Thursday, November 3, 2016

The Final Countdown: Predicting Electoral Outcomes for 2016



I was going to do a series of these, but... let's face it, the drama is pretty much over. Emails, Sexual Assault suits, Taxes, it's all so yesterday. Let's vote.


2016 has been a long “year” of Presidential politics. Starting in 2008 when Hillary Clinton lost the Democratic Primary to Barry-O and buried her acceptance speech in a coffee can in the back yard with the marker reading “Do not dig up until November 8, 2016. THIS MEANS YOU, BILL!” 

There have been twists. There have been turns.

Mitt Romney was a thing. Jeb Bush unveiled one of the worst logo's of all time with JEB! (Seriously it was so bad Kanye didn't even interrupt, he just let it happen.) Chris Christie was serious for a while, then he hugged Obama on a bridge – at least that's my memory – before appearing in a Donald Trump hostage video. Paul Ryan damn near made it out of the cycle without ruining his future, then he decided to go ahead and try this past summer and seems to have succeeded this fall in solidifying his place as just another GOP member without a spine.

Marco Rubio is officially the biggest joke in the GOP “Presidential candidate” pool. Even if a bet on Rubio paid at 100:1 I wouldn't bet a single red cent on him. Rand Paul probably killed his Libertarian credibility, the Libertarian's probably killed their own (seriously, you have to know where places are to be President, it's like a base line thing) and Bernie Sanders went from being a guy you've literally never heard of before to being the only politician to leave 2016 doing better than he came in. Oh, and the Democrats appear to be almost totally devoid of any solid young leadership for 2020's cycle.

Got all that?

At the end, we wind up with our two main party choices. Yes, there are third party options at play here, and yes they will matter to a certain extent, but there are only two people that will be capable of winning enough electoral votes to be the next President of the United States. Like it, or not, we will wind up with Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. I'm sorry, it's just that sometimes grownups have their own problems, and it doesn't mean you did anything wrong...

With that in mind I have done a State by State prediction and finally tally. To do this I'm using polling averages from Real Clear Politics that include both State and National polling data, and also a few doses of my “horse sense” – a real thing, google it – on this stuff. I'm listing the States from east to west, since that's the order we usually hear about their results, even though there are several (California, Wyoming, etc.) that we could predict without any data at whatsoever. Here we go, my final final predictions!



EAST COAST REGION

Maine – Clinton 3, Trump 1. Maine has the ability to split their congressional district votes, so Trump picks up a vote here he otherwise would not receive.

New Hampshire – Clinton 4. They usually vote for the winner. I won't be shocked by a Trump victory here, but I'm not betting on it. Plus, it likely has no impact on the outcome either way.

Vermont – Clinton 3. They get to vote as well, and it's a super progressive State.

Massachusetts – Clinton 11. Tom Brady only gets to vote one time. Sorry Donald.

Rhode Island – Clinton 4. I suspect it doesn't take long to count their votes compared to the rest of the country.

Connecticut – Clinton 7. Another state that tends to vote Democrat and that I know very little about aside from their stellar NCAA basketball programs.

New Jersey – Clinton 14. Any help Christie may have been to the GOP here is stuck in traffic.

Delaware – Clinton 3. I assume the state is beautiful in the fall...

Maryland – Clinton 10. Steady as she goes, Maryland has been blue for a while.

District of Columbia – Clinton 3. D.C. is about as blue a region as you will find.

New York – Clinton 29. The first big state off the board. Trump may be from the state, but that may not be quite as good for him as he thinks. Clinton wins big here.


SO FAR that's Clinton – 91 v. Trump – 1 (Alternatively if Trump wins New Hampshire 87 v. 5).


Deep breath...


RUST BELT/S.E.C. REGION

Pennsylvania – Clinton 20. The Keystone state is a “home” of sorts for Clinton, and will be the first true death nail for Trump on election night. It will likely be called earlier than usual, and be won by Clinton handily.

West Virginia – Trump 5. I'm not even sure they put the Democratic nominee on the ballot there.

Virginia – Clinton 13. Tim Kaine isn't just a pretty face. He will deliver his home state and the second nail in the Trump Candidacy's coffin.

Ohio – Trump 18. It may take a while to get this result. In 2008 Ohio went blue before 10:30 p.m. central time, and the election was over. In 2016 it is close, and will be close, and I see Trump being able to carry it by just enough. It will be the glimmer of hope for the Trump camp as the night wears on.

North Carolina – Clinton 15. As the Trump Campaign worries about the vote being rigged the actual voters in North Carolina will be delivering a truly fatal blow to the GOP's hopes of taking back the White House. Once North Carolina is called for Clinton, the election is basically done.

South Carolina – Trump 9. I could be wrong on this one, Clinton could pull it out here, but it seems more likely that Trump carries it. Not that it matters.

Georgia – Trump 16. This is the cool and edgy pick for an upset for Clinton, but I just don't see it.

Florida – Clinton 29. Hear that? It's the sound of Marco Rubio guzzling water from the tiniest bottle you've ever seen. Why? He might be losing too...

UPDATED TOTALS have it at Clinton 168 v. Trump 49 (Or 164 v. 53) at this point. Clinton needs 106.


Ok, it's about 10:30 p.m. central time... maybe even earlier... it's about to be over.


SPEED ROUND

Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana – Trump 45. No drama here, also not many electoral votes considering how far behind he'll be at this point.

Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota – Clinton 56. In a five to four split here Clinton increases her lead by 11 electoral votes.

TOTALS: Clinton 224 v. Trump 94 (Or 220 v. 98) at this point. Clinton needs 46. Trump needs 172. Only 219 electoral votes remain. From this point on Trump must win 78.5% of all remaining vote, which means if Clinton can win 47 or more the race is over. 















