The big question heading into a Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump general election: Will she win in a landslide or could he pull off an upset that leaves Democrats stunned?
On a recent episode of Real Time with Bill Maher, the host had a minor freakout when his guest Rob Reiner suggested Clinton has nothing to worry about. It’s that type of complacency amongst Democrats, coupled with a large number of Bernie Sanders supporters staying home, that could deliver President Donald Trump.
Appearing on Late Night with Seth Meyers on Thursday, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow did her best to put this type of overconfidence about Clinton’s chances to bed.
“I don't understand why there's so much focus on the Republicans like splitting over Donald Trump or being in crisis over Donald Trump,” Maddow said, referring to the presumptive nominee’s big meeting with House Speaker Paul Ryan. “A new record was just set for a Republican candidate for president receiving more votes than anybody else has ever received in a Republican primary, and it was Donald Trump who set that record and there are six more states to go.”
“They've never voted more for a Republican candidate for president than they have voted for Donald Trump,” she added. “That's not the sign of a party divided.”
So, if you put aside the argument that Trump has split the Republican Party in half, Meyers asked Maddow what she thinks Clinton can learn from her new opponent’s “vanquished foes” heading into the fall.
“A lot of the anti-Trump stuff, the way they tried to run against him, was by saying he's not a true conservative. He's not been doctrinaire in all things that matter to the Republican Party,” Maddow said. “Republican voters are like, ‘Who cares?’” Because his “policies” consist of “whatever he grabs out of the air that’s floating around him,” it makes it impossible to attack him on substance.
“He’s sort of running on who he is, you know, like he’s a big rich guy who doesn’t pay attention to what people want from him, and he’s willing to be politically incorrect and he’s self-funding,” Maddow said. “If you don’t go at who he is, and you try to keep it based on his policies, which he doesn’t even understand let alone necessarily believe in, I think you kind of miss the point and you miss the chance to actually take him apart where it counts.”
“I think he’s a really hard person to run against,” Meyers replied, predicting “six really ugly months” ahead.
“If you care about politics, this is a time when politics is really going to matter. I mean, I think right now—and liberals are going to freak out when I say this—but I think it's 50-50 in terms of who wins,” Maddow said, again throwing cold water on the idea that the race will be a cakewalk for Clinton. “There's nothing you can say right now intrinsic to who they are that tells you how it's going to turn out. And so this is a time to really pay attention. Like it is fun and it is interesting and a little bit scary, but the future of our country is going to be radically different depending on which of these candidates wins.”