Neal Thigpen told the Florence Kiwanis Club on Thursday that Republican presidential hopeful Donald J. Trump will likely lose the presidential race next week, and many GOP candidates will lose.
Thigpen is a retired Francis Marion University political scientist and a longtime Republican Party organizer in Florence County.
He said he’s not a hardline supporter of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton but sees Trump as a candidate who’s dug a hole too deep with too many social groups to preserve his shot at the White House.
“I think he’s the worst presidential nominee by either party in my lifetime,” Thigpen said. “Trump is in the hole with almost every definable group, particularly Hispanics, women and upscale Republicans.”
Digital Access for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Several Kiwanis Club members asked about the “silent vote” that could help Trump on Election Day. Thigpen said there’s a possibility but he doubts it would be enough put Trump over the top.
“If the polls can be believed a Trump win would be a major upset and I can’t see that coming,” he said. “He’s stretched thin and would have to win big in every swing state. I don’t see an upset coming, not because I’m Hillary supporter. I just think the sentiment Trump has laid is already set and I don’t see the hidden vote making a difference.”
Thigpen said Clinton would be a “hug the center” type of president, in the same fashion as her husband, former President Bill Clinton.
“On foreign policy and national security measures I think she’d be a tougher nut than Obama and on domestic policy she’ll try to get through some of the stuff set in the Democratic platform – try to raise federal taxes on the wealthiest citizens,” he said. “Whether she can do all that, I don’t know. ”
Either way, Thigpen said the entire nation is under election fatigue and simply wants it to come to an end.
“I’ve never heard so many people say they just want it to be over with and they don’t care anymore,” he said. “We all just want this thing to be over and done with.”
Thigpen predicts Trump will get about 45 percent of the popular vote and Clinton with end with around 48 percent.