Donald Trump should be two percentage points better than Hillary R. Clinton in this year’s presidential race. However, it is possible he will fall short in the Electoral College.
As the nation enters the final weekend of this long, often unpredictable campaign, it is far from clear who will be the nation’s new president.
Clearly the almost daily leaking of emails and questions about the Clinton campaign are taking its toll on the former First Lady’s efforts to make history as the first female chief executive. Political pundits believe if the race was one week longer, she would be toast.
Surveys from around the nation point to a growing fatigue as Americans hear more and more about her foundation and emails. Having thrown everything but the kitchen sink at Trump concerning his mental stability and world knowledge, the Clinton campaign is reduced to concentrating advertising in key battleground states: Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, Wisconsin, Colorado and five others are still in play as the nation prepares to vote November 8th.
Given up for dead three scant weeks ago, Trump has stayed the course with his own brand of populism. What’s more, it is appealing to voters supposedly alienated by his rhetoric.
Blacks are expected to give the highest percentage of their votes since Ronald Reagan. His message about what the Democratic Party has done for them is surprisingly strong. So too, are Left’s attack on the moral issue important to Black Church leaders.
While not expected to reach a quarter of black voters, every ballot cast for Trump is one less supporter for Clinton.
Despite media attacks on his statements about Hispanics, here too, if polls and focus groups are to be trusted, auger better for Trump than the media is portraying.
But it is among white males and Christian conservatives experts predict will have the major impact on this election. These groups, again indicated by sources with the various religious groups, are expected to turn out in record number.
Their members see this election as their last chance to avert a leftward lurching of the country particularly as to religious freedom and expression. Many hark back to the early 20th Century conflicts which triggered nearly a hundred years of moral weakening.
Very quietly, these religious leaders are mobilizing for an election-day blitz. Voter registration from this key demographic has been almost double four years ago. In that election, they stayed home and did not vote for George (Mitt) Romney. Experts point out that had they voted in key states, the results might have been different.
Another trend, little noted, is the strong Republican candidates for other position at the federal and state levels. The Democratic Party simply doesn’t have a strong bench. A majority of state legislatures and governorships are held by the GOP.
Democratic Party hopes to take back control of the House and Senate have floundered due to poorer candidates. In addition, Clinton’s coattails are not apparently as strong as other party candidates. In state after state, local Democratic candidates have chosen to put out signs without her at the top.
Finally, there is Trump himself. Unlike Romney, he has stayed on the campaign trail. Remained on script and delivered some strong blows to Clinton.
He has also been helped by the re-opening of the email controversy and the ongoing disputes between and amongst the FBI, the Department of Justice, and Administration officials.
Trump is gaining ground at a rapid pace, the question is does he have enough time to win this election.
Equally as important, do local Republican political leaders come home and rally behind him to victory? If they do, he will have the most popular votes, whether he has enough for an Electoral College victory is less certain.
The nation will know Tuesday night.