Monday, November 7, 2016

My final thoughts on the election.

As you know, the election is tomorrow. First, some housekeeping things. This will probably be my last post before the election, unless something huge happens today. I will almost certainly have a shorter post up on Tuesday morning detailing my experiences voting. I did decide to vote on election day and I can at least update what the experience was like.

I haven't completely decided if I am going to live tweet the results as they happen. If I do, I will probably post here first and leave a link to my twitter account, which, as always, can be found here. After the results come in, I might have some kind of "after action" post up after the race is called. I say maybe because I don't know how I am going to react to the race. Emotions will be running high no matter who wins, so I just might decide to leave it for another day. I might not want to write something I regret while i'm furious and depressed (if Clinton wins) or even joyously happy (if Trump does). Calming down from an emotional high or low might be a good idea. Either way, I have the rest of the week off so expect that post sometime, but I might not have it up late Tuesday/early Wednesday.

Once the election is over, expect a shift in this blogs topic. I will still be covering politics, but with the election coverage done, I may spend more time on other topics as well. I have been neglecting the wars in Iraq, Syria and Libya and it has been a long time since I have done anything "fun" like a movie or TV series review. I have watched a few of both, and I think I could write some posts in that direction as well.

As for the election itself, I will be voting Trump, baring some kind of unprecedented development. Even if Trump comes out as Satan himself, I would still probably vote for him over Hillary Clinton, so I don't know what kind of development could happen, but it's always wise to keep your options open. I'm going to do it in person as well, and I don't care how long it takes. If it takes me the rest of the day, I am still going to vote, come hell or high water. I plan on getting to the polls sometime between 7:00 and 7:30 and to be back home with a post written up hopefully before 8:30.

Who do I think will win? Good question. The race is really close right now but I don't trust the polls at all. They have been wonky all election cycle and they never account for "shy Trump" voters, who are too afraid to say they are supporting him but will vote for him in the privacy of the voting booth. They have also long over sampled Democrats and are still using the demographics from the 2012 election. I am guessing there are going to be at least a couple states that will shock people.

Click the map to create your own at
As for the race itself, the above picture is my take on where things stand right now. I think, despite what the polls have been saying, Florida, Ohio and North Carolina are wrapped up for Trump. That doesn't mean he will win though, since the map shows that he needs to peel away at least 10 more votes to get to 270. Of the states I have grayed out, I can see all of them going either way. Trump either needs to win one of the big three remaining states, Pennsylvanian, Michigan or Virginia, or two of the rest, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico and New Hampshire, to win (with one exception detailed below). 

My gut tells me that Michigan is going to flip, and if I am right about Florida, Ohio and North Carolina, that's all Trump will need to win. For the rest, I think that Nevada will probably go Clinton but the rest are total toss ups. The absolute worst that could happen is a tie and Trump could get that if he somehow wins New Mexico and New Hampshire and we get a 269 split. That tie would be decided by congress or a faithless elector in Washington. Either result would be devastating and would shake faith in our elections to the core, even if it gives me the result I want.

Things to watch for tomorrow night:
-Which way Florida goes. If Trump loses Florida, he is going to have the run the table of the gray states I posted on the map above. He would really have to flip at least one of the big ticket states and either get another one of the big ones or a couple of the smaller states as well. It's possible but if Florida gets called early for Clinton, it's pretty much over.

-Watch Texas. Though I have no doubt in my mind that Texas is a red state, there have been voter related shenanigans going on there. If Texas flips blue but Trump wins pretty much everywhere else, then you know widespread voter fraud is the reason.

-Wisconsin and Minnesota could be in play. The polls don't really bear that out but given the fact that both campaigns have been spending time in the states, I don't think we can really trust the polls. I think they are probably way closer then the polls indicate, but since I live in Wisconsin, I don't really think it will flip. Though Trump's events here have been well attended, we still have Milwaukee and Madison bringing us down. Plus Wisconsin went to Cruz pretty heavily and I am worried that voter enthusiasm is low here. Still, if Trump even comes close to winning either state that means he is doing much better then the polls realize and if he flips either or both we are entering landslide territory.

-Don't rule out the possibility of terrorism or other violence either today or tomorrow. Such a thing happening could completely change the race. A major, or even a minor, terror attack could change people's votes and scare them away from their polling place. I am voting no matter what, but others might not feel like risking their lives. Also look out for voter intimidation and perhaps even fights. None of this is very likely, but worth mentioning anyways.

-Also don't rule out any last minute leaks or scandals. The presumably last of the Podesta e-mails just dropped awhile ago and are being searched through right now. There is also a possibility that Wikileaks will drop something else at the last second. I also don't want to rule out the chance that someone from the FBI or NYPD could leak information from the Wiener sexting scandal. I don't think anything earth shattering will be found, but you never know.

I won't call the race for Trump yet, but I am willing to give some percentages of likely outcomes:

-15% chance of a Trump landslide. I would define it as Trump winning almost all of the states shaded gray above and perhaps even flipping a few of the blue states. This is possible just because of the "shy Trump" factor. For this to happen though pretty much all of the polls would have to be wrong, which is a real possibility this year.

-50% chance of a Trump win. I just think he's got Ohio, North Carolina and Florida are wrapped up. All Trump needs to do to win is flip just one or two states and he's got it. I can't imagine that there aren't incorrect polls out there.

-30% chance of a slim Clinton win. If the polls are accurate then this is the outcome. I don't think the polls are accurate.

-4% chance of a Clinton landslide. If this happens I am going to assume voter fraud is the reason. I can't imagine Clinton winning all of the gray states or even Ohio, Florida and North Carolina.

-1%  chance of a tie, as detailed above. Way higher then I would like. If the tie happens, it either goes to Trump due to Congress being controlled by the Republicans or some kind of 11th hour replacement, which would probably lead to civil war.

Will I have to eat my words? I sure hope not. I think I have been mostly right this election cycle but I am still mentally preparing myself for the possibility of defeat. When Obama won in 08', I didn't react to it well  because I had assumed that the American voter would have been smarter then that. In '12, I basically laughed it off because I thought Obama was going to win anyways. I think I am somewhere in between now. A Clinton win will be a huge disappointment for me, but I am going to continue the fight against her regardless of the outcome of this election. That's right, even if Trump wins, I am going to what little I can to make sure that Hillary Clinton answers for her crimes.

So that's it then. It's been a long and crazy 18 months covering this election. I can't believe it's about to be over. I'm super nervous even though I expect Donald Trump to win. I really think that Hillary Clinton is an existential threat and I am hoping beyond hope that she doesn't get in. The next 48 hours or so is going to be completely insane and I hope we all make it through together...

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