For many of my Democratic friends that think the 2016 Presidential Campaign is pretty well decided--they think Secretary Hillary Clinton cannot lose to the out of control Republican Candidate Donald Trump. Like many providing comments and evaluations of the state and national political scene, I have thought long and hard about it.
My conclusion is that Trump could actually win the popular vote. I don't think the polls reflect the deep disdain Americans have for the Clintons, especially if another bombshell is dropped on them. Conversely, whatever number of votes Trump has, unlike Clinton, they seem highly probable to come out and vote for him. But we have no track record of emotions converting to votes for this kind of hysteria.
Notable politicians like former Democratic Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell have said he doesn't understand how Trump is holding up in the polls, with his insults toward Hispanics, Women, and People of Color. He is not holding them, because he never had them. Trump is getting the angry white, middle class, less educated men, and there are a lot of them, at least in the current polls.
Here is how Trump can do it.
Assume the popular vote as of this writing is Clinton 48-Trump 44--Other 8.
Assume New Developments:
1. Clinton has maxed out her vote. She can only lose votes, unless a bombshell is dropped on her at the end, in which case, she will certainly lose. Say Clinton loses 2 points, both to Other.
2. If the marginal Trump voters finally get disgusted with him, they will probably not vote at all. They will never vote for Clinton. Trump loses 2 points, who do not vote.
3. Assume continuing disgust with both Clinton and Trump, the two major third party candidates of former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson and Green Party Candidate Dr. Jill Stein will probably grow. It is not clear how many votes they will get, but my guess is that they will draw more votes from Clinton. Say Clinton loses 2 points, Trump 1 to Other.
4. I believe all of America-Haters in the world will certainly attack our country again between now and the election. This will probably help Trump. Say Trump gains 3, taking 2 from Clinton and 1 from Other.
Although the math is imperfect, it is clear with all these new developments, Trump can win, but by a small margin. But we do not use the popular vote in our Presidential Elections--we use the weighted votes of the Electoral College. We will analyze that vote as we get closer to the election.