Well it’s finally here…Election day 2016. It’s been the most bizarre and at times frightening political season I have ever witnessed, and that I hope to ever witness. I am honestly glad to say that in a few short hours it will all be over, and I know I am not alone in that.
I could go on without end about the wild ride that this election and primary have been, but it’s time to go on record and simply make my electoral predictions…
For the record, on election morning 2012 I published an article in which I rightly predicted not only that Obama would win, but that he would take Florida and Virginia as well, something few if any other conservative writers did.
Now please understand, I am a conservative writer, analysist and grassroots political activist, so I am not without bias. But when I publish an analysis article about a debate or my electoral predictions, I simply call it like I see it. I base my conclusions on my in-depth analysis of polling data, as well as my observation of the race in general, campaign strengths and weaknesses, momentum, as well as other factors.
So here it is, for what it’s worth…
As you can see in my Real Clear Politics Make Your Own Electoral Map below, I predict a Clinton win by a little over 100 electors – Clinton 323, Trump 215. In order to win, a candidate must reach 270 electors. As for the popular vote, I’m calling about a 4 point win for Clinton, with the numbers falling somewhere around Clinton 47, Trump 43.
On my map, I have placed states into four color categories, red states are those I’m calling for Trump to win, with the pink states being those he should win, but by a thin margin. Blue states are Clinton wins, with the light blue being those that she should win, but by a close margin. My map has no tossup category per se, meaning the electors in each state are given to one candidate or the other. Clinton has held a solid lead in both national polling and the electoral map through most of the duration of the campaign. Had the election been held about two weeks ago, she would have easily passed 350 electors and perhaps more.
But as it usually does, the race has tightened just ahead of election day. There’s no doubt that the FBI Director having announced 9 days ago that he was reopening an investigation into Clinton’s emails has hurt her momentum and likely turned at least a couple states to Trump’s column. But with the FBI Director announcing on Sunday that he was closing the investigation, Clinton should have stabilized any downward momentum going into election day, and she had a cushion to begin with, a large one.
Polls published over the last 2-3 days also show a slight upward trend for Clinton. In the 13 latest national polls, Clinton leads Trump in all but 1, with 1 other being tied. It’s important not that the one recent national poll in which Trump leads, the poll was conducted by the LA Times/USA Tracking, and every single poll they have posted to date shows Trump 6-8 points higher than virtually every other poll, so it’s clearly an aberrant poll. Clinton currently holds a 3 point lead (which includes the LA Times/USA Tracking poll) in the RCP national average, and her average lead overall for the duration of the campaign has been around 4 points which also includes numerous LA Times/USA tracking polls. Note the graph below which draws a straight line as the average for Clinton through the campaign being at 46% with Trump at 42%.
While Trump has edged ahead in a couple battleground states like OH and NC, Clinton holds a decent lead in key states like PN, WI and MI without which Trump has no path to 270 electors. While RCP and most pundits list around 10-12 tossup states, in my map I only count 4 states as true tossups and they are NC, FL, CO and NV. GA, IA, AZ and OH are widely considered tossup states, but I predict that Trump will get the wins there though his margin of victory will be noticeably lower than they were for Romney. If Trump wins OH it would be a pick up for the GOP as Obama won it in 2012. WI, PA, VA, NH, MN, MA are also considered tossups, but I believe Clinton will take those states, though NH may be rather close.
So that gets us back to the 4 true tossups, NC, FL, CO and NV….Trump holds a very slight technical lead in NC, FL and NV, but here’s the catch…Even without those three states, Hillary would still be at 272 electors with Trump at 266 assuming Clinton wins CO. So Clinton could lose Florida, NC and NV and still win the election. Trump by contrast cannot afford a single loss and must turn at least two Obama states into his column in order to win. Hillary can lose multiple Obama states and still win. (Obama won with 332 electors.)
Well, it really sounds like it could go either way and it’s too close to call, right? Not really, there’s more to it than polling, a lot more and here’s why:
#1 early voting. People tend to forget that every election more and more people vote early, sometimes very early, as early as 60 days prior to election day. Early voting now accounts for about one quarter of the total votes cast in a national election, especially in states like Florida. That is a major advantage for Clinton, as a majority of those early votes were cast during which time she held very large leads over Trump both in national and the swing state polls.
# 2 Demographics. Clinton has consistently lead Trump in virtually every major demographic of voters, women (women account for over 50% of the electorate). Trump has the lowest support among Blacks than any GOP presidential candidate since 1948, and blacks account for about 12% of the electorate. Hispanics. Clinton also leads Trump by 10 points among college educated voters, a demographic Romney won by 14 points. But perhaps Trump’s biggest demographic challenge is Catholic voters who are usually split about even between democrats and the GOP. Among Catholics, Clinton leads Trump by as much as 25%, and Catholics alone account for 25% of the total electorate. Perhaps Trump attacking the Pope and questioning the Pope’s salvation was not the smartest thing a politician has ever done in a presidential election… The only demographic that Trump has held a solid lead among are white voters without college education. Trump has somehow managed to offend and alienate virtually every major demographic to date, and it’s unrealistic to think that a big majority of these voters are suddenly swinging to him after more than a year of consistently rejecting him.
# 3 Organization. Perhaps the most striking thing about this general election to those who are involved in campaigning is the utter lack of any substantive campaign organization by Trump. Say what you will about a lot of things, but campaign infrastructure cannot be ignored if someone is serious about winning. Clinton has a campaign staff of over 700 while Trump has fewer than 100. In the entire state of Florida Trump has ONE, yes ONE campaign field office, something unheard of. In several states he has no field offices. Get out to vote efforts make the margin of victory in any close election, and trump simply does not have it, and what he has is way too little and came way too late.
# 4 Money. Clinton and the democrats have spent over a Billion dollars on this election. Trump has spent the least of any presidential candidate in modern times despite his infamous promise to self-fund his campaign. Trump’s TV ad campaign has not been comparable to Clinton’s, and no you can’t win on ads alone, but yes they do make a difference.
#5 Approval rating. One has to factor in approval ratings. While it’s True that Clinton is a very un-liked and flawed candidate, Trump is perhaps the one candidate who could have managed to beat her in the race to the bottom that 2016 has proven to be. For the duration of the race Trump’s approval rating has been between negative 20 and negative 30 points and currently sits at negative 20.2 points, while Clinton has averaged around negative 10-15 points and currently sits at negative 12.9 points. That is a huge margin between them and will undoubtedly have a major effect on the outcome of the race.
# 6 Work ethic. Perhaps the thing that the fewest people take into account is campaign work ethic. As much as it pains me to praise Clinton, I must give credit where credit is due. She has run a very disciplined and structured campaign and built onto the incredible political infrastructure that Obama helped the democrat party to build. That cannot be underestimated.
# 7 Party disunity. People like to think that endorsements and the support of party leaders and elected officials doesn’t matter, it does. Sure, few people base their vote solely on who has endorsed who. But having a united party makes a major difference and Trump has broken all precedent in creating massive disunity within the party. In Alaska for instance, both GOP US Senators recently resigned their positions within the GOP and denounced Trump, calling for him to step aside, and they join many other GOP Senators, Governors and others in so doing. More than 200 of the top GOP national security leaders have called for Trump to leave the race and warned that he does not have the temperament to be president, warning that he would be a danger to the world were he to become president. And Former President George Bush (41) went so far as to endorse Hillary Clinton in protest of Trump, something that is virtually unprecedented for a former president to endorse the nominee of the other party.
So, as the crazy 2016 election draws to its dramatic finish, we can look to a result almost identical to 2012 with the exception of three states: Trump should take IA and OH, two states Obama won, and Clinton should take NC, a state Romney won. Final result, Clinton 323, Trump 215 with the possibility of things shifting one direction or the other by a few points, but not enough to change the outcome of the race. My friend, conservative columnist and talk show host, Steve Deace up in Iowa is making a very similar electoral prediction and you can check out his article here.
The story of 2016 has truly been a race to the bottom with two of the most un-liked and polarizing candidates we have ever seen. Hillary Clinton will not win because she is a great candidate, but because she has managed to seem as the adult in the room compared to Trump, and because she has run a very disciplined race. She has allowed Trump to hang himself, and hang himself he did despite having every opportunity to win a landslide over the flawed Clinton. It’s truly a sad day in America when these two goons are the best that our two parties could manage to produce, and that our parties allowed them to be our nominees. Sad times.
I predict an exciting evening of poll watching as the results come in, but with Clinton being called as the winner before so late into the evening, We shall see… Perhaps hindsight is 2020…
By: Javan Browder – Managing Editor Conservative Fifty Dot Com