NOTE: This was posted on Tumblr on the first of November 2016. Actually because I had surgery scheduled on the 31st I wrote it a week before that. It’s horrifying how accurate it ended up being. I can’t hit a lottery ticket or pick a winning stock to save my life, but THIS I’m right about. The only part I missed was the voter turnout. It was average or slightly above average. That benefited Trump though because of WHO came out. In the end despite Clinton winning the popular vote, Trump occupies the Whoite House.
I’m writing this at the end of October, and am going to post it on the first of November. It is my prediction of what will happen in the US election. First the environmental variables that will impact the results.
Polarization. The country is extremely polarized. There hasn’t been a campaign this viciously nasty since Lincoln ran against Douglas. The result of that was the American Civil War and the US is in many ways even more dysfunctional than it was in 1860. The two sides are simply not listening to each other. Compromise is viewed as a moral failing. Cooperation is the greatest sin. As a result there is a great degree of disconnect between the two sides and with the process.
Asymmetric Support. Make no mistake while America is severely polarized, the two sides are not equally enthusiastic. The core of Trump supporters are solidly behind him. They think the country, with Welfare, and Obamacare, and Diplomacy is going in completely the wrong direction. Many of them would vote for Trump if he were in jail. They would vote for Trump even if he were dead. The soft shoulders of Trump supporters my not like what he says but they assume the system, Congress and the Bureaucracy will keep the most radical of Trumps ideas in check. On the other hand they absolutely HATE Clinton. Many of them may be shouting “Lock Her Up” but under their breath will add more violent epithets. The degree of visceral irrational, vicious hatred for Clinton, who she is, what she stand for, and her gender is that deeply entrenched in Trump Supporters. Clinton supporters on the other hand are a mixture of anti-Trump people, along with people that would like to see a woman, but not necessarily Clinton, as president, people who like the social safety net and would rather not see it cut, and people who tend to vote Democrat out of habit. This side’s support is, as the old saying goes, a mile wide, but an inch deep. It is quite probable that if cornered more Americans would like to see a Democrat win than Trump, but they are not really invested in Clinton as the best possible candidate either. I’ve heard so many saying “I really wanted Bernie, but I guess I’ll vote for Clinton.” and “I can’t believe these two are the “best” the country has to offer.” It will take very little for these people to not bother to vote.
Overconfidence. Polling all along has shown Clinton ahead of Trump. I’m hearing a good deal of confidence in the Democrat side. President Obama has started campaigning for a “Democrat Congress to go along with Hillary in the White House.” I’ve heard news reports of the campaign shifting focus from critical states they must win to marginal states they would like to win and even states they know they won’t but hope for a strong showing. The strategy is one of confidence but there is a down side. As a coach once told me “If you ever think you’ve won before the final bell goes off you will lose. Always fight, always play, like you are one point behind right till the end.” I’m seeing a degree of overconfidence that may well result in a percentage of the people who would like Clinton elected, thinking it’s a forgone conclusion and so not bothering to vote. There is likely a degree of people who want her to win but don’t want to share the blame if she does but it turns out badly. If they think it’s a “gimme” they might sit this one out. From the start Trump has run his campaign as the underdog. America leans toward the underdog, even if it is a fiction.
Voter Suppression. Trump has called into question the voting process. He has called for people to go out to monitor the polls to make sure there is no fraud. Setting aside how someone watching the process that has no special access rights would “verify” anything, what will be the impact. Remember that the core of Trumps support is from the Alt-Right Tea Party extreme. They won’t be “observing” the process in conservative districts. They won’t be hanging about solid Trump districts. No they will be “observing” polls in strong Democrat areas. Now suppose you are a person of colour, an immigrant, a woman and when you approach your polling place you see a bunch of gun toting, beer swilling, “Real Americans” hanging around the door. The intimidation factor will be high and will result in suppression of votes in some areas and not others. I saw this happening in the US in 2000, and 2004.
Cynicism. I have heard so many people commenting on how they are sick of the squabbling. How ugly this process has become. How they can’t stand either of the candidates. Trump is talking about how the election will be stolen. This adds to a cynical view that neither candidate is worth voting for, voting accomplishes nothing, voting doesn’t count. This will lead to a very, probably record, low voter turnout. The only people who will go out to vote are those that are angry. Trump supporters are angrier than Clinton supporters.
Protest Voting: People that have written off both major parties, or that think Clinton has it wrapped up may look to third party candidates. The two major ones are the Green party and the Libertarian party. As Trump support is more solid than Clintons this will likely impact the Democrat side more significantly. Also several blunders by the Libertarian candidate have hurt his cause where the Green candidate has been welcomed by some Progressives.
A record low voter turnout, possibly as low 30% or even 25% with more impact on the Democrat/Progressive side. High third party showings drawing support away from the two major candidates but more from the Democrat/Progressive side.
The outcome: I see a 65/35 likelihood of Trump winning over Clinton.