Wait. What? That can’t be right.
For those of you who are new here, I’ve long since given up my “pundit” title. I have no crystal ball. I don’t claim to have one. I avoid predictions on elections whenever possible. And yet, here we are, on election eve, and the Real Clear Politics map with “no tossups” looks like this: Clinton 272; Trump 266.
The one thing I’ve been saying consistently since the conventions (which was long after I quit saying “there’s no way that Trump can win”) is that if the election/coverage was about him, she would win. If it was about her, he would win.
The Inside Edition/Billy Bush tape made it all about him for a couple of weeks. The FBI letter reminded us what it’s like to have a Clinton in the White House. We now have a legitimate toss up going into the election tomorrow. If the above map doesn’t sway you into this, look at the Real Clear Politics map with toss ups: 171 electoral votes are “too close to call.
This is where people who know how to explain polls much better than I come in with a bunch of academic hooey to essentially say this: So many states are within the margin of error on polls that the result tomorrow can be anywhere from Trump 335, Clinton 203 to Clinton 374, Trump 164 and the polls are still “correct”. I’d love to take a pot shot at them but I majored in Economics instead of accounting so that I could be off by a few trillion and still swear my answer was correct.
What’s the point of all this? Well, to paraphrase the great John Madden, whoever gets the most electoral points tomorrow wins.
If I must reduce that to punditry, here’s what I’m watching tomorrow:
1) Florida – there is no path to a Trump victory (in my often wrong opinion) that doesn’t include Florida
2) North Carolina and New Hampshire: I don’t see a strong path for Trump that doesn’t include North Carolina. NH is small enough and on the East Coast poll closing time that it could tip the hand early if Trump may win, not just “have a chance”. My assumptions include Ohio for Trump, Pennsylvania for Clinton. Neither of these are as close as the first two. If either moves the other way, it’s over.
3) Nevada: IF Trump is able to swing Florida and flip New Hampshire, he’s still going to have to hold Nevada (and keep ALL the rest of the first map in tact).
So, to all my Trump “friends” who have claimed I’ve never written anything good, nor said he may win, “He may”. He may also lose by 132 electoral votes. I don’t know. That’s why we vote. As John Madden would say, “It’s all about turnout from here”. Or something.