This isn’t the first comment written on the upcoming general election for president of the United States.
Having stipulated that I’m a little late stepping into this muck, I’ll now offer what I believe is shaping up for the fall campaign.
Hillary vs. Donald will be the most miserable campaign in most people’s memories.
Hillary Rodham Clinton is now almost assuredly going to face Donald J. Trump in the race for the White House.
As I look at the Electoral College map and read all that polling data, I am left with an inescapable conclusion. It is that unless Clinton gets indicted a month before the election on some made-up charge by a federal grand jury involving the use of her personal email account, she is going to become the second history-making president in a row.
Just as Barack Obama was the first African-American to become president, Hillary Clinton will become … oh, you know.
Not only that, in my humble view she very well could make history in another fashion. She could score the largest electoral landslide perhaps since Ronald Reagan’s re-election victory in 1984. President Reagan won 49 states and 525 electoral votes.
All that’s left, thus, for Clinton is to score a 50-state sweep. I believe it’s possible.
How do I know that? Well, I don’t know it.
Polling data, though, suggest that Trump’s huge gender gap is too big to overcome. Women have something like a 70-plus percent unfavorable view of Trump. Women also comprise about 53 percent of the population; the percentage is even greater among likely voters. Women tend to vote more than men.
That’s one key demographic working against Trump.
Let’s try another one: Latinos.
Trump’s opening gambit during the campaign was to label illegal Mexican immigrants as rapists, murderers and drug dealers, while adding he was “sure there are some good ones, too.”
Now, if you’re a Latino American, do you believe this individual really cares about you? Are you going to buy into his notion that he just “loves Hispanics” because “so many of them work for me”?
Therein lies another gold mine for Team Clinton.
I also will posit this notion: Trump’s hideous standing among Latinos is going to make states such as Texas and Arizona highly competitive for Clinton and the Democrats. New Mexico will vote for Clinton anyway, along with Colorado, Nevada and California.
You want another towering obstacle for Trump? How about those “traditional Republicans” who don’t trust Trump as far as they can throw him. The evangelical voters who comprise so much of the Deep South aren’t likely to stampede willingly to Clinton’s side. Instead, they just might sit this election out, denying Trump the cushion he would need to defeat Clinton throughout Dixie.
The Rust Belt is a goner for Trump. The Great Lakes, the Northeast and New England all are locked in for Clinton.
The Farm Belt? What in the world has Trump done to woo voters who live in Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, the Dakotas, except “tell it like it is”? These states also are full of those traditional Republicans who dislike Trump’s garish lifestyle and his less-than-stellar personal conduct over the years.
The Pacific Northwest will stand firm behind Clinton. Hawaii is for Hillary. Alaska, too.
OK, I’ve just spent a lot of energy in the past few minutes bashing Donald Trump.
What does Hillary Clinton bring to the table? What would commend her?
I get that she’s got a lot of negatives, too. She doesn’t appear to be the most trustworthy candidate in the history of the Republic.
However, she is tough. She is seasoned. She knows how government works. Say what you want about her playing the “woman card,” her gender will work in her favor.
This campaign will not be waged on the high ground. It will be fought in the trenches. Trump will take it there, just as he has done throughout the Republican Party primary. Those who have watched the Clinton organization up close, though, know that Hillary Clinton has surrounded herself with seasoned, battle-tested pros who know how to respond quickly and with maximum effectiveness.
Having said all this, I am the first to acknowledge that I am wrong more than I am right.
On this one, though, my gut tells me I am more right than wrong.
One final caveat. This election campaign to date has turned every conventional political theory on its ear.
We shall see.