’ country? This guy is supposed be a brilliant business man. But he’s been managing his campaign for shit so far. Based on what I’ve seen I wouldn’t trust him to run one of my projects.

  14. David in KC says:

    Apparently Trump has added Brownback as an advisor on the economy. While that doesn’t help Clinton get KS’s 6 electoral votes, I think Johnson could actually win KS if he puts some time and money into the state. Brownback’s popularity in the state has plummeted. A number of his block in the state house and senate lost their primaries, mainly on their support for his economic policies. All Johnson has to do is hang Brownback around Trumps neck. The ads write themselves.

    If the libritarian party wants to get some respect on their ability to get votes, they need to snag a state or two this round. It’s probably their best chance to do so. They can probably snag moderate republican voters in traditionally red states and taking advantage of situations like KS might be a way to do that. (Please note that I am not doing a comparison of policies, just pointing out that Brownback is not popular in the state. And while some people vote based on policies, most don’t, they vote for their team. However, Brownback’s numbers are such, that some might look for a new team if they connect Trump to Brownback).

  15. JR says:

    @C. Clavin: Oh, I expect them to lose the senate, but they should put all their resources there instead of Trump.

  16. Paul L. says:

    In 2014, Doug predicted that the Republicans will lose Kansas and not gain control of the Senate.

  17. JR says:

    @Paul L.: And? Mid-term turnout is far different then presidential turnout.

  18. Kylopod says:

    I looked at the RCP numbers for 2012 in this period of the race (the month after the conventions, before the debates) and I found that Hillary’s average lead in this period is about twice as high as Obama’s.

  19. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Paul L.:

    Links please.

  20. al-Alameda says:

    @gVOR08:

    @al-Ameda: Until November? They’ll launch a Congressional investigation in January.

    Actually, I meant to say, they’ll start it now and continue it after inauguration day.

    This stuff is nothing new. Getting a bit ahead of myself here but, it would not surprise me if they (Republicans) impeached her and failed to get a conviction.

  21. Kylopod says:

    @Paul L.:

    In 2014, Doug predicted that the Republicans will lose Kansas and not gain control of the Senate.

    What post was this? I did a Google search through 2014 posts here at OTB, and I didn’t find Doug making any definitive predictions at all about the Senate, except a general observation that things looked bad for Dems, as in this post from September of that year:

    https://www.outsidethebeltway.com/good-news-for-gop-bad-news-for-obama-in-latest-cbsnew-york-times-poll/

  22. Ratufa says:

    I absolutely hate these “Hillary can’t lose” posts. We don’t know what new stuff the GOP will be throwing at Hillary between now and the election, and the debates shouldn’t be thought of as a slam-dunk for her. Presidential debates are media events where expectations, and audience perception play a large role in who “wins”.

  23. stonetools says:

    @Kylopod:

    My recollection was that Doug correctly predicted a Republican sweep in 2014 Senate races. I remember because I was hoping that the Dems would hold the Senate, and I only reluctantly gave up hope in the the face of Doug’s confidence that the Republicans would sweep. Of course, I was disappointed.

  24. Davebo says:

    @Paul L.: I’m not going to go look for that post in the archives for the same reason you didn’t.

    It’s just so much easier to bullshit right??

  25. @MarkedMan:

    If the third party candidates remain strong that day may not come.

  26. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @C. Clavin:

    This ad is pretty devastating.

    Preaching to the choir. For Trump supporters, the behaviors are features, not bugs. I’m not certain that there are many true undecideds left this cycle. An actual scandal or an attack can still change the electoral climate, but the change would still involve Trump’s behavior and mien being a feature.

  27. @Paul L.:

    It wasn’t until the final weeks of the election in 2014 that it started to become clear that the GOP stood to win big. That’s why I keep saying things like “if these numbers hold up.”

    And as for my 2014 predictions, I recommend your attention to this post.

  28. joe gage says:

    @Ratufa:

    You actually think Trump is going to show up to the debates? I don’t know what Clinton could do to lose at this point. The Clinton Foundation is a classic pay to play, but so is everything else in politics. Her supporters don’t care just like how Trump supporters dont mind that he speaks gibberish.

    Supporters of her like myself are aware of her many flaws but unless she’s selling secrets to China, I’d vote for a Corpse over Trump.

