Election Day Final Predictions

Election Day Final Predictions
AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

Here is my take on what to expect tomorrow.  Why am I doing this?  The truth is that it is probably a bit of arrogance to see if I can accurately predict what will happen by analyzing the available data, applying some predictive metrics and a splash of guess work.  I’ll lay out a best case, worst case and my predictions for the President, Senate and House.  Then if I am right, I can come back and tell you all how smart I am.  If I’m wrong, well, being humbled has its own benefits.  Here goes.

Best Case Scenario

The best case scenario occurs if Biden’s turnout is low and the Trump’s enthusiasm dominates.  The improving economy and Trump’s “presidential” debate performance close the sale with late breakers and marginal voters who were considering staying home.  The reality of Democrat control and reluctance of voters to shake up a good thing create a Trump sweep of the winnable states.  In an different environment, the map would be different.  This is the maximum win I think Trump could get.  It involves him winning all of the tossup states, but stopping short of crossing the threshold to Colorado, Virginia, New Mexico and others that I have heard some people think he will win. There’s a slim chance he could win one of those three, but also that he might do so and still lose another state, like NH or ME.  Electoral College: Trump – 328, Biden – 210.  Popular vote:  Trump 51%, Biden 46%.

In the Senate, the GOP would win all 9 races listed as tossups:  AZ, MT, IA, MI, MN, GA1, SC, NC and ME.  If things go that well, the GOP could pull off one race between CO, NM and NH.  That gives the GOP holding all the current seats and picking up AL, MI and MN.  The GOP would expand its Senate majority to 56-44.  The House would likely follow this type of voting pattern with a slight GOP majority: 226-209.

Worse Case Scenario

The worse case scenario occurs if older voters break to Biden over fear from COVID and suburban women stick with the 2018 swing toward the Democrats.  Trump fails to make any significant improvements among minority voters to offset those losses.  I think this the bottom of the barrel in the current environment.  In this situation, Biden wins all the swings states and comes within a hair of winning Texas and Georgia.  Trump holds Iowa.  I just don’t see a 9.5% 2016 win being erased in one cycle in a state with a popular GOP Governor that has remained mostly open.  The Des Moines Register just released their latest poll that had Trump +7.  At this point, they are probably more concerned with preserving their own reputation within Iowa than joining the other cabal of polling hacks.  Electoral College:  Biden 352, Trump – 186.  Popular vote:  Biden 51%, Trump 45%.

In the Senate, the Democrats would win all of the tossup races, except SC and pick up GA2 and KS, listed as leaning GOP.  That would be pickups of ME, IA, MT, CO, AZ, GA1, GA2, KS and NC against only the loss of AL.  The Democrats would control the Senate 55-45.  This map would stretch the Democrats House majority out to about 242-193.  I don’t think this could happen, I’m just laying it out as a possibility, if we are all wrong the polls know what they are doing.

My Prediction

Trump’s enthusiasm gap and his advantage on economic issues turns out to be the difference.  Voters will be reluctant to shake up the leadership for a man most voters know is not mentally fit to be the President.  Uncertainty with Harris and how the country is actually ran with a figurehead President Biden will lead to a Trump win.  It won’t be a landslide, but Trump does win a narrow popular vote victory and captures enough states to put the Electoral College out of the range of corruption and payoffs.  We will know by Wednesday that Trump has won the election, though the litigation, mental meltdowns, ballot counting and “finding” ballots will stretch on for months.  The Democrats will accuse Trump of stealing the election and use the polls as the basis for their claim.  We will have rioting, looting and burning in the street at a much greater rate than in the racial unrest of this summer.

Trump squeaks by in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Arizona.  His margins expand in Florida.  Trump gains popular vote by picking up margins in red states and winning more of the returning third party/independent voters.  However, Biden outperforms Hillary in Wisconsin winning that state back.  Trump comes up just short in MN and NV.  Electoral College:  Trump – 296, Biden – 242.  Popular vote:  Trump – 49%, Biden – 48%.

In the Senate, the GOP wins SC, GA1, GA2, IA, NC, MI and MT, but loses MN, CO, ME and AZ.  The GOP loses 3 held seats and wins AL and MI from the Democrats, resulting in a small Senate majority of 52-49.  Romney and Murkowski find a replacement for Collins and continue to act like a King and Queen and sometimes side with the Democrats for no other purpose than to feed their own egos.  The Democrats hold the House with a smaller majority of 226-209.  The radical left revolts and removes Pelosi as Speaker after some contentious in-fighting.

State Ratings

I would rate the toss up states from most likely to least likely for Trump to win in the following order:  TX, IA, GA, OH, ME2, FL, NC, PA, NE2, AZ, MI, MN, WI, NV, NH and ME.    Real Clear Politics has an easy to use feature to create your own map and see how the totals play out in different combinations.  You click on each state to change its rating to varying degrees of blue, red or tossup status.

On a side note, if I have the order close to correct and the results land between NE2 and AZ in my order, we have a 269-269 Electoral College tie.  Check out my earlier article on the numerous ways that we could end up with a tie.  I can’t imaging a more fitting end to 2020 than the chaos that would result from a 269-269 tie.

Just remember that no matter what happens in this election, this is still the greatest country in the world.  There is no place else I’d rather live.  We are blessed to live here, no matter what problems we have.  God is in control.  The results will be His will.  I may not understand it or know what it is, but I have faith that He has a plan for us individually and for our communities, states, this country and this world.  Be strong and of good courage.  I have read the end of the Book and those of us who are servants of Jesus Christ win in the end.  That isn’t a prediction, but an absolute truth.

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