2016 election is over for Trump

Sam Turnbaugh, Reporter

If you’ve driven Middletown Road recently, you, like me, might have been struck by the sea of “Trump 2016” signs, or maybe you’ve spotted a local supporter sporting a campaign T-shirt or a “Make America Great Again” ballcap which is being mass-produced and imported from China. Yep we’re in solid Trump territory here in the Hereford Zone, but the thing is that it doesn’t even matter since, like it or not, this election is already over; really, it was over the day that Donald J. Trump won the Republican nomination.

At the time of writing, every significant poll places Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton safely ahead of Donald Trump, and Trump can’t even seem to hold onto states that seemed safely Republican, with the outcome in Georgia, the Carolinas, and even deep-red Arizona now deeply uncertain. In Texas, of all places, polls show Trump ahead only by single digits.

With his polarizing rhetoric, overly-simplistic answers to complicated questions, and unsavory following of racists and conspiracy theorists, Donald Trump has managed to completely destroy the march to the White House that was oh-so-carefully calculated by Republicans after their 2012 defeat. In fact, barring a miracle for the Republican Right, Hillary Clinton looks set to be the least popular candidate to ever be elected by a landslide.

And let’s just underline that unpopularity for a moment: it’s been noted that both Trump and Clinton are in fact the two least popular candidates in the past ten election cycles. The RealClearPolitics (RCP) polling average, which aggregates national polls indicates that Hillary Clinton’s net favorability is -11.3% (that is, there are 11% more people with an “unfavorable” opinion than with a “favorable” opinion).

That’s an awful, terrible, no-good, abysmal number. Any other campaign in any other election would be in a panic right now, but the Clinton campaign need not worry, since they have an ace in the hole: Donald Trump. By the same metric, RCP pegs Trump’s net favorability -25.8%. A major party candidate – this unpopular – ought to be shocking and unprecedented; Trump staffers are probably just relieved that the number has risen from April’s -35%.

The fact of the matter is that Trump’s entire campaign has alienated liberal and minority voters to the point that almost none of them would consider voting for Trump. And all of this is in spite of the careful plans for minority outreach put together by the Republican Party in the wake of their 2012 rout, after Mitt Romney easily won the majority of the white vote but failed to win the country. Even if Trump managed to somehow top Romney’s numbers among white voters, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference since Donald Trump is set to perform horrendously poorly among minority groups.

The man has failed to unite even his own party, with a growing number of conservative lawmakers refusing to vote for him. While Bush administration officials like Paul Wolfowitz have voiced concerns with Trump’s foreign policy (or lack thereof) and perceived coziness with Russian President-for-Life Vladimir Putin, others, like Romney, refuse to endorse the GOP candidate on account of his divisive personality and rapidly-shifting policy platform. As South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham said: “There’ll come a time when the love of country will trump hatred of Hillary.” The New York Times reports that over 110 high-ranking Republicans refuse to back Trump.

All of that seems incredible, but it only gets better, especially when one looks at Trump’s performance with minorities. Despite Trump’s optimistic prediction that he will win 95% of the black vote, polls indicate that he’s actually running in fourth place among black voters, behind Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein. But this might be a good sign for the Trump camp, since his 2% support in those polls is double his numbers from just a few weeks ago. That still makes him less popular than former Grand Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan David Duke (who’s now running a Senate campaign in Tennessee) but baby steps, I guess. Comparatively Trump’s doing great when it comes to Hispanic voters, since Clinton’s lead among that demographic group is only a whopping 69%.

Anyone who’s been paying attention can tell you that a Trump victory is a political and mathematical impossibility. But then again, maybe polls and numbers aren’t as convincing for some people as they are for me; in the words of right-wing talk radio host Bill Mitchell: “Imagine polls don’t exist. Show me evidence Hillary is winning?” Well Bill, I guess I can’t argue with that. Not in Hereford, that’s for sure.