Friday, October 14, 2016

2016 election prediction, 24 days out

Barring some dramatic last-minute event, it looks like we can start making reasonable predictions of what Washington will look like after the election. Note: this is my guess, based on the data currently floating out there for free on the net. (Real Clear Politics, 538, etc.)

  • The House is going to stay in GOP control, although with a significantly reduced margin. They might lose up to twenty house seats, but will hold onto over a dozen more seats than the Democrats. Ryan will continue as the Speaker of the House.
  • The Senate is a coin toss, but neither party can dominate it. There is virtually no chance either party could achieve a fillibuster-proof majority. That means the Senate going to be split nearly evenly between both parties, meaning a single Senator (from either party) can filibuster and kill any legislation. Your guess is as good as mine when it comes to who is going to be Majority Leader, but I'm leaning slightly towards both parties getting 50 seats, VP Kaine being the tie breaking vote, and the next Majority Leader will be a Democrat. Odds are it's either Chuck Schumer or Dick Durbin. It won't matter, because the Ted Cruz and Elizabeth Warren wings of both parties will make sure nothing is passed due to fillibustering.
  • Without divine intervention to help Trump, the Presidency is going to the Democrats. Trump really does need a miracle at this point. He has not only lost ground in virtually every single battleground state, he's actively losing more battleground states *and* he's spending all his time shoring up his support among the GOP rather that capturing the hearts and minds of the independent voters. Railing about twenty year old Clinton scandals and saying that the women accusing him of sexual assault are ugly really might be playing well in red states, but it does very little to win the support of undecided voters.

CONCLUSION: Situation normal, all fucked up. The end result appears that Congress and the White House will be largely the same as what it was before, with the exception of the grip of the GOP on congress will be weakened. That really doesn't mean anything, because they will still have the strength to block the White House, as well as standing a good chance of regaining ground in Congress in the 2018 midterm elections.

So, 2016 basically boils down to sound and fury, signifying nothing but stress for the average voters and increased ad revenues for the news channels. I guess there is 2018 to look forward to! ;)