  29. Slugger says:

    My thoughts are that both candidates have been creating their brand for the last twenty five years. My general opinion about them has not changed in that time. People don’t change much after their fortieth birthday without a huge shock. Secondly, it takes a huge event for people to change their opinion about you; the cousin who you found obnoxious at Thanksgiving 1978 remains obnoxious without doing anything in the generation since then. The news vendors find it hard to say that nothing much is happening, but nothing much is going to happen.

  30. James Pearce says:

    @MarkedMan:

    I’m not relaxing until Clinton is consistently at 50%+

    The electoral college map isn’t reassuring?

  31. Scott says:

    @James Pearce: Personally, I won’t be reassured until wed, 9 Nov.

  32. Thor thormussen says:

    Polarization really amplified with Newt Gingrich in the early 1990s. Newt did more to divide and inflame us than anyone in 50 years. In terms of harming the country, it’s hard to think of a worse living person. Anywho, before then, there was more movement in polls in the last 3 months of a prez election. Since then, voters are more sorted out, and the range of movement of polls is no more than 2-3% in the final quarter. Donald is down by about 6% in the polls. Barring an asteroid, it’s over.

  33. Franklin says:

    @Doug Mataconis: I could be wrong, but I believe you just indicated what the ‘L’ in Paul L stands for.

  34. Thor thormussen says:

    Sam Wang at PEC has the numbers if you want to check them.

    The only big question is, will the House flip?

  35. MarkedMan says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    the third party candidates remain strong that day may not come.

    Fair enough. But that just means I’ll have agita until Wednesday, November 9th

  36. They Saved Nixon's Brain says:

    @joe gage:..I’d vote for a Corpse over Trump.

    Fit and Trim and Ready to Win!
    Get Dicked in 2016!

  37. grumpy realist says:

    Is it just my imagination, or do 99% of the people posting on threads over at The Hill and Politico sound like 4th-graders?

  38. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @joe gage:

    The Clinton Foundation is a classic pay to play,

    If the Crown Prince of Bahrain asks for a meeting with the Sect’y of State, isn’t that actually part of the job of State?

    The “pay to play” accusation would be more credible if the donor were some foreign ‘Joe Sixpack’ , who had no official influence in the affairs of the Kingdom of Bahrain.

    This particular example of “access payments” isn’t very convincing.

  39. gVOR08 says:

    @C. Clavin:

    The Princeton Election Consortium (PEC), the gold standard in forecasting in my opinion, has Democrats winning the Senate.
    The only real bright spot for them is Portman in Ohio.

    Which, as an Ohioan, I find very depressing. Portman put together a lot of money and he’s running a lot of ads. Most point out the state lost X thousand jobs under Strickland, of course failing to note that this was due to a national recession. Otherwise they seem to brag about being against trade deals, presumably including when he was W’s trade negotiator. Strickland doesn’t seem to be responding, at least not here in SW Ohio.

  40. grumpy realist says:

    I can’t figure whether I want to title this “The Biter bit” or something about the snake swallowing its tail.

    Take one convicted Ponzi scammer, a bunch of people who used to work for Trump, a defunct interest group in Colorado, and a lot of fake identities, and you have….?

  41. joe gage says:

    @Bob@Youngstown:

    I think any of these donors looking to circumvent the State Department either want to expedite things or wish to have as little publicity ass possible. There is no other way to call this other than Pay to Play.

    I’m actually fine with because I’m a pragmatic realistic that accepts that every politician ever accepts money for favors. You can call some of it legitimate lobbying or perhaps corruption, but the lines are very blurry. Guys like George Soros and the Koch Brothers are definitely seeing a return on their investment no matter how they describe their contributions.

  42. Ratufa says:

    @joe gage:

    I won’t pretend to predict whether or not he’ll show up at the debates. But, I do think that if Trump manages to control himself during the debates (a huge if), and Clinton comes across as arrogant or evasive, he could do much better than expected. Given how the media loves a horse race, they may even spin that as a Trump win.

    Wrt people having already made up their mind by now, I agree that it’s going to be
    very difficult for Trump to dig himself out of the hole he’s put himself in. On the other hand, some Hillary voters aren’t enthusiastic about voting for her, and some people who might ordinarily vote Republican can’t quite bring themselves to vote for Trump. I still think Hillary will win, but it’s way to early to be complacent.

  43. joe gage says:

    @Ratufa:

    I think America like out of things has grown tired of Trump’s act. I’m having a hard time imagining him show up for a serious debate. I expect him to pull out days before hand screaming media bias or some other bullshit. Even if Trump shows up, its hard seeing him behaving himself. The man has no attention span and has absolutely no intellectual curiosity. That may be one of the many things I despise about him. He’s been running for a year and still knows nothing. At least Bush was somewhat articulate after months of prep and coaching from Karl Rowe. Does anyone except Trump to actually listen to anyone? I also look at state polls like in Virginia where Trump is getting crushed. There are only so many white votes out there. It’s pretty awful when you’re polling at 1% among blacks.

  44. James Pearce says:

    @Scott:

    Personally, I won’t be reassured until wed, 9 Nov.

    Just because “anything can happen” doesn’t mean it will.

    Clinton’s up 9 points in PA and WI, almost 13 in VA. The latest polls shows she’s within 3 points in MO, and AZ and GA are in “too close to call” territory.

    Is there a single state that Obama won last round that’s in danger of falling to Trump? Not one.

    Bottom line is that Trump isn’t going to win unless he can improve on Romney’s results. That doesn’t seem to be happening.

  45. gVOR08 says:

    @al-Alameda:

    it would not surprise me if they (Republicans) impeached her and failed to get a conviction.

    The only thing that’s stopped them from impeaching Obama is that he’s run a squeaky clean administration and personal life. Hope Hillary’s learned that lesson. But youre right, they’ll try. Impeaching Clintons – first time as tragedy and second as farce?

  46. Tyrell says:

    @Rafer Janders: FEMA camps: I keep hearing and reading chatter about these camps also. I wonder what is going on with this.
    Look at this: German bank near collapse ? German bank will have negative interest. Fed Chair warns of possible downward spiral here.
    Meanwhile the big “breaking news” on the networks is the Olympic swimmers escapades, Hillary’s health, and McDonalds fit bracelets causing rashes.

  47. Facebones says:

    @Ratufa:

    I do think that if Trump manages to control himself during the debates (a huge if), and Clinton comes across as arrogant or evasive, he could do much better than expected. Given how the media loves a horse race, they may even spin that as a Trump win.

    Hillary Clinton has been insulted and called names by far better people than Donald Trump. For 25 years, people have hurled all manner of vile invective at her and she’s still standing. I really have no idea what Trump could do to get under her skin in a debate.

    If – and I think it’s a big if – the debates actually happen, Trump will rely entirely on name calling and constant interruptions. And Hillary will just smile and let him hang himself.

  48. grumpy realist says:

    @Tyrell: Dearie, I suggest you start reading up on what happens to people with conspiracy mindsets. Because you are definitely demonstrating such.

  49. CSK says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    I read somewhere that Trump isn’t cooperating with the debate prep. I wouldn’t be surprised if this were true. In his own estimate, he’s been doing just fine without bothering with a bunch of boring facts and figures.

    And if he’s planning to bail because the debates are rigged, why bother prepping anyway?

  50. gVOR08 says:

    @Tyrell:

    Look at this: German bank near collapse ?

    Don’t worry. Unless it creates an ’08 level financial crash it’s already too late to affect the election. Hillary’s safe.

    As to FEMA camps, yes I believe you are hearing about them in the fever swamps of the CEC. Out here in the real world we do mention them them occasionally, but as a joke, a la Rafer. If you give me your real name I’ll check with the Central Committee whether you’re on the list.

  51. MarkedMan says:

    @joe gage:

    think any of these donors looking to circumvent the State Department either want to expedite things or wish to have as little publicity ass possible. There is no other way to call this other than Pay to Play.

    I just don’t see it. The Crown Prince’s people can contact the State Department. The fact that they reached out to someone at a charitable organization who they knew could get in touch is not pay to play. Calling it such simply demeans the term. And remember, this was a charity. None of this money went to Clinton personally. I’m sure the Repubs have scrutinized the Clinton Foundation in excruciating detail yet, except for RWNJ bloviating assertions, I’ve never seen one charge that they enriched themselves.

