Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Reality Check: Winners and Losers From the 2016 Election


Donald Trump: The President Elect of the United States of America: Obviously. He has confounded everyone ever since he declared his intention to run for President when he declared his campaign on June 15, 2015. He is going to go down in American history as one of the most masterful politicians of all time.

Mike Pence: Vice President Elect:  He did a more than credible job as Donald Trump's second in the campaign, and is the defacto leader of the right wing of the Republican Party. He moves into contention as the front runner for the Republican nomination in 2020 if Donald Trump decides not to run for reelection, or in 2024.

Vladimir Putin: President of Russia:  Trump favorite, has had role in electing Trump with behind the scenes influence, US elections reconfirms Russia restoration to superpower status.

Newt Gingrich, the former Speaker of the House:  Considered a has-been now in line for a top cabinet politician

Rudy Giuliani: former Mayor of New York:  See above, now in line for a top cabinet postion, perhaps Attorney General

Marco Rubio: Republican Presidential Candidate, reelected as Senator from Florida after left for dead after terrible performance in Presidential Primary.

Chuck Schumer: Senate Majority Leader from New York:  New voice of opposition for the Democrats in Congress.

Bernie Sanders: Independent Senator from Vermont: Senior Statesman for the progressive movement in the United States of America.


Hillary and Bill Clinton: Their 24 years of influence with the National Democratic Party comes to an end.

Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House:  The president of his own party wants him replaced. The right wing of his own party never liked him. His days as Speaker are probably numbered.

Tim Kaine, candidate for Vice President: back to Senator from Virginia, which is fine for him if he likes being Senator from Virginia. No chance for national office due to his age.

NATO.  An unanswered  challenge by Putin's Russia in the Baltic States will end this alliance's 70 year record of maintaining peace in Europe.

Roe vs Wade (Reproductive Rights): Expect these to fall once a President Trump appoints Scalia's replacement -- and as many as two other seats which may become open during his administration.

Obamacare/Affordable Care Act: National Health Care will be dead as soon as President Trump signs the necessary executive orders and Congressional bills authorizing this. The question is -- how will the 22 million people affected who lose health care be offered some life support as an off ramp?

And finally

This Blog

This is my last post. Its been a fun ride. I got it wrong, by predicting a Clinton Presidency -- but I am joined by just about everyone else in this regard. I will be taking this blog down by November 17.

Thanks for reading!

Eddi Haskell

It's Trump

Sunday, November 6, 2016

My Final Predictions for President and U.S. Senate for the 2016 U.S. Election

Projected Winners: Hillary Clinton / Time Kaine

Electoral Votes:

Clinton: 308
Trump: 230

(Note:  New Hampshire is the state I am most unsure will vote Democratic, and North Carolina is the state I am most unsure will vote Republican).

My Custom Electoral Map from 270 To Win

Nationwide Popular Vote by % (rounded):

Democratic Party-   Clinton/Kaine:    49%
Republican Party-  Trump/Pence:     45%
Libertarian Party-  Johnson/Weld:     4%
Other (including Green Party):   2%

My projections for U.S. Senate after 2016 elections - from 270 To Win


I am projecting a 50/50 Senate tie. The party that wins the presidency will control the Senate as the Vice President will cast the 51st vote for organization.

(Note: New Hampshire is the state I am most unsure will vote for the Democratic Senate candidate, and Missouri is the state I am most unsure will vote for the Republican Senate candidate).

My Final 2016 Prediction: Hillary Clinton Will Win The Presidential Election On Tuesday, November 8

Hillary Clinton- The 45th President of the United States of America

I  now feel comfortable issuing my final prediction for the 2016 presidential election. I can say with confidence that Hillary Clinton will win the election on Tuesday, November 8.

I predict that the all-important swing state of Florida, which has cast over 60% of its votes as of Sunday, November 6 will see a flood of new voters, many from a latino/hispanic heritage, that will give Hillary Clinton enough of a lead over Donald Trump to offset enthusiasm generated from working class white voters which Mr. Trump has generated.

I will issue my exact state predictions and U.S. Senate predictions on Monday.

29 Electoral Votes for Hillary Clinton

Friday, November 4, 2016

Reality Check: The Hispanic and Latino Vote Is Proving To Be Devastating Against Donald Trump In Three Key States

The Hispanic/Latino vote is proving to be devastating to Republican Donald Trump in three key voting states through polling analysis and an analysis of early voting return trends by party registration and location (actual votes are not counted until Tuesday) in three key battleground states. My percent estimate of the final percent of the vote that will be of Latino/Hispanic heritage is enclosed in parentheses at the end of each state)

Florida  (20%)

Nevada  (21%)

Colorado  (17%)

Donald Trump must win Florida to win the presidency. There is no possible scenario in which he can win the election without Florida's 29 electoral votes.

In addition, he will, in all likelihood,  need to win either Nevada or Colorado. Although Colorado is currently polling stronger for Hillary Clinton, Nevada is considered a pure toss-up state. A strong showing among Hispanic/Latino voters will help solidify Clinton's position there.

In addition, although Trump is favored in Arizona, the Hispanic/Latino vote is projected to increase to 20% of the total vote, an increase of at least 3% over 2012. A strong showing could make this state an upset win for Clinton -- but Trump is up by 4% in recent polls due to his recent surge.

Univision released a poll last night that shows that Trump is extremely unpopular among Hispanic/Latino voters. In fact, the results were called "terrifying to Republicans".  You can see the poll here:

Pollsters may be underestimating the number of Hispanic/Latino voters in their election day composition models. What is clear though is that any perceived lack of enthusiasm in the progressive Obama coalition is being offset by anger with Mr. Trump among this important group of voters.


Note About Florida:  The Univision poll shows that support for Clinton extends to all Hispanic/Latino groups in Florida, and not just recent immigrants. The Puerto Rico community, rapidly growing in Florida due to an economic downturn in Puerto Rico itself, is not threatened by deportation talk (they are full American citizens) yet is showing some of the highest levels of Democratic party support of any identifiable group. Cuban Americans are showing support for the Democratic candidate of over 40% for the first time in any presidential election.

