Honestly, I have that Geico Commercial Running through my head. Tomorrow, Most people will vote for either the Congenital Liar or the Pathological Liar. If you go back through the site’s posts you will see why I believe both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are Deplorable, Nasty, Corrupt individuals who are unqualified (albeit in uniquely different ways) to be President of the United States. The 2016 Presidential Election has therefore become a race to the bottom. But most people don’t care. All they care about is making sure the “other” doesn’t win. I get that. I don’t agree with it and think it is a piss poor reason to vote for someone. But don’t try to tell me you really think either the Democrat or Republican nominee is actually good or capable. To quote the late, great William F. Buckley Jr., “I won’t insult your intelligence by suggesting that you really believe what you just said.”
Now beyond the Presidential election, the entire House of Representatives is up for reelection as is a third of the US Senate. There are also eleven Governors’ races. It is these down ballot races that are the most important. The winners of these races give a better idea of the Country’s political direction. And it appears the Donald Trump is not the face of the Republican Party’s future. At least not for the average voter.
Looking at the data over at Real Clear Politics, it appears Republicans will net 3 Governor’s mansions after tomorrow. The GOP will therefore be leading 70% of the states and have complete control of 1/2 the State’s governments.
The US House of Representatives will remain Republican. It won’t be as large as the current majority. But seeing as the current make-up is a historic high, that isn’t too surprising. Look for the GOP to have somewhere between 230-236 seats. Call it 233.
The US Senate will stay Republican. Harry Reid’s Nevada seat will go Republican and Republican Mark Kirk (it appears Kirk’s downfall is his stroke. A lot of people in the know in Illinois believe Kirk simply hasn’t been the same since he suffered a stroke in 2012). Of the remaining swing states, the Republican candidates closing in on the Democrats and in some case have surpassed their opponents. Kerry Ayotte of New Hampshire, Todd Young in Indiana, and Rob Portman in Ohio are look like sure win candidates. In Pennsylvania, Pat Toomey has been behind for most of the fall, but the last two polls show him either ahead by a point (Morning Call) or tied (Harper). In Wisconsin, it looks like Republican Ron Johnson is not going to win. Russ Feingold’s lead has narrowed to within the margin of error of the polls, but the polls have all been consistent showing him in the lead. So at the end of Tuesday, if a I think Toomey ekes out a win, Republicans will have a net loss of one seat. (53-47). If Pennsylvania goes blue, the GOP still holds the Senate, 52-48.
This all suggests the Republican Party brand has not suffered because of Trump. Indeed if Trump wins some states, it will be because he rode the coattails of some of the down ballot votes and not the other way around, which is how this normally works and thus reaffirming nothing about the 2016 election cycle has been normal.
As for the Presidential Race… While it is still possible for Trump to win outright, the path is so narrow, I don’t think he will win Tuesday night. If Trump is going to get 270, He will need to win Maine’s 2nd Congressional District and Pennsylvania. If Penn goes red, Trump is in. Trump looks posed to win Ohio which means it will all come down to Florida. If Clinton wins Florida, she wins the Presidency. If she wins ME-2, but not Florida, well….
And because it’s 2016, this is what I think will happen when the dust settles Wednesday. It’s only fitting, in the year the Cubs won the World Series that we quote Mr. Cub, Ernie Banks, “Let’s play two.”
Overtime we will go.
UPDATED 4:45 PM: Two additional points I want to make.
First, Real Clear Politics has New Hampshire going for Clinton. The Emerson Poll has her up 1. A WMUR/UNH poll has Clinton up by 11. The WMUR Poll also has Ayotte losing the Senate Race by 4 points. (Emerson has her up by 1). I think WMUR’s poll is an outlier. The numbers are too far out of whack from all the polling conducted. I still think New Hampshire will re-elect Ayotte to the Senate and narrowly go for Trump.
This ties into the second point: There are four states to watch tomorrow night: New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Florida.
- Maine. Maine is one of two states (Nebraska being the other) that awards Electoral votes based on who wins each of the two Congressional Districts (with the two Electoral votes it gets for Senate representation given to the winner of the state-wide popular vote). ME-2 seems to be bouncing back and forth between Trump and Clinton. If Trump wins the District plus NH and FL, he would have 270. If Clinton wins, the chance of a tie remains.
- If New Hampshire goes Blue, Trump is toast. Given the realities on the ground, there would be no way for him to win the Presidency without New Hampshire’s 4 Electoral Votes.
- If Pennsylvania goes Red, Clinton is in trouble. She could still win the election if she loses Pennsylvania but wins Florida. But, see as she has been consistently ahead in Pennsylvania polls, if she was to lose, it would suggest Trump’s in-roads to blue collar workers were real and not just figments of his imagination. If Pennsylvania falls, Michigan and Virginia (where her leads have about the same) could actually be vulnerable.
- Florida. If Trump wins New Hampshire and Clinton Pennsylvania, this is where either we find out if anyone made it to 270 or if we are going to go into political overtime.
As an added bonus, this really is 2016 in a nutshell: