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There’s No Way Donald Trump Will Become President

With just a few delegates standing between him and the Republican nomination, pundits are talking about how electable Trump is and how he plans to “pivot” to the general election. The same commentators who disregarded the polls and predicted that Trump would lose the nomination now implores us to consider his chances. He is going to adopt a more “presidential tone.” He’ll take aim at Hillary Clinton from every angle. He will be extremely strong. He could even come out on top.

That is the argument, anyway.

But first, there’s a quick question we need to address. In what ways will Donald Trump’s presidential campaign surpass Mitt Romney’s? What is it he will win that Romney did not?

Not a bad candidate was Romney. His campaign was competent and mostly professional, and he defeated an incumbent who oversaw slow growth and high unemployment. Although Romney wasn’t the front-runner, he had a better chance than most opponents of the incumbent president. If you think Trump can win without an external shock such as a recession or terrorist attack, you must demonstrate how he outperforms Romney. You have to take this out of the realm of conjecture and into reality.

The same mistake that caused analysts to write Trump off as a long shot as late as the Iowa and New Hampshire primaries is at the heart of the notion that he can win. Then, despite the polls’ accurate depiction of his appeal to a broad spectrum of Republican voters, observers chose not to believe them. It was inconceivable that a group of supposedly gifted contenders would fall short of preventing Trump from gaining momentum.

That’s the actual event. If Trump had started the campaign resembling an Icarus—a contender who soars to the top before withering in the heat—by fall, he was a different candidate. In a crowded field, he had genuine support from Republican voters and exuded authenticity. Nobody made an effort to stop him. GOP leaders disarmed out of fear of upsetting Trump’s supporters; Republican donors shied away from sponsoring a confrontation due to Trump’s attacks; and Republican candidates, comfortable with his threat, concentrated on clogging their own “lanes” rather than challenging the front-runner. Trump had built a following by the time Republican voters cast their ballots.

In the general election, none of that matters. Democrats, in contrast to Republicans, intend to launch a barrage of attacks on Trump from all angles. Additionally, they intend to take advantage of the holes that Republicans ignored until it was too late to stop Trump. They will expose Trump’s history of racism and discrimination, hit him where he is weak with tales of common people he has conned and cheated, and highlight the fact that he is ignorant of the outside world and government. They will also attack Trump for his blatant and violent misogyny.

Rallying to support Trump’s calls for a wall with Mexico and a ban on Muslims, Republican base voters cheered when he overthrew established politicians, fed on years of anti-establishment rage and white identity politics. Similar to Sharron Angle, Todd Akin, and Christine O’Donnell, Trump is ideally suited for the Republican Party’s mistrusting and irate majority. However, the same polls that placed Trump atop the GOP primary also showed him falling well short in the general election. Similar to his fringe predecessors, Trump is despised by regular voters.

which returns us to our original query. If Trump can win the general election and has a chance to win the presidency, how does he do it? In what ways does he surpass Mitt Romney?

Let’s examine the vote by the people. To turn the tide, Trump needs to garner roughly 3 million more votes. He must accomplish that in a setting where the current president enjoys broad support, the economy is expanding, and the majority of people are content with their current course in life. On its own, that is challenging.

Let’s examine a map of elections. Trump needs to win at least 69 electoral votes to take the lead from Romney. He wins if he wins North Carolina, Virginia, Florida, Ohio, and New Hampshire in addition to the four biggest swing states. He wins if he makes inroads into the Midwest. He wins if he takes all of the South and either New Hampshire or Iowa.

But in real life, how does this occur? For instance, Florida is essential. Without it, Republicans cannot win. There are simply not enough non-Hispanic white voters to make up the difference, so Trump needs to perform better than Romney among Latino voters in order to win the state. What is Trump’s standing with Latinos?

A recent national survey by Latino Decisions found that 87% of all Latino voters hold a negative opinion of Trump. In Florida, the percentage is 84%. It is 91% in Colorado and 87% in Nevada, two other states with high Latino swing states. If Trump loses 87% of Latino voters nationally (and nothing else changes from 2012), the Democrats will receive 8 million more popular votes in addition to North Carolina.

Alright, so what about African Americans? Black people’s opinions of Trump are not well-surveyed; however, the majority of national surveys indicate disapproval in the 80–90% range. Should black voter turnout continue on its current trajectory, Trump will need to capture 15% of the black vote in order to win over crucial swing states from Democrats. (A Trump who is undoubtedly winning is also one who is able to pull that off.) In the past 60 years, no Republican has received more than 15% of the black vote.

Trump is also incredibly unpopular with women. In a recent Gallup poll, seventy percent expressed a negative opinion. Trump is out of a job if he loses seventy percent of the women.

What about voters who are white? The proportion of white voters has decreased by 2 percentage points to 69 percent, while the shares of black, Asian, and Hispanic voters have increased. In actuality, non-White groups account for a sizable majority of the 10.7 million additional eligible voters. With more votes cast overall, the Democratic candidate will prevail if nothing else about the 2012 election results changes. Given this, in order for Trump to win Rust Belt states like Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, he would need to outperform Romney among white voters by sizable margins, as Greg Sargent explains in his article for the Washington Post.

Donald Trump faces significant demographic challenges, a significant lead in head-to-head polls, and extreme unpopularity as the general election gets underway. He loses if he doesn’t get historically high percentages of votes from Black and Latino voters, or if he doesn’t get significantly higher percentages of votes from non-White voters. Furthermore, he must accomplish this while campaigning as the least popular nominee in thirty years of polling. He must accomplish this while competing against a fiercely active Democratic Party.

with well-liked stand-ins, such as a former president, traveling the nation opposing his campaign. He must accomplish this with the Republican Party split. He must accomplish this while in some way restraining his ingrained racism and misogyny. Again, all of this is occurring in a rising economy under a popular president, which is ideal for a Democratic contender.

To win, Donald Trump needs to undergo a drastic transformation.

The election won’t go to Donald Trump.