And Now, the Good News

“Do these scandals and recent polls make me look not quite so formidable?”  Surely, that’s the question Hillary Clinton is asking as she stands before the mirror in the war room, admiring her own reflection (one of just many traits she shares with the White House’s current occupant), wondering whether Americans will coronate her the fairest presidential candidate of them all in 2016.

On May 7, our cousins across the pond delivered a shocking rebuke to Britain’s Labour Party, awarding the Tories a solid victory and control of Parliament in what pollsters and pundits both there and here had almost universally predicted would result in a virtual tie.

“Almost universally” because of at least one pundit, the Telegraph’s Janet Daley.  Like everyone else, Daley read the polls.  Unlike everyone else, just could not buy what the polls were saying.  Her reasoning is notable, and instructive (emphasis mine):

Based on nothing but the conceit of my own intuition, I ventured that so many people would be enraged and alarmed by the absurdity of the Labour leadership … that they would turn out in force to register their resistance.

Reminds one of the U.S. 2010 and 2014 midterm elections, does it not – an overwhelming conservative victory in the context of predictions of a much closer, if not completely opposite result by the great majority of the pundit- and pollster-ocracy.

Given the closeness and shared history of our two nations, Janet Daley’s explanation for what just happened on their side of the pond applies, to at least some extent, to what happened here and may very well happen in 2016.  It merits quoting at length (emphasis mine):

Peter Kellner, the president of YouGov, one of the most highly regarded of those hapless polling organisations, uttered these immortal words by way of explanation:  “What seems to have gone wrong is that people have said one thing and [then] they did something else in the ballot box.”

[…]

[W]hy did so many voters feel compelled to avoid telling Mr. Kellner… their real intentions?

[…]

Somehow we have arrived at a point where the conscientiously held beliefs and values of the majority of the population have become a matter for secret shame.  The desire to do as well as you can in life, to develop your potential and expect to be rewarded for it, to provide your family with the greatest possible opportunity for self-improvement and to do that on your own without being dependent on the state – these are the assumptions that seem to have become so unacceptable that [publicly] identifying with them is beyond the pale[.]

And so, conservative and conservative-leaning Brits lied to the pollsters and then expressed their true beliefs in the privacy of the voting booth.  Again, same as here in 2014?

In fairness to the pollsters and pundits, one hopes that Ms. Daley will at some point explain why those who lied to pollsters about whom they would vote for before the election apparently were willing to declare whom they did vote for in the exit polls, which, unlike the pre-election “entrance polls,” seem to have gotten the results right.

Could what happened in England – and Australia, and India, and Israel – herald what will happen here in 2016?  On the one hand, a four-nation conservative electoral tsunami constitutes a trend that would seem hard to ignore; on the other hand, all four of the aforementioned countries have a parliamentary system.  We of course have the Electoral College, where the odds are more daunting.  As noted in this writer’s preceding article (and with a mega-hat-tip to Myra Adams), if past voting patterns continue to hold, the Democratic candidate will begin Election 2016 with a baked-in-the-cake 247 Electoral Votes, needing only an additional 29 to win.  A tough row for Republicans to hoe.

But it is a row that is beginning to look increasingly hoe-able.  A May 8 WMUR/UNH poll, in New Hampshire, shows Hillary Clinton trailing three prospective GOP candidates, and tied with a fourth.  An April 9 Quinnipiac poll ( a month before Peter Schweizer’s Clinton Cash hit the news) has her trailing, tied, or leading by as little as 1 percent in Colorado and Iowa.  She does better in Virginia, where she leads all of the most likely GOP candidates by margins of 6-10 percent – a wider lead, yes, but hardly insurmountable with a year and a half to go before the election and the GOP candidate yet to be chosen from a field as big as the typical blighted block in the writer’s hometown of Detroit.  (Super-mega-tattered-hat-tip to decades of liberal governance that ruined a once great city.)

Other polls, before and after the WMUR/UNH one, have shown Clinton sometimes ahead, sometimes behind various prospective GOP candidates – again, with about a year and a half to go before the election, and the actual candidate not yet chosen.

