As the Beltway press has sickened of reporting bad news about Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers, it’s turned to reporting Clinton’s “unfavorability” numbers, at their highest point ever. Two phenomena are happening: Clinton, a mediocre candidate who got beaten by a superior one in 2008, has to pay for both her superior’s sins in racking up Wall Street dough and the national press’ obsession with uncovering evidence of skullduggery for the purpose of creating the appearance of illegality; and establishing the impression that the election is close, as it did in 2012, keeps advertisers, polling firms, and newspapers happy. Finally, “unfavorability” isn’t a word, as the angry red squiggly line in WordPress indicates. No one would care if you drink a Budweiser with newfound teetotaler George W. Bush if political commentators hadn’t raised the point in the first place.
What we’re left with is the inexorable electoral math. Whatever the national and state polls say, Trump’s ability to get 270 electoral votes is as likely as an Adam Levine a cappella record. And it took POLITICO to remind readers today:
Yet, two weeks later and 20 days from the start of early voting, it’s not clear the plan is being implemented. In recent days, Trump has campaigned in Mississippi and Washington state — neither of which are seen as remotely competitive.
Making matters tough for Trump has been the ongoing reluctance of the party’s biggest contributors to open their wallets. In some cases, they are expressing profound misgivings about the Republican nominee. Last month, during a gathering of House Speaker Paul Ryan’s donor network in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Annie Dickerson, a Republican giver who also serves as top adviser to GOP megadonor and Trump critic Paul Singer, spoke up. During one panel discussion, discussion turned to an often-asked question in Republican circles: Whether not backing Trump would ultimately lead to the election of Hillary Clinton — and regret.
Here’s the real news:
Some Republicans believe the party’s most prominent contributors have simply moved on and will focus their remaining giving on competitive House and Senate races.
“Overwhelmingly the donors that I talk to are focused on protecting the House and saving the majority in the Senate,” said Spencer Zwick, a Ryan political adviser who is one of the most prominent fundraisers in Republican politics.
After a speech last night that should have convinced sentient human beings to set fire to their TVs like fifteenth century plague victims burning their vermin-infested homes, Trump has no place left to go except into the arms of his followers, and there aren’t enough of them to flip Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and North Carolina.