Come on, man. I didn’t say any of those things. You mischaracterized me in every single line. I feel like maybe you just read the headline and then started writing. I specifically did not make those assumptions about the battleground states and the Electoral College. It’s almost like there’s some defensive algorithm in your mind that reads one thing and immediately translates it into something absurd before it becomes a conscious thought, so that you don’t have to engage with the positions you don’t like hearing. The argument was that Trump’s win was due to very small margins of victory in four specific states. If Trump loses voters in those states and doesn’t replace them elsewhere, he loses. There’s nothing there but arithmetic. Overall, he has lost voters in at least some of those states, and also in several others. It doesn’t mean he’s going to lose for sure. A lot of things can still happen. But I am arguing that right now he’s behind, which is significant because 67% of Americans apparently think he’s a favorite to win.

As for Bloomberg, he’s already vowed multiple times on record that he will not mount an independent run if he loses the nomination. Just this week his campaign manager did an interview and promised it again. You can’t toss stuff out like that without backing it up. You didn’t do your reading.

Will there be someone else? Maybe. But Jill Stein and Gary Johnson had both already launched their campaigns by this point four years ago. Since no one else has done it yet, and no one appears to be making plans or organizing on the ground, the chances are that there won’t be a significant third-party candidate in the race. Of all the things I could end up being wrong about in my article, that’s really not one that I’m worried about. For you to zero in on that and try to undermine it by pointing to Bloomberg — the one guy who has explicitly ruled it out — is just sloppy.

But here’s one thing we really do agree on: anything could still happen. My article never claimed that a Democrat victory is a foregone conclusion. There are plenty of ways Trump could still win. But he’s going to have to come from behind in order to do it, because the Electoral College does not look good for him.

May the best argument win. And let us shake hands when it’s done.

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