If you read just the headlines over the past week, you might think that Hillary Clinton is in trouble. However, if you dig down a little deeper, the bottom line is that Hillary is still the one in command of the 2016 presidential election. Hillary has many paths to reach the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency while Donald Trump has to run the table to get even close to 270.
Thanks to FBI Director James Comey, Donald Trump has had a good week, but nevertheless, he’s still barely on life support. Sure, Trump got a bump in the polls, but the Clinton camp has expected that would happen since the campaign started. Even with all the drama of the past five days, the FiveThirtyEight polling site gives the odds of Clinton winning the presidency at 68% to Trump’s 32%. In critical states such as Virginia, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, Trump’s probability of winning is single digits.
Even if Trump wins the high profile states of Florida and North Carolina, he still has to win in some of the states where his odds are less than 10%. The Washington Post latest summary gives Clinton 294 electoral votes that are considered safe against only 180 for Trump. Only 270 are needed to win the election.
CNN reports that so far 24.4 million votes have been cast. While no one knows how people have voted, there is considerable information that can be gleaned from the demographics of the early voters. On the downside for Democrats, there has been a decline in the number of early African American voters in critical battleground states like North Carolina and Flordia. On the plus side for Clinton, there has been an increase in the number of Latino voters, who are expected to vote for Hillary.
While the majority of votes are still to be cast on Election Day, the early vote will serve to give Clinton a valuable cushion against Trump’s late surge as many of the votes were cast several weeks ago when Trump was stumbling.
A week or two ago it was looking likely that Hillary’s coattails would be long enough to enable Democrats to gain control of the Senate. However, the tightening polls and increased enthusiasm among Trump supporters have made the Senate a toss-up. Hillary, who was spending some extra time in Senate battleground states has had to refocus her energies on the other key states where Trump has gained some ground.
Even with a convincing Clinton win many of Trump’s supporters and perhaps even Mr. Trump himself have said they will not accept the results. That attitude is beyond disappointing as what the country needs after this long and divisive election is a sense of unity. There is only one President of the United States, and once the people have spoken, trueAmerican will accept the results with grace and move on. That’s the way the American system works.