It’s Election Day in America, which means that by the end of today – if all goes well – we will know who our next president will be! It has been a long election season full of surprises, but the campaign is over and the votes are starting to pour in.
We asked some members of our contributors to share their projections for tonight’s results. And interestingly enough, all but one of us agree that Clinton will win easily.
Election prediction: Clinton will win 323 to 215; Clinton wins popular by +3.7%
Barring major surprises, Trump probably cannot reach 270. My map assumes that he will win all of the states that Romney won in 2012, plus Iowa and Ohio. I don’t take seriously the possibility of Arizona or Georgia turning blue, but I also can’t see him flipping any other blue states.
Unless polling has been consistently wrong, Trump faces a steep uphill battle on the map. He might be able to grab a couple competitive states like Florida or North Carolina. To reach 270, though, he needs to win Florida or Pennsylvania plus North Carolina. Pennsylvania and North Carolina would leave him 20 electoral votes short, and Florida and North Carolina would leave him eleven short. If he can win at least two of the three, he is within striking distance, but will need to pull off Nevada or another potential upset state.
However, if we see massive turnout from the so-called “monster vote” that fringe pundits like Bill Mitchell are banking on in their bullish predictions for team Trump, we could see a very different looking map. If it’s true that pollsters have severely underestimated the number of new or infrequent voters who will turn out for Trump, he could surprise us in states like Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, or Michigan. Again, though, this possibility rests on the assumption that the entirety of the professional polling industry has been either wildly inaccurate or deliberately manipulating polls. This election has defied conventional wisdom at every turn, but ultimately, I am confident that the polling data we have will prove mostly reliable.
Election prediction: Clinton will win 323 to 215; Clinton wins popular by +4.4%
Any predictions for this election could be viewed as somewhat futile because of the unpredictable nature of 2016, but the results in most states are essentially decided and few states, such as Ohio and Florida, hold the fate of the entire election.
In the former, history and demographics favor Trump, since the state typically leans slightly more Republican and nearly 80% of its population is white. He’s held onto a slight lead in the state in the days leading up to the election, and has a strong possibility of winning its electoral votes. His chance at the presidency remains slim, but he will at least have made history by winning Ohio and still failing to reach 270, should that be the case.
Down here in Florida, the political outcomes often depend largely on the three most Democratic counties: Palm Beach, Miami-Dade, and Broward. These three counties could easily hand the state to Hillary Clinton. This weekend was huge for Democrats in early voting in Broward and Dade; more than 100,000 people turned out to vote in those two counties alone on Sunday, and in the Miami TV media market (encompassing Broward, Dade, and Monroe), Democrats hold a 318,000 vote lead over Republicans. Party affiliation gives us a strong indication of where votes are going, making a comeback for Republicans in these counties extremely difficult with only Election Day left to count. Minority turnout has been low this year, but these Democratic counties could carry Clinton over the finish line.
Election prediction: Clinton will win 322 to 216; Clinton wins popular by +4.7%
Election prediction: Clinton will win 294 to 244; Clinton wins popular by +3.8%
I think this race will be tight! The states I am watching tonight are Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Utah. In my model, I was generous to Mr. Trump and gave him Florida. However, looking at the latest polls, projections, and voting histories, I could not give him states like North Carolina orPennsylvania.
As you see from my colleagues, we all believe that Clinton will win a majority of electoral votes (unless your Benjamin Green and you just want to see the world burn). For Trump to win, he would have to win states that I believe are impossible for him to. With that said, this has been a surprising year. Who’s to say the surprise won’t continue tonight?
I’m watching Utah because while the possibility of an Evan McMullin win is low, it is certainly an intriguing concept. However, even if he does win the state’s 6 electoral votes, Clinton still gets the White House under my map.
BONUS: Benjamin Green
Election prediction: Neither candidate will reach 270 because Utah will rebel.