A Narrow Path to November Victory

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As voters prepare at last to choose their presidential nominees, Republicans face an uncomfortable question: can any GOP candidate conceivably win an Electoral College majority this November?


The answer is “yes,” but it will be an uphill struggle. Wall Street Journal analysis shows that genuine “swing states” have all but disappeared: 45 of the 50 states have voted for one party or the other at least four times during the last five elections. This pattern gives Democrats a big advantage: states worth 257 electoral votes have been reliably Democratic going back to 1996. The only swing states left are Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Colorado and Nevada.


To win this year, a Republican needs at least four of these five; a Democrat could win with just one. There’s scant room for error in putting together a plausible victory map for the GOP.

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  1. Nani  •  Jan 5, 2016 at 8:00 pm

    Do you really believe the so called base wants a Republican to win? All they want is for the GOP to be destroyed and if that means another 4 years of Obamanism, then so be it. If the base was really the base they wouldn’t have Trump and Cruz leading the pack because these two will get wasted in the General. They know it but they simply don’t care. They have had to pretend for years to be Republicans and they are tired of being dishonest. And angry that Republicans are, Republican and not Libertarian or Hard Right.

  2. Jim Bird  •  Jan 6, 2016 at 3:20 am

    How about voter ID so illegals won’t vote 4 and 5 times every Election Day being bussed to critical precincts by your Federal tax dollars. Nah, that’s too hard and besides we would be called racists and that’s too scary to even think about. If you are right Michael this makes the gutless Republican Party totally irrelevant and finished. Therefore, we turn into Marxists paying allegiance to truly disgusting and dangerous people on the far left who are so far above the law and the courts that words can’t express the horrors that await my kids and grandkids. Or, do you think Michael, that we can be nice little Socialists vs Marxists? You better make that a topic for your show before the “Fairness Doctrine” is enacted by exec order on the Queen’s first day in office. What a pathetic, pandering Party the republicans have become. It is truly sickening.

    • Brian Harmon, Retired Econ Professor  •  Jan 10, 2016 at 12:07 pm

      The biggest problem with voter busing, Jim, is in states controlled by Democrats. A number of Republican states have passed voter ID laws. But I don’t think the Dem states are likely to do so, do you?

      • Jim Bird  •  Jan 11, 2016 at 2:43 am

        Of course not, voter ID should be a federal law especially when voting on those we send to DC since they are “doing the people’s work for the country.” This is not a “states rights” issue when we are voting for federal leadership.

  3. Nani  •  Jan 6, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    A strange thing seems to be happening. Conservative media appears to be worried. They have spent years stirring up the so called base and now they seem to grasp what their ratings grasping bashing has reaped. It was all fun and games when Cruz was grand standing because no one really believed he was ever going to win any office of real power. And the reality star Trump, wow, talk about ratings!

    Now it looks like either may actually win the GOP nomination and the conservative media KNOWS that not only will that spell another Liberal win but the death of the party they hang their credentials on.

    So every conservative outlet is scramming to find a way to explain to their lemmings why the destruction of the GOP isn’t really a good idea and that neither Trump nor Cruz is exactly the “right” person to continue the fight.

    It would be amusing if it wasn’t so sad.

    • LeeH  •  Jan 6, 2016 at 3:38 pm

      So Nani, who would be your idea of a true conservative candidate that ensconces all your perfect ideals?

      One other thing Nani…do you gesticulate and effervese while you are bent over your keyboard bloviating and haranguing other conservatives expressing their opinion?

      • Brian Harmon, Retired Econ Professor  •  Jan 10, 2016 at 12:11 pm

        Wow, you know 4 BIG words. I am so impressed!

    • Brian Harmon, Retired Econ Professor  •  Jan 10, 2016 at 10:43 pm

      Remember, Nani, that Goldwater got about 40% of the popular vote in 1964, but not only did the GOP win in ’68, but it held the presidency for 20 of the next 24 years.
      Therefore, we can conclude that a disastrous defeat may not spell the end of the party,

  4. Rizzo  •  Jan 7, 2016 at 8:14 am

    Please tell us… Which candidate guarantees Republicans victory in 2016?

