Six Lessons from Donald Trump’s Great Victory

Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Congratulations, President-elect Trump. Congratulations to the historic, never-before-seen governing majority he assembled. It’s time to hope I was wrong and work for President Trump’s success — for America’s success.

Here are my first six takeaways from last night’s historic victory:

1.) The RNC’s “Autopsy” from 2012 got it exactly wrong in arguing the key to victory was less social conservatism and more of the standard GOP economic message. One key to Trump’s victory was to combine social conservatism with a new populist economic message. White evangelicals voted for him in record, never-before-seen numbers: 81 percent to 16 percent according to exit polls. That tops George W. Bush’s record of 78 percent in 2004.

2.) Latinos were the dog that didn’t bark. Build a wall, chastise Mexican immigrants as rapists, threaten to deport illegals — despite Trump’s often unusually harsh tone, he actually gained slightly more of the Latino vote than Romney did, 29 percent versus 27 percent. In Florida, he won 33 percent of the Latino vote. Apparently, Hispanic voters care less about immigration than elites think they should.

3.) The biggest loser last night was the donor class. According to OpenSecrets.org, Trump raised $250 million — less than half of the $687 million Clinton raised.  Trump demonstrated that you can lose the money primary and still win the election. Television is no longer king. This is a huge opportunity for social conservatives in particular; as donors recognize giving to super PACs is just padding the pockets of consultants who make money whether they win or lose, they are going to be looking for new more effective political vehicles. Continue Reading

Top Five States to Watch Tonight

From left: former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump

With just a few hours now separating us from the first election results, here are the five states I’m watching most closely tonight:

1.) North Carolina

Obviously, North Carolina is a key swing state in the presidential race, which is likely to be very close, but I’m even more interested in the results of the gubernatorial race between Republican Gov. Pat McCrory and Democrat Roy Cooper.

We’ve been talking about this race for months. McCrory has been under fire from a coalition of radical progressives, corporate bullies, and special interests for his support for HB 2, a bill that stopped an effort in Charlotte to redefine gender and give grown men the right to shower and access changing areas with young girls in public facilities.

The fate of HB 2 — and our best line of defense in the progressive war on gender — rests completely on the results of this race.

2.) New Jersey

Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.) is a strong conservative representative in New Jersey who came under fire for criticizing the NRCC for financially supporting Republican candidates who support same-sex marriage. Millions of dollars from outside special interest groups have since poured into New Jersey’s 5th congressional district to defeat Garrett in his race against special interest lobbyist Josh Gottheimer. With the NRCC declining to help Garrett at all, and with only a small coalition of conservatives refusing to abandon him, there’s no doubt he’s an underdog heading into tonight. Continue Reading

Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton? We Make Our Electoral College Predictions

Happy Election Day! With voting set to conclude this evening — make sure to vote if you haven’t already! — it’s time to reveal our predictions for who will be sworn in next January as the 45th President of the United States.

Will it be Donald Trump? Or will it be Hillary Clinton? Here’s what our writers think:

Steve Wagner — Trump wins 274-264

A surprise upset in Wisconsin, plus key wins in the swing states of Florida, North Carolina, and New Hampshire, propel Donald Trump to a 10-point electoral college victory.

Shane Vander Hart — Clinton wins 307-231

Hillary Clinton’s advantage in early voting, plus an uptick in Hispanic votes, is enough to push her over the top in Florida and Nevada while preventing Trump upsets in Pennsylvania and Michigan.

Terry Schilling — Trump wins 278-260

Donald Trump ekes out a close win in Florida while using high turnout from working-class whites to pull off upsets in Colorado, New Mexico, New Hampshire, and Maine’s 2nd congressional district (ME-2) — enough for an 18-point electoral college victory.

Matt Bowman — Trump wins 270-268

Swing state wins in Florida, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada and ME-2 give Donald Trump just enough electoral votes to eke out a 2-point victory over Clinton.

William Upton — Clinton wins 283-255

Victories by Donald Trump in Florida, Nevada, and New Hampshire are not enough to breach Hillary Clinton’s firewall, as she wins North Carolina and the White House.

Mary Powers — Trump wins 272-266

Despite losing Nevada, Donald Trump shocks the political world by winning Virginia and uses victories in Florida, North Carolina, and New Hampshire to complete his 6-point electoral college triumph over Clinton. Continue Reading

Trusting Hillary Is the Best Reason to Vote for Trump

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

Some have made the argument that Donald Trump and Mike Pence won’t move life, marriage, and religious liberty issues beyond the status quo.

