The good news is the election is almost over. After fifteen months of election drama, we are in the final weeks. The end has left Republicans wondering, “Where do we go from here?”  Nowhere, likely.

The suspense is already over. The dire Republicans polls I discussed last week have only worsened. Clinton now has a better shot in Texas than Trump does in Pennsylvania. It a big deal which means, as a practical matter, that Hillary Clinton has many paths to 270 electoral votes. She can underperform polls and still win with votes to spare.

Brexit comparison hope is popular but misplaced. For one, polling Brexit is like polling New England and New York, that is the seven states at the northeastern tip of the US. They are roughly comparable by population, economic and geographic diversity, and size to the United Kingdom, and still compose only a small fraction of the polling and analysis the US has to take into account.

More to the point, however, in the mere months since Brexit many have forgotten what the polls looked like on the eve of the vote. About half the polls had Remain up and the other half had Leave up, mostly lingering on the edge of the margin of error.

This is not what the American polls look like at all. Clinton leads consistently outside the margins of error and the trend lines show a collapse in Trump’s support. He does not match 2012 candidate Mitt Romney’s numbers among whites. In some polls he is even losing among men now, and according to The Daily Mail, British bookies have already started paying out on President Clinton bets.

Not much left but to watch and learn as the Clinton Machine continues its masterful control of a compliant media. And, of course, the shouting remains, some of which may come tonight. (This column was written just before the third debate and published the morning after.)

While most of the Right was still hopeful at this point in 2012, and Nate Silver’s analysis was annoying us — we focused on the closer national numbers, Silver was wisely watching the individual states — this year, right commentary is overrun with explainers of what Republicans can, should, or must do after the electoral slaughter. Will we come together as Republicans? Will we break apart? Will we play nicely or continue hurling insults?

Advice abounds, but I don’t expect it will save the Republican Party. The extreme sides, the #NeverTrump elitists and the early and enthusiastic Trump supporters almost flaunt a determination to learn all the wrong lessons from this cycle. The elite seem to think that the party only has a Trump and Trump supporter problem. They think to shun the vile misogynists and racists and get back to the Republican party of the spring of 2015, that party of successful and honorable opposition. (That’s sarcasm. the Republicans caucus is more like a boneless chicken ranch that can only manage squawking in opposition.)

The Trump supporters simply blame everyone but their terrible candidate. Lately it’s women, even though a little data from suggests that party loyalty trumps for Republican women. It’s technically true. Remaining Republican women are loyal to the candidate. The Republican women who refused to support Trump had made that decision by the Republican National Convention and many have formally left the party since Trump’s nomination. So Trump did run off a bunch of former GOP women, but their defection is not collapsing his numbers now as it has been in the data since August. It’s the undecided and the reluctant others finally deciding that they cannot stomach Trump.

The current party leaders are caught in the crossfire. It did not matter what they thought of the candidate. Party loyalty and money dictated that they at least nominally support Trump. After the slaughter, Trump supporters will blame them for Trump’s failure and #NeverTrumpers will blame them for not stopping Trump when they had many and assorted chances. Few will miss them when they are ousted.

I don’t see any truce on the horizon. Elites will continue to ignore the concerns of the populists. The populists look to get angrier, and with some just cause.

My prediction: Clinton claims a mandate. Real or not, she will claim it. Then she will move on an amnesty immigration plan as a Kennedy-esque “let’s work together” offering to Congressional Republicans, who will eagerly seize the opportunity to get rid of the terrible issue they consider the foundation of Trump’s rise. The “healing” will begin with comprehensive immigration reform.

Or in plainer terms, by championing such a poor candidate, Trump supporters have damned their call for tighter immigration policies.

So the populists will get angrier. Which, coupled with Trump’s trouncing, will make it easier for both sides to completely ignore them next time. The Republican National Committee will rewrite the primary rules to favor a GOP patrician. The Kennedy compromises will continue.

Come 2019, the patricians will have retrenched, the Trump populists will protest loudly and in vain, and perhaps those of us on the right actually interested in an American restoration will have gathered together, somewhere else, to actually do the work we know we must do.

(Image: Ryan Bavetta)


  1. Indeed.

    I think the main political parties, on both sides of the pond have fed on the, ironically, natural conservatism of Joe voter. By that I mean, the reluctance to change one’s lifelong party affiliation, long after that party has ceased to represent one’s interests.

    Trump’s schtick has been to speak to the conservative dispossessed – but he has done so by, superficially, wearing the GOP colours. He’s a great cheerleader – but the quarterback he ain’t!

    The good news is, thanks to the internet and alternative media (which is, for the most part, conservative), emerging political movements don’t have the same insurmountable obstacles of the past. The internet has increasingly shown up the partisanship of the mainstream and the alternative can only continue its phenomenal growth.

    It’s time to allow the GOP to quietly die and to harness established alternative media commentators like Breitbart, Bill Whittle, Stefan Molyneux and even, dare I say it, Alex Jones in support of a new, genuinely conservative, political party.

    You could call it…oh I don’t know…the Tea Party!

