So Mitt proved me right about how wrong I was, and he dropped out of the race before getting into the race he was never going to get into, and, while dropping out via recorded conference call with donors, he insisted that he would have won the nomination, but he’s not going to run, unless circumstances change, although that’s very unlikely, which is exactly what he said just a few months before he decided to run, which he’s not doing. Running, I mean.
Look, I’ll let smarter people than me sort all that out. By dropping out of the race, Mitt saves himself and his family a lot of pain, and that’s a good thing. But now I have friends asking me for my take on the race going forward. Who do I think will win the nomination? Which candidate has the best chance against Hillary?
The answer to question #1: Don’t know and don’t care.
The answer to question #2: The same candidate who has the best chance of winning California’s 55 electoral votes – i.e. none of them.
I don’t say this to be bitter or nasty. I say it because in order for the Republicans to be competitive on the presidential level, they have to break through the “Blue Wall” which guarantees that Democrats win at least 240 electoral votes out of 270 right out of the gate. Based on demographic trends, it seems that two other states that have fallen behind the so-called “Blue Wall” are Virginia and New Hampshire.
That puts the Democrat at 270 before the race even starts.
This blog post explains all this better than I can, but this is all based on the fact that demographics are solid predictors of voting patterns. When, say, black voters vote for Democrats 95% of the time regardless of who’s running, campaigns become increasingly irrelevant. In the modern era, it’s easy to pinpoint the demographic trends and commensurate voting patterns with frightening, Nate-Silver-esque accuracy. Those trends produce predictable voting behavior that is prohibitively difficult for any campaign to overcome.
That means that for a Republican to win, they have to win every single swing state, including heavily contested Ohio and Florida, both of which went blue the last two times around. Then they also have to flip a blue state, too.
Which blue state could Romney have flipped? Which blue state will Jeb Bush or Scott Walker or Chris Christie flip? Bush might hold Florida, but he won’t flip anything. Christie has zero chance of winning his home state of New Jersey. Walker is the best bet of these three, because he has an outside chance of flipping Wisconsin, but then he has to win everything else, too, and that’s just not realistic at all. And Ted Cruz would likely see several red states flip over to blue. So, to sum up, Republicans have to run the table and win the jackpot at the same time, whereas a Democrat just has to wake up on the day after Election Day.
Republican voters are increasingly old, white, and rural. Their numbers continue to shrink, and the party’s death spiral will swirl downward for generations.
I do not expect to see a Republican president again in my lifetime.
Mitt dodged a bullet here.