Well, I think we can be certain that Hillary Clinton will change the status quo. For the past 40 years, the status quo has been that the federal government does not pay for elective abortions. Clinton, however, is committed to repeal of the Hyde Amendment and other government limitations on abortion funding. She is also opposed to the ban on partial-birth abortion, or any limitation on abortion at any stage of pregnancy, for any reason.

For many years, the status quo has been conscience protections for medical personnel and medical students who object to participating in the performance of abortions. Religious hospitals have also been protected from having to perform elective abortions in their facilities. Clinton, however, believes that religions are going to have to change to accommodate things she deems to be rights, such as abortion. People will no longer be allowed to assert religious beliefs to justify ‘discrimination’ — despite the fact that Bill Clinton signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law to protect the exercise of such beliefs.

For thousands of years, marriage was recognized as the union of one man and one woman — and Hillary Clinton expressed support for that position. However, if a photographer or wedding planner declines to be actively involved in a same-sex wedding ceremony due to his or her religious beliefs, does anyone believe that Clinton will support the exercise of such religious beliefs? Continue Reading

WATCH: Pro-Life Group Releases New Ad Supporting Trump

As we enter the final hours of the 2016 campaign, the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List is making one last effort to nudge swing state voters toward Donald Trump.

In a new online ad released on Friday and currently running in Florida, Missouri, North Carolina and Ohio, SBA List highlights Trump’s criticism of Hillary Clinton’s extreme position on late-term abortion in the final presidential debate last month:

You can watch the full exchange between Trump and Clinton at that debate here.

Paul Dupont is the managing editor for ThePulse2016.com. Continue Reading

For Trump’s Path to 270, It All Comes Down to One State

Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Last Friday, The Pulse 2016’s Frank Cannon and Jon Schweppe laid out the most likely path to 270 electoral votes for Donald Trump, arguing that if he were to win all the closest toss-up states at that time, he would need only one more state to go his way in order to overtake Hillary Clinton.

After a week, it looks like the final piece of the puzzle for Trump may be New Hampshire. New polling in the Granite State has been very favorable to Republicans, and the RealClearPolitics average now has Trump leading by 1.5 points with just four days to go.

However, a Trump victory is still far from certain, given how close the race remains in several battleground states. The RCP polling averages in four states (and Maine’s 2nd congressional district) are currently within two points:

In order for Trump to reach 270, he must win each of these states and ME-2 — or else he must win another one or more states where Clinton’s polling lead is more robust. It’s a tall order, though far from an impossibility.

However, of the above states, one holds a place of particular importance if Trump hopes to pull out a win on Tuesday: Florida. And it’s not just because he is slightly behind in the polling right now. Continue Reading

Did These Catholic Bishops Just Take a Swipe at Tim Kaine?

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) (photo credit: US Department of Education via Flickr, CC BY 2.0)

Hillary Clinton’s campaign has really been struggling lately when it comes to Catholics. It all started with the emails released by WikiLeaks that showed a number of Clinton staffers mocking Catholics and revealing their plans to undermine Catholic teaching. That may have been at least in part responsible for a poll out this week showing Clinton down 13 points to Donald Trump among Catholic voters.

Now, as Election Day nears, a number of Catholic bishops appear to be taking implicit — if not overt — swipes at Clinton’s running mate, Senator Tim Kaine (D-Va.).

Just take, for example, a recent statement to Virginia Catholics from two of the state’s bishops, Paul Loverde and Francis DiLorenzo. Loverde and DiLorenzo mince no words when it comes to addressing two erroneous positions which have been advanced by Kaine during the campaign: the idea that one can be personally opposed to abortion while still supporting its legality and the idea that the Church can change its teaching on marriage. The bishops forcefully reject both these “areas of confusion,” and it is difficult not to read in this a rebuke of Kaine also:

The first area of confusion is that one can be “personally” opposed to abortion, yet continue to publicly support laws which allow it. This is a fundamental misunderstanding of both natural law and Church teaching. The common good and Christian charity compel us to work toward overturning – not supporting or acquiescing to – all unjust laws.