At this point, readers are cautioned to temper their excitement by consulting the table presented in the preceding article, where one will see that none of the states just mentioned are on the table.  Losing all of them will not subtract a single Electoral Vote from the Democratic candidate’s presumed 247-EV total of 247 going in.  On the other hand, every swing state (and the above are all swing states) the GOP can lock in is one fewer to worry about later.

Given this scenario – and considering only electoral math, not ideology – a (Florida senator) Rubio-(Ohio governor) Kasich (or Kasich-Rubio) ticket might make sense, and not only because of the importance of Florida and Ohio to GOP electoral hopes.  A Northerner-Southerner ticket could widen the appeal of the GOP ticket, providing at least a slight edge over the 2012 Romney-Ryan Northerner-Northerner ticket.

And speaking of Romney, an honest analysis requires the analyst who touts the 2010 and 2014 midterms as harbingers of a GOP trend to discuss the 2012 presidential elections, which Republicans lost, and badly.

First – full disclosure: as long-time readers should know, this writer strongly supported Romney in Election 2012 and in the primaries.  That said, this writer also believes, strongly, that Romney’s failure to win stemmed not from his conduct on the campaign trail, certainly not his ideas or even his “47 percent” remark, but in his failure to harness, as the Democrats did, the new technologies of data-mining, micro-targeting and modernized get-out-the-vote technology.  Real Clear Politics’s Sean Trende explains just how winnable, for Republicans, 2012 was (emphasis mine):

From a demographic standpoint, an election consists of two components:  Turnout levels among different demographic groups and levels of support among different demographic groups.  Barack Obama won the demographic battle on both fronts:  He boosted turnout levels among African-Americans to match those of non-Hispanic whites, and he blew the proverbial roof off in terms of support levels from minorities.

… If Mitt Romney had matched George W. Bush’s level of support among minorities, Romney would have been elected president (even if he had dropped to George W. Bush’s level of support among non-Hispanic whites).  Likewise, if black participation had dropped back to 2004 levels, the election would have been too close to call[.]

Trende then asks the obvious question: “[I]s this coalition transferable?”  Which is to say, will blacks turn out to vote for Clinton in the same numbers they turned out to vote for Obama?  Of course, it’s possible, but it is hardly a given.  An even lesser given is Hispanics and Latinos voting for Clinton in Obama-size numbers if Marco Rubio is on the GOP ticket in either the presidential or VP slot.  One struggles to envision Rubio (or Ted Cruz, or even Jeb Bush) garnering a smaller share of the Hispanic/Latino vote than George W. Bush did.

And then there are what, because there are far too many of them to list in this article (and because even the Democratic media are covering them [for a change, one hastens to add]), I will simply call the “Clinton scandals” that apparently have Mrs. Macbeth hunkered down and shuttling among undisclosed safe houses in her “Scooby van.”  Hard (though, in fairness to Hillary and Bill, not impossible for a Clinton) to campaign when one is less accessible to press and public than Kim Jong-un.

And didja know that “[a]n alliance of Asian American groups filed a federal complaint Friday against Harvard University, claiming that the school and other Ivy League institutions are using racial quotas to admit students other than high-scoring Asians”?  Admittedly, it didn’t hurt Democrats when Harvard did the same thing to Jews, but is it at least possible that Asians, in 2016, will think twice about voting for the party that supports “affirmative action” policies for minorities that appear to be somewhat less than affirmative when the minority is Asians.  (And Jews?)

Put together all of the foregoing, and Republican electoral prospects look better, if not much better than this writer, at least, would have predicted even a month ago.  Even the vaunted Nate Silver agrees, flatly disputing the existence of a virtually unassailable “blue wall” of Democratic electoral votes: “if you see analysts talking about the ʻblue wall,’ all they’re really saying is that Democrats have won a bunch of presidential elections lately.”

Silver’s article is well worth reading in its entirety.  But the point is, don’t let the pundits and the pollsters, so disastrously wrong, so recently, in Israel, in England, and right here in 2014, discourage or dissuade you from contributing to the candidate of your choice and from voting in 2016.  When they tell you that Hillary Clinton is inevitable, don’t believe them.

The GOP candidate, whomever primary voters choose, absolutely can win in 2016.

Gene Schwimmer is a New York Licensed Real Estate Broker and the Author of The Christian State.  Follow Gene Schwimmer on Twitter.