It's May 2016. I, like a lot of other Americans, are still in disbelief that Trump has carried the Republican nomination during this election cycle. It's true that most analysts said early on "Trump would never win the Republican nomination." That's because every single poll from the beginning of the election cycle had Trump faring the worst against either Sanders or Clinton in a general election forecast. Therefore, every political analyst reasoned there was no chance that voters would nominate Trump knowing he would crash and burn against the Democrat nominee in November. Yet they voted for him anyway, virtually guaranteeing a Democrat victory for 2016.
Neither Republicans or Democrats are immune to math and statistical probability. The numbers look bad for Trump. Really bad. This should not come as a surprise to anyone. His numbers have been atrocious since the beginning, and that did not affect Republican voters. It's clear that GOP supporters are sick and tired of the status quo, so in response they placed their chips on a losing bet.
Now I'm sure everyone reading has a passing familiarity with poker. Even if you don't you surely can understand that some hands are better than others. That does not guarantee the stronger hand will win. I'm sure we've all seen the World Poker Tour where a guy goes all in with only a 10% chance of winning, and then somehow gets lucky and pulls the one card he needs on the river. It happens. But it was still a stupid bet.
Trump is a stupid bet.
This is not new information. Cruz supporters, Rubio supporters, Bush supporters, Carson supporters, etc. have all begged and pleaded with the electorate not to vote for a guy who is going to get clobbered in the general election. GOP analysts, from the start, have pleaded with Republican voters, telling them "voting for Trump is guaranteeing a Democrat victory." The national Republican party has fought tooth and nail against Trump from the very start because they were well aware of just how abysmal his chances against Clinton or Sanders were.
This information has not bothered Trump supporters one bit. They've gone all-in with a 2, 7 off-suit. The odds are really bad. But, to hell with the odds! Trump all the way! They proudly proclaim that everyone underestimated Trump. But that's not so. No one underestimated Trump. What the political analysts did was way overestimate the competency and rationality of the Republican voter base. Sure they said "Trump would not win the GOP nomination" but what they were really saying is, "Republicans are smarter than to vote for a losing bet." They were wrong.
Republicans have voted to play 2, 7 off-suit and are loud and proud they have done so. Congratulations. In a sense you're right. No one thought you guys would actually vote to do something so unbelievably ill-advised. Yet you did. And now the polls are forecasting possibly the worst loss in a presidential election since 1988.
Now, all that being said, could Trump still win? Absolutely. A lot can happen between now and November, like an indictment, for example. There's a lot that could sway the election between now and then. But, that does not change the fact that Republicans voters made a bet they only had a 12.4% chance of winning. And now they have to hope and pray they hit that one river card, which has an 87% chance of not happening, and Clinton will be laughing all the way to 1600 Pennsylvania avenue.
Note: At the time of writing this blog post, every single election forecast has Clinton obliterating Trump in the general election. The most favorable poll to Trump (The Rothenberg & Gonzales poll) still has Trump behind Clinton by a whopping 60 electoral votes. There is a fair chance Trump could lose to Clinton by 256 electoral votes or more. My personal prediction is that Clinton will win by no less than 80 electoral votes and may win by as much as 300.