CN July 28 2016


Three of Chicago’s most knowledgeable political heavy-hitters are at the table this week to talk Hillary, Bill, Barack, Michelle and Bernie (and Rahm).

Bruce DuMont, host of Beyond the Beltway, gives us the quote of the day.

“I would say that at this particular point in time I believe that Donald Trump will be elected President of the United States.”

Jacky Grimshaw,  whose political service dates back to Mayor Washington’s administration, explains that she knows the feeling of being part of a losing political campaign, but doesn’t think there’s an excuse for interrupting , for example, Leon Panetta while he’s at the podium..

And Steve Edwards, of the Institute For Politics at the U of C, schools us in some very interesting electoral facts. “What gives Democrats some comfort is the idea that they’ve won the popular vote, the Presidential election five out of the last six times. They look at States that they won during those times. You add up those States and I don’t have the exact number, but it’s roughly 220 or 230 electoral votes,” he explains.

So there’s a historic base that favors the Dems. And remember, 270 is the winning number.

“You look at the same for Republicans,” he continues, and “it’s about 114 or something like that. So Democrats look at that and they say, ‘That’s terrific. You add to that the demographic numbers and you say in 1988 George H. W. Bush won about 60% of the white vote in a landslide. Mitt Romney won the same percentage of white voters and lost pretty handily to President Obama, and they say we’ve got demographics on our side.’”

But this, the panelists agree, is not a normal election. Both parties are dealing with seismic shifts in their electorates.

“I don’t think anyone back in July of last year thought that Donald Trump would be the nominee of the Republican Party,” Grimshaw tells us. “It was just too outrageous a thought to think that this huckster in a way, this carnival barker would end up being the nominee of the Republican Party.”

And few Democrats foresaw the Sanders “revolution”, either.  So both campaigns are fighting dual battles – to win over more votes, but also to hang on to the disillusioned portions of their bases.

For example, Edwards tells us the Democrats have never, ever won, in a national election, the college-educated white vote.  Even today Donald Trump is leading in that category. And that battle really comes down to a razor-thin margin between 70 and 74% white voters. If 70% or lower of the total electorate is white, the Democrats will do well. 74% or higher, that’s good for the Republicans.

There’s much, much more in this hour-long discussion about the inside workings of politics. And an interesting diversion into the political fortunes of our nationally-diminished Mayor.

The bottom line: Three experts, with widely differing experience and opinions, agree that this presidential election is far from a sure thing.

You can read a full transcript of this how, in Word format, HERE:CN Transcript July 28 2016




About Ken

Ken's the host of Chicago Newsroom. A former news director, reporter and radio program host, he's also a past Vice President of the Chicago Headline Club.
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