Anyone who thinks this race can’t be won is vastly overestimating our opponent.
Here’s something that barely made the headlines: In last week’s West Virginia primary, Bernie Sanders defeated Hillary Clinton. That’s because it’s hardly news anymore when Bernie Sanders defeats Hillary Clinton in a primary. He defeats her regularly. Thus far he’s defeated her in 19 primaries and/or caucuses, which means she’d done an awful lot of losing for someone who is supposed to be the massively supported, consensus, inevitable nominee of her party.
This doesn’t mean he’s going to be the Democrats’ nominee, of course. The Democrats’ nominating process is set up to favor the candidate preferred by the establishment, not by primary voters and caucus-goers. They get some say, but just in case the establishment’s candidate is widely reviled and distrusted, the Democrats have made sure she will be saved by “superdelegates” who will vote the way party leaders want them to, not the way voters want them to.
So those who were hoping Democrats would do us all a favor and take Hillary out of the running before she gains the nomination are almost certainly out of luck. The fix is in and she will end up the nominee in spite of her unpopularity.
But that’s where her luck ends. Democratic Party officials don’t get to manipulate the general election results like they do the nominating race, although they will surely try with the help of their media allies. And they’ll need all the help they can get, because for all the handwringing you hear about Donald Trump, the fact is that Hillary Clinton is a horrendously terrible candidate.
Listen to Bernie Sanders supporters and you quickly recognize their loyalty to their guy isn’t only because they want to elect an elderly socialist as president. It’s also fueled in no small way by complete disdain for Hillary. They don’t trust her. They don’t think she’s on their side – or anyone’s side but her own.
And if you watch the way she handles herself publicly – whether in media interviews or stump speeches – you can clearly see a serial insincerity and an instinct to pander. It doesn’t matter if she’s adjusting her accent to the region in which she’s speaking or yelling at us not to yell. She’s clearly not comfortable in her own skin, and she clearly doesn’t have confidence in her own appeal – which is why she both tries too hard and acts put off by needing to try so hard.
I think this is important to say because some Republicans are losing their minds over polls that show Donald Trump can’t win in the fall. They point to his high negatives and declare that Hillary already has this in the bag. Listen: This campaign has not even begun. Anyone who thinks that highly of Hillary Clinton as a candidate is out of their minds. She can barely hang onto support in her own party, and she is widely seen as a liar who will say anything for her own political benefit.
Her political instincts are terrible and her personal appeal is near zero. Anyone who thinks Trump can’t win this race, or that Hillary can’t lose it, hasn’t really taken a look at the dynamics of this campaign. This may be the most winnable race for Republicans since 1984. Maybe we all just need to take a cue from our prospective nominee and think like winners.