50 Shades of Blue (and very light red)

This election will be one for the books, no doubt, but in what ways? The first woman president? The first outsider president? The first time a third party candidate stood a chance (in a long time)?

How about the first major landslide since 1988?

That’s how it’s shaping up to be.

Regardless of your political beliefs, it’s hard to ignore the fact that Donald Trump isn’t the average GOP nominee. His off the cuff remarks and flair for attention don’t quite mesh with the history of the presidential race, and Hillary has been quick to play that to her advantage.

Compared to 2012, the electoral map and polls haven’t changed drastically, although there are some notable changes that will all seem to benefit Hillary November 8th.

States that have been mostly Republican or leaned Republican historically are turning up as battleground states or even leaning Democrat this year. It may stem from deep conflict from the GOP primaries, general generational shifts toward liberal views, or an intense dislike for Trump.

Although Obama’s 2012 victory was slightly less comfortable than his 2008 win, the poll changes in four years have come a long way for Democrats. States like Arizona and Georgia are actually within reach of Hillary this cycle. And to add to the history of being the first woman president and winning traditionally Republican states, Hillary can add something else: winning after a two-term Democrat.

You see, that’s been a nagging problem for Democrats for nearly two centuries, ever since we came to the modern two-major-party system in 1828. That’s right, in the 188 years we’ve had the two main options of Democrats and Republicans, a Democrat has only won the party a third term twice. The last time was when Franklin Roosevelt won himself a third term. And that was in 1940.

The fact that Hillary is even leading polls right now speaks wonders for the potential this election has to change history. It could even be the end of the line for Republican nominees to have any shot at the presidency, as general poll numbers and the electoral vote split up will continue to lean towards Democrats. Even President George W. Bush remarked he fears he’ll be the last Republican president, and President George H.W. Bush has said he’ll be voting for Hillary.

Bottom line: the Oval Office doesn’t look good for the GOP. On the bright side (for them), they should have no foreseeable problems in Congress or the Supreme Court.

But getting back to this year’s election, the overall weirdness of it all has a lot of political scientists confused, and me very optimistic. After looking at maps and trends and prior voting records, I made my own handy 2016 map. And it’s got a few upsets.

Screen Shot 2016-11-01 at 7.53.16 PM.pngFirst things first, Texas will be blue. The mainstream predictions all had it set for 2020, but with polls only giving Trump a 4 point lead, I’m willing to bet Hillary can cover that ground. Alaska, Nevada, Arizona, Missouri, Iowa, Indiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida will be blue. Utah will stay red, although McMullin will still have a strong base of support there.

One of my trains of logic is from the polls themselves, although they don’t always favor Hillary. You see, there was this big trend during the primaries of Hillary leading the polls by a lot, and then actual primaries and caucuses brought Bernie much closer (or even beating her). As we know now from exit poll data, Hillary’s supporters tended to be the older, less liberal Democrats, and Bernie’s the much more liberal millennial group. And just so coincidentally, if you look at a random poll study, it will have been conducted over phone, and likely a landline at that. Who answers (or owns?!?) landlines in 2016? Old people. Bingo. Young people just do not get polled as much.

There are two things that have changed now, the first being that the primaries are over.

The second is that the polls now do not actually reflect what Hillary’s support is. All thanks to us millennials. This isn’t to say that some Bernie supporters won’t write his name in or choose one of the other minor party candidates. It is to say, though, that most of this group has accepted Bernie’s endorsement of Hillary in the face of Trump.

Things to look for next Tuesday:

•Low Republican turnout

•High Democrat turnout

•High minority turnout

•Record number of early votes cast

•Clinton victory of >400 electoral votes.

•Republican-maintained Senate

Expected raw votes:

Clinton: 71,000,000     Trump: 58,000,000

 

 

There’s one week until Election Day. Where will you be?

 

 

 

 

….. and one more time for those in the back:

screen-shot-2016-11-01-at-9-46-14-pm

 

 

 

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