Gloom sets in for GOP

“It’s an uphill battle,” acknowledged retiring Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.), who first endorsed Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), then Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), and finally Trump after he won the nomination.

“I think it will be Hillary,” predicted a northeastern House GOP lawmaker who is publicly backing Trump.

“If I had to bet, I’d definitely ‎bet that Trump loses,” said another House GOP lawmaker who is opposed to Trump. “This is like a football game where you hate both teams. You root for a tie — and maybe some minor injuries.”

The southern GOP lawmaker said he’s always believed Trump was a “long shot” due to the demographics of the race. Clinton is trying to build a broad coalition of women, minority, LGBT and youth voters; Trump is appealing to white, working-class voters.

“There was some hope that the disaffected, so-called silent majority would be broad enough and turn out in large enough numbers to give Trump a chance,” said the lawmaker. “But if he continues the next 90 days like the last week, then he will lose big time.”