    • The big eye-opener for me of this election has been how the establishment has been drawn out into the open.

      Some of us have been arguing for some time that the two parties are faces of the same coin and that the media is part of the establishment that it is supposed to hold to account.

      We were met with comments about tin-foil hats. I don’t think that’s going to happen any more.

      • Quite! And exactly the same thing can be said about Blair/ Brown Labour and Cameron Conservatives – they are one and the same party – assisted by a compliant, mainstream media.

        This is where the drive for ‘the centre ground’ has taken us.

        ‘Centre ground’ is not the same thing as ‘common ground’.

  2. Trump continues to lead (albeit by only one point after the manufactured “p*ssygate” scandal (

    Look at the methodologies for the other polls (particularly CNN). Their samples are majority Democrat. Of course they are going to show a Hillary lead.

    We know from the O’Keefe revelations that the Dems have already been working to steal this election. The presentation of a false narrative that Hillary has a poll lead could very easily be construed as laying the groundwork for a rigged election based on further voter fraud.

    All of this is in the public domain and is there for anyone who cares to look. What worries me is that so many (supposedly independent, or even conservative) commentators are parroting the Dem line.

    This started out as being Trump vs Hillary. Then it became establishment vs populists. Now it is truth vs corruption.

    I expect that you are right that Hillary will be President, but only because the Dems will steal the election. When she attacks Russia, in whose name will she do it?

    • From that poll it does seem that the women’s vote would win it for Hilary.
      I guess that’s the gap between ‘talking about feelings’ and actually putting in the effort to solve/prevent problems,
      e.g. talking self-righteously about taking in ‘children’ compared to pointing out these ‘children’ shave and are taking places away from vulnerable real children.

  3. Dopey question here– to what extent does a fairly favourable electoral calendar for the Repubs in 2018’s midterm elections figure into the calculations for 2020? The GOP Senators elected that year came in with Obama at the top of the ballot in 2012 and were elected despite that. Once all the low-hanging bipartisan fruit has been picked in “The First 100 Days” and President Clinton, Leader McConnell and Speaker Ryan have hurt their shoulders from patting themselves on the back so much for their public-spiritedness, what chance is there that the midterms, thought of as a vote of confidence for the sitting President, will go horribly pear-shaped for Hillary? And could this give Repubs a false sense of optimism going into ’20?

    • Not a dopey question. Hillary going pear shaped at the mid is certainly a possibility but it would require some unity in her opposition, and we simply don’t have that right now. Many on the right are barely speaking to each other. We aren’t conservative minds in disagreement, we are “traitors” “raw sewage” “venal”… The money, the power networks, the political advice and mentoring is all a rumpled mess getting trampled in the mud. I don’t see how they organize, and certainly not while McConnell and Ryan get treatment for their shoulder strains.

      Events, of course, might have a huge effect especially since the types of events history tells us are drawing near are no small matters.

      I am of a similar mind as Erickson in the NYT (the “come together” link above) that the healing will come from returning to local community and politics. I even had a similar write up in USNews a few weeks ago. (It’s my current pinned tweet on Twitter.)

      The next consequential power plays will be at the state level. Local politics is not the — oh what did someone here call it a few months ago? I can’t remember, but it was an adjective invoking uselessness– that it seems to be in the UK. Our Constitution is structured for state and local governance. American devolution is a refuge that we’ve simply forgotten. How quickly we remember it will determine how effective the Right will be against HRC and the certain gains progressives will make in the next few years.

  4. My biggest take away from the debate last night was that America has 17 intelligence agencies? C’mon USA that’s looking a bit paranoid!

    • and not one of those 17 was capable enough to stop hacking or terrorist attacks on American soil? Have to wonder what they are doing to earn their keep….oh I forgot, surveillance of ordinary people.

  5. I think the Trump campaign is reduced to the tactic of suppressing the Clinton vote. Not an unusual tactic in itself but at this stage its an act of desperation. That said it may well work but its a long shot..
    As for Hillary, if she does win then she will be the most most unpopular new President ever elected potentially. As she displays sociopath tendencies this will not bother her I’m sure.
    i agree with all you say Leslie except of the point at the end about it being easier to ignore Trump supporters next time. Good politicians recognise a bandwagon and will align themselves where possible.

    • Trump’s unfavorability ratings are much higher than Clinton’s – so actually if he wins he will be the most unpopular president ever.

      How can people who claim to be conservative support either of these candidates?

      • I suppose you have to set that against vast establishment and media antipathy for one candidate and not for the other. Probably a level of propaganda in a western democracy, the like of, we have never seen before.
        Just as the global establishment were against Brexit, as were most of the polls, the real truth of what the public actually believes is often obscured.

  6. These predictions of a Hillary win by political buffs everywhere is all very reminiscent of the ‘expert predictions’ that claimed that the Remain camp would win the EU referendum quite comfortably – in fact the last polls taken on actual voting day had the Remain camp leading by as much as ten per cent.

    I think the pundits are in for another major shock and are going to be as wrong again about this call as they were about Brexit.

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