  52. MarkedMan says:

    Ah, the debates. I have high hopes. Trump really dislikes assertive women and I wonder if he can control himself for 90 mins with unflappable Hillary? I suspect she knows how to get under his skin.

  53. Gustopher says:

    @gVOR08: I checked, and all Tyrells are on the list. Calebs as well.

    Understandable, really. You can’t take too many chances.

    I’m glad Obama overhauled FEMA from the Bush days, where it was run by the Arabian horse guy. Otherwise the camps would have been race tracks, and we would be betting on various Tyrells at OTB. I trust the Democrats to run FEMA camps far more than I trust Republicans to do so.

  54. CSK says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Provided he actually shows up for the debates, it’s difficult to imagine a scenario in which he doesn’t make a total horse’s a$$ of himself.

  55. gVOR08 says:

    @Gustopher: So far, they do seem to be running FEMA generally a lot better than W.

  56. Jen says:

    Reince Priebus thinks Trump can catch Clinton in the polls…by Labor Day.

    Also, Trump will “clear up” his position on the immigration issue “soon.”

    That is going to be one quick turnaround if it happens (I am not holding my breath).

  57. gVOR08 says:

    Whether Trump has any faint chance of turning this around depends on the narrative settled on by the supposedly liberal MSM. After the convention and Trump’s subsequent bad weeks a Trump is a loser, and nuts, narrative emerged. If the press are honest and stay with this, at least a little bit, Trump’s dead in the water. Trump had a good last week, he mostly shut up. If that continues and the MSM reverts to the usual horse race and both-sides-do-it crap he has a bare chance.

  58. C. Clavin says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker:

    I’m not certain that there are many true undecideds left this cycle.

    I think most polls show large numbers of undecideds. I could be wrong.
    The Clinton campaign has to capture them, and gin up some “Clinton Republicans” in addition.

  59. J-Dub says:

    I love all the references to “pay to play” as if there was some other way of getting business done in Washington. Go there without any money and see how far you get.

  60. Eric Florack says:

    I’ll open this comment by saying that Hillary Clinton is probably the worst candidate for the presidency of the United States in American history.

    That said, the only thing that’s going to stop her from attaining the White House at this point is the actual arrest of her and her minions. Which, given who is running the FBI these days seems rather unlikely.

    As for Trump, as I said at my place this morning…

    2016 let’s face it is a disaster for the Republican Party. There’s no two ways to slice that one. The cowardice of the Republican Party , (a phrase I don’t use lightly)…is why.
    A
    ll the GOP had to be was conservative. In short, they had one job, and screwed it up. All they had to do was Embrace a real conservative instead of spending millions and millions of dollars on the erstwhile candidacy of Jeb Bush. Instead of being fearful about actually being conservative, embrace it and run with it. Learn the lessons that Reagan taught.
    But no, as we have discussed, the one thing that the GOP is more fearful of than anything else is actually being conservative. They are still stuck in the 1964 mentality. This is among other things at its base a long term failure of leadership.
    Meanwhile, we have yet to see any ideas whatsoever about how the GOP is going to overcome the 12 million Democrat voters that crossed over and put Trump at the top of their ticket.
    ( A little history lesson. This is precisely what happened with John McCain. We know how that one worked out.)
    Now, in the case of Trump what did we end up with? Someone who is a terrible fundraiser, has 70% negative ratings or higher in every demographic…( a place from which nobody has ever attained the office of president before and in all likelihood never will).. and has in every real sense fractured the party.
    Long bereft of a party leadership that would not respond to its wishes, the majority of the party rank-and-file has gone their separate ways. Which has in turn led to the ones that are left, getting behind somebody who is decidedly not conservative, repeatedly… Bob Dole, John McCain, Mitt Romney, and now Donald Trump.

    ….

    The sad part of it is that when Trump’s policies fail because they are not conservative, the conservatives will get the blame… Despite conservatives having nothing whatsoever to do with putting him in office and the fact that Donald Trump is not a conservative himself…. and hell will freeze over before we as conservatives get another chance to save the country by putting an actual conservative in the White House and implementing conservative policies.

