This is my prediction for the 2016 election: Hillary Clinton will defeat Donald Trump in a landslide. I make this call based on Trump’s awful performance since the conventions, the strength of Hillary Clinton’s campaign, the strength of the allies that will be campaigning on her behalf, the demographics of the American electorate, general election polling, and the recent election results in Obama’s victories in ’08 and 2012. And an important x-factor, the first debate that could be the most-watched political event in American history and will set the terms of the election.
If you thought Trump’s war with the Khan family or his mocking of a handicapped reporter was his worst day, wait until he has to debate a highly skilled and battle-tested woman who is far more knowledgeable than he is about the intricacies of public policy for 90 minutes, while fielding questions from skilled moderators who will be out to prove how unprepared Trump is for the Presidency.
It’s going to be a bloodbath. He has to go through that gauntlet three times. I predict he’ll do it once, get destroyed, and then probably quit the race…if he even shows up to that first debate at all. Now, to the electoral college map! We’ll start by giving Clinton and Trump the states their parties’ have won for the last six plus presidential elections. As you can see, that puts Clinton only 28 electoral votes away from the 270 she needs for victory.
For now, we’ll go ahead and give Trump Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Montana, Tennessee, and West Virginia—all states that President Obama lost in 2012. But that’s about the end of the winning for Trump.
Clinton has built double digit leads in Colorado, New Hampshire, and Virginia, the home state of her running mate. With those states in the bag, you can see where the election becomes nearly impossible for Trump. Clinton has a large fundraising advantage, the full support of a united party, powerful allies who will be campaigning for her all over the country, and campaign offices in every one of these swing states…and she only needs to win one of them.
Clinton is also polling very well in New Mexico, so she will win there, becoming the 45th president of the United States and our first female Commander-In-Chief, an incredibly historic moment for the country and the modern world. But back to the map. As I laid out earlier, with Trump heading for certain defeat, his campaign will collapse down the stretch. Clinton will win Ohio, Iowa, Nevada, North Carolina, and Florida. Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson will also undermine Trump by attracting large numbers of disillusioned Republicans voters.
Now this is where things get really interesting. If Trump makes it clear he knows he’s going to lose by dropping out altogether before any one of the three scheduled debates, or he simply stops campaigning with more than a week left before the election, things could get real ugly for the Republicans. Even the reddest meat Americans aren’t going to vote for a guy who doesn’t really want to be President. If that happens, at a minimum, Clinton will win win Georgia and Missouri, and probably Arizona too – ground zero for Trump’s wall with Mexico.
Indiana – which Obama won in ‘08 – could turn blue and so could South Carolina, Montana, North Dakota, and Kansas where Clinton now – in August – trails Trump by just 5 points in the polls. That would make 2016 a wave election and could even give the democrats full control of both houses of congress, even though the Republicans pretty much cheated by gerrymandering house districts to heavily favor them after the 2010 census.
So, if I have to make an exact call today – and I do because I’m crazy enough to be recording this prediction now, some 70 days before the election – barring an unpredictable game-changing bombshell, Trump will disintegrate under the pressure of the fall campaign, and soon-to-be President Clinton will win in a 408-130 landslide. Her long coattails will allow the Democrats to regain control of the Senate by a 53-47 margin, and the House winning about 220 seats.