Election 2016

“I don’t see it happening”

Republicans appear to be giving up on Trump as Democrats shift to down-ballot races

The presidential election is over, says everybody (except Trump’s kids)

Donald Trump’s campaign sent out a press release Sunday afternoon with the yearning headline “Eric Trump: I really believe we’re going to win this.” But the candidate’s son might be the only one who’s still feeling optimistic about the election. 

Over the weekend, prominent Republicans began acknowledging that their nominee will likely lose on Nov. 8, while confident Democrats shifted their focus from the White House to congressional and state legislature races.

The early-voting data shows that Hillary Clinton is on course for a “very big and historic win,” said her running mate, Tim Kaine, at a Florida rally Sunday evening. Clinton had breezily dismissed Trump’s latest attacks the day before, saying, “I don’t even think about responding to him anymore.” And at a Nevada rally Sunday evening, President Obama summed up Trump’s candidacy this way: “He’s losing.”

As Democrats expressed confidence, Republicans grimaced. “We are behind,” Trump’s campaign manager and pollster Kellyanne Conway conceded on Sunday to NBC. “[Clinton] has some advantages.” Those advantages include $150 million on hand for the final month of campaigning; Trump has just $75 million.

“I don’t see it happening,” veteran Republican strategist Karl Rove told Fox News on Sunday of a Trump victory. And former Trump adviser and Republican operative Jim Dornan told Politico that “Trump is done” unless Clinton is “involved in a murder” or some similar scandal.

Trump’s poll numbers have been so dismal the last several weeks that the Republican, who once frequently read poll numbers aloud at his rallies, told a crowd last week, “I don’t believe the polls anymore.” The RealClearPolitics polling average puts Clinton’s lead at 5.8 percent. The Upshot calculates Clinton has a 93 percent chance of winning. FiveThirtyEight pegs it at 86 percent.

Democrats are so confident in Clinton’s ultimate victory that they are diverting money and resources toward electing congressional Democrats to help enact her agenda. The Democratic nominee is spending $1 million in Indiana and Missouri to help out Democratic Senate and gubernatorial candidates.

In Nevada Sunday night, Obama spent the bulk of his time talking about the state’s competitive Senate race. “We can’t elect Hillary and then saddle her with a Congress that’s do-nothing, won’t even try to do something,” he said. Democrats have a good chance of winning a majority in the Senate and hope to significantly cut into the Republican majority in the House.

Obama is also helping more than 150 candidates for state legislature, a nearly unprecedented level of campaigning for down-ballot candidates by a sitting president.

On Friday, Trump admitted that his political career may be near its end. “At least I will have known, win, lose, or draw — and I’m almost sure, if the people come out, we’re going to win — I will be happy with myself,” he said at a North Carolina rally.

If he does win, even he may be surprised.

M-F 7:30PM HBO