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Black Pastors Express Deep Concern over Clinton’s Stance on Abortion, Religious Freedom

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (photo credit: Lorie Shaull via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0)

Earlier this week, a group of 26 African-American religious leaders signed an open letter to Hillary Clinton requesting that she meet with them to discuss issues of importance to the black community. They then went into details on a number concerns they hope to hear her address, including two issues which have become particularly problematic for Democrats: abortion and religious freedom.

On abortion, the letter slams Clinton for saying in a speech last year that people’s beliefs “have to be changed” on the issue, a comment which the church leaders write “is reminiscent of totalitarianism.” They then go on to chastise her for failing to protect “the lives of the innocent” unborn, especially unborn African Americans:

…[O]ur opposition to abortion is a logical outgrowth of our view that there must be justice for all. Particularly relevant is the innocence of the unborn child. The Bible places an extremely high value on human life and particularly on the lives of the innocent who are under the special protection of God. Those who take the life of the innocent violate a key biblical principle as well as a fundamental principle of natural justice.

Abortion in the black community has had a catastrophic impact. Nationally there are 365 black babies aborted for every 1,000 that are born. Blacks account for roughly 38% of all abortions in the country though we represent only 13% of the population. In New York City, the situation is absolutely dire.

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Six Days Left: Trump Has a Lot of Outs

When poker players are drawing to a straight or a flush, they will often talk about having a certain number of “outs” — i.e. how many cards are left in the deck that can make their hand, allowing them to win the pot.

Donald Trump doesn’t have a winning hand yet, but he has a lot of outs.

Last Thursday night, we wrote at Townhall about Donald Trump’s easier-than-you-think path to 270 electoral votes. We explained that Trump could get to 265 by winning Utah, Georgia, Iowa, Ohio, Arizona, Florida, Nevada, and North Carolina. At the time, this still seemed like a somewhat daunting task, albeit one that was within the realm of possibility.

But now? Well, Trump’s lot has improved significantly in these states since Thursday night, as Hillary Clinton’s lead appears to be fading fast:

Utah

  • RCP Average (10/27): Trump +5.8%
  • RCP Average (11/2): Trump +6.0%
  • 6 Day Swing: Trump +0.2%

Georgia

  • RCP Average (10/27): Trump +2.8%
  • RCP Average (11/2): Trump +5.7%
  • 6 Day Swing: Trump +2.9%

Iowa

Ohio

  • RCP Average (10/27): Trump +1.1%
  • RCP Average (11/2): Trump +3.3%
  • 6 Day Swing: Trump +2.2%

Arizona

  • RCP Average (10/27): Clinton +1.5%
  • RCP Average (11/2): Trump +3.0%
  • 6 Day Swing: Trump +4.5%

Florida

  • RCP Average (10/27): Clinton +1.6%
  • RCP Average (11/2): Trump +0.7%
  • 6 Day Swing: Trump +2.1%

Nevada

  • RCP Average (10/27): Clinton +2.0%
  • RCP Average (11/2): Trump +1.6%
  • 6 Day Swing: Trump +3.6%

North Carolina

Obviously, these states are still too close to call, but Trump now is tied or enjoys small leads in all eight of them. Continue Reading

Good Monetary Policy Is Too Serious a Matter to Be Left to the Fed

Photo credit: Kurtis Garbutt via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

US News and World Report‘s Andrew Soergel reports that “With White House in Sight, Trump, Clinton Plan Fed Renovations: No matter who wins the election, times are likely changing at America’s central bank.”

“The Fed” really is a synecdoche for monetary policy. Monetary policy used to be, off and on, a significant factor of presidential campaigns. In this election cycle, the monetary policy issue has only arisen occasionally and has not become a major issue of contention.

Pity. It really deserves to be front and center.

What is widely regarded as the most striking speech in presidential campaign history was William Jennings Bryan’s 1896 convention speech concluding:

If they dare to come out in the open field and defend the gold standard as a good thing, we shall fight them to the uttermost, having behind us the producing masses of the nation and the world. Having behind us the commercial interests and the laboring interests and all the toiling masses, we shall answer their demands for a gold standard by saying to them, you shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns. You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold.

Read the full speech here. It electrified the Democratic convention and propelled the young Bryan to the 1896 Democratic presidential nomination and two more. He lost all three times — including in 1896.

As economic historian Brian Domitrovic observed, at Forbes.com:

In 1896, Bryan opposed the gold standard because it had coincided with the 1-2% per year deflation that the country had been experiencing since the 1870s.

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