Markos Moulitsas: Clinton sweeping the vote

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Donald Trump’s presidential campaign is imploding spectacularly. Republican primary voters chose a proto-fascist reality TV star for their standard-bearer, and they got exactly what they wanted. Thankfully, the other major party took our democracy seriously enough to nominate competence — which the November electorate strongly prefers. 

It is difficult to overstate just how disastrous Trump’s predicament has become. Hillary Clinton’s lead in The Huffington Post’s national polling aggregate — that is, all polling averaged together — is 49 percent to 41 percent. It’s 49 percent to 42 percent in the right-leaning RealClearPolitics average. And with Trump depressing his own turnout, by convincing his supporters that none of it matters because it’s all “rigged,” his chances of hitting even 40 percent on Election Day grow thinner by the day. 

{mosads}Clinton’s position in the traditional battleground states remains dominant, leading the polling aggregates in Florida, 46 percent to 42 percent; North Carolina, 45 percent to 43 percent; Ohio, 44 percent to 42 percent; Pennsylvania, 46 percent to 40 percent; and Virginia, 43 percent to 36 percent. Trump cannot lose any two of those and still win. 

He won’t win any of them. In fact, things are so bad, we have a whole new unexpected category of battleground states.

In Alaska, Republican pollster Ivan Moore found the race near-deadlocked, at 37 percent to 34 percent in favor of Trump, with a big contingent opting for Libertarian goofball Gary Johnson. Democratic pollster Celinda Lake has the race at 37 percent to 36 percent for Trump. Alaska was one of a very small number of states that trended blue in 2012, and Trump is accelerating that trend. 

Despite the state’s slight-red lean, the Clinton campaign suddenly has an interest in Arizona, announcing Monday it was rushing in $2 million — and, more importantly, the party’s greatest star, Michelle Obama — for an early-vote rally. Now, Clinton doesn’t need Arizona this year, and while you can’t force someone without a playbook to play defense — Trump wouldn’t know strategy if it groped him in the you-know-where — her strategy in the state is twofold. The Democratic nominee wants to engage the state’s latent and rapidly growing Latino vote, helping to retire Republican Sen. John McCain and odious Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. 

Clinton’s campaign also is spending another $1 million each in Indiana and Missouri, where she trails Trump by 4 to 5 points. Campaign manager Robby Mook acknowledged his candidate faces an “uphill battle” in the states, but both feature unexpectedly promising Senate and governor races. This is a campaign so confident of its path to victory that it is unselfishly greasing the skids for down-ballot Democrats.  

Even Utah is in play. Multiple polls show a near-even three-way split between Trump, Clinton and independent conservative Evan McMullin. Unlike conservative evangelicals, who have stuck with an amoral sexual predator who covets teenage girls, Mormons appear to be putting their faith above politics. McMullin, a Salt Lake City resident and Mormon, is giving them a safety valve, putting the state in play. 

But perhaps nothing signals Clinton’s confidence more than dropping $1 million into Texas, a state Mitt Romney won by 16 points in 2012 and that has zero down-ballot races of national importance. A recent SurveyUSA poll had the former first lady trailing just 47 percent to 43 percent, but this isn’t about winning the state so much as further engaging and mobilizing the state’s low-performing Latino electorate in the service of future cycles. If Democrats force Republicans to defend Texas in the future, the GOP can forget seeing the White House anytime soon. 

With few exceptions, Republicans have gone all in with their “deplorable” strategy. The shifting electoral map is already proving their lack of wisdom. 

Moulitsas is the founder and publisher of Daily Kos.

Tags Donald Trump Gary Johnson Hillary Clinton John McCain Michelle Obama
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