What is the Latino/Hispanic vote in the United States?

This refers to voting trends during elections in the United States by eligible voters of Latino or Hispanic background, including those with ties to Spanish-speaking nations in the Americas including Cuba and Mexico, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, a sovereign territory of the United States since 1898.

Trump's Path to the Presidency Becomes Clearer

From 270 to win

(Note- this is not a prediction)

If Donald Trump is to win the Presidency this is how he will do it.

He will need to win all of these states in which he and Hillary Clinton are running close in the polls. Of these states, only North Carolina voted Republican in 2012.

North Carolina
New Hampshire

Maine's Second Congressional district will give him the one electoral vote which will let him win the election 270 - 268 votes.

There is also a chance that Colorado could vote for Trump. I do not think Trump has a reasonable chance to carry Pennsylvania.

I will issue my final prediction by Monday, November 7.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

My Forecast For the Presidential Vote With One Week To Go

My final Presidential prediction will be issued on Monday, November 7.  Things can change in one week.

Electoral Votes:

Clinton / Kaine: 322
Trump / Pence: 216

 National Vote by Party:

 Democratic : Clinton / Kaine:     49%

 Republican: Trump / Pence:    45%

 Libertarian: Johnson / Weld:   4%

 Other (including Green):   1%

 Note: Numbers do not add up to 100% because of rounding)

Monday, October 31, 2016

Prediction: By Tomorrow Evening, Monday, October 31, At Least Two Major Announcements Will Upend The 2016 Presidential Campaign

I just left this comment over at Daily Kos as Eddi Haskell and am running this here as a Prediction.

This campaign has very short news cycles. The current “email scandal” news cycle, which broke on Friday, will last until tomorrow afternoon. By Monday evening I will take bets that at least two of these will dominate the headlines 1. Kurt Eichenwald’s new investigative piece on Trump will be out (he says on Twitter it will be released on Monday morning and that it was written before the Comey letter and suggests a fairly major revelation) 2. Comey will be forced to (excuse my french) “crap or get off the pot” and explain why he just interfered with a Presidential election or resign 3. William Weld will formally resign from the Libertarian ticket and say that there is no way he can see continuing a candidacy that may help Trump become President (and shut Johnson up — who contradicted him last week from hinting at this) 4. Someone will stick their neck out and risk a debilitating law suit and release a damning tape of Trump that will show him either using language such as the “n” word or saying something else that will serve as further impetus to get the Obama coalition to the polls — or a similar tape that is currently being withheld or 6. a total complete surprise, perhaps a Trump connection to Putin that can be proven or SOMETHING. But by tomorrow night this email thing will be small potatoes. You can count on it.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Reality Check: This is How Donald Trump Can Win the Presidency In A Close Election -

As of right now, the polls are tightening, and Hillary Clinton's email troubles are again a campaign issue.

Donald Trump can continue to defy predictions and win the presidency in a close election.

He can lose the popular vote, like George Bush #2 did in 2000 - but secure just enough electoral votes by carrying states and one congressional district in Maine that are too close to call in current Real Clear Politcs voting projections.

Note that Maine is one of two states (along with Nebraska) that assigns electoral votes by Congressional District. Trump can win by one electoral vote according to this map if he wins Maine's Second district, a conservative rural district, where he is polling even with Hillary Clinton. However, even if he were to lose that, and the election were tied 269 electoral votes each, Congress would decide who becomes President and the Republican candidate would be favored, a situation that has not happened since 1876.

For Donald Trump to win the presidency, he must carry Florida and Ohio. I do not see him winning without these two states. And even if he carries these states, he is not assured of a win.

Conversely, if early election returns show Hillary Clinton losing Pennsylvania, it is going to be a long election night for her. Although she can win the presidency without any one state, Pennsylvania should be considered her foundation state for a victory.

Note - This is not a prediction. 

Friday, October 28, 2016

What Explains The Huge Disparity In National Presidential Polls? Can Trump Still Pull Off A Come From Behind Upset Win?

From Real Clear Politics, October 27 2016

What explains the huge differentiation in current reliable polling for the U.S. Presidential election on November 8? Although Hillary Clinton is maintaining an average lead of 5.4% (as of October 27), individual polls show a lead of anywhere from 1 - 14%.  What explains this variation?

Besides sampling error rates, modeling differentiation in voting projections explains much of the numerical variation.  The uncertainty about whether or not certain groups are going to show up and vote in the same total percentages as the last two Presidential elections also adds to the uncertainty about an ultimate victory for either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. Although Hillary Clinton should win, with odds overwhelmingly favoring her and the Democratic Party, there still is an outside chance that Donald Trump can pull off an upset victory.

The big questions are will the Democratic Coalition that turned out in such strong numbers in 2008 and 2012 to elect and reelect President Obama be sufficiently motivated to turn out to overcome what appears to be a very motivated base of white men without college degrees who, according to polls, are preferring Trump by 3-1?

As Michael Moore so bluntly said, will the FU vote (slang words that I will not print here) that has shocked the establishment in other countries (i.e., Brexit in the UK) show up in the USA and shock just about everyone all with a Trump victory? How motivated are the people at Trump rallies to show up at the voting booth, and how motivated are progressive voters who formerly supported Bernie Sanders going to be to show up to vote for Hillary Clinton?  This is the bottom line -- and why the 2016 election still remains somewhat of a wildcard.

Can Donald Trump pull off a come from behind win?  Sure he can.  It is unlikely but do not write him off yet.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Reality Check: What Would a Hillary Clinton Landslide Look Like on November 8?

There is a 25% Chance of Clinton Getting At Least 375 Electoral Votes as of Today

Election day 2016 is less that three weeks away.  What would a Hillary Clinton landslide look like in terms of electoral votes?

My prediction today is that there is a 25% chance that Clinton will gain at least 375 electoral votes out of the 538 available.  I am also predicting that Utah's 6 electoral votes will go to Evan McMullin, a third party independent candidate who is currently leading in recent polls. He will be the first third party candidate to carry a state since Dixiecrat George Wallace carried five southern states in 1968.

