Robert Traynham

Robert Traynham

On Nov. 8, Americans will finally make their views known as to who they want to represent them in the White House come Jan. 20. Up until this election, most political pundits could predict what states would go for Clinton — blue and what states would go for Trump — red.

Let’s face it; the only true “toss up” states were Florida, Ohio, North Carolina and possibly Colorado. Utah has always voted for the Republican nominee for president in the same way that California votes for the Democratic nominee.

But this year is different. There is a sense of urgency in the air that I have not seen in my lifetime. Many states that would not even think of voting for a Democrat are seriously thinking about putting a Clinton in the White House. Some of this is because a Libertarian is on the ticket, so by default, that favors Hillary Clinton in a state like Utah where there is a high percentage of Mormons that think un-highly of Trump, but beyond that more voters are finding their choice for president an easy choice: Clinton is not perfect, but she is better than Trump.

For the first time in almost 20 years, there is a realistic chance that when we wake up the day after Election Day, traditional states that would never dream of tilting Democrat may do just that. In addition to Utah, Arizona, Georgia and even Texas may go Democrat. This exercise was a pipe dream a few months ago, but today, it’s a reality based on Clinton’s 50-state strategies of going after every state and changing demographics.

First, Clinton can afford a 50-state strategy especially since she and her allies have raised just over $1 billion to have the luxury to spend whatever amount her campaign thinks wise in any state they want. In other words, they have the luxury to play offense wherever they want and a time of their choosing. A few months ago, this was a mere head fake to keep the Trump campaign guessing and to force them to spend resources in states that historically trended Republican. Now with so many factors going Clinton’s way, it’s no longer a head fake. It’s now real.

Secondly, the demographics are in favor of Clinton. With the country getting younger and browner, this only benefits Clinton even in states such as Georgia and Texas. In Georgia for example, a state that last voted for a Democrat in 1996, Trump is only up by four points according to the Real Politics polling average. A few days ago, Priorities USA, a pro-Clinton super-PAC, spent $2 million on television ads which is a significant investment in a Southern state like Georgia with its only one major media market being Atlanta. The state’s largest city used to be the only predominately solid voting bloc voting Democratic, but with the number of nonwhite voters growing outside of the Atlanta metro area, the state is slowly tilting toward the Democratic Party with this year being within reach and possibly even 2020 during the next presidential election. For Clinton and her operatives these scenarios are a dream come true because it gives her multiple paths to victory and Trump, little to none.

This is isn’t to say that the election is over — far from it — but it does mean that come next year the Republican Party is going to have to rethink everything about the brand: its outreach, its messaging, its political operation and its path to victory. Will they get it right this time? I don’t know for this déjà vu all over again since they had a near-death experience when President Obama won in 2008. We’ll see this time if they have actually learned their lesson. I’m not convinced.

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