Two well-known political prognosticators bore bad news for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump as they addressed the annual Georgia Chamber of Commerce Congressional Luncheon this afternoon in Macon. Charlie Cook of the Cook Political Report and Stuart Rothenberg, publisher of the Rothenberg Political Report gave their opinions on the state of the November election, with Cook calling the election the strangest he’d ever seen, and Rothenberg calling the Republican Party “clinically insane” by nominating Donald Trump instead of a more credible candidate.
Both pundits predicted a Hillary Clinton victory in November. After pointing out the unpopularity of Hillary Clinton, who is -12 unfavorable in polling, Cook said that if the Republican Party had nominated a potted plant, they would have won. Instead, of course, they nominated Donald Trump, and Cook predicts Clinton would win by 3.8 points in November. He also believes the race has stabilized, and wasn’t predicting big changes in polling before election day.
Rothenberg predicted widespread GOP defections in November, saying that while in a normal year 6-8% of Republican voters would not vote for the presidential candidate, this year, 10-15% of Republicans would not vote for Trump. Despite what he described as a set up for the Republicans this year, Rothenberg estimated Clinton would win by as little as four and as many as nine percent.
Noting that the percentage of white voters has gone from a high of 88% in 1980 to 72% in 2012, Rothernberg predicted an even lower white percentage this November, and said that unless Trump could magically pull white votes out of thin air, there weren’t enough white votes out there to win.
Moving to down-ballot races, the pair predicted that the Republicans would keep the House but there is a good chance they will lose the Senate. Mark Kirk in Illinois and Ron Johnson in Wisconsin appear to be the most vulnerable. However, because both presidential candidates are so unpopular, a Goldwater type landslide is probably not in the cards. And there’s better news ahead. In 2018, there will be 25 Democratic Senate candidates up for re-election, and nonly eight Republicans.
Wrapping up their talk, Cook displayed a poster for a candidate that expresses the mood of the electorate this year.