When I was getting ready for the take competition, I developed a few ideas while I was waiting for the topics to be announced. The US election is the number one news story on GaG, in the US and possibly in the world so it made sense that Society & Culture/Trending would appear as a topic. With that in mind, I had a think about the election. A dual formatted take started to evolve (1) I was actually thinking about Star Trek for another take and I thought wouldn't it be fun to look at alternate universe elections and results throwing in other factors/people (2) A look at the expression a "Turnout Election" and what I think it means. This is part of the #BATTLEROYALE contest.
Notes (1) :- It is a very unconventional and fast moving election campaign process so for the sake of accuracy I will put the date and time I submitted the take here to say these were the facts as I knew them on Tuesday 08/09/16 at 03.00pm (GaG Time)
Notes (2) :- For the sake of fairness I will try and stay neutral. Any bias is subconscious also I am Irish so I might miss some of the nitty gritty that Americans get on the ground. I only get CNN International and CNBC TV stations so I miss the Republican/Trump flavoured FOX News. Plus there are claims that Google is biased towards Hillary Clinton. Those are my main news sources so there might be a slight anti Donald Trump slant in the references to news I use.
Notes (3):- The Independent Republican candidate Evan McMullin only announced his run yesterday but I don't see him getting any traction so for the purpose of the take I will leave him out of reckoning.
(1) For A Bit Of Fun, Star Trek Predictions And Scenarios:
For those of you who have never seen a "Star Trek" alternate universe, it was basically a place where all the same characters existed but acted differently thus creating another version of reality so for a bit of levity we will create these alternate scenarios.
(1.1) Donald Trump Wins:
It is funny because without a doubt Donald Trump has the strongest political mandate and anywhere he loses has more to do with an anti Donald Trump vote rather than any other candidate.
- Reality first, a five way contest in November with a low turnout which will be explained later on in take - Donald Trump (R), Hillary Clinton (D), Gary Johnson (L), Jill Stein (G) and Evan McMullin (Ind)
- Some party splitting has happened, a 7 way contest so you have Donald Trump (Tea Party), Mitt Romney/Ted Cruz/Paul Ryan (R), Hillary Clinton (D), Bernie Sanders (Prog) and other 3. In fairness I give Bernie Sanders a squeak here depends on Donald Trump's behaviour during the election campaign.
- Bernie Sanders wins Democratic nomination even though he was beating Donald Trump in opinion polls, I can't see enough of the anti Donald Trump centrists coming that far left. As above I give him a slight squeak here
- Outside factors the one that comes to mind is a major terrorist attack by a ISIS cell or a lone wolf terrorist attack by an Muslim immigrant on US soil.
- Another one that comes mind is an email bomb goes off but I will touch on that possibility in next point. This happens at a time when no new nominee can be put forward to replace Hillary Clinton.
As a very mad caveat would the anti Donald Trump vote be strong enough to swing to Gary Johnson. So in 4.6 of these scenarios I have Donald Trump winning with a slight chance for Gary Johnson at 0.4
Email Bomb Caveat:
My thoughts on this. If an email exists that can indict Hillary Clinton and Hackers/WikiLeaks have it. Why I think not, is who hates Donald Trump more than anyone else in the whole world, Barrack Obama, I am presuming the CIA/The President/DNC know what is out there and what is going to be leaked. Would they be in their right mind to allow a candidate go forward who will be disqualified and hand the White House to Donald Trump. The worst it will be, I think is stuff about Middle East policy that maybe led to increase in ISIS plus the DNC maybe asking Hillary Clinton at one stage "Do we have anything to worry about regarding emails?" thus implying they believe that incriminating emails existed at some stage, it might affect things but I don't think it will be enough to swing election either way.
(1.2) Hillary Clinton Wins:
She is running a strong anti Donald Trump campaign so I see her path to White House in these circumstances
- Reality a 5 way contest in November with a high turnout which will be explained later in the take
- Donald Trump goes rogue, I know it sounds strange but we are all surprised that Donald Trump has stayed relatively on message since last Thursday. In the cold light of day the 5/7 days post DNC have cost him a lot.
- Donald Trump goes doubly rogue and somehow splits his candidacy from the Republican Party
- Donald Trump thinks he is going to lose and withdraws with no time for a new nominee ( There is a slim chance if Donald Trump supporters go en masse to Gary Johnson but will they turnout?)
- Outside factors Donald Trump's Tax Returns, I don't see them having a huge effect, I will discuss the caveat after image.
- A non terrorist mass shooting thus reigniting gun control debate so here I have Hillary Clinton winning 5.8 of these scenarios and Gary Johnson winning 0.2
The Tax Returns Caveat:
Donald Trump is now hinting that the "IRS Audit" will not be finished by election day. I personally think he is making it worse by not revealing them. The theories I have heard are:
(a) They will show he is not as wealthy as he says he is - Not a biggie, a blow to his ego maybe.
(b) Donald Trump feels that the fact Mitt Romney was shown to have been paying a "Real Tax Rate" of 14% in 2012 and it hurt him badly in the polls so I presume Donald Trump is availing of all the tax breaks/loopholes to drive down his "Real Tax Rate" - Not insurmountable
(c) His charity donations are not as much as he says - Not insurmountable
(d) This is the one I most believe while the checks to see if he has any business in Russia have come up blank, is there Russian money being invested in his other ventures outside Russia? - Not insurmountable
The reason I say these ideas are not too bad is because keeping the tax returns back allows opponents to float more and more conspiracy theories about his tax returns.
(1.3) Gary Johnson wins:
As noted above if one of the major candidates pulls out plus if both pull out or the email/tax returns bombs are more powerful than I think (Assuming no time for party replacements)
(1.4) Jill Stein or Evan McMullin wins:
It would need a bizarre and unrealistic set of events for either of these to win.
(1.5) Bernie Sanders wins:
In reference to the 7 way contest, if a big anti Donald Trump vote I could see him winning. In the two way contest between Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, if you in throw in the caveat of Donald Trump going rogue and a very strong anti Donald Trump vote , Bernie Sanders may have a chance then. This is also the contingent on Hillary Clinton withdrawing and the Democrats putting Bernie Sanders on the ticket.
(1.6) Replacement Republican/Democrat scenario:
For whatever reason one or other of the major candidate has withdrawn, say Donald Trump withdraws or leaves Republican party. It would depend on the conditions that caused Donald Trumps actions, it could split vote. It would be a big hill for a Mitt Romney/Ted Cruz/Paul Ryan to overcome but for fairness I