There are still months to go before the general election but it seems time has run out for Donald Trump to reverse the course of his campaign. The Republican nominee never got a bounce from the Republican National Convention and has consistently shot himself in both feet with both barrels every day since. It’s gotten to the point that several major politicos have questioned whether Donald Trump is trying to lose. The short answer to that question is yes. Donald Trump is going to lose, and he knows it, which is why he’s given up and committed to a losing strategy.
Unlike primary elections, the general election is not about winning the base or appealing to hardcore supporters. Trump doesn’t get that and he never will. To win the general you have to win the 10% of independents in the middle that switch back and forth between elections. Every time Trump opens his mouth the opposite of moderation comes out. He’s still running a primary campaign to get the support of the Republican base. The latest move by his failing campaign was to hire the editor of Breitbart as campaign chairman. That move signals the campaign is doubling down on this losing strategy.
Their strategy works at getting the Republican base active but that only represents 30% of the vote. Trump is reaching that level in polls but the rest of the Republican vote, the moderate 10%, is only haphazardly supporting him. Sometimes they show up in polls and Trump reaches ~35%, and sometimes they don’t. They don’t agree with any of Trump’s positions and are only debating supporting him because of their disgust with Clinton. That motivation is not enough to solidify the support a Presidential nominee requires for success in November.
And that’s just Republicans – the 10% of independents in the middle aren’t showing up for Trump in any poll. Of the last twenty three-way polls, Trump only hit 40% three times. Within the same sample of two-way polls he’s only made 45% once. That’s nowhere near where he would need to be to even begin to think about winning the election. The numbers just aren’t there and are showing no signs of improving.
Finally, it’s important to realize that those numbers represent that Trump will lose the popular vote. The Electoral College looks even worse. Democrats start out with a built in advantage and only need to win a couple swing states. The Republican nominee has to win almost all of them. But this year could prove to be the largest Democratic landslide since in decades. Not only is every single swing state that Trump has to win solidly blue, with Clinton up by double digits, but traditionally red states like Georgia, Missouri, and Arizona have become tossups! There is no hope for his chances.
Donald Trump is an ignorant man, generally speaking, but he’s not unaware of this. He knows that he is going to lose and has accepted it. To cover up for his impending defeat, Trump has already begun to say the election is rigged. Accusing the other side of cheating is normally a last resort but Trump’s adopted that line very early on. Knowing that he’s going to lose seems to have made him commit to losing by a larger margin. Trump knows it won’t be close, so there’s no reason to try to do anything different. There’s no way out, so he’s going to continue digging the hole. Hiring the editor of Breitbart confirms this.
This puts the 60% of the country that dislikes Hillary Clinton in a tough spot. It is certain that Donald Trump, her main opposition at the present time, is going to lose. There is no way he can capture independents or win the electoral college. He has no appeal to the moderate middle needed to win the election. Voting for Donald Trump will not stop Hillary Clinton. Donald Trump is going to lose. If you’re looking to stop Hillary Clinton from becoming President, which is the main reason over half of Republicans support Trump, do not waste your vote on him.
Although, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a Presidential candidate in the race capable of stopping Hillary Clinton. Polls show there is an alternative that’s already winning over moderate Republicans, independents, and even some liberals. Gary Johnson, the former two-term Republican Governor of New Mexico, and Bill Weld, the former two-term Republican Governor of Massachusetts, are running for President and Vice President on the Libertarian Party ticket.
Gary Johnson is averaging 10% nationwide and over 15% in some states with only 20% name recognition. Polls show them taking more support from independents than Hillary Clinton, and more support from youth and Hispanics than Donald Trump. If a candidate is hoping to beat Hillary Clinton, those are three must-win demographics. If Republicans were to bail on Trump en-masse and get behind Gary Johnson, he could easily put together a coalition capable of winning the election outright. Johnson has the support of independents, young people, and minorities that is needed to get a winning percentage. It’s time for Republicans to give up on Trump and put their weight behind the one ticket actually capable of beating Hillary Clinton.