Yep, its finally political D-Day in America; the culmination of a long electoral process that most people are ready to be done with. At the time of this writing, the polls are mixed. With a series of October surprises, I’m not sure how accurate they are at this point. And for the record, I think only a small percentage of undecideds really care about them at this point. It makes an election prediction tricky, however, even though no shortage of pundits will hazard them. Looking at the “scorecard,” The Real Clear Politics average of national polls has Trump down by an average of 2.5% (Oct 31, 2016).
|LA Times/USC Tracking||10/24 – 10/30||3237 LV||4.5||43||47||Trump +4|
|ABC/Wash Post Tracking||10/26 – 10/29||1165 LV||3.0||49||47||Clinton +2|
|IBD/TIPP Tracking||10/25 – 10/30||1013 LV||3.3||45||43||Clinton +2|
|LA Times/USC Tracking||10/23 – 10/29||3220 LV||4.5||44||46||Trump +2|
|IBD/TIPP Tracking||10/23 – 10/28||1013 LV||3.3||46||41||Clinton +5|
|ABC/Wash Post Tracking||10/23 – 10/26||1109 LV||3.0||50||45||Clinton +5|
|Economist/YouGov||10/22 – 10/26||1209 LV||3.3||49||46||Clinton +3|
|FOX News||10/22 – 10/25||1221 LV||2.5||49||44||Clinton +5|
|Pew Research||10/20 – 10/25||2120 RV||2.4||50||43||Clinton +7|
We’ve heard what the experts, media organizations, and polls say. Here are my Election 2016 predictions:
D-Day Election Prediction 1: Most Polls Will Be Wrong
Trump supporters are hoping the polls are wrong. They point to more intangible, less reported data as evidence. The 100%FedUp blog claims the silent minority will determine this election. Amerika, InfoWars, and many others claim the polls are wrong, slanted by the media as evidenced by the Clinton’s campaign’s collusion with them and cite a recent WikiLeaks email from John Podesta as proof. Bloomberg shows how the polls could be inaccurate come election night.
Given the spread between them, accuracy will be called into question. Yes, they are snapshots in time, and not a prediction for an event days, weeks, or months away. However, if allegations that polls are used to steer the course of an election are ever proven correct, it will have ramifications for years to come.
D-Day Election Prediction 2: Swing States Will Be Decided by Razor-Thin Margins
I don’t expect this to be wrapped up quickly. Swing states like Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and North Carolina are going to be determined by undecided voters. With so many close races and demands for recounts, there is a very real possibility we don’t know who the president-elect will be on November 8th.
It’s all about the Electoral College. The four states I cited have some of the largest electoral delegate counts of all of the swing states, and are the most crucial for either candidate to win. Trump basically needs all four. Clinton only has to play spoiler in one of them. I would expect that it’s all we hear the media talk about on election night, and doubt any of them will get called very early.
D-Day Election Prediction 3: The Enthusiasm Gap Will Tell the Tale
Trump supporters are an enthusiastic lot. They fill his rallies and litter their lawns with his signs (sometimes having to booby trap them). Hillary has not been able to motivate her supporters like Obama did in 2008 and, to a lesser extent, 2012. She needs four core constituencies to show up in large numbers: Blacks, Latinos (fastest growing voting bloc), women, and Millennials. Women will show up, but with many youth breaking for Bernie Sanders in the primary and minorities somewhat lethargic in their support, she may run into problems. If they do turn out, Hillary should win the election. If they don’t, Trump could pull off an upset because his supporters are energized. Look at the turnout in exit polling to find the trends. Speaking of exit polling…
D-Day Election Prediction 4: Exit Polling Will Not Reflect Results
Do not be surprised if pundits’ heads begin exploding when results start coming in. Exit polls have been controversial over the past four elections (from Forbes). We may be in for a repeat of the 2000 election when Gore was awarded Florida when the polls closed, which was retracted. Then Bush was awarded it before it was again retracted. Enter the “hanging chad” fiasco.
Exit polls will have some uses, and supporters from both sides will point to them vigorously throughout the day if their candidate is doing well. Ignore them. My guess is that in an election cycle that has seen almost everything, I am betting the exit polls will be wrong too.
D-Day Election Prediction 5: Exit Bernie Sanders Will Wonder “What If?”
Let’s face it – Sanders would probably have a double-digit lead by now. Like him or hate him, you can’t deny the momentum he had in the primaries. A socialist…from Vermont…almost took down a Clinton who was all but coronated long before the Democratic National Convention. Trump-haters would have flocked to him and his populist views. He would have run circles around Donald in the debates because he passionately believes what he says, and is too old to care about playing games.
He’ll be “Feeling the Bern” over knowing he could have won this thing in a walk, regardless of who actually wins.
D-Day Election Prediction 5: The Loser Will Blame Everyone But Him/Herself
Trump already started laying the groundwork with his “rigged election” rhetoric. Clinton and her supporters will follow suit if she loses, pointing to FBI Director James Comey as the villain. Set aside that neither candidate helped their own causes much in this election. “Scapegoating” is the new (or resurgent) political way in America. Neither candidate will take responsibilities for their failings if they lose. Trump is too much of an egotist, and Clinton is, well, Clinton. With so much at stake in this election, neither will want to admit to their followers that the reason they failed is because of themselves.
D-Day Election Prediction 6: More Than Half of the Country Will Be Pissed Off
More people dislike than like any of the candidates running for president. Regardless of the outcome, it’s going to be a long four years. Too many Americans are divided, and that doesn’t bode well for any new president with an eye on accomplishing anything. I expect to see more executive orders than ever before. Getting a judge approved to the Supreme Court to replace Antonin Scalia is going to be a national nightmare. Neither of these candidates could be considered “unifiers.” Which leads me to…
D-Day Election Prediction 7: Fights, Skullduggery, and the Least Productive Day in America
Don’t expect much work to get done tomorrow. Assuming the election is even decided, the results will be the topic around every water cooler in the country. Ecstatic supporters will clash with defeated ones, verbally, and I’m sure in some cases, physically. The backlash on either side is going to be ugly, and fueled by the candidates themselves.
My Final D-Day Election Prediction
Regardless of which candidate emerges victorious, this has to be the most intellectually dishonest election cycle of my life, and possibly in American history. Some of that is perception, having not been born in 1800 when John Adams and Thomas Jefferson squared off in one of the hottest elections in American history. Another part is the prevalence social media and our consuming massive amounts of information from a mass media with a 24-hour news cycle.
What this election will do moving forward is change how media covers an election. It will change how Americans view the political process. Most of all, it’s going to continue to turn the people against each other.
I don’t know who is going to win. There are just too many variables to say with any certainty, and I lost my crystal ball years ago. If I try to predict the outcome, I’m afraid I would be interjecting my own bias and I don’t want to do that.
What I will say is that regardless of whether it’s Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump who wins, I wish them great success in office. We all should. We need competent leadership in the White House; a problem-solver that can work to solve our many issues over the next four years. Unfortunately, there is very little I have seen during this campaign that leads me to believe either will have much success.
And thus, my final prediction is: America loses in the 2016 election. It’s the one prediction I am sure of.