The 2016 election was an orgy of black swans, with not only the wild card of Donald Trump but also the worst Democratic nominee ever and an open Supreme Court seat that was poised to deliver the hard Left perpetual victories against the Constitution. At the time I readily admit that I thought that despite the Supreme Court vacancy, that the Clinton machine and compliant media would drag her over the finish line. Combined with your humble authors pretty accurate predictions in Nevada, I was too bearish on the Republicans chances, though not by much. Trump eked out an Electoral College victory by the skin of his teeth with a combined ca 78,000 votes across three states.
The consequence of so many people getting the election wrong was that those who said Trump would win became convinced that all they needed to do to win was a Trumpian personality and that they could alienate anyone not sufficiently pro-Trump. Your humble author, the day after the election, addressed this:
“I would suggest that the disagreement over the predicted outcome of the election in the political equivalent to the debate over continental drift. Continental drift was, in part, rejected because the proposed mechanism was laughingly false, namely that ‘“icebergs” of low density granite floating on a sea of denser basalt’. Thus I maintain that I was wrong for the right reasons, and that the Trump cheerleaders were right for the wrong reasons.
“How so? I openly posited that the Presidential election was a race to the bottom, with the winner being the one that enough swing voters disliked the least. In fact, a significant portion of Trump’s supporters openly loathed him to the tune of nearly one out of five. Indeed he needed every single one, as even a slight shift would have given the election to Clinton. My assessment was that though Clinton was clearly a corrupt, evil, senile, sick, and criminal paragon of pure concentrated evil, but that baring an unlikely self-destruction, the combination of media and news mandarins combined with her evil not being openly presented, would not be enough to counter the visceral reaction that Donald Trump, and his obnoxious true-believers, would effect.
“Therein lies my error, not in the dynamics of my assessment, but of the magnitudes.”
The myriad special elections, mid-term general election, and off-year elections have clearly indicated that the White collar suburbs do not like the Trump version of the GOP, and voted accordingly. But faced with the prospect of a Biden cum Harris Presidency, a Democratic Senate, and potential Supreme Court packing, will the outcome be different?
I’ve said at the beginning of the year that Trump can’t win… but the Democratic nominee could still lose. Based on that, my prediction for 2020 ought to have been more grounded, and at the beginning of the year I was giving a slight edge to Trump because Impeachment was such a failure and the economy was doing so fine.
But then the U.S. was hit with the one-two punch of Corona-chan and the George Floyd incident.
The death George Floyd has unleashed not only continuous rioting in many cities by “Antifa” revolutionaries but an almost unopposed elevating of #BlackLivesMatter as a shibolith that can get someone fired for not parroting as well as “Critical Race Theory” and “equity” replacing equal rights as the open talking point of the Left. Even with many elected officials given tacit, if not open, support to these rioters, the pushback might not have as much of an impact as some may presume. Many college-age Whites used to the “social justice” rhetoric as supportive of the ideology even if they don’t care for the rioting, especially when it isn’t their own personal suburban areas that have been torched and looted.
The COVID-19 pandemic radically impacted the economy and also how people voted. Mail balloting was hastily introduced with plenty of problems that pointed to potential chaos for the general election, including many states such as Nevada shotgunning out full ballots to all active registered voters. Though in some states this has made little impact and the signs and portents of this years election can divined by comparing to previous years, in others it has introduced far too much uncertainty.
For these reasons, there is too much uncertainty for a hard n’ fast Electoral College map. To encapsulate the uncertainty, predictions will use probability fitted to a Gaussian curve.
For the Presidential Election, A narrow Biden win seems the most likely scenario, though clearly a wider Biden victory or a narrow Trump lead are strongly possible.
Nevada will be discussed below.
Of note, one of the quite plausible outcomes is a 269-269 Electoral College split.