The last Presidential candidate to carry 375 electoral votes was Bill Clinton in 1996, who gained 379 electoral votes against Republican Bob Dole.

Texas remains a possible Democratic gain -- Hillary Clinton is only 4% behind Donald Trump in one recent poll. However, I do not think Texas will vote Democratic this year. I may be wrong -- if Trump continues to collapse in the polls. Texas is seeing a big rise in its Latino population and may become a purple state by the 2020 election. 

Friday, October 14, 2016

Reality Check: White Voters Continue To Prefer Donald Trump By A Wide Margin

Although Donald Trump is now running a 5% deficit against Hillary Clinton according to the latest Real Clear Politics average of major polls, he still is leading among self-identified white voters by a wide margin.

From 10/14/16 Real Clear Politics Average of Polls in 4-Way Presidential Race

Let's look at one poll for detail -- the Fox News poll that shows Hillary Clinton and the Democrats ahead by 7% points. Although Fox News is identified as a right-leaning news organization, their polls comes close to the Real Clear Politics average of major polls. The poll is conducted among 1006 interviewees which gives enough of a sample base for a projectable result with a tolerable margin of error.

Overall Results:

Hillary Clinton   (Democratic Party):  43% 
Donald Trump   (Republican Party):   36% 
Gary Johnson   (Libertarian Party):  8% 
Jill Stein (Green Party) : 3% 
Other / Undecided/ Won't Vote:  10% 

Self-Identified White Voters:

Hillary Clinton   (Democratic Party):  32% 
Donald Trump   (Republican Party):   46% 
Gary Johnson   (Libertarian Party):  9% 
Jill Stein (Green Party) : 3% 
Other / Undecided/ Won't Vote:  10% 

Self-identified Non-White Voters: 

Hillary Clinton   (Democratic Party):  69% 
Donald Trump   (Republican Party):   10% 
Gary Johnson   (Libertarian Party):  6% 
Jill Stein (Green Party) : 6% 
Other / Undecided/ Won't Vote:  9%

Female and college educated white voters tend to support Hillary Clinton more than Donald Trump. Their support among all college educated whites is tied at 40% each. The number that I found remarkable, however- Trump's overwhelming support among white men without a college degree -- the "blue collar" vote. Trump is ahead by 3-1.

White Men Without a College Degree:

Hillary Clinton   (Democratic Party):  21% 
Donald Trump   (Republican Party):   62% 
Gary Johnson   (Libertarian Party):  7% 
Jill Stein (Green Party) : 3% 
Other / Undecided/ Won't Vote:  7%

This explains why Trump is doing so well in Iowa - "blue" state in Presidential elections that has voted for President Obama twice, and has a  relatively low minority population. It also explains why North Carolina and Arizona, traditionally Republican voting states in Presidential elections with growing and diverse non-white populations are finding themselves more competitive for the Democratic Party this year.

For more information on the Fox News Poll:

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Reality Check: Donald Trump's Campaign For President is Over Unless He Shows Up For the Second Presidential Debate on Sunday Night

Donald Trump is currently reeling from the most damaging day in his checkered Presidential campaign. There is no way to spin his videotaped boasting of attempted rape in 2005 to a member of the Bush family. Although Mr. Trump has apologized for his conduct, his apology is not being accepted his own party which seems to be in a mad rush to repudiate him - especially those who are in close election races.

Mr. Trump is being pressured to withdraw from the race. He is refusing to do so. Even if he does, he will still appear on the ballot as the Republican candidate for President. Mike Pence, his Vice President, will presumably pick up his electoral votes is he does withdraw from the race but the process for replacing a candidate at this late date is unclear.

At the time of the writing of this post, there are reports that Mr. Trump may cancel his appearance in tomorrow's Town Hall Presidential Debate.

Mr. Trump must show up. If he does not he will plummet even more in the polls than can be expected at the current time.  If there is one thing that voters will not tolerate it is a President who cannot handle pressure.  It would be better for Mr. Trump to spend 90 minutes apologizing to the American public than not show up for the debate at all.

If Mr. Trump attacks President Bill Clinton, and by extension, Hillary Clinton, for similar actions in the past --   instead of apologizing for his own behavior --  all he will do is further destroy his standing with female voters.  Trump's voting base has shown that they are resistant to any negative reports on Trump in the past, but boating of sexual assault is pushing the limits of acceptability. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Reality Check: The Presidential Race All Comes Down To Florida Once Again

Can Donald Trump win the presidency without the swing state of Florida and its 29 electoral votes? It is highly improbable. Once again, Florida moves into its role as the one state the Republicans must win if they are to win the Presidency.

I put together one scenario where Donald Trump could win by one electoral vote without carrying Florida . It involves carrying two states where Hillary Clinton is ahead in today's Real Clear Politics average of major state polls -- Pennsylvania (4.4%) and New Hampshire (6%), and Colorado where Clinton is ahead by 3.3%.  Pennsylvania is trending heavily in Clinton's direction -- she is up by 9 and 10% in the two most recent polls, as is Colorado where Clinton is ahead by 11% in two recent polls. The odds of Trump winning all three, and one of Maine's congressional districts,  are improbable at best.

Hillary Clinton has a very narrow lead in Florida in the average of major polls -- under 3%.  Both candidates will be investing time and ad dollars here, more than in any other state. But the message is clear -- Donald Trump cannot win unless the Sunshine State votes his way.

One Improbable Scenario Where Trump Wins in 2016 Without Florida

Monday, October 3, 2016

Reality Check: Trump Can Still Win the Presidential Election. The Polls Remain Remarkably Close with a 2.5% Difference between Trump and Clinton

Many analysts have already written the election off and declared Hillary Clinton the winner of the 2016 Presidential Election.   Donald Trump has had one of the worst weeks in any US. presidential campaign, including a terrible debate performance and the revelation that he probably has not paid income tax for 18 years by applying tax loopholes.

However, according to today's Real Clear Politics average of reliable polls, Clinton is only 2.5% up in a 4-way race, by 43.4 -  40.9%.  I expected Clinton to be closer to 47% at this point of the campaign.

