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.
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.
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.
Follow Robert Traynham on Twitter @roberttraynham.