May 5, 2016 by Chris Kite
I’ve already written twice about how the Clinton versus Sanders race is done. While the math doesn’t sit well with some Sanders supporters, it is what it is. I think Sanders might possibly have won had he spent more effort in the south because that was his weakest showing. But none of that matters now.
Somewhere I saw a reference to the die-hard Sanders supporters, the ones that still insist he has a path to victory as “fairy dust, unicorns, and rainbows” people. Perhaps a little condescending, but I find it amusing. Because they do seem unwilling to face reality.
When the die-hard Sanders supporters let up on the math for the nomination, they are quick to point out that one or two polls show Clinton losing to Trump while Sanders beats Trump in every poll. But once again, the math is important, as is understanding our election process. It is critical in understanding the path to victory in a general election. It isn’t about popular vote, as we’ve seen before. It is about electoral votes. And at least right now, Hillary Clinton is polling strong in most of the states with high electoral votes. Of course things could change, and in this election year, that seems like a more important reminder than ever.
But polls right now show Clinton with double digit leads over trump in California, New York, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, Virginia, Massachusetts, Maryland, and Wisconsin. She has a solid lead in 12 of 21 states with ten or more electoral votes.
If you look at polls for states where Clinton has double digit leads, it gives her 201 electoral votes. Add the states where she polls at 5% of more better than Trump and that equates to 279 electoral votes. She needs 270 to win. This doesn’t include the “toss up states where Clinton is within plus or minus 5% of Trump.
This doesn’t mean much unless it holds up, but it completely dispels the myth that Bernie Sanders is the only one that can beat Trump.
Clinton needs to work hard, run a smart campaign, and continue to focus on the important issues. She can’t let herself get bogged down in Trump’s personal and petty attacks. She can’t shrug off the Fox “news” generated “scandals,” unless she wants to surrender that lead. The “scandals” are all pretty much nothing, but there are an awful lot of people that aren’t political junkies, haven’t followed the stories, or are gullible and likely to bite when Trump and his supporters bring them up.
This race is not a sure thing. It never is. But the next time someone tells you that Bernie Sanders is the only one that can beat Trump, remind people that generally speaking, most polls show Clinton with a solid popular vote lead, but popular vote doesn’t decide the election. She polls well in enough high electoral vote states that she should handily beat Donald Trump.