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Presidential Horse Race 2016: No, Donald Trump enemies, the election is not over already

With three weeks still remaining until Election Day and one day before the third and final Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton presidential debate is set to take place, the forces united and dedicated to the cause of electing Hillary Clinton are flashing their “it’s over” signs in order to try and depress Trump’s vote and guarantee a victory for the most corrupt and compromised candidate of all time.

The hopelessly lost and misguided forces of #NeverTrump are certainly part of that “let’s elect Hillary” alliance whether they confess to it or not. After all, they’ve been working for months to convince Republicans and Donald Trumpconservatives that Trump is the devil and isn’t “fit” to be president, self-righteously asserting that no Christian or believer in limited government could ever vote for a lout like Donald.

Now the #NeverTrumpers are even donning analyst hats and calling the race for Hillary as a done deal, justifying their boasts with claims of objective fact.

After comparing the Real Clear Politics average numbers from the past several elections, Erick Erickson wrote at his The Resurgent yesterday, “The election is over. Hillary Clinton will be the next President of the United States. Her election was confirmed the moment Donald Trump became the Republican nominee…

“The sad truth is, however, that Donald Trump never had any intention of winning. His supporters are convinced he will win. They are desperate for him to win. But they have been conned by a gold plated fraud. This was all a branding exercise and he will go back to his gilded tower satisfied that if he could not get elected, at least his friend Hillary Clinton got elected.”

I don’t think it’s productive to cite Erickson as a credible elections analyst any longer, but I thought I’d include his latest opinions because they’re part of the greater left-right alliance to take down Trump.

It’s already been demonstrated that the media isn’t reporting on the Wikileaks email dumps that have exposed all the corruption, contempt, insider dealing and sleaze that we’d always suspected was true of the Democrats. #NeverTrump, to a large extent, is just as guilty as the media in the pro-Hillary sell-job because they refuse to stop badgering the only viable alternative to Clinton.

The old saying goes, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Well, when it comes to Erickson and the #NeverTrumpers, the folks in the major media are their bosom buddies.

Even Victor Davis Hanson of National Review, no raging Trump supporter himself, has concluded that the Republican nominee is the best choice this year and wrote a lengthy treatment called “The Case for Trump” on his behalf. Hanson’s is one of the most thorough and well-argued essays I’ve seen throughout the presidential race, highly recommended if you have the time.

Hanson not only presents the complete case against Hillary Clinton, he also debunks the positions of the #NeverTrumpers, several of whom are his colleagues at National Review.

Hanson concludes, “The ancient idea of tragic irony can sometimes be described as an outcome unfortunately contrary to what should have been expected. Many of us did not vote in the primaries for Trump, because we did not believe that he was sufficiently conservative or, given his polarizing demeanor, that he could win the presidency even if he were.

“The irony is now upon us that Trump may have been the most conservative Republican candidate who still could beat Hillary Clinton — and that if he were to win, he might usher in the most conservative Congress, presidency, and Supreme Court in nearly a century.”

Through the course of time I’ve come to believe the same things as Hanson wrote about Trump and I think most of the conservatives and Republicans who aren’t hopelessly tethered to the party establishment are also of this conviction.

Trump’s recent shift away from talking about the issues to instead emphasizing the “rigged system” has somewhat distracted from his winning message on jobs, immigration, national security, taxes and trade.

But at no point has Trump stopped being the champion of the “forgotten Americans,” the people who have supported him from the beginning because he ultimately represented the best hope of not only taking on the establishment, but also soundly defeating them.

Personally, it took me a long time to appreciate this anti-establishment phenomenon and only by witnessing the back-and-forth in the Republican primaries and the way people reacted to it did I finally realize that a full-spectrum conservative like Ted Cruz couldn’t win this year.

It isn’t because Cruz wasn’t a likable guy and his credentials weren’t solid enough; no, it was because Cruz looks and sounds like a “regular” politician in terms of using the types of persuasion that people are used to hearing.

Simply put, Trump the outlandish outsider broke the mold. From his initial campaign announcement to his first answer to the first question in the first Republican debate to his widespread use of Twitter to his domination of cable news shows to his call for a ban on Muslim immigration all the way up through the party convention and now just a few weeks before the election, Donald Trump is doing it his way.

And no matter how many #NeverTrump Ericksons or liberal pundits or newspapers like the New York Times or Washington Post say otherwise, Trump still maintains what he’s always had – the look and uneven rhythm of an outsider.

