Leading Republicans, including Mitt Romney, John McCain and a host of other officeholders and conservative activists, are in panic mode, fearing – among other fears – that if Donald Trump wins the Republican nomination, as now seems likely, he will lead the GOP to a catastrophic defeat much like Barry Goldwater’s 1964 landslide loss.

That could happen, but it’s hardly a sure thing.

If Trump is paired off against Hillary Clinton, whether he can win the General Election may hinge on three Southern states – Florida, North Carolina and Virginia – plus Ohio. Here’s how a number of experienced observers in the three Southern swing states size up the November possibilities at this point. 

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