The Election Is Over Seriously. 5:00 AM, OCT 13, 2016 | By JONATHAN V. LAST http://www.weeklystandard.com/author/jonathan-v.-last http://www.weeklystandard.com/the-election-is-over/article/2004848# http://www.weeklystandard.com/the-election-is-over/article/2004848# mailto:?subject=The%20Election%20Is%20Over%20-%20WeeklyStandard.com&body=http://tws.io/2dZx76g http://www.weeklystandard.com/print/the-election-is-over/article/2004848 http://www.weeklystandard.com/the-election-is-over/article/2004848# (Photo credits: Lorie Shaull and Michael Vadon) I've been telling you—for a couple months now—that Donald Trump is not going to be president. I've gotten a lot of pushback on this from readers who proclaim, variously, that the polls are wrong, that Trump is playing four-dimensional chess, that this is the second coming of Reagan, or that Beltway Establishment types like me don't understand what's happening in Real America. (I live pretty far outside the Beltway, fwiw.) But after the Khan family, and first debate meltdown, and the 3:00 a.m.beauty queen tweets, and "grab them by the p**sy," and the second debate loss (check the polls), and now the polls showing that Hillary Clinton isn't just expanding her lead nationally, but thatArizona and Georgia are in play, I suspect people are starting to come around. This race is over. It has been over for months. This isn't a value judgment. It's just math. Come and look at the numbers with me: - We are at Election Day -28. Currently Clinton is +6 http://click.info.mediadc.com/?qs=cd5779f503803104e445ed89b7eb8d0e265374243285f90fcc0841d6d22001a6 in the RealClear average. - That number is trending away from Trump. The "grab them by the p**sy" tape broke on the Friday night of a holiday weekend with a major hurricane hitting the east coast. Because of what Trump said in the tape, most media outlets are reporting his words elliptically, because they don't want to use his exact phrase. Because of this, it will take a little longer for the actual news to filter down to voters, since they'll have to find the video footage themselves. So where a story like this usually takes four or five days, the Trump tape will probably take a full week. That puts us at ED -25. - Polls take a while to register voter disapproval-remember that in the initial three days after the first Trump-Clinton debate, people were running around saying, "See? The polls didn't move for her! Trump didn't hurt himself and she's in trouble!" Then the polls moved. By the time the electorate has fully processed this story, we'll probably be somewhere around ED -20. So twenty days out from the election, Trump is going to be down by at least 8 points in the national average. If you were sitting with a calendar, it would be pretty safe to bet that the next week will be taken up with stories litigating whether or not Trump's "locker-room talk" was just talk, or whether he actually does have a history of sexually assaulting women. Maybe these stories will be he-said, she-said. Maybe there will be some evidence. If Trump responds to any of them with Android tweets, that eats up even more time from the clock. Let's say that brings us to ED -17. Where will he be sitting at that point? - As always, the national average is underselling Trump's structural problems .Pennsylvania http://click.info.mediadc.com/?qs=cd5779f5038031040bca966e4bf89a33ca5b93d027344fdb21bcfa9d763fba0e is out of reach. Just take it off the board. Ditto Colorado. http://click.info.mediadc.com/?qs=cd5779f5038031046e0c2ec2b8a03a98f569f70c0611f305d111a747c26c693a And New Hampshire. http://click.info.mediadc.com/?qs=cd5779f503803104118bcc27a91af08fba7376dad518c2dac4a13e7a97c47df4 And Virginia. http://click.info.mediadc.com/?qs=cd5779f5038031041cc809aa98e4e3fbf4642fb7764a61b4bd5effb1be2475db When you go to the map, Clinton is working from a base of 278 electoral votes right now. That's her floor. But she's also solidly ahead in Florida http://click.info.mediadc.com/?qs=cd5779f5038031041daf76a5546dc7086c8ea03d24c3228d184bf7ea5418ff62 and North Carolina. http://click.info.mediadc.com/?qs=cd5779f50380310401b9b75ad5c3bf2f3368f201ed53a591d6b63d6784474caa Don't take my word for it, go play with the map http://click.info.mediadc.com/?qs=cd5779f50380310486f31f8505278bf017941419b78f403ca0a17c4595fc2dbd after looking at the polling averages. There is no path. -Even if you believed that Trump theoretically could bounce back-that all of the bad news is out and that he has the discipline and smarts and luck to put together a game-changing final charge-he has neither the room nor the time - That's because in the background of Trump's falling poll numbers, the number of truly undecided voters keeps shrinking. At some point-we're close to that moment already-Trump won't even be able to win the election by capturing 100 percent of undecided voters. He'll be so far behind, with so few swing voters left, that victory requires winning all undecideds and converting a bunch of Clinton voters, too. - Trump's general election number has hovered around 40 percent for the better part of a year. If you look at that along with his numbers on favorability, trusthworthiness, and fitness for office-and still think that with 20 days to go he's suddenly going to hoover up every last undecided voter and then start converting Clinton partisans like John the Baptist at the River Jordan . . . well, I'm afraid I can't help you. - As I said, none of this is a moral argument for what should happen. I'm not wishcasting. It's just math. And the math of Trump's position is hopeless. Even if Trump turned the entire campaign around today and faced no other damaging attacks the rest of the way, it's over. But if the last year has taught us anything, it's that with Trump the bad news is never over. There's always another anvil dropping from the sky. Which is the euphemistic way of saying: There will be another tape. Sean Trende noted a particularly apt lesson http://click.info.mediadc.com/?qs=cd5779f503803104a90f08df318e09f00e0c4197aed2ff7a912d72ffc3f7096d from Clausewitz on the strategic imperatives when you fight a disintegrating army: You shell them. Then you wait for them to regroup. And then you shell them again. And whatever else you think of Hillary Clinton, she knows strategy. http://click.info.mediadc.com/?qs=cd5779f503803104f395943d22d80b62407620d991e0376e034a180b5add40f2 There is no time. There is no room to maneuver. There are no more potential inflection points. This race is over. The only unknown at this point is the magnitude of the loss.