Both candidates remain remarkably unpopular with highly polarized voting bases.

Many factors can come into play in the remaining five weeks of the campaign. This election is far from over.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Reality Check: It Ain't Over Until Its Over: Get Ready For Presidential Debates Round 2 and 3

Hillary Clinton absolutely clobbered Donald Trump in last night's first 2016 Presidential Debate, the most watched political debate in U.S. history, on Monday night. Over 84 million Americans watched the debate on televsion, and millions more tuned in on live web streaming. People who watched at bars or at restaurants were not counted -- making the actual audience much higher.

Donald Trump's performance was so bad that even his own supporters found many of his statement incredibly inept. Trump's performance really was that poor - even according conservative commentators. I predict that Hillary Clinton will move to an average of a 4-5% lead in major polls by October 4 in the Real Clear Politics average of major polls.

However, Trump has two opportunities to make up for his poor performance in the next two Presidential Debates:

Sunday, October 9 from St. Louis, Missouri.

Wednesday, October 19 from Las Vegas, Nevada

There is also a Vice Presidential debate on Tuesday October 4, but these tend not to be game changers and as important as the Presidential debate. Joe Biden's debate with Paul Ryan in 2012 was an exception though -- he gave confidence to wavering Democrats who were disheartened by President Obama's lackluster performance in the first debate against an inspired Mitt Romney who beat expectations and performed well.

American voters tend to be forgiving in debates -- and if Trump can "come back" after suffering a near "knock-out blow" by Clinton (to paraphrase boxing terminology) he might restore some of the momentum he seemed to be gaining in September before the debate  This is, of course, assuming the polls reflect what the "conventional wisdom" assumes will be a Hillary Clinton gain in the polls which is not at all assured given this most bizarre of election years in the United States.

This also assumed the "October Surprise" that many Democrats fear will not be sprung against Hillary Clinton by Wikileaks's Julian Assange or Vladimir Putin's Russian hacker army does not dominate the news cycle. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

My Forecast For the Presidential Vote As Of Today

Here are my projections as of September 27, 2016:

Electoral Votes:

Clinton / Kaine:  341
Trump / Pence: 197

National Vote by Party:

Democratic :  Clinton / Kaine:  50%

Republican:  Trump / Pence:   44%

Libertarian:  Johnson / Weld:  4%

Other (including Green):    1%

Note: Numbers do not add up to 100% because of rounding)

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Reality Check: Hillary Clinton Still Is The Favorite With 40 Days Remaining Until Election Day

My Electoral Map Projection As Of 9/22/16 - 270 are needed to win

Hillary Clinton continues to remain the favorite to win the U.S. Presidential Election on Tuesday, November 8.

The Electoral College Map above shows the states where each candidate holds a clear advantage in state polls, recursive electoral analysis,  and local party organization. Although there are are some possibilities of upsets, most notably Georgia for Clinton and New Hampshire for Trump, both candidates are clear favorites in the states indicated. The swing states shown in grey are where the bulk of advertising dollars and organizational effort will be spent by the candidates and their PACS.

Donald Trump will literally need to win every swing state in order to win the election. Hillary Clinton can afford to lose the swing states of Florida and Ohio and win just one of the swing states including Nevada or Colorado, states that President Obama won in both 2008 and 2012 and have large Latino populations.

Note - one interesting possibility does exist. If Hillary Clinton were to win all of the Blue States above plus Nevada, but lose one of Maine's two Congressional Districts presumably to Donald Trump, each candidate would have 269 electoral votes each. Maine and Nebraska are one of two states that award some of their electoral votes by Congressional District.  If the Electoral College can not decide on a President by a Majority Vote, Congress (which is Republican Controlled) will  decide who becomes President from the top three candidates.  The procedure is spelled out in the 12th Amendment to the Constitution. 

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Reality Check: The Republican Candidate For President -- Donald Trump or Other - Will Be Within 5 Points of Hillary Clinton in the Polls On September 26, 2016 -- The Date of the First Debate

I predict that the Republican nominee for President -- whether Donald Trump, or another candidate if he drops out of the race which I see as a possibility (but a declining one), will be within 5 points of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in the Real Clear Politics average of Presidential Polls by the time of the first Presidential Debate set for September 26, 2016 from Long Island, New York.

Elections in the past have unexpectedly tightened up after what appear to be blowout summer months.

I do not think that Hillary Clinton has the election wrapped up. I think that anyone who thinks the election is over is calling the race too soon. The three Presidential debates (unless Donald Trump decides to cancel his appearance which he may decide to do) will be crucial in determining the race.

Even if Trump decides not to debate, I think the race will tighten up by September 26.  He is bound to become better at attacking Clinton who is still vulnerable on her email and Clinton Foundation revelations. Trump also has yet to run any direct attack ads, all negative ads have been run by affiliated PACS but not by the Trump campagin directly, and he is raising funds from direct contributors.

To quote former New York Yankee baseball great and modern philosopher,  and The game ain't over 'til it's over. Yogi also said that "this feels like deja vu all over again" which is another way of looking at the 2016 race. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Reality Check: There is an Even Chance Donald Trump Will Drop Out of the Presidential Race by September 1

Donald Trump's behavior since the Republican Convention has been so bizarre and erratic that I see an even chance that he will drop out of the Presidential Race by September 1.

If Mr. Trump wanted to be President, he would not be making the enormous mistakes he is currently making on a daily basis, such as attacking a Gold Star mother and House Speaker Paul Ryan. Mr. Trump is not stupid -- he is one of the shrewdest marketers and promoters on the American business scene.

If Mr. Trump suddenly goes quiet, and stops making gaffes, he is either getting rest and turning his campaign around, or he is in the process of planning a withdrawal from the election race. If he continues his odd campaign behavior, he is staying in the race. Whatever the case, this makes for a very interesting and entertaining election.

