Twenty days before the ballots are tallied, Hillary Clinton’s cabal of international bankers, Mexican billionaires, failing newspapers, and “victims of sexual assault,” appear to already have this election rigged. At this point, Carlos Slim can probably tell the New Black Panther Party to take Election Day off — this one’s in the bag.
Of course, there isn’t actually a globalist conspiracy to deny Donald Trump the presidency. But the mogul has spent much of the past two weeks insisting that there is. Which makes sense: At this point, the GOP nominee has a much better chance of persuading his base that they shouldn’t blame him for the result on November 8 than he does of persuading the broader electorate to deliver the result he wants.
The past 48 hours of polls and reporting offer new testaments to the strength of Clinton’s advantage — and suggest that a landslide big enough to give Democrats control of Capitol Hill is a genuine possibility. Here are eight signs that America is less than three weeks away from electing its first female president.
1. Clinton is outpolling Trump among some of his strongest demographics.
Clinton leads Trump by nine points in Bloomberg’s new national poll. But the best news for the Democratic nominee lies in the survey’s cross-tabs: After trailing Trump among men for the entire summer, Clinton now wins them 46 to 44 percent in a two-way race with Trump.
What’s more, as recently as September, Bloomberg showed Trump leading Clinton by eight points among those without a college degree — now, Clinton leads that demographic by four.
And, among whites with college diplomas — a longtime Republican constituency — Clinton has expanded her advantage to 13 points.
2. Clinton now has a better chance of winning Texas than Trump does of winning Pennsylvania.
Recent polls from the University of Houston and SurveyMonkey show Trump leading Clinton in the Lone Star State by margins of 3 percent and 2 percent, respectively. By contrast, the most recent polls of Pennsylvania have put Clinton up by between 6 and 9 percent.
And Texas isn’t the only longtime red state that’s starting to take on a purple hue. Recent polls have put Clinton in striking distance in Georgia, Utah, and Alaska, while one poll out Wednesday gives her a five-point lead in Arizona.
Clinton’s surprising competitiveness in red states has led some observers to believe her national lead is even larger than polling averages make it look.
This may be so. But it’s worth noting that red states have swung more dramatically toward the Democratic nominee than swing states have.
3. Still, her average national lead puts her in landslide territory.
4. This number.
5. Trump’s own argument for why he’s still competitive actually refutes itself.
On Tuesday, Trump argued that he has an excellent chance of becoming president, because right-wing nationalist movements always win surprise victories in 2016.
“This is another Brexit, believe me,” the GOP nominee said.
But if the U.S. election follows the same pattern as Brexit, then Trump will lose — because one lesson of Brexit was that public-opinion polling is very reliable.
6. The incensed women of Indiana are coming for Trump.
At a drive-through voter registration event at the Vigo County Courthouse the day before, about 150 voters registered. I spoke to one volunteer who worked the event, and she told me that 90 percent of them were women who planned to vote for Clinton.
Among them was 73-year-old Bertha Pearman, a Terre Haute resident who had registered to vote for the first time in her life that day. Spurred by Trump’s letter-to-Penthouse-like remarks, Pearman had had enough, and planned to vote for Clinton … “With the things that come out of Trump’s mouth, it makes you sick,” said Pearman, a former retail clerk and the mother of three children. “It’s pretty sad that you have to censor the debates from our children. I don’t want someone like that running the country.”
7. Clinton is starting to cross 50 percent in her most favorable polls.
In a two-way race — a measure that presumes third-party candidates will perform worse on Election Day than in polls leading up to it, as has been the historic norm — Bloomberg shows Clinton reaching 50 percent. A new survey from PRRI puts her at 51 — 15 points ahead of Trump.
8. Democrats taking the House is now a serious subject of conversation.
That PRRI survey also shows Democrats winning the generic congressional ballot by 12 points — a margin that would almost certainly make Nancy Pelosi House Speaker.
Still, RealClearPolitics’s polling average puts the Democratic congressional advantage at a mere 4.2 percent. And with Republican incumbents protected by audaciously gerrymandered districts, every last thing would have to go right for Team Blue to confiscate Paul Ryan’s gavel.
Thus, the most likely consequences of next month’s elections will be an even more extreme GOP majority in the House, an even more recalcitrant Republican minority in the Senate, and the first female president in the White House.