Roger Kimball sums it up well in PJ Media, “[T]here is no reason to think that the oddities of this election are over. Donald Trump is riding a powerful, broad-based, and nationwide current of revulsion with the status quo. The media and hostile precincts of the punditocracy assure each other and us sheep that Hillary is a shoo-in.  Just look at the polls. Just consider Trump's boorish sexism. Contemplate the magnificence of having our first woman president!

“And yet, and yet. Perhaps the odds favor Hillary.  The fancy money certainly thinks so. But were I a betting man I would recommend a strategic hedge. There are plenty of things that distinguish this election from the Brexit referendum in June.  But there is at least one glaring similarity: Here, as in Britain, the smug, inbred uniformity of elite opinion obscures the depth and determination of competing forces.  It was enough to shock all establishment opinion when the vote came through for Brexit. Whether it will be enough to propel Donald Trump over the victory line is yet to be determined.  It would be a rash man, however, who declared it to be impossible.”

I agree. Well said, Mr. Kimball.

So in essence, in declaring the race “over”, Erickson is wrong again. The polls, media, Clinton machine and squeamishly weak forces of #NeverTrump combined can’t alter the mood of the electorate.

In making the case for Trump, no one is guaranteeing he’s going to win. But regardless of who prevails on Election Day, the movement that created Trump’s candidacy will still exist come November 9.

And as far as that’s concerned, you can take it to the bank.

Despite doomsday predictions, down ballot Republicans seem to be doing just fine

Continuing on today’s refuting #NeverTrump theme, in his above referenced post, having already concluded that the presidential race is over, Erick Erickson lectured, “The RNC now needs to focus on preserving the House, the Senate, and the several states.”

Hence, Erickson’s is yet another #NeverTrump call to completely abandon Trump in a last ditch effort to save down ballot party members, most of whom will end up supporting the same GOP establishment that Erickson’s unfortunately become such a part of.

Trump voters will more than likely back down ballot Republicans on Election Day; the question is whether the reverse is true.

And besides, there’s more than enough evidence that Republican House and Senate candidates seem to be doing just fine independent of Trump, at least if the polls are any indication. #NeverTrump has done its best to whip up hysteria over the possibility of losing Congress because of the vulnerabilities of the GOP nominee, but as of now, it doesn’t look to be happening that way.

Susan Ferrechio of the Washington Examiner writes, “Donald Trump isn't having the kind of harmful down-ballot impact on Republicans that some predicted would turn both the House and Senate over to Democrats — at least so far.

“Recent polling shows key congressional races have been immune to the influence of Trump, either in races where Republicans are trying to separate themselves from Trump, but also in races where the Republican is hoping to get a boost from Trump.”

In her article, Ferrechio mentions one analyst’s theory that Trump’s alienation of suburban white voters and women hasn’t extended to Republican down ballot candidates because these normally Republican voters are okay with dumping Trump but keeping Republican congressional candidates.

The technical term is ticket-splitting.

It’s a nice sounding hypothesis, but I don’t think it’s really happening – or will happen, when it comes down to it. There’s also the other side of the coin where those candidates who’ve withdrawn support for Trump could possibly face a backlash from Trump supporters abandoning them.

I personally don’t think that will happen either, since there’s still the basic either/or choice at hand in every election in every state. Even an establishment Republican in most cases is still preferable to a socialistic Hillary rubberstamp Democrat. For example, I don’t hold New Hampshire’s Senator Kelly Ayotte in very high esteem for her having rescinded her support for Trump, but I’d still vote for her over her opponent (ultra-liberal Gov. Maggie Hassan) any day.

I believe most voters will use similar logic. If we’re asking Americans to weigh the candidates on the issues rather than the media hype (as we are in the presidential race), the conclusion would stay the same. Trump supporters need down ballot Republicans to win in either case, because if he’s elected he’ll need people in Congress who agree with him on most issues. And if Trump loses, conservatives will need Republicans to fight the Clinton appointments and agenda.

Whether they’ll actually do it is another matter (they don’t have a great track record, I admit). But the Republicans who are true conservatives have a better chance at influencing the direction of legislation if they’re actually in the majority. It’s a slam dunk.