The Republican Party could replace Mr. Trump with Vice Presidential Candidate Mrke  Pence or someone else (Ryan, Romney or Bush) by September 1 fairly seamlessly -- and probably with good publicity. If Mr. Trump withdraws after that date, it will probably be too late for the Republicans to pull off a viable replacement.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Reality Check: The Vast Majority of the American Public Needs A Break From Presidential Politics

The vast majority of the American public needs a break from Presidential election politics. Non-stop coverage of the primary and convention seasons since the end of January requires a break beginning about now for all but the most hard core political followers.

Although the saga of Donald Trump has made this Presidential election more interesting than usual, most Americans will not be paying that much attention to election politics until the first Presidential Debate set for Monday, September 26. This is barring some dramatic political developments which cannot be ruled out this year.

Interest in the Presidential campaign should pick up before the first Presidential debate set for September 26.

Four debates, including one Vice Presidential debate are planned.

There is a chance these debates will be cancelled. Donald Trump may decide to cancel his appearance  according to current news reports.

Here is the tentative debate schedule as of August 1, 2016:

Monday, September 26, 2016 First presidential debate Location: Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY

Tuesday, October 4, 2016 Vice presidential debate Location: Longwood University, Farmville, VA 

Sunday, October 9, 2016 Second presidential debate Location: Washington University in St. Louis, MO

Wednesday, October 19, 2016 Third presidential debate Location: University of Nevada, Las Vegas,

All debates will air from 9:00 to 10:30 pm Eastern Standard Time.

For more information about the debates:

Friday, July 29, 2016

A Primer For Those Trying to Figure Out the American Electoral System -- What is the Electoral College, and Why is Florida So Important?

A Joint Session of Congress Will Meet on January 6, 2017
To Count The Electoral College For President and Vice President

The two major party candidates for the Presidential Elections of the United States of America have been chosen -- Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Party, and Donald Trump for the Republican Party. The elections will be held on Tuesday, November 8 which is the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. This date has been mandated as election day for Presidential Electors according to the Constitution of the United States since 1845.

The United States does not elect its President by majority popular vote. It elects its President by majority of votes in something called the Electoral College. I am going to try to explain to my reader exactly what the the Electoral College is, why it exists, and why it gives certain states, most notably the State of Florida, my home state, such enormous power in modern times in determining who will be elected President. This article continues in a Questions and Answers format.

1. How does the United States of America determine who is President and Vice President?

The Constitution of the United States calls for an "Electoral College" composed of individual electors who are allocated to each state according to the number of seats they have in Congress to determine who is elected President and Vice President. It is a simple arrangement that is actually a clever compromise by the framers of the Constitution 230 years ago.

Some of the delegates to the Constitutional Convention wanted a direct vote for President. Others wanted State Legislatures or Governors to decide directly. A compromise was reached in the form of an electoral college.  Each state was given the same number of electoral votes they had in Congress:

2. How big is the Electoral College?

The Electoral College currently has 538 seats.

100 seats for 100 Senators

435 seats for 435 member of the House of Representatives.

3 seats for the District of Columbia (Washington D.C.).

270 are required to win.

3. When does the Electoral College Meet?

December 19, 2016 on a Statewide basis.

The results will be read to a Joint Session of Congress on January 6, 2017 by the outgoing President of the Senate (Vice President Joe Biden). The new President and Vice President will be inaugurated on January 20, 2017

4.  How does each state determine who its electors will vote for?

Since 1824, by law and convention, the Presidential candidates who get the majority vote of a state carry all of that state's electors. Electors names do not appear on the ballot - instead, in small print, the wording "electors pledged to" appears above the candidate's name. The party of the candidate may appear below or near the candidate's name.

Exceptions at the current time include Nebraska and Maine which award electors by Congressional district, and stateside electors (the two Senate electors) by popular vote.

Theoretically, any state can decide to award its electors by Congressional district. Republicans in the Midwestern states in particular have threatened to do this but have not done so. The pros and cons of doing this would require an analytical treatise which is beyond the scope of this blog.

5. Are electors required to vote a certain way?

No. "Faithless" electors occur. The last reported one was in 2004 in Minnesota

6. So why do certain states have so much power?

The electoral college formula means that states vote as a block (again, with the exception of the small states of Nebraska and Maine). This gives the power to the large states. All that matters is that a candidate gets 270 electoral votes.

7. Is it possible for a candidate to win the popular vote and lose the electoral college?

Yes. It has happened several times. Al Gore got more votes than George Bush in 2000.

8. Could the electoral college end up in a tie?

Yes. It is possible for two candidates to get 270 votes each. The election would be up to the House of Representatives if that were to happen. It has never happened before.

9. Which large states are reliably Republican and which Democratic?

The largest "red" states the vote reliably Republican are Texas with 38 electoral votes, and Georgia with 16 electoral votes.

The largest "blue states which reliably vote Democratic are California with 55 electoral votes, New York with 29 electoral votes,Illinois with 20 electoral votes, and Michigan with 16 electoral votes.

Pennsylvania with 20 electoral votes was considered a reliable "blue" Democratic state but is considered a swing state this year.

More than just Sunshine and Pastrami!

9. Why is Florida so important?

Florida, with 29 electoral votes,  is the biggest "swing" state.  Florida has just the right mix of demographics to  reflect the national average of voters in Presidential elections.

Ohio, with 18 electoral votes, is another "swing" state in Presidential elections.

It has been impossible for the Republican Party to win a Presidential election without the State of Florida since 1924. Al Gore would have been elected President in 2000 if it were not for the Florida recount being called off by the Supreme Court of the United States.

No Republican candidate has similarly won a Presidential election without carrying Ohio.

Most analysts feel that Donald Trump will need to carry both Florida and Ohio to win the Presidency.

10 Will the United States ever adopt a direct popular vote for President. 

In my opinion, not for a very long time if at all. It will require a constitutional amendment which is very hard to do, and I cannot see a state like Florida willing to give up its power in Presidential elections that quickly.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

My Updated Thinking on Hillary Clinton's Vice Presidential Choice

Mike Pence - Trump's Least Bad Choice

Now that Donald Trump has picked Indiana Governor Mike Pence for Vice President- a candidate whom people are calling his "least bad choice", and someone if press reports are to be believed, he tried to pull out of at the last minute.  Governor Pence, although from the crucial Midwestern region with all-important swing states of Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa and nearby Pennsylvania comes from Indiana, a state which is reliably set to vote Republican this year anyway. Mike Pence is reliably conservative and has socially conservative credentials, which should help Trump open the pockets of right-wing financial backers.

