Landslide? 5 States Mitt Romney Won That Donald Trump Could Lose
Donald Trump is crying.
He’s crying “rigged.” He’s crying “fraud.” He’s even crying about “international banks” that are plotting “the destruction of U.S. sovereignty.”
And in case you can’t hear dog whistles, he’s accusing black people of the crime of voting, while conjuring up paranoia about a vast conspiracy of the media and monied elites reminiscent of the worst tropes of anti-semitism that now happens to include a Mexican — Carlos Slim, the telecom billionaire who is the largest single shareholder of The New York Times Company. (Slim owns 17 percent of its Class A shares, although the newspaper company is still controlled by the Sulzberger family through its Class B shares.)
Also implicated in the Trumpian conspiracy are SNL’s Lorne Michaels, the dozen or so women who have accused him of assault, and the microphone that caught him admitting to similar sorts of assaults on women.
“This is a guy who spent all his time hanging around trying to convince everybody he was a global elite,” President Obama said, to a Clinton rally last week. “Talking about how great his buildings are, how luxurious and how rich he is and flying around everywhere, all he had time for was celebrities. And now suddenly, he’s acting like he’s a populist out there.”
In other words, Trump’s latest babbling is just telling us that he knows he’s facing a loss — a huge one. And one that he won’t be able to use to write off his taxes for the next 18 years.
If you want to know why Donald Trump is crying, just look at the electoral map, which suggests that he is anticipating an electoral college landslide that could be worse than any Republican has faced in 20 years, which would be shocking (or rewarding) given the trend of “negative partisanship” that has gripped American politics.
Let’s take a look. But keep in mind that Trump needs to carry all of these states along with at least three more Obama won — ideally Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania –for him to win.
(All data is from Real Clear Politics‘s poll aggregator.)
- North Carolina.
President Obama won this state in 2008 and than barely lost it in 2012. Even in 2014, during a Republican wave, Democrats nearly held a U.S. Senate seat here while losing nine seats nationwide. The state has been trending Democratic due to it’s increasingly diverse population and large number of college-educated voters. But right wing donors, including the state’s own Koch-tied brother Art Pope, have conspired to keep it red using some of the worst voting suppression tactics America has seen since the 1960s. Trump is speeding up this shift and his lack of a ground game has seen Democrats take an unprecedented advantage in early voting. Hillary Clinton has an additional advantage because the Green Party’s Jill Stein isn’t on the ballot in the Tar Heel state.
North Carolina is probably the easiest pickup for Clinton. But it is a sign of Trump’s troubles that Arizona now seems to be almost as much a swing state as Iowa, the Obama territory where Trump seems to have the best chance of winning. Democrats haven’t won Arizona since 1996, but the state’s growing Latino population combined with its aggressive embrace of anti-immigration Republicans like Jan Brewer and Sheriff Joe Arpaio have made it an attractive target for Democrats. As in every other competitive state, Clinton has a ground game advantage here as polls narrow. Trump’s decades of antipathy toward Native Americans and his insistence that calling Senator Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas” is hilarious may finally catch up with him. And Trump’s problems with Latinos mirror his problem with another swing group in the state — Mormons. Which leads us to…
No state seems ready to punish Trump for being the anti-Mitt Romney more than Utah. If the Republican nominee loses here, it would be the first time in over 50 years. But the combination of Trump’s unpopularity with Mormons and the presence of a conservative Mormon third-party candidate, Evan McMullin, on the ballot has begun to create some screwy deviations in the polls. Recent polls have shown the state is a dead heat with Trump, Clinton and McMullin all within points of each other. And the Clinton campaign has sent some feelers into the state. It’s hard to tell if that’s just trolling or a sign of actual confidence.
The devil went down in Georgia. Could Donald Trump do the same? Only a massive landslide by Democrats can draw this once blue state back into the swing category. But Trump’s remarkable lack of appeal to non-white voters is speeding up Georgia’s lean to the center. In 2008, President Obama came within 6 points of John McCain in 2008 but the gap expanded again 2012. “Although whites now make up 58 percent of active voters in Georgia, down from 72 percent in 2002, the demographic shift remains a slow process, and Democrats have yet to capitalize on it in a statewide race,” Bloomberg reports. The Clinton campaign’s spending in the state and the shifting population has Republicans worried enough to take extreme measures to purge black residents from voting roles. Trump is maintaining a safe lead in the state while struggling with women. If that slide with the smarter gender expands and catches fire in the state’s exburbs as minorities show up in historic numbers, Georgia could be in play.
If the 2020 Republican nominee for president has to defend Texas aggressively, Trump’s legacy as the man who doomed the GOP’s chances of ever winning the White House will be complete. The last two GOP nominees won the state by nearly double the number Trump is currently polling at. Still Republicans have probably kept this state safely red through 2016 with voting registration laws straight out the Jim Crow era.
And this list could still be growing. See: Alaska.
Trump once bragged about turning New York and California red. Then he promised to strike a path to victory through the Rust Belt.
Now, unless something drastically changes in the next few weeks, he will struggle to invalidate the results of a landslide worse than the one suffered by Mitt Romney — the man Trump once maligned as a “choker.”
IMAGE: Donald Trump and Mitt Romney shake hands after Trump endorsed the Republican’s candidacy for president, February 2, 2012. REUTERS/Steve Marcus