You read that right. I think Donnie will do it.
Why am I predicting that Trump will pull off the most upsetting upset in history, even though all of the pundits and poll-aggregators suggest otherwise?
I just can't shake my long-held instinct to grant likelihood to the worst-case scenario. Life has taught me this one great lesson: The only ism
that will never let you down is pessimism
. Never tell yourself that this
is the year when Lucy will let you kick that football: You'll just end up flat on your back, as ever before.
(Hm. Does the younger generation even get
Against all reason, and in the face of a staggering array of Trumpian scandals and disasters, the polls are tightening
Who's going to win? At the moment the most reliable poll in recent history is giving a slight edge to the guy who fires up fanatics for free.
That's Donald Trump, and as of Saturday the Investors Business Daily/TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence Poll had him leading Hillary Clinton by two points in a four-way race. (Check the RealClearPolitics daily summaries of the latest polls here.)
That lead is within the margin of error of course, but it's fascinating that Trump could still be in contention after a couple of what looked like the worst weeks in history.
To find out why, I put in a call to Raghavan Mayur. He's the president of Ramsey-based Technometrica, the company that does the actual polling for Investor's Business Daily.
The IBD/TIPP tracking poll was rated as "the most accurate" in the 2012 race by the New York Times. While other polls had Republican Mitt Romney up by several points going into the election, Mayur's poll correctly showed Obama ahead.
The Saturday IBD/TIPP poll had Clinton tied with Trump in a two-way race – which this isn't - but behind two points in a four-way race – which this is.
That means Clinton loses more voters to third-party candidates than Trump.
"I think that perhaps these are people who believe Trump is not acceptable," he said. "If you pitch Clinton vs. Trump alone, they vote for Clinton. But when they have options they will abandon her."
Mayur's poll isn't the only one released over the past few days that had Trump ahead when Libertarian Gary Johnson and the Green Party's Jill Stein were factored in.
Another poll also had Trump ahead and yet another had the race in a dead heat.
Only one had Clinton winning a four-way race.
What, then, was the cause of the polls favoring Clinton? From 538:
Another potential issue is partisan nonresponse bias, the possible tendency of voters not to respond to surveys during periods of poor news coverage for their candidate, which can potentially exaggerate swings in the polls. I’m personally somewhat agnostic about how serious a problem this is and whether there are good ways to adjust for it. But certainly, when a candidate has several weeks in a row of very negative coverage, you shouldn’t necessarily assume the polls conducted during that period represent the “new normal” in the race.
Dems keep repeating the "Grab 'em by the pussy" tape, as though that
. But the problem with video evidence is that familiarity can breed acceptance.
Consider the video of Rodney King's beating. The sight had tremendous shock value during the first dozen or so viewings, but after two or three dozen viewings, the shock wore off -- and everyone over the age of 40 can recall the result. Or consider the Zapruder film: When first shown on television, the film clearly presented evidence of a shot from the front. But after seeing the footage a zillion times, people found ways to rationalize away the evidence of their eyes.
In other words, Dems made a mistake by beating "pussy" to death.
We've already looked at the national head-to-head race. Now let's look at the states.
TPM's poll aggregation service has Ohio returning to the Republican camp. Electoral-Vote.com has both Arizona and Ohio back in pink. All polls have Trump and Clinton running neck-and-neck in Florida; Bloomberg
puts Trump ahead by two in a four-way race in that state.
see a point to the head-to-head polls? Me neither.)
I never thought that Trump would lose Florida. Election-rigging seems more likely in that state than in any other. Roger Stone knows whose palms are the most grease-able.
Trump's strategy of crying "It's all rigged!" was quite beautiful -- downright elegant. The Democrats fell for his trap. In unison, from Obama on down, they all screamed the same message: Rigging is impossible
It isn't. It never was.
Voter impersonation, the great Republican bugaboo, is a scarecrow designed to justify the intimidation of black voters. We all know this. But computerized
election fraud is a different matter. I've never been convinced that the actual counting
of our vote is inviolate and immaculate.
When Putin's hackers tap into the master tabulating computers -- the "mother machines," as Mrs. Kerry called them -- the Dems won't be able to say: "Hey, that's mighty suspicious." After all, the Dems kept assuring us that rigging is impossible
In these circumstances, even a pronouncement from the intelligence community will not be seen as definitive. If the NSA were to say "Russia hacked the election in Florida," the right will scream that the NSA is part of the Great Clinton Conspiracy.
So: That's Arizona, Ohio and (in my opinion) Florida, back in the Trump column -- all in surprisingly short order. By my calculations, the electoral vote score stands at Clinton 294, Trump 244.
Donnie still needs to flip at least two states.
North Carolina seems likely to topple; the race is close there. Giving Trump the 15 votes in that state would still leave Clinton ahead, but just barely: She would have 279 votes to the Donald's 259.
Pennsylvania? I admit: It seems unlikely.
But, but, but...
Do you remember where we were just a short while ago? Right after the conventions, after Trump's disastrous attempts to smear the Khan family? Hillary's lead ballooned, and all of the really smart smarties declared the race over
. The talk turned to the down-ballot effect of a Clinton victory. Yet even as the Dems crowed and cooed and did their collective happy dance, Hillary's lead slipped away. It slipped slowly -- but not that
At the time, and before everyone else, I warned my readers about this slippage. People called me crazy. Then things got really
tight, and my "craziness" seemed prophetic.
It's happening again, folks: We had debates and disaster for Donnie. Dems grew cocky. And now, Trump is surging back.
(The infuriating rise in Obamacare premiums sure didn't help.)
So I'm back to predicting a Trump victory on November 28. Please forgive my foolish lapse into optimism. It was temporary.
If my prediction of a Trump victory is wrong, I'll receive an egg facial on election day. Fine. In my present financial straits, I cannot refuse free food. I'll take mine scrambled if you please, with a little salsa and cheese.
Former congressman Joe Walsh
says that he'll literally take up arms against the United States if Trump loses.
For the record, Walsh’s apparent plan to form a band of individuals to take up arms against the lawfully elected leader of the United States most likely meets the legal definition of treason. Under federal law, “whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason.”
That's just what I've been saying for ages now: The only way to tame our increasingly paranoid right is to show them that rebellion has consequences. If Walsh really does take up the "musket" (to use his terminology), the government should arrest him for treason and put him behind bars. The "martyrdom" of a Joe Walsh will teach a much-needed lesson to the rest of these scoundrels.
Walsh seems to think that his traitorous views are more popular than they really are. That's the problem with the way news travels in the modern world: Social media has replaced mainstream media. Personalized
information has replaced shared
information. This new system sequesters us into ideological ghettos. We convince ourselves that the majority of our fellow citizens think as we think.
During the primaries, a small faction of dimwitted millennials decided that all of America was ready to hoist the red flag and vote for a self-avowed socialist. And now, on the opposite side of the political spectrum, a jackass like Walsh visualizes himself as the leader of an insurrectionist army.
Both the left and the right need to understand one basic point: The hallucinations shared by you and your buddies do not
necessarily reflect the feelings of 300 million other Americans.