I actually predicted brainy but big-mouthed Newt Gingrich, the former Speaker of the House for Trump's pick for Vice President. I am surprised Newt was not picked. Perhaps it was this video that recently surfaced at Red State. a conservative blog that did him in. Although Trump can deal with criticism, his children who had a leading role in vetting the Vice President do not like their father's intelligence being questioned.  My personal attitude about this is that Trump is one of the most brilliant and shrewd businessmen and marketers in American history -- perhaps only matched by P.T. Barnum, another showman who also dabbled in politics.

The question remains on who Hillary Clinton will pick as her Vice Presidential nominee. I have already predicted last month  that Clinton will chose Elizabeth Warren.  I now am not sure about this. In fact, I am cancelling my prediction.

Elizabeth Warren -- I do not think it will be her. 

Why am I cancelling my prediction?

1. Bernie Sanders is full-in with his support of Hillary.  He has been given the lead-in speech at the convention on Monday night. He and his supporters do not do not particularly like Elizabeth Warren it seems. They expected her to endorse Sanders and she never did. She sat the primary out and stayed "neutral" even though, to them, her policies were more in line with Sanders' than Clinton's. I actually disagree with this assessment, but this is not the the place for this argument. Putting Elizabeth Warren on the ticket will not get young progressive white voters out to the polls.

2. The 10 swing states that will decide the 2016 election that most pundits generally agree upon are listed below. They are not as liberally minded overall (and this is a value judgement) as solid Democratic New York and California. Hillary Clinton may not be willing to take a risk and put another female on her ticket.

                                                                 % Hispanic & Latino (source:Wiki for 2012)

Florida                                                                           23.2                                                              
Virginia                                                                           8.4
Colorado                                                                         21.0
Nevada                                                                            27.3
New Hampshire
North Carolina                                                                 8.7

3. According to polls, Donald Trump has alienated the Latino/Hispanic population to a great degree (and I am stating the obvious for many people). Any Vice Presidential candidate that Hillary Linton choses will find either being of Latino or Hispanic heritage or at least having Spanish fluency to be of great advantage.

4.TPP:  President Obama is for the TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership).  Elizabeth Warren is against it. Hillary Clinton has come out against it in its current form. The Democratic Convention will need to keep support in its platform for one reason --  it cannot put egg on the face of a sitting President, and not one that is popular and loved as President Obama. It is that simple. Party platforms are statements of principal, but Elizabeth Warren, by making it known that her principles will come before raw party practicality, has effectively taken herself out of the race last week by fighting against the TPP in the party platform. Hillary Clinton cannot have a split  with President Obama on the eve of his last convention by opposing what he sees as one of his signature achievements.

I now predict Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, who speaks perfect Spanish, and is a close confident of the Clintons will be the Democratic VP choice. He is also from Virginia which is a key swing state.

Saying that, my track record of late - predicting that the U.K. will vote against Brexit and predicting Newt Gingrich will be Republican V.P. is wrong, so if I were you , I would not bet on it!

Hillary Clinton's choice should be known next Friday, July 22.

Virginia Senator Tim Kaine - Si Habla Espanol

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Reality Check: Donald Trump's Odd's Are Much Better Than 20%

Nate Silver at the highly respected 538 blog does not think much of Donald Trump's chances of becoming President. On June 29, he projected Trump's chances at 20%. The last I checked he raised them slightly to 23%.  However, he still favors Clinton by a wide margin.

I think Trump's chances are much higher than this.

In fact, I project that after the Republican convention ends on July 21, Trump and Clinton will be very close in poll averages. Trump is bound to get an increase in poll averages once he gains a post-convention boost as candidates often do.

The real campaign will kick off after Labor Day on September 1. But 20%?  Don't believe it!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

My Best Guess For Donald Trump's Vice President

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich

It's just a hunch.

Both candidates are over 70 years old. If my prediction is correct, this would be the oldest ticket in American history.

I have already predicted Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren as Hillary Clinton's Vice President.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

How Donald Trump Can Win the Presidency - The White Bread Strategy

It is a given in forecasting presidential elections that the Republican Party without the third largest state by population, Florida.  Of the four largest states, three - giant California, New York, and Illinois reliably vote for the Democratic Party candidate. Only Texas reliably votes Republican Florida is the largest swing state. And, with 29 electoral votes, Florida  counts for more than 10% of the 270 electoral votes needed for winning the electoral college. Remember, in the American electoral system, each state votes as a block. Florida, California, New York, and Illinois add up to 133 electoral votes -- almost half of the 270 needed to win. It is almost impossible for any Republican candidate to break this "combination lock",

However, Donald Trump does have a possible try.  His appeal to white blue collar working class voters who traditionally vote Democratic in several states, or people who eat white bread,  could win the election for him. It is a long shot but if Trump can win traditionally Democratic Pennsylvania (the new swing state in 2016) together with Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and  Ohio he will win the Presidency. However, given the way he his alienated latino voters in the swing states of Florida, Colorado, and Nevada, his only path to victory is to seek a high turnout among the blue collar white voters who have faired so poorly in the new economy where they have lost manufacturing  jobs and income in the post-industrial economy. Many also voted for Bernie Sanders. Hillary Clinton should not take these voters for granted.

Friday, June 24, 2016

I Blew This Prediction - The U,K. Votes To Leave the EU

I got this prediction wrong - The U,K. Votes to Leave the E.U. I think it was all about opposition to immigration. It is quite a coincidence that Donald Trump is in Scotland today - or is it?

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

I Predict the United Kingdom Will Say No to the Brexit and Vote to Stay in Europe

It's not The U.S. elections but I predict the U,K. will vote to stay in Europe and say no to a Brexit. The elections are set for Thursday, June 23.