California is worth 55.




Continuing on...


THE MIDWEST(ish)

Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Kansas, Oklahoma, North Dakota, South Dakota – Trump 49 more electoral votes, bringing him up to 143 total.

Nebraska – Trump 4 and Clinton 1. Just like Maine, Nebraska has the ability to split things up, and they just might do it this year.


THE REST OF TRUMP'S STATE WINS

Texas, Wyoming, Utah*, Idaho, Montana, Alaska – Trump 57, and bringing his grand total up to 204 electoral votes, or 66 votes shy of a victory.

*Utah could be won by a third party candidate, but still won't be a Clinton win.


THE REST OF CLINTON'S STATE WINS

New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, California, Hawaii – Clinton 98, bringing her grand total up to 324 electoral votes, 54 votes above the margin for victory.

That leaves Arizona and it's 11 votes in the cold, so to speak. It's likely – highly likely – Trump wins there, but in the last few weeks Arizona has become a prize of sorts for the Democrats in 2016. Arizona isn't in play this year, but the fact that it's even a conversation is an interesting development.

Our final tally is: Clinton 324 v. Trump 214. (Or 320 v. 218. See, I told you New Hampshire wouldn't matter.) Here is the map: 2016 Electoral Map


THINGS TO LOOK FOR
Pennsylvania is the real key to this election. If we don't have confirmation of a Clinton victory before 10:00 p.m. central time in Pennsylvania, things could get interesting. But, assuming Clinton carries Pennsylvania then much of the other states begin to matter less and less. As an example, she won't need North Carolina, Florida, or Colorado to win. Like, at all. She would win 270 to 269, which would be less than ideal for people looking to move past the Trump claims of a rigged system, but the win would count all the same.


BOLD STRATEGY COTTON...
I think the race will end with Clinton at 340+ electoral votes. The real argument against this is that Trump's voters are the silent group, but I don't think that's the case. I think there are an increasing number of people that will vote third party, or for Clinton, that are usually Republican voters and that this will happen in large enough numbers that Clinton wins a few surprise states. Look out for Arizona, Iowa, Missouri, Ohio, and Arkansas. I don't see any of those as “likely” wins for Clinton, but all are worth watching just to see what happens. Stranger things have happened.

Come November 9, 2016 we will have a new President Elect. The question now is whether or not the transition will be peaceful as in the past. For our Country's sake, I hope it is.



- Adam Sommer

Updated November 3rd, 2016 to include a link to www.realclearpolitics.com for polling data source.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Undecided.

Loosely based on actual events. Very, very loosely.

It was a cool day, not unseasonably so, but cool nonetheless. The evening promised to be chilly. The suit he's wearing is looking good, no – it's looking great – and he is feeling great. On the way out the door he glances over his shoulder. It was there, staring back at him. Intense. Solid. Red. “No... this is right” he thought turning back to the door and closing it behind him as he strode through, confidently. He slides his key in, locking the door as usual.

Walking to the car he feels different. He can't put his finger on it, but it's a feeling like something just isn't quite right. He pushes the key fob button, the car locks click open, the car lights flash on, then off. He can see his neighbor finishing up some yard work, but the neighbor doesn't wave. Finally, he reaches the car, leaning forward and grabbing the door's handle. The door swing out in front of him as he slides into the car, just like always. Then he hears it, the ripping sound, so unmistakable and terrifying, and he feels the car seats under his thighs. Cool leather. “Not good” he utters. No one hears it.

He realizes the sharply appointed suit he's chosen for the evening is ruined. The pants have split, and he is running out of time.

Frantic, the man rips himself out of the car lunging toward the door he had so easily closed before, now struggling with his key. Finally he finds the right angle and the lock slides open. He leaves the keys in the door, no time to retrieve them. He rushes into his room hoping for substitute pants and catches a look in the mirror. Olive. The suite is olive. He doesn't own pants for this, other than the ones he is wearing with the newly created hole.

Panicking, he searches for something, anything. Then he remembers it. The sweater. It's hanging there on the door, practically calling to him. He grabs some slacks knowing everything he owns will match with the sheer wonder of the sweater. He discards the newly destroyed pants he's wearing, sheds the jacket, and before he realizes it the sweater is in his hands. He slips it on slowly, hoping to avoid the static electricity that usually makes his hair stand on end. He can't get is head through, “NOOO” he cries inside until he realizes: It's the zipper. Quickly he reaches up, grabs the zipper with his left hand and pulls down with his right until, almost magically, the quarter-zip is down and the sweater floats down around his neck. It fits perfectly.

He turns to leave, stepping on the ripped pants. He doesn't notice them now. They are of no use to notice.

Back through the door, “Keys!” he cries out and grabs them from the lock, turning and jogging to the car, mashing the unlock button on the fob. The car's lights flash like the Fourth of July. The car's door swings open, almost like another person has come to assist. He glides into the driver's seat, turns the ignition, puts on his seatbelt, checks his mirrors, looks over his shoulder, waves goodbye to his neighbor (who is not waving!) and carefully backs out of his driveway.

He arrives on time and joins the crowd, everyone dressed to impress. He follows the instructions they give him, follows the young woman helping with the group and finds his seat. Almost two hours later he stands again, beaming with the confidence of his beautiful red sweater, and does what he was born to do. Patiently he waits. Finally, the microphone is in his hand. Calmly, armed with the confidence of the sweater, he says: “What steps will your energy policy take to meet our needs while at the same time remaining environmentally friendly and minimizing job layoffs?”


No one answers, but the crowd at home goes wild.


-Adam Sommer