The Finish Line is in Sight
A U.S. Election Preview
It is important to note that I am in no way asserting that the following forecast will be indicative of what will happen on Election Day, as a Political Science student, the examination of polls is very important and that is what all the following assertions are based on.
On Tuesday, November 8th, Americans will go to the polls en masse to decide who will succeed President Obama as the 45th President of the United States. In an election season that many have labeled as “divisive”, “toxic” and “tedious”, the end of the election process will be a welcome one.
Former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton is holding a national lead of six points (based on an aggregate of polls) over her Republican rival, Donald Trump. However, Mr. Trump has made some gains in key battleground states like Ohio, Florida and North Carolina.
To quell fears on both sides, there are some states that can all but be declared won by each candidate. Sec. Clinton for instance will most likely win California, New York and Minnesota. In that same spirit, Mr. Trump will probably win Texas, Tennessee and Montana. When all the states that the two candidates are likely to win are tallied, Sec. Clinton has an edge going into Election Day with 201 electoral votes, with Mr. Trump garnering 164.
So, 13 states will decide who will win the presidency. They are Arizona, with 11 electoral votes, Colorado with nine, Florida with 29, Georgia with 16, Iowa with 6, Michigan with 16, Nevada with 6, New Hampshire with 4, North Carolina with 15, Ohio with 18, Pennsylvania with 20, Virginia with 13 and Wisconsin with 10.
Anything missing? Where do all the third party candidates fit into all of this? The three main ones are Dr. Jill Stein of the Green Party, former governor of New Mexico, Gary Johnson and former Republican and CIA operative, Evan McMullin who might spoil the party for Donald Trump and actually win Utah, the heavily conservative Christian state. In an October Rasmussen poll, he was polling above Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton at 29%. However, a Monmouth University poll out today, shows Trump leading in the state at 42%.
Elections are won with what is called “ground game”; that is, going door-to-door talking to undecided voters, having candidates visit battleground states and investing heavily in a media campaign. Dr. Stein, Gov. Johnson and Mr. McMullin simply do not have the financial resources needed to dent the chances of Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump winning the election.
Although the Democrats have a chance for the first time since 1996 when President Clinton won the state to turn it blue, conservatives will rally behind Donald Trump and give him the 11 electoral votes Arizona has to offer.
Early voting usually favors Democrats and Latino voters have given Sec. Clinton an edge in the early voting numbers that have been released and because of that, Colorado’s nine electoral votes will go to her.
In every election since 2000, Florida has been a very tight race, with the winner of the state being decided by a few thousand votes (President Obama won the state by .9% in 2012). However, for the same reason Sec. Clinton will most likely win Colorado, the enthusiasm she has received from communities of color (African-Americans and Latinos), will give her the slight edge in winning the state’s 29 electoral votes.
Georgia is another state that has come into play for the Democrats, but will end up staying red for Donald Trump, with its 16 electoral votes.
Sec. Clinton will get Iowa’s six electoral votes. She will also get Michigan’s 16 votes because of her promise to keep that nation on the economic plan President Obama instituted when he took office in 2009, which included bailing out the auto-industry. Michigan’s economy depended heavily on the president’s bailout and rewarded him for it by giving him a win in both 2008 and 2012.
Nevada will go to Sec. Clinton with its six electoral votes; New Hampshire will also go in her column with its four electoral votes, even though a Boston Globe poll has her tied with Trump at 42%. The polls in North Carolina have Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton tied at 46%. Although the state is historically conservative, an aggressive campaign in the state by Democrats in recent years has turned it from a red state, to a purple state. For this reason, Hillary Clinton might just win the state’s 15 electoral votes.
The biggest surprise of this election season, in terms of the battleground states, is Ohio. Donald Trump has had incredible success in the state and is currently polling four points ahead of Hillary Clinton. This should be a troubling sign for the Clinton campaign, but Mr. Trump’s message of remedying trade deals and keeping factory jobs in the state is resonating with its rust belt workers. For that reason, he might win the state’s 18 electoral votes.
Pennsylvania will go in Clinton’s column with its 20 votes, Virginia (the home state of Democratic VP nominee, Tim Kaine), will go blue for Clinton with 13 votes and Wisconsin will give Sec. Clinton its 10 votes.
When all the above is tallied, Hillary Clinton, I predict, will win in an electoral landslide with 329 electoral votes, versus Donald Trump’s 209.