I happen to be a citizen of the United Kingdom in case anyone is interested. 

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Reality Check: Does Donald Trump Really Want To Be President?

I am not convinced that Donald Trump wants to be President.

I do not believe that Donald Trump is as racist, misogynist, or bigoted as his comments as of late would have the public and media to believe. HIs past record is not that of a hardened bigot.

I think that Donald Trump's outrageous remarks and behavior are due to exhaustion  Donald Trump is 70 years old. His schedule of constant travel would be punishing for anyone half his age. His subconscious (in the Freudian sense) may be protecting him since the stresses of a Presidency could very well kill him.

In addition. if he ever were to be elected President, his past financial dealings such as his taxes -- or lack of them -- would have to become public. If, as speculation has it, Trump went for many without paying any, it would be at a cost of enormous personal embarrassment.

Donald Trump's approval numbers are cratering. The most recent ABC News / Washington Post Poll shows him with a 69% negative approval rating. Hillary Clinton is the clear favorite in the election -- and the Democratic Party has not yet united behind yet -- and angry Bernie Sanders is still withholding  endorsement.  It is incredible that Trump is not the favorite in the election. The last time a sitting Democratic President handed over the White House to a  Democratic Party successor was in 1856.

Donald Trump may be too proud to withdraw from the Presidential race at this point. He could by claiming health reasons. But he seems to be playing a game of chicken with the Republican Party-- more racist outbreaks could see a complete revolt at the Republican convention next month in Cleveland Ohio. Get your popcorn ready!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Reality Check: President Obama's HIgh Approval Ratings Points To A Democratic Sweep in November

President Obama is at a three-year high in his approval rating according to today's average of polls in Real Clear Politics. He is now is positive territory, with over 50% of Americans approving of the job he is doing as President -- with a spread of nearly 5%.

The last time his ratings were this high were in February, 2013. immediately after his second inauguration and landslide electoral college win over Republican Mitt Romney.

President Obama's rising approval numbers, combined with improving poll numbers for Hillary Clinton in her race vs. Donald Trump for President point to a Democratic Party electoral college landslide in November together with a retake of the U.S. Senate from Republican Control.  The House of Representatives, though, will still remain controlled by the Republican Party due to a built-in majority of at least 5% due to district gerrymandering and built-in advantage for incumbent reelection. 

Sunday, June 5, 2016

My Predictions For The Tuesday, June 7 California and New Jersey Democratic Primaries

Several states vote on Tuesday the two largest being California and New Jersey. I project that Hillary Clinton will win California by a narrow margin, and New Jersey by a wider margin.

Since Donald Trump has wrapped up the Republican primary season, I have stopped making projections for the Republican side of the fence.

I have already predicted that Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic Party nominee.  She, in fact, will wrap this up as soon as New Jersey closes its polls including her Superdelegate commitments.

These are the last primary projections I will be making. The only remaining primary is Washington, D.C. on June 14 which Hillary Clinton should win handily.


Democratic Projected Winner - Hillary Clinton

New Jersey

Democratic Projected Winner - Hillary Clinton

Monday, May 30, 2016

This Is How Donald Trump Becomes The Next President of the United States - An Imaginary Timeline of Events

Although I still think the odds are with Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party, here is how Donald Trump could become the next President. This is an imaginary timeless of events   that will be continued. The two main factors working in Trump's factor in this imaginary timeline are 1. An angry Bernie Sanders who refuses to conceded to Hillary Clinton and 2. a newly professional Donald Trump.

Please note :  This is not my prediction.  And I have built humor into this timeline, and a bit of absurdity. But it is possible that something like this scenario could happen, laying the fondation for a Trump victory in November.

June 5, 2016

Hillary Clinton wins the Puerto Rico Primary.  Her delegate total at the end of the day, including Superdelegates, is 2,346. She is only 37 delegates away from the Democratic Party nomination.

June 7, 2016:

Super Tuesday in June, when 694 delegates are awarded in primaries in 6 states, including California.

8:01 PM Eastern Time (EST): The news networks announce that Hillary Clinton wins the New Jersey Democratic Primary in a landslide, gaining 75 of New Jersey's 112 elected delegates.  In addition, she has gained her party's nomination by more than 40 delegates when committed Superdelegates (non-elected) are added to her total.  The major networks anoint her the presumptive party nominee.

8:30 PM:  Hillary Clinton claims victory in New Jersey at a campaign event. She does not, however, claim the party's nomination, since California is still voting. She compliments compliment Bernie Sanders and invites him and his  supporters into the big Democratic Tent and into her campaign.

11:05 PM:. Polls close in California. The race in California too close to call.

June 8, 2016.

1:45 AM  EST:  The major news networks announce that Bernie Sanders has won the California Primary.

2:00 am. EST: Bernie Sanders announces at a press conference that the voice of the people has spoken in California, and claims a huge victory. He also announces that he will continue his race until the Democratic Convention with the strategy of snatching Superdelegate votes away from Hillary Clinton since "her emails scandal is getting worst by the day", and "he is doing so much better in the polls against Donald Trump).

12:00 Noon: Hillary Clinton claims the Democratic nomination later in the day and urges party unity. She compliments Bernie Sanders and invites his supporters into the big Democratic Tent and into her campaign.

4:00 PM:  Donald Trump holds a press conference and urges Bernie Sanders to run as a third party candidate  since "the nomination has been stolen from him by" Crooked Hillary Clinton" and her "sleazy" cohort, Debby Wasserman Schultz, the leader of the Democratic National Committee. He also urges that Bernie's supporters riot at the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia (he calls it a strong protest) and mentions that his own supporters may want to help the Sanders supporters in their efforts.  Donald Trump insists that there is room in his campaign for the Bernie Sanders movement, who he lavishes praises on -- if Bernie does not do "the logical thing", which is run as an independent or Green party candidate for President

June 15, 2016:

An average of the major polls in Real Clear Politics shows Donald Trump with a 4% edge over Hillary Clinton. Republicans, who were split a few weeks ago, fall in line behind Trump since they cannot believe their good fortune. Polling details show that only 50% of Sanders supporters will vote for Hillary Clinton,.  15% plan to vote for Trump, 12% for another party, 8% will not vote, and 15% are undecided. Almost none expect Bernie Sanders to be the nominee.

