A new ABC News poll has Clinton leading Trump by twelve points nationally. Turn out the lights, the party’s over…
It’s no longer a question of whether Hillary Clinton will be the next President of the United States. She could now shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and still win. (Who said that?)
The question now is whether Hillary could pull a Frank McKenna and sweep the country. It’s never happened in a contested Presidential election – even Alf Landon, Barry Goldwater and George McGovern avoided being shut out – but I certainly wouldn’t rule out the possibility.
Yes, there are reliably Republican states where Trump still looks to be comfortably ahead. But that doesn’t mean anything if Republicans decide it’s a lost cause and stay home.
The most dominantly Republican states are not in the Deep South but out West – Kansas, Wyoming, Oklahoma, the Dakotas, Utah. And they’re in the Central and Mountain time zones.
Therefore, the results from the Eastern states will be known long before the polls close out West. If Hillary is comfortably ahead in Pennsylvania or Florida, the networks may declare her victory early on. (In 1984, the big three networks declared Reagan re-elected by 8:31PM Eastern; CBS called it at 8:01.) This wold further depress Republican turnout, while Democrats salivating over the chance to humiliate Trump might rush out to make it happen.
Throw in Trump’s feeble ground operation, and the Trump supporters now openly saying the Republican leadership deserves to be punished for not showing sufficient deference to their idol, and we could have the makings of a once-in-a-lifetime wipeout in a few weeks.
Trump, and the Republicans who stood by and let him seize their party, deserve nothing less. In fact, there is one potential outcome that would be even better than a Hillary sweep: Clinton winning everywhere except Utah, and Evan McMullin – a principled and honest conservative – taking that state. Frankly, McMullin winning more electoral college votes than Donald Trump might be the only way Republicans save face in 2016.