Hey, Democrats. Reality check time. Here goes…
- No, Hillary Clinton is not going to blow Donald Trump away by ten points. Or eight. Maybe not even five. Those kinds of national blowouts may be a thing of the past. But it’s certainly not going to happen in this bifurcated political environment, especially with two nationally known third and fourth party candidates in the mix. It’s going to be close. Most elections are.
- It would have been the same way if Bernie had been nominated. Anyone who thinks he’d be coasting to the presidency by now is deluding themselves. Democrats have to scrap and scrape to win every national election. JFK won by 112,000 votes. Jimmy Carter won by less than 1,700,000 votes. Bill Clinton won in ’92 with only 43% of the vote. Al Gore won the popular vote by half a million but lost the election. There are no guaranteed or easy presidential elections. So let go of it.
- You know that most-dirty-campaign-in-history you’ve been gearing up for since May? It hasn’t even started yet…but it’s about to. The Monica and Gennifer attacks are going to start coming in an avalanche of TV ads and Trump inspired PR stunts. With his back against the wall, the slime factor in the last two debates will be unprecedented. And as election day nears, Trump will revert to form and become unhinged, trying to snatch victory from the jaws of a humiliating defeat. Which means you are going to be sick to your stomach for much of October. Sorry. Not my fault. I’m just the messenger.
- No, you’re not going to wake up on election day knowing the outcome. Sorry, but we didn’t know in 2008 or 2012. You don’t get a special landslide pass this year, no matter how weak a candidate you think Donald Trump is. There are no “gimmes” in presidential elections. You’re going to have to sweat out the day and the evening returns just like the old days. As the saying goes, “On any given Sunday, any team in the NFL can beat any other team.” It’s the same with presidential politics. Just ask Thomas E. Dewey. Since then, even LBJ and Reagan sweated out election returns. So get used to that now.
- There will be election day shenanigans, like long voting lines, error-prone voter rolls, photo ID abuses, missing ballots, and suspicious voting machine glitches. The GOP will stop at nothing to stop Hillary Clinton. We will just have to overwhelm them with turnout and staying power.
- Clinton and her supporters may get a nerve-racking surprise or two that night. One or two swing states that should’ve gone blue may not, because this is a base turnout election, and the Democratic base has been raided more than usual this cycle by Johnson, Stein and millennial malaise.
- Election night will be a long nail-biter, and it may turn into post-election day before we know the winner. BUT…
Hillary will win. No, I can’t say that with 100% certainty…for the reasons above. But I’m pretty confident of it.
Why? Because I can read polls, spot trends and understand the electoral map. And because I believe in the inherent wisdom of the American body politic. Most millennials and liberals will ultimately realize the stakes of this election and come back to the Democratic fold, and blacks will turn out. I just know it.
So don’t be thrown by the final dead cat bounce of the Bernie or Bust movement. Don’t become unhinged with dire news reports of “enthusiasm gaps” or the “hidden white vote.” Don’t let every swing state dip or tightened poll hang over you like a Sword of Damocles. We have the smartest and most prepared candidate. We have the best field of surrogates, including a very popular president and vice president. And most important of all, we are right on the issues.
Sure, a popular vote mandate would be nice. But you only have to win by 2 electoral votes. It may be uncomfortable for the next month or so, but if we all do our part – passionately advocating for Hillary on social media, phone banking, registering voters, and helping get voters to the polls on election day, and staying focused and positive – we will prevail.
No, I can’t promise it. But I am very confident that on election night or soon after, we’ll all be watching Donald Trump give his pompous, arrogant concession speech and wondering how we ever thought that clown could really be elected and what all the angst and sleepless nights were all about.
And you’ll be right.