November 8, 2016 [LINK / comment]

Election 2016: last-minute forecasts

For the record, I have made my own forecast of the election results, showing Trump doing better than most people expect, but not enough to win. Reports of a surge in Latino voting in Florida would seem to doom his chances there, but unlike recent elections, I think it will all come down to Michigan. If Trump capitalizes on discontent with global trade and de-industrialization, it could just put him over the top. He made a joke the other day that probably resonates with some people: "It used to be we made automobiles in Michigan and you couldn't drink the water in Mexico; now it's the other way around." That's referring to the water system crisis in Flint, Michigan.

Anyway, Hillary Clinton will probably win Virginia, Pennsylvania, and might win North Carolina. I have the latter in Trump's column, but it will be close. Likewise, Texas will be closer than in recent elections, but I expect Trump to still finish with a lead of about 5 percent.

As for the popular vote, I'm guessing Mrs. Clinton will get about 48%, with Mr. Trump getting 43%, Gary Johnson (Libertarian) getting 5%, Jill Stein (Green) getting 2%, and Evan McMullin (Independent) also getting 2%. If Johnson reaches the 5% threshhold, the Libertarian Party will qualify for matching funds in the next presidential election, which is ironic for a party that preaches a sharply limited role for the government.

2016 Pres. Election forecast

My forecast of the 2016 presidential election.

Virginia races

Here in Virginia, there are some close races for the House of Representatives. Bob Goodlatte will win easily here in the 6th District once again, but Kai Degner waged an effective campaign, capitalizing on the pipeline issue. In the 10th District (northern Virginia), Barbara Comstock is fighting a tough battle for survival, and if she loses, Trump will be to blame. The most interesting race is in the 5th District, where State Senator Tom Garrett (GOP) has a small lead over Jane Dittmar. That campaign has been nasty.

Campaign signs Nov 2016

Montage of 2016 campaign signs, around Staunton.

Congressional races

I predict that the Republicans will hold on to a bare 51-49 lead in the Senate. [It is currently 54-46, including two independents on the Democratic side.] Republicans Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania and in Roy Blunt in Missouri (both incumbents) are two key tossups.

In the House of Representatives, I expect the Democrats to make a smaller gain, going from the current 247-188 lead [in favor of the Republicans] to about 230-205. I have a hunch that many voters who cringe at the idea of voting for Hillary but do so as the lesser of two evils will compensate for that choice but picking the Republican candidate for the House. The average voter, although often susceptible to being fooled, is wiser than many people think, and they probably like the idea of keeping a balance between the two parties.

FBI clears Hillary

When I wrote my Sunday blog post, I was not yet aware that the FBI had already cleared Hillary Clinton. I'm not surprised, and frankly I'm glad that this potential complicating factor was removed (or at least minimized) prior to the election. But what about people who voted early? Well, that's another problem...