    The Trump supporters are currently engaging in trying to shame conservatives into voting for Trump, because of party unity and all that. Well, maybe it would have been better if Trump and his minions haven’t been trying to alienate the conservative wing of the party. And they said they could win without the conservative. As it turns out, that’s not even close to correct and the Panic is palpable.

    Eventually, in the real world Charlie Brown refuses to attempt kicking the football anymore. Eventually, is now.

  61. Eric Florack says:

    Final clips from this morning and to the point…

    But we’re being told that party unity in the thing. Not only has the Republican Party stabbed conservatives in the back once again, they are now demanding that we celebrate the act. Why is anyone surprised when we refuse to fall in line?

  62. Bob@Youngstown says:

    OT (but you’ve already heard this by now….)

    Trump going soft on deportation…..probably will replicate Obama’s deportation policy.

  63. anjin-san says:

    @Eric Florack:

    Not sure what you are going on about. You had Cruz as a leading contender in the primaries. The problem is that his political skills are a joke, and he is so repulsive that he is despised even in the fever swamp.

    Face it dude, the conservative freak show has nothing to offer this country, except rage, failed governance and sedition.

  64. anjin-san says:

    @Eric Florack:

    Reagan

    Reagan is gone. Compared to today’s “conservatives” Reagan was the God of Thunder. Sarah Palin – your great hope – is a D list celebrity who is unable to spit out a coherent sentence. A whole bunch of zeros adds up to nothing. Save the country? I’m surprised these clowns can tie their own shoes.

  65. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Tyrell: And get off my lawn, you hoodlum kids! (Yes I know that was mean, but fatigue with you has set in.)

  66. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker: I take it back. Apparently, I’ve lost track of what mean really is based on the other comments down line. Still, I wish you’d take your old guy shouting at the clouds shtick to Breitbart or Red State for a while.

  67. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Eric Florack: WA!
    1) Considering that the head of the FBI is apparently a life-long Republican and did what he could–including reiterating his partisan shtick from his findings for some committee or another the next day, I’m forced to conclude that you have concluded that the FBI and the GOP leadership are in on the plot. N’est pas?
    2) You seem to believe that almost 100% of Trump’s supporters are false flag Democrats sent to undermine the GOP selection process. Am I correct, or am I missing a detail? (And why were the primary turnout numbers higher for the GOP, but not higher by at least 12 million votes, if your assertion is valid? And why were Democratic Party turnouts not lower by 12 or so million, while we’re studying this question? [By the way, I’m up for nearly any explanation at all. That’s how puzzling the math skills exhibited on that one are.])
    3) Finally, (and this is an old question from a long-time internet fellow traveler) who is this “true conservative” you are pining for? This is a more serious question than you realize. I was a life-long conservative–going back to the bad old days when the Liberty Lobby made the mistake of making some alignments with Stormfront (and staying true to the faith in spite of it)–until I came to the conclusion that my team was wrong about everything they have come to believe and support since after the Clinton era. I, too, would like to support a true conservative; I simply can’t find one. Where is this person, Eric? I’m serious!

  68. Eric Florack says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker: first, please, let’s dispense once and for all with the notion that Republican equals conservative. That’s step one. Step two is acknowledging that the FBI is directly answerable to the executive branch who is being run by these days?

    No, I believe enough of them to make a difference exists, but a large number of them are simply pissed off Beyond Reason

    Certainly there are a number of actual conservatives out there, one of which was actually a front-runner in this particular race. This is not about one particular candidate or another but an ideology which every time it pops up the establishment GOP beats it down like it’s some sort of game of whack a mole.

  69. Eric Florack says:

    @anjin-san: probably because your betters haven’t told you what to say yet. Back to your corner.

  70. Eric Florack says:

    As for Breitbart, I will generously assume you haven’t really been watching what’s been going on… Breitbart has been part of the problem a big part of the problem. The man with the rolling over in his grave if he saw what happened to his legacy

  71. Blue Galangal says:

    @anjin-san: I see the “Trump wasn’t a real conservative!/wasn’t conservative enough!” excuse is already starting… 80 days before the election. I think that might also be a new record.

