Landslide? Not So Fast

By Susan Estrich

October 26, 2016 4 min read

So we have one candidate who definitely supports the Constitution and one who takes 24 hours to decide whether he does (tough one). We have one candidate who has stood up for women's rights in 115 nations and one who is credited with starting a national discussion about whether a nice way of saying hello to a woman is to grab her by the, well — it's a word that can mean "cat." (Look, he's the one running for president and saying these things, not me.) We've got one candidate who is supported by her base and one who is so humiliating that the leaders of his own party won't vote for him... Can we stop this already?

Yes, we have one candidate who is a complete and total embarrassment.

But it's not a landslide. I don't see too many double-digit polls. As a matter of fact, if you follow the old rule of thumb of throwing out the two outliers, I don't see any. Which seems about right. Trump is holding on to 40 percent of the electorate.

Who are these people?

At the end of the day, will people really vote for a guy who picks a fight with Muslim parents whose son has died fighting for our country? Tell me, how do you give your vote to that guy?

You can't tell me he respects the presidency, or democracy, or anybody or anything. He doesn't listen to anybody. He doesn't begin to know what he doesn't know. He doesn't believe in preparing. Can you imagine if your teenager told you he was headed for tests at school and he wasn't going to prepare because he didn't need to because the rules didn't apply to him? Or if your grown son said that he didn't have to pay taxes or debts when there were perfectly legal ways to avoid both? (Did I say "right"? No, I said "legal.")

Can you imagine the drumbeat if Hillary Clinton refused to release her tax return? I remember, painfully well, the drumbeat when Geraldine Ferraro made a comment about Italian men not wanting to release their returns. She was in front of a bank of cameras days later.

But Trump. Nope. He's "under audit." Sorry, my midterm is late — "under audit." A whole new generation of excuses for a new generation of mini-demagogues.

And 40 percent of Americans are behind him. I could tell you that happens every four years; that as the election draws near, the third-party candidates find their support dropping and about 40 percent will ultimately end up with the Republican and 40 percent with the Democrat, and those other folks decide the election. And I could maybe even say that Trump has his hardcore 40 percent Republicans and he won't get much more, and maybe that's true, but as to who he has, I'm not so sure.

That's because there are an awful lot of establishment Republicans voting for Clinton. And there is a funny coalition of the angry and the alienated, and not all of them are white and not all of them are men, who heard in Trump (when he stopped talking about himself for long enough) a message that they are pretty desperate to hear: a message that, just for a second, echoed the one Barack Obama was selling eight years ago; that we can go to Washington and make change happen; storm the barricades; restore the dream; politics as usual be darned. Not this year. But not a landslide, either.

To find out more about Susan Estrich and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at

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