In all of this I can’t help but wonder…if Republican candidates are supposedly suffering because of being tied to the media’s depiction of an unpopular, bombastic Trump, wouldn’t Democrat candidates suffer the same type of consequences from marching in lockstep with their equally unpopular, damaged candidate?

In other words, if Republican candidates are worried about being lumped in with Trump, shouldn’t Democrats be just as concerned that they’re being associated with Crooked Hillary who many, many people believe should be in prison?

As a final note on this subject, some Republicans are concerned that Trump will depress turnout among Republicans. I don’t believe that will be the case as this is a change election and voters will respond accordingly.

Again, I would think Crooked Hillary would have more of an effect on depressing turnout on her side since she’s a discredited liar and many of the Democrat constituencies don’t like her. There’s already evidence that turnout among Hispanics could be significantly down this year, for example.

As the race comes to a close I would expect Americans will bypass all the hype and get down to the basic choice in the election…and then go out and vote.

If a Trump wave develops it will render the Electoral College competition meaningless

In already declaring the presidential race over, the media has taken a decidedly “hopeless” tone in presenting Donald Trump’s options for getting to 270 electoral votes three weeks from today.

In stories about Trump’s path to victory we hear a lot about “dwindling chances”, “windows closing” and “maps tightening.”

Ben Kamisar of The Hill reports, “Donald Trump’s campaign is narrowing its focus to four swing states as the Republican nominee’s path to the White House continues to constrict.

“Sweeping Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania appear to be Trump's best chance at winning 270 electoral votes, experts and Republicans concur.

“The map continues to tighten for Trump as he slips in the polls, most of which haven’t even taken into account recent allegations of sexual misconduct.”

Kamisar’s is typical of the reporting I’m seeing a lot of these days with headlines like “Trump’s window to victory is closing rapidly,” as if some giant unseen force is guiding some equally gargantuan window towards its locked position.

Polls are polls, but as I’ve been saying a lot lately, it really boils down to estimating who will vote on Election Day. Pollsters base their turnout models on the likelihood that their sample will vote and project the numbers accordingly.

I think if there’s a big enough wave to take Trump over the top in some of these swing states the actual tally in the Electoral College will not be that close because he’ll end up winning a few states that weren’t part of the original calculation, such as Wisconsin or Michigan.

But the media wouldn’t be fulfilling its obligation to help Hillary win if they didn’t paint a gloomy “it’s over” picture of the possibilities. Frankly, it’s all getting boring reading about how assured everyone is that voters are going to vote in droves for Hillary.

I just don’t see it happening – there aren’t the right conditions for a pro-Hillary wave. In 2004, Democrats were motivated to vote against George W. Bush and the Iraq War. In 2008 and 2012, the Obama coalition turned out on its own to favor the first black president.

This year, there aren’t enough people who are moved to vote against Trump (as their sole motivation) or, in the alternative, vote for Hillary.

You can only fool so many people…it’s a risky gamble the Clintons have been running for 24 years now. At some point, their past is going to catch up with them. I’m thinking this is going to be the year.

Mike Pence asks supporters to help combat voter fraud

Finally today, as if the Democrats’ and #NeverTrump’s voter depression efforts weren’t enough to worry about, now vice presidential nominee Mike Pence is asking Republicans to keep an eye out for voter fraud on Election Day.

Jonathan Easley of The Hill reports, “Speaking at a rally on Monday in Ohio, Pence warned of the possibility of voter fraud, adding that the national media ‘is trying to rig this election with their biased coverage.’

“’In terms of the actual vote itself — if you’re here at a rally and you’ve not yet volunteered to participate in the electoral process by respectfully providing accountability at a polling place come Election Day, then you haven’t yet done all you can do,’ Pence said.

“’Voter fraud cannot be tolerated by anyone in this nation.’”

Unfortunately, the Democrats appear all too willing to not only tolerate voter fraud, they’re encouraging it. With years’ worth of efforts opposing even such simple measures as Voter ID laws, it’s clear the Democrats will do anything to win.

Pence is 100% correct in asking the ticket’s most ardent supporters to keep an eye on polling places. The Democrats will fight tooth and nail against such a tactic, but in the end it could deter some of the most egregious attempts to fix votes for the election – like dead people or pets voting.

Mail-in ballots simply invite fraud. We can’t do much about those at this point, but the in-person voting on Election Day is fair game.

We can only hope vigilance will be enough, because the attempts to “fix” the result are real.

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