Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Trump's Last Rally

The big day has finally arrived.  The folks at Dixville Notch got the jump on the election, casting 8 ballots in the remote New Hampshire town with Hillary coming out on top.  Several other small towns followed suit, including Millsfield which tried to steal some of the thunder by casting most of its votes for Trump.

Worries over a low voter turnout have been dashed.  Long lines for early voting last week in Florida, North Carolina and Nevada all point to a major turnout.  Florida early ballots exceed all votes cast in 2000, the year Bush edged out Gore in the Sunshine state and secured an electoral victory thanks to his brother Jeb.  There are a lot of recent Puerto Rican citizens voting as Independents that could easily tip FFlorida toward Hillary despite Trump's ties to the state.

Nevada has also seen big increases in voting across the board, largely thanks to Hispanics.  The same is happening in Arizona.  Trump has awakened the Latino community, which is on track for a record turnout.   Even in Florida, the normally Republican-reliable Cuban-American community is split this election cycle.  All those attempts at outreach after the 2012 election have gone to waste, although it appears "Little Marco" will hold onto his Senate seat in Florida.  Looks like he will have the last laugh at Donald's expense.

What struck me the most election eve were the rallies.  Trump held rallies in five different states.  Hillary in three, the biggest coming in Pennsylvania, where she pulled out all the big guns from the Boss to Jon Bon Jovi to her husband and Chelsea to the Obamas.  There was such a positive feeling oozing out of the rally that you couldn't help but be swept up on it.   By contrast, Trump appeared desperate, reading a letter from Bill Belichick to a crowd in New Hampshire, and claiming the support of Tom Brady, I guess to offset King James coming out for Hillary in Cleveland.  Trump also snidely remarked that he didn't need Jay Z or Beyonce, who were also on hand in Cleveland.  Where's the Nuge when you need him?

Trump appears to be slouching toward the end.  The confidence he projected last week when the polls were tilting his way is gone.  In his final stop in Michigan, his words trailed off script as he saw supporters leaving the rally, no longer so enthused by the man who would be president.  It was a desperate gesture anyway.  He has about as much chance of winning Michigan as he does Minnesota where he veered off course the other day, hoping to find some level of support in the "Rust Belt," no matter how thin it is.

If he had gotten on message after the convention he might have had a chance in the upper Midwest, which has been hard hit by the loss of industry over the years.  However, one can blame the economic malaise on failed Republican governors who brought austerity measures to these states only to see business opportunities dry up.  Scott Walker of Wisconsin and Rick Snyder of Michigan are living on borrowed time.  That pretty much sums up Trump's campaign, which failed to provide a coherent message, but rather had been held up solely by the force of his personality.

All that remains is to do the counting and it doesn't look very promising for the Donald.  The only question now is whether he will concede to Madame President at the appointed hour.

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