The thing about elections is they test various theories about the direction of the country, the strategies of the party elites and the pet theories of the talking heads representing the ideological sides of the ruling class. In predictable elections like 2012, everyone can hedge enough to look like they have a bead on things, but 2016 is not one of those elections. No one really knows how things will turnout on Tuesday. That’s leaving all the so-called experts out on one limb or another, ready to have it sawed off by the voters.
The first camp that will probably plunge to the ground are those who have been saying Trump is outlandishly unacceptable. These are the the NeverTrump loons mostly, but there are some Progressive nutters in this group. These are the people that have been predicting a blowout for Clinton, even suggesting she will usher in a permanent realignment. After all, Trump’s pro-evil message and buffoonish style will be resoundingly rejected by the voters and that’s going to damage the Republican brand for a generation.
There’s not way to interpret the polling that says this will happen. The most likely scenario, as of this writing, is the slimmest of slim victories for Clinton. Even Nate Silver says she is one close state flipping away from defeat. If she is going to win, it is going to be the narrowest win possible and closer that what Obama did four years ago. At the minimum, it says the message was fine, but the campaign strategy was poorly executed and a slightly less eccentric messenger would have won.
The next group plunging to earth tomorrow will be those claiming that Trump’s message appeals only to white nationalists. This group should already be on the turf as it is clear that Trump is doing just as well as any Republican with blacks and Hispanics. There’s a lot of polling that suggests he is doing better than previous Republicans with both groups. The only thing that will keep this group of experts around after the election is they are shameless and facts simply don’t matter.
One branch over in the canopy are the TrueCons and Movement Conservatives that have been arguing that Trump is not conservative and only a real conservative can win against a Liberal Democrat. These are the folks debating the proper use of semicolons in the tax code. They need a Clinton landslide to avoid having their limb sawed off tomorrow. The weight of their own perfidy has caused many to plunge to the earth in the primary, but there are still some hanging on, going on about principled conservatism.
Then we have the amnesty crowd. This is going to be interesting to watch as they are almost as fanatical as the NeverTrump loons. A Trump loss will temp them to say amnesty is the only way to prevent this from happening again, but that’s going to be a tough sell. A Trump win takes the issue off the table. The only way these people can claim victory on Tuesday is if Trump losses and it is the result of losing states with heavy Hispanic populations. This is looking unlikely, but that’s their one hope.
Similarly, there have been those who have argued that immigration and amnesty are simply toxic issues. They are third rail issues. The solution is to ignore them or suck it up and pass amnesty so the issue is off the table for another generation. This is a popular cop-out with Republicans as it makes them look like they are reluctant to cave to Democratic pressure, but it keeps the Progressives from calling them racist. The results thus far make clear that this is ridiculous, but a Trump win should kill this one off for a generation.
My favorite election theory this cycle has been the howling from the political class about the need for a ground game. That means the need to hire thousands of their friends into do-nothing jobs for the campaigns. Trump has run a lean and mean campaign in the primary and the general. The political professionals hate him for it. If he wins, then we probably see a new style of electioneering modeled on what he did in 2016. A loss and we get a barrage of opinion from these people claiming they were right all along.
Then there is the Depressive Right’s argument that the country is lost due to demographics. These are the people who drink vinegar for breakfast. Because of immigration, there’s simply no way to win on anything other than a statist agenda. The electoral map has been rigged and the only way a Republican can compete is to out globalist the Democrats. The result will be a slow march toward the abyss as the country cracks up under the inevitable strains of multiculturalism, tribalism and globalist economics.
This is the one group with the best chance to be proved right tomorrow. Trump has his flaws, but his message is fundamentally pro-American, while Clinton is running an anti-American campaign. If that is not enough, Clinton is clearly the least moral and least honest politician any of us has seen in our lifetime. If the voters still reject Trump, then there is no reason to think there is a way to win an election on a pro-American, patriotic message. The people have quit on themselves and the country.
Then there is the Sailer theory of recent elections, which is that the GOP has been shedding white voters and therefore their prospects have dimmed. Those white voters are not voting for the other party in great numbers. Instead, they stay home, dropping out of the system. If the data from the primary is correct and Trump is pulling those forgotten voters back in, then this validates Sailer’s thesis. This may not be obvious for a while after the election, but this election will be a good test case.
This brings up another theory, one that is quietly being discussed in Progressive circles. You can make an argument that someone lacking Clinton’s ugly corruption and even uglier personality would be headed for a landslide right now. After all, the least appealing candidate in human history is one state from winning the election. Imagine if she did not have the sex appeal of a pit viper. The point being, even a narrow loss will seem to prove that post-Americanism is a winner or at least a potential winner, with the right candidate.
Time will tell.