The Advantage of the Electoral College

Two years ago, I predicted the Democrats would win this election before we even knew who was running. The Electoral College strongly favors the Democrats (even though I’d like to get rid of it).

I posted this map, pointing out that the states in blue pretty much are in the bag for Democrats right now, and that alone gets the candidate 252 votes toward the 270 needed to win.

Well, I was wrong about one thing — Iowa isn’t necessarily voting Democratic this time. They’ve become more red over the years.  On the other hand, Virginia, Colorado and New Mexico can pretty safely be moved to the Democratic side, having been reliably blue for the last few elections and becoming moreso each time.

So if we take out Iowa and add those states in, we get to — oh look! 273.

These are the states that every single person who studies these things will tell you are 99.99% in the bag for Clinton. Currently, they all have Clinton at least 5 points ahead of Trump (according to Nate Silver’s weighed averaging of the polls)

So let’s compare that to the states that have Trump ahead by 5 points.  (5 points in an election is a lot.) The uncolored states are the real battleground states.

Even if Trump were to win all the current “battleground states” where the margin is less than 5 percent, he still wouldn’t win. Clinton was already over the 270 mark she needs.

And of these battleground states where the margin is less than 5%, she’s ahead in all of them except Georgia, and even that is moving in her direction. (Trump is ahead of her there by only 2.5%.)

Here, look — this is the map that shows what would happen if the election were held today:

This, of course, assumes that we all vote. If we get complacent and sit on our butts instead, assured of victory … well, honestly, there’s very little chance of Clinton losing at this point but we really need to sweep her in with a huge mandate, as well as elect lots of Democratic senators, representatives, and state house people to really send a message.

Republicans create conspiracies to explain losses

Conspiracies are an easy way to explain why you lost. “They’re all against me” allows you to justify in your mind why no one agrees with you — it clearly can’t be because you’re wrong. It can only because of that vast conspiracy.

We see this with all crazy conspiracy nuts, both liberal and conservative. But usually it’s just a small minority on either side — people who probably should be taking medication for their delusions.lizard_people-900x477-c-center

But lately, I’m seeing it from otherwise rational people, and especially among conservatives. “We have all these scandals involving Hillary Clinton — whitewater, Benghazi, emails, fixing elections — and none of them stick. Clearly, there is a vast left-wing conspiracy by the media to cover all this up!”

Or maybe those “scandals” only exist in your head.

The GOP has spent literally years and millions of dollars digging up and investigating anything they can to bring down Hillary — and have come up empty. They grab hold of any minor little statement and try to blow it up into something it isn’t, and when that doesn’t work, instead of saying “Guess we were wrong” they get all paranoid.

Usually that kind of thinking is only found in the “lizard people control our government, wake up sheeple” nuts. The right-wing news media keeps this alive though, legitimizing it, turning it mainstream. And it is hurting our democracy.

Part of it is also explained by a general tendency on the right to lack empathy toward anyone who doesn’t think like them. Remember in the last election when the GOP was shocked that Romney lost, despite every poll showing Obama would win?  “But everyone I know voted for Romney!” many actually said. The inability to consider that the other side may have some good points leads you to this kind of thinking. (Not that there aren’t Democrats who do the same thing, but certainly not to the level we see on the right.)

Now their Presidential candidate is saying everything is rigged, because he can’t explain otherwise why he is losing. I blame the lizard people.

Hillary’s zingers

You ever notice how there aren’t many funny conservatives?  There’s no equivalent to the Daily Show or John Oliver’s show or Stephen Colbert…

Why that is is a subject for another column, though. I just wanted to point out that the liberals tend to have the better comedians, and some of them have clearly written some wonderful jokes for Hillary Clinton.

Last night, at the Alfred E. Smith dinner in New York — an annual tradition where politicians kind of roast each other — Hillary got some great lines in. Trump, on the other hand, was mostly just mean and was even booed with some of his lines. (He even, at one point, looked at his script and made a comment about how poor his jokes were, as if he had not even read them until that point.)

Anyway, check out some of these zingers:

There are a lot of friendly faces here in this room, people I’ve been privileged to know and work with. I just want to put you all in a basket of adorables.

And you look so good in your tuxes — or as I refer to them, formal pantsuits.

Donald, after listening to your speech, I will enjoy listening to Mike Pence deny that you ever gave it.

People look at the Statue of Liberty and they see a proud symbol of our history as a nation of immigrants, a beacon of hope for people around the world. Donald looks at the Statue of Liberty and sees a four. Maybe a five, if she loses the torch and tablet and changes her hair.

Now, you notice, there is no teleprompter here tonight, which is probably smart, because maybe you saw Donald dismantle his prompter the other day. And I get that. They’re hard to keep up with, and I’m sure it’s even harder when you’re translating from the original Russian.

Donald really is as healthy as a horse. You know, the one Vladimir Putin rides around on.

Sharing a stage with Donald Trump is like, well, nothing really comes to mind. There is nothing like sharing a stage with Donald Trump.

I think the good news is that the debates finally allowed Republicans to unite around their candidate. The bad news is, it’s Mike Pence.

And whoever wins this election, the outcome will be historic. We’ll either have the first female president or the first president who started a Twitter war with Cher.

if Donald does win, it will be awkward at the annual presidents’ day photo when all the former presidents gather at the White House, and not just with Bill. How is Barack going to get past the Muslim ban?

I said no to some jokes that I thought were over the line, but I suppose you can judge for yourself on WikiLeaks in the next few days.


Republicans: Stop trying to disown Trump

“Donald Trump — as he’s prone to do — he didn’t build the building by himself, but he slapped his name on it and took credit for it.”derp-trump

That was President Obama last week, rightly pointing out that the GOP can pretend that Trump does not share their positions and that he is not really one of them, but the fact is that they built that Building of Deplorables that allowed Trump to move in and declare himself their king.

“The problem is not that all Republicans think the way this guy does,” Obama said. “The problem is that they’ve been riding this tiger for a long time. They’ve been feeding their base all kinds of crazy for years, primarily for political expedience.”

It’s not like the warning signs weren’t there. It’s not like there weren’t plenty of us (and even plenty in the GOP) who predicted that this would happen. They could have done more to prevent this, and now it appears they’re going to lose the Presidency as well as the Senate (and maybe even the House).

And it’s their own damn fault.

So when some Republican says that they can’t support Trump and they act all surprised that such a terrible man could have ever grabbed the support of a majority of their members, take it with a grain of salt. The warning signs were there all along, and they just continued to drive off that cliff.