Thursday, September 15, 2016

FiveThirtyEight May Be Catching Up With Me

Back in June, I wrote:

In November, assuming he's the GOP nominee (I still think a successful national delegate rebellion is just barely possible), Donald Trump will win every state that Mitt Romney won in 2012. He will also win Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida, he will at least be competitive in New York and New Jersey, and he may even put California in play.

The only thing I'd change at this point is backing off on the New York/New Jersey/California possibilities. IIRC, my prediction has Trump winning the election with 280 electoral votes.

So today, over at FiveThirtyEight, David Wasserman describes a scenario in which ...

Clinton would carry the popular vote by 1.5 percentage points. However, Trump would win the Electoral College with 280 votes by holding all 24 Romney states and flipping Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Iowa and Maine’s 2nd Congressional District from blue to red.

Looks kinda familiar, doesn't it? My money is still on Michigan (for the same reasons as Ohio and Pennsylvania -- large blue collar hardhat worker populations of the type that gave us "Reagan Democrats"*) rather than Iowa and Maine, but anyway ...

Yes, Wasserman does describe that scenario as "very unlikely." But that the idea is even coming up should tell you something about what directions things are moving in, and where.

* Of course, it's hard to track where the traditional "union worker or resembling same" vote is going. I had an email from the AFL-CIO the other day boasting that ...

We released poll results this week that showed Trump's support among union members in battleground states -- who are a key group we're talking to with our canvasses and phone banks -- has dropped from 41% to 36%.

... (and begging me to help them further that trend -- no, I'm not sure how I got on that list), but not all union workers are created equal. Sure, the non-police public sector unions like Service Employees International Union can deliver their members' votes for Clinton, but I suspect the Teamsters, United Food and Commercial Workers, United Steelworkers, United Auto Workers, etc. will have a much harder time doing so ... or finding out whether or not they can.

That is, if I am a union auto worker in Detroit or a union steel worker in Pittsburgh, I may nod and say "yeah, sure" when the president of my local seeks reassurance that I'm in line for Clinton (ditto when a pollster calls; you never know who's listening), but that doesn't mean that's how things will work out in the voting booth.

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