  72. Eric Florack says:

    K the fact is Trump is not a conservative. He has said so himself. And therein lies the problem. That is exactly why I will not vote for him and why he is rated solo amongst conservatives. Anybody who comes up with a line that the reason that Romney lost his presidential bid was because he was too conservative, first of all has no grip on reality and secondly is conservative. Interesting of course how often those two points go hand-in-hand

  73. Eric Florack says:

    @anjin-san: apparently it slipped your attention that there is a major difference between the General Electric and a small subset of Republican voters who are still active within the party.

    How did the idea if you will that Romney McCain and Bob Dole handily won their nominations, and then promptly got their asses handed them. Reason? Disaffected conservatives stayed home. Which they will do again. And by the way I’ve been making that very prediction for months now and still hold to it.

    That said, there are two other things that you should also seriously consider.

    Decaf.
    Exlax.

  74. There is no evidence to support the argument that conservatives who stayed home are the reason Romney lost in 2012. Indeed, Romney got more votes than McCain did, both nationwide and in many swing states, and still managed to lose.

  75. Kylopod says:

    @Eric Florack:

    This is not about one particular candidate or another but an ideology which every time it pops up the establishment GOP beats it down like it’s some sort of game of whack a mole.

    Please tell me you didn’t just say Donald Trump was the choice of the “establishment GOP.”

  76. Pch101 says:

    @Eric Florack:

    Anybody who comes up with a line that the reason that Romney lost his presidential bid was because he was too conservative, first of all has no grip on reality and secondly is conservative.

    Speaking of having no grip on reality, where did you get the wacky idea that you have a monopoly on defining conservatism?

    I realize that you are a legend in your own shower and all, but it’s possible for folks to share a political affiliation without agreeing on every point.

  77. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Eric Florack: And yet, you have failed to mention ANY NAMES AT ALL!

  78. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Kylopod: He’s in his own little universe now–pining for a “true conservative who is just as illusive and ephemeral in his universe as Jenos is in our little microcosm at OTB. Of course Trump is a spawn of the “Establishment GOP;” they’re not really conservatives.

  79. JR says:

    Face it dude, the conservative freak show has nothing to offer this country, except rage, failed governance and sedition.

    Exactly.

    Conservatives are in completely denial about this. Racisms and bigotry is a problem, but the biggest reason why they can’t win presidential elections anymore is because of the policies they support.

    Everything they support has been completely discredited over the last decade. Healthcare, the economy, immigration, national security, social issues etc. They are on the wrong side of the general public on all these major issues.

    Until they accept this reality, then they will continue to lose presidential elections.

  80. Eric Florack says:

    @Doug Mataconis: got more votes from who, Doug?

  81. Andrew says:

    There is no perfect “conservative candidate. ” Especially one that can stick to the fantasies supported by small c conservatives.
    Reagan was the closest president in the last 38 years. And what happened? He spoke well, while playing voodoo economics and cutting regulations and destroying unions. Only for H.W. Bush to have to play the responsible president and raise taxes in a recession caused by these fantasy policies. What happened then? Bush was a 1 term president due to the policies supported by conservatives.

    W Bush then used conservative ideas and policies, and created massive debt due to tax cuts, and starting two wars.

    And the only excuses his ilk make are how he was not a true conservative? Or completely ignoring his existence?

    Fantasy in, fantasy out.

  82. Thor thormussen says:

    Saying the republican lost the general election because they weren’t conservative enough is like saying, yeah, The Warriors weren’t good enough to beat LeBron, but Houston would have been!

    For a conservative, it’s actually pretty clever. For a normal person, it’s not.

  83. Thor thormussen says:

    Who was the conservative Romney beat in the primary? Rick Santorum. If you think the GOP would have done better in the general election with candidate Rick Santorum, then you’ve gotten access to some kinda SuperCrack that is way more powerful than mere regular crack.

  84. Eric Florack says:

    Rick Santorum? Seriously? Give it a rest.

    Look every time somebody overly conservative comes up the GOP establishment starts playing whack-a-mole. It’s been going on since long before Reagan. Reagan was the exception. He thought the GOP and valuable lessons which they to this day, ignore

  85. Grewgills says:

    Eric Florack, every time someone brings up an actual conservative politician you play your no true Scotsman game. Name a few people aside from yourself and Reagan who you consider an actual conservative and try to choose people that are actually visible in national politics.