Rule Five Electoral College Friday

2016_11_04_rule-five-friday-1The election is Tuesday!  This interminable, increasingly loony election season is finally drawing to a close.  As I’ll be afield and therefore won’t be live-blogging the election this year, I’ll put up my final Electoral College thoughts today; Wednesday morning we’ll see how well I did.

Here’s the most recent RealClearPolitics map, with no tossup states:electoral-map-no-tossup

As you can see, it’s looking more and more like a nail-biter for Her Imperial Majesty Hillary I.  If The Donald can flip one state, he wins, and the Dowager Empress will be forever denied her rightful (in her own opinion) place in history.

So what are The Donald’s most likely targets?  Here’s the same RCP electoral-mapmap with tossup states marked.

Now, let’s look at a few of those tossups.  Mind you:  East of the Mississippi is where this race will almost certainly be decided.

Florida is the key.

At the moment The Donald is holding on to a very narrow lead here, will within the margin of error.  Her Imperial Majesty and her myrmidons are working the state hard, and they have superior appeal 2016_11_04_rule-five-friday-2to the state’s considerable Hispanic population.  The Donald’s also working the state hard, but Florida is this year’s bellwether; Her Imperial Majesty has several paths to 270 electoral votes without Florida, but The Donald can’t make it without Florida.  If the Dowager Empress carries Florida, it’s all over, and we can go to bed early knowing that Her Royal Highness will be inaugurated coronated in January.

The Donald is so far running comfortably ahead of Her Imperial Majesty in Iowa, and is slightly ahead (again, within the margin of error) in North Carolina and Ohio.  He needs to hold those states and flip one more to win.  If we look at the no tossups map above, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and Virginia are very interesting possibilities.

2016_11_04_rule-five-friday-3Her Imperial Majesty is comfortably ahead in the polls in Virginia.  While most of the southern and western portions of the state are pretty reliably red, those regions are overwhelmed by the heavy load of Imperial workers in the D.C. suburbs of NoVa; I expect Her Royal Highness to win Virginia.

Pennsylvania is a little tighter.  The Donald has been making a hard play for this state, and the Dowager Empress’s support there has been fading.  This may be the Trump campaign’s best shot at an upset.

New Hampshire is very interesting; if The Donald keeps all of the states in the no-tossups map above and flips New Hampshire, where the latest polls are within the margin of error, then we end up with an electoral tie – 269 to 269.  That throws the race to the House of 2016_11_04_rule-five-friday-4Representatives, and at that point all bets are off; given the makeup of the House, we will end up with a Republican President, but there’s no guarantee it will be The Donald.

Moving into the West:  Our own Colorado has been pretty reliably blue in Presidential races since it went for George W. Bush in 2004.  But, while Her Royal Highness has a lead here, it’s not insurmountable.  The Donald may be able to pick Colorado off, but it’s not very likely, even though recent polls show the race here tightening.  We have mail-in voting here, and many Coloradans (myself among them) have already voted, so polling at this point is somewhat irrelevant.   New Mexico is another slight possibility, but Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson is more active there than anywhere, being a former Governor.  I’m keeping this one in the column for the Dowager Empress.

2016_11_04_rule-five-friday-5There are a lot more ways for the Donald to get to 270 than there were a month ago, to be sure.  It’s going to be a nail-biter right down to the end.  I’m still hoping the Trump camp manages to pull it off; I’m no big fan of The Donald and I’m not impressed with his prospects as a President, but there’s a chance he may surprise us all; but I’m certain Her Imperial Majesty would be an unmitigated disaster.  Never in our history has a person so deeply and fundamentally corrupt been so close to the primary chair in the Imperial Mansion.

Sometimes the difference between good and bad is not nearly so stark as the difference between bad and worse.  That’s where we are now.

Aside:  Look at both maps and you’ll see California as reliably blue as it has been in the last several elections.  If a Republican can break that bright blue 55-electoral-vote wall, then that will truly be a landslide of (and I never use this word) epic proportions.

I have some thoughts on how to break that 55-electoral-vote wall, in fact; but that’s a post for another time.  Like, say, next Rule Five Friday.

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