    • Brian Harmon, Retired Econ Professor  •  Jan 10, 2016 at 12:13 pm

      Obviously, NO ONE can GUARANTEE an election victory. Therefore, that is a not-so-smart question. Or is it simply rhetorical?

  5. Rizzo  •  Jan 7, 2016 at 8:28 am


    Nani rejects conservatives. She rejects the reality that conservatives are the base of the Republican Party. She lives in an alternate reality. So, to answer your question…. No TRUE CONSERVATIVE, embodies the perfect ideals for Nani.
    Nani pretends to be a Republican, and she embraces everybody except for the base. She wants to redefine and rewrite the history of the Republican Party. It’s sad, but that’s the truth.

  6. Nani  •  Jan 7, 2016 at 2:54 pm

    Once upon a time, a hard right group called the tea party thought they had taken over the GOP. They made all kinds of promises that they found they could not keep and fell back to blaming the establishment. Lost elections later, they became pretty irrelevant. Now they’ve reared their ugly head and this time, they may actually destroy the GOP.

    Only, the ultimate goal, to BE the power, to be the one in charge won’t ever happen. If there is no Republican party, they is no base they can claim to be. If there is no establishment, there is no one to blame. Neither Trump nor Cruz will win, there are too many people who cannot tolerate bullies, too many that have skin in this election (family and friends of illegals and military vets), too many who cannot imagine the embarrassment of either big mouths. To deny this is to admit to not being able to deal with the numbers and reality.

    But the hard right has never been one to deal with either.

    • Brian Harmon, Retired Econ Professor  •  Jan 10, 2016 at 7:33 pm

      Nani, you may have noticed that I have consistently defended you and Michael Medved against the knuckleheads who think Trump is the answer to their dreams.
      He is so opposite of Ronald Reagan in just about every way. Reagan never went out of his way to belittle others and he rarely engaged in name calling. He never ascribed evil motives to those who opposed him, except for the Communist leaders who held millions captive.
      But I don’t see Cruz in the Trump image at all. I believe he has used the term ‘squish’ which I think is significantly overused, but is not really that insulting. Moderate sounds like a good thing when, in reality, most politicians who use the term are simply liberals and progressive who realize that their ideology is out of style.
      BTW, if it comes down to it, I will vote for even Trump, if it is between him and the Hilarious One. As should all right-thinking Americans.
      Help me out here, what make Cruz a bully or a bad guy of any sort?

  7. Rizzo  •  Jan 7, 2016 at 3:44 pm

    You are truly delusional.
    So, who will win? Who, will stand for nothing and therefore will disappoint no one?
    You will NEVER answer that question.

  8. Rizzo  •  Jan 7, 2016 at 3:45 pm

    Define “hard right”.

  9. Rizzo  •  Jan 7, 2016 at 10:50 pm

    Once upon a time, “the hard right”, called The Tea Party, gave birth to a presidential candidate named Marco Rubio.

    Nani… Do you hate Rubio too? Does he embarrass you? Is Rubio a bully? Is he destroying the GOP?

    Who is your candidate? Who is spineless enough to GUARANTEE VICTORY?

  10. chava  •  Jan 8, 2016 at 9:05 pm

    Carly has done so well in the debates. What are people and the media ignoring her? Lack of political experience has not hurt Donald Trump. I think she could really debate Hillary.

  11. Rizzo  •  Jan 9, 2016 at 9:22 am

    Hey Nani…. How about taking your own advice? Quit fighting battles you can’t win. Stop promoting impractical ideas. Bush ain’t getting the nomination. Now get on board with a winner.

  12. Rizzo  •  Jan 10, 2016 at 12:43 am

    Educate yourself Nani

    Nearly 20 percent of likely Democratic voters say they’d cross sides and vote for Trump, while a small number, or 14 percent, of Republicans claim they’d vote for Clinton. When those groups were further broken down, a far higher percentage of the crossover Democrats contend they are “100 percent sure” of switching than the Republicans.

  13. Brian Harmon, Retired Econ Professor  •  Jan 10, 2016 at 10:34 pm

    Trouble is, there are more independents now than Democrats or Republicans. And independents tend to be more moderate (in the old sense of the word). They are between conservative and liberal. I can’t see most of them voting for Trump.
    I agree, though, that Bush is not the one either.

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