It's October 7, and right on schedule I've received yet another email from Robert Reich, courtesy of MoveOn.Org, in which the good professor expresses his profound concern that Hillary Clinton might lose the presidential election to Donald Trump. Really? Is this reality, or just another way of squeezing $3 out of me and a lot of other people?
To answer the question, I took a careful look at RealClearPolitics and its list of polls, state by state, and this is what I found:
It only takes 270 electoral votes to win, and that means Hillary Clinton is only 32 votes shy of winning. And I'm only looking at the states where Hillary is supposedly leading by at least 10 points.
But wait: which obvious states have we omitted? Hawaii, for one, because apparently RealClearPolitics couldn't find a reliable poll. But Hawaii is perhaps the bluest of the blue states. That's 4 electoral votes. And the District of Columbia is 3 electoral votes. So that makes 7 more.
Does Hillary need to win Florida? Or Ohio? Not at all. No, she only has to win a few of the remaining states in which she is presently leading by less than 10 points. Like Minnesota, where she's up by 4 points for 10 electoral votes. Like Wisconsin, where she's up by 4.7 for another 10 electoral votes. What chance does Trump have of winning in Minnesota – now, really?
The remaining states that are in play are ones like North Carolina (15 electoral), New Hampshire (4), Nevada (6), Arizona (11), Maine (4), Florida (29), Ohio (18). If she wins Minnesota and Wisconsin, then she only needs Maine and New Hampshire to get over 270. But she could prevail just by winning one of the bigger states.
So, the answer is that Trump could win if he swept all of those remaining states, plus the ones (such as Texas) that we can concede to him. But the likelihood of his doing so is very slim indeed.
And that brings me to the rather obvious admonition: don't be fooled into thinking that you must vote for Hillary if you live in a state like Hawaii, California, New York, Rhode Island, etc. A vote for Hillary or Trump in those states is meaningless. Hillary is going to sweep those states.
So if you are a Bernieite (as I am) and you want to show your disgust at the system which allowed Hillary to steal the primary from Bernie, then don't vote for her. Vote Jill Stein. Try to get her numbers up to show that you hate the system. And when 2017 rolls around, get ready to march in the street, if you have to, demanding that Hillary honor her own party's platform and that she not sell us out to the billionaires the way she undoubtedly will.
Michel T. Hertz