Because the electoral map massively favors the Democrats and because he alienated practically all minorities, Donald Trump pretty much has no chance of reaching the 270 delegates needed to win the White House.
It is useless to prolong the suspense. With 10 weeks left before the presidential election, Donald Trump has lost any hope of winning the White House; almost. The billionaire, who is not inclined to self-doubt, surprised people on Aug. 11 by acknowledging the possibility of his defeat: “If I lose, it’s OK. I go back to a very good way of life,” he told CNN. The situation seems so desperate that Republican officials have suggested that the party give up on the presidential campaign and concentrate its efforts on maintaining majority control of the Senate, as the midterm elections are taking place on election day, Nov. 8, as well.
American television stations swear in vain that nothing is determined yet, in view of the democratic process and in an effort to increasingly maintain their audience. Practically speaking, Trump is not likely, in fact, to win the 270 delegates necessary to reach the White House. Initially, that was because the electoral map overwhelmingly favors the Democrats. The Democrats are sure to win at least 18 out of 50 states (including New York, California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, etc.). Those are states that they haven’t lost in a quarter of a century and Republicans could not recover without paying the price of a deep ideological revolution. Those states alone guarantee 242 electoral votes to the Democrats. In spite of a terribly insipid campaign, Hillary Clinton is pretty much guaranteed victory; she only needs to win one of the big swing states, those rare states that are likely to change sides with each election (Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, etc.).
Trump’s path is narrower. The electoral map, i.e., the number of delegates allotted for each state, is drawn in such a way that the Republicans have a major handicap with each election. Only 13 states are guaranteed to them and they hold only 102 electoral votes. They therefore need to win many swing states in order to exceed the fateful 270 delegate mark. George W. Bush accomplished that feat in 2000 and 2004. But he only got there by conceding heavily to the centrists. He had, in particular, supported gay marriage, a sacrilege for Republicans!
The Power of Latinos
After eight Democratic years of Bill Clinton, the power of Latinos was the only means of moving the swing states into the Republican’s camp, the first of which included Florida (with 29 delegates), Ohio (with 18 delegates) and Pennsylvania (with 20 delegates). Trump hopes to repeat such a feat. But, unlike Bush, Trump does not support any measure likely to attract minorities (blacks, Latinos, gays, etc.). Hillary Clinton is heavily favored in Florida and Ohio. She breaks all the scales in Pennsylvania with a nine-point advantage, according to the latest polls.
It’s not only Trump’s fault. Taking into account demographic changes, his fight is more difficult to win than it was for George W. Bush in the early 2000s. For example, Bush won New Mexico, which would be completely impossible today; Latinos have become so powerful that the Democrats can no longer lose. The best proof is that no one has campaigned there since 2008! Trump is thus having to overcome very difficult obstacles, hoping to simultaneously win Florida, Ohio, Iowa and Nevada, and, why not, Colorado and Virginia. But, like in New Mexico, the rise of black and Latino voters makes these historically Republican states lean rather Democratic today. Hillary Clinton is the clear favorite.
Are the demographics so unfavorable at this point that the Republicans are not at all likely to reconquer the White House? Some think so. Others estimate that it’s up to the Republican Party to adapt to the times by opening its doors to minorities. Trump has completely failed to accomplish that. Deaf to the advice of his campaign team, he has focused on an extremely narrow side of the electorate: white Midwest male voters. Trump has practically lost all the other demographics. Clinton thus has a very comfortable lead among women (51 percent as opposed to the 35 percent in favor of Trump), blacks (91 percent as opposed to the 1 percent for Trump), young adults (46 percent as opposed to the 34 percent for Trump) and college graduates (47 percent as opposed to the 40 percent for Trump).
‘Deport the ‘Bad’ Immigrants’
The billionaire tried hard set the record straight recently. He replaced his obnoxious campaign director, Paul Manafort, for a poll queen, Kellyanne Conway. He hopes to make peace with Latinos by retracting everything that he has said on the immigration issue. He’s no longer deporting 11 million illegal immigrants living in the United States – just the “bad ones,” he says. But the reversal is so late that he will certainly not convince minorities to change their vote. In this last stretch, Trump can only hope for a miracle to reverse the odds. He can dream that a new scandal will force Hillary Clinton to give up or that a major terrorist attack causes everyone to demand heightened national security, two scenarios that unfortunately cannot be totally counted out with the time remaining.