Tuesday, November 1, 2016

USA: 7 days to go

I will do my best to have daily posts between now and the election. Today's projection is as follows:

Trump has closed in a few states, but this may simply be a bump from recent scandal, one that will vanish in the next few days.

29 states are "locks" which means they will not be changing unless something huge happens (like the death of a candidate) For Clarity, the non "locks" are as follows:

Solid Clinton:
New Hampshire
New Mexico

Strong Clinton:

Leaning Clinton:

Solid Trump:
South Carolina

Strong Trump:
Nebraska District

Leaning Trump:
Maine District
North Carolina

Leaning McMullin:

Leaning Faithless Elector:
Washington District

I suspect each day at least one state will be added to the "locks".

With so much hate for both candidates, we may end up seeing a mass of faithless electors. The map below shows the states where there are little to no restrictions on whom electors may vote for. Other states have restrictions on the practise, or, make it outright illegal.

For the Democrats, the chance is lower, as many Democrats seem more  comfortable with Clinton than Republicans do with Trump. However, Sanders may still get up to 5 faithless electors. One in Washington (where there are penalties against this) 3 in Vermont, and 1 somewhere else, perhaps New Hampshire or Minnesota, states he won in the primaries by healthy margins.

The Republicans could see more. I wouldn't put it past Indiana to vote as a bloc for Pence as President. In fact, if nobody wins a majority in the Electoral College on election night, I guarantee that Indiana will vote as a bloc for Pence. Why? Well this puts Pence in the running in Congress for President. Regardless of the margin, Idaho, Kansas, Iowa, and Texas also voted against Trump in the Primaries; all voted for Cruz, and he could gain up to 3 votes from faithless electors from these states.

Utah meanwhile might be chaos even if Trump wins the state. More than any other state, I could see the Utah electors agreeing to vote as a bloc. Even if Trump wins the state, they may decide to vote for McMullin anyway. More likely is they would vote for another candidate like Mitt Romney or Governor Gary Herbert, or perhaps even someone else.

It's also possible that electors will simply spoil their ballots. I could see up to 3 Democrats, and 6 Republicans doing so. In the end, I don't expect more than 8 faithless Democratic electors, or 25 faithless Republican electors (save those from Utah) and I do not see any of the electors voting for the candidate from the other party.

Imagine for example that Trump wins around 275-280 votes on Election Night. Between the election and the official reading of the electoral ballots, in January, Trump continues to do foolish things. The Republicans in Congress decide that they can't just let Trump become President. Since the margin is under a dozen, they hatch a plan. Mike Pence will be given just enough Electoral College votes to put him in third. This works. Congress then meets and votes for Pence to become President. Pence is also named as Vice President, but since he can not do both, the Vice Presidency is declared Vacant.

Now imagine the Democrats win the Senate. They won't simply give a free pass to Pence's suggestion for VP. As such, an agreement is hatched. The Democrats will back a Republican for the Supreme Court, someone who is fairly moderate, who would not overturn abortion, but who would probably vote with the right-wing on many other issues. In return, the Democrats will get to select a Vice President. Clinton is out, she won't play second fiddle, and the Republicans wouldn't have her. Tim Kaine is possible, and would be a strong contender, but I think most Republicans would see him as a possible future threat, and that making him VP would boost his chances of beating Pence in the 2020 election. As such, they select Bernie Sanders, who they see as too elderly to pose a threat in 2020.

The end result? President Mike Pence, Vice President Bernie Sanders, A Moderate Republican on the Supreme Court, Paul Ryan as House Speaker, and Harry Reid as Senate Majority leader.


  1. In the case of no one getting a EC majority vote for VP, ONLY the top two finishers are forwarded to the Senate, they can not choose any one other those those two. The same with the House for President, but they get the top three finishers.