June 17 2016: 

Massachusetts Senator and leading progressive Elizabeth Warren formally endorses Hillary Clinton for President, saying that the nomination has been locked up for a while, and that Hillary Clinton will will be a good progressive President. She avoids questions about her potential place on the ticket as Vice President. Radical Bernie Sanders supporters immediately attack her in social media and stage "Occupy Warren" sit-ins in her offices around Massachusetts. They refer to her as "Traitor Liz the Phony Democratic Whore who will do anything for money" and shut down her Face Book presence. Donald Trump offers the "Occupy Warren" protestors free hotel rooms at his resorts and casinos as a good - will gesture.

June 30, 2016:

The House Select Benghazi Committee announces the findings of their two-year investigation Part 1. .  The report is issued in the names of the Republicans on the committee only. Hillary Clinton is found to be directly responsible for just about everything wrong with American Foreign Policy, and has been accused of being a willful and subversive (I am not going to continue here but the report is not good). Part 2 is due to come out in mid September, and Part 3 right before the election.

July 11, 2016:

Donald Trump picks experienced Tennessee Senator Bob Corker to be his running mate  Corker is seen as a traditional establishment Republican who is wise on foreign policy matters. The Republican Party, Speaker Paul Ryan (who endorsed Donald Trump in late June), and the media hail the choice of Corker as a wise and sage move on the part of newly professional candidate Donald Trump.

July 18 - 21:

The Republican Convention in Cleveland, Ohio is a huge success. Donald Trump gives a dynamic and coherent speech the Republican nominee on the final day of the convention and exceeds media expectations. He has also drops his hateful rhetoric about Muslims and Latinos, and speaks of a "big Republican Tent" with a smiling Paul Ryan and Bob Corker at his side. Trump announces that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who has put his name in nomination, will have a major role in his administration, along with Marco Rubio and Dr. Ben Carson. The media is impressed, and hardly mentions that the Bush Family is not attending the convention, and has failed to endorse Donald Trump.

July 25:

The Democratic Convention opens in Philadelphia. Hillary Clinton has not yet announced her Vice Presidential choice. Crowds gather outside the convention in Philadelphia, where all eyes are on Bernie Sanders, who makes a Prime Time speech that night. Suspense builds at and outside the convention. Will Bernie announce that he is endorsing Hillary Clinton?  Will he be nominated for Vice President?  How is he reacting to the Platform fights which have emerged between the establishment and far-left wings of the Democratic Party?

You can cut the tension with a knife. Bernie Sanders knows that he can make- or break -- Hillary Clinton's chances tonight.


To be continued.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Updated Odds on the Presidential Election -- Trump's Odds Increase As Republicans Unify and Democrats Remain Split

Donald Trump has a 44% to be elected, Hillary Clinton has a 54% chance

Here are my updated odds on who will be elected President in November 2016.

My last set of predictions -- from May 6 --  are closest to the candidate's name and are in black.


Unexpected Republican unity behind Donald Trump and continued Democratic infighting between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have significantly upped the odds of a Republican President in November.

Hillary Clinton's odds will increase if the Democratic Party is able to unity behind her after the Philadelphia Democratic Convention in July.

Democrats:  Hillary Clinton remains the odds-on favorite to win the Democratic nomination.There is a 1% chance Bernie Sanders- or anyone else- could take the nomination away from her.

Republicans:  Donald Trump has wrapped up the nomination.  There is only a 1% change some unforeseen event could change this reality.

Third Party -- I have lowered the odds to 1%. that a mainstream Republican or centrist party could emerge to win the nomination.

Note: May 6  results are in back , current results for May 17 -- projected today are in red. 

1. Democrat:         65%                    54%                            

Hillary Clinton:     64%                    53%
 Bernie Sanders
or anyone else:           1%              1%


2. Republican          34%                 45%

Donald Trump -       33%                    44%

Anyone Else:             1%                     1%


3. Third Party Candidate:   1%           1%

The last "third party" candidate who was elected President was Republican Abraham Lincoln in 1860 - four candidates actually competed in that election at the outbreak of the Civil War. The last third party candidate who came close to winning was former President Theodore Roosevelt in 1912,  who ran on the Progressive Party and gained 25% of the vote. . However, there is always a chance this can happen, especially in an year like 2016 when one party (The Republicans) are in  disarray. 

Monday, May 16, 2016

My Predictions For The Tuesday May 17 Kentucky and Oregon Democratic Primaries

It's close -- but both primaries are closed to registered Democrats only and Hillary Clinton has won every closed primary in 2016. In addition, a recent poll in Oregon showed Clinton ahead.

Since Donald Trump has wrapped up the Republican primary season, I am not making any more projections on the Republican side of the fence.

This is the last projection I am making before the last state primaries on Tuesday, June 7 including the large California primary.

I have already predicted that Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic Party nominee.


Democratic Projected Winner - Hillary Clinton


Democratic Projected Winner - Hillary Clinton

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Reality Check: The 2016 Presidential Election Is Like the 2000 Election On Sterioids

Bush Vs. Gore in 2000

2016 is the 2000 Presidential election on steroids. The Democrats are going for a third straight Presidential term, something they have not pulled off since 1940. An “establishment” Democrat (Hillary) will probably get the nomination. Where the differences (on steroids) lie is that the likely Republican nominee is not establishment but extreme, and that the opposition to the establishment Democratic candidate (Hillary) is even more pronounced than it was against Al Gore at this point in the election. Ralph Nader got 2.7% share of the vote in 2000, and there was no candidate on the right that got more than one half of a percent of the national vote (Buchanan). I do not know if Jill Stein (Green Party) will do better than Ralph Nader in 2000, but I expect that she will. The unknowns are 1. Will a Conservative candidate run to the right of Trump with any traction (I suspect one will emerge), and will Trump be able to unify his party by keeping his mouth shut. I suspect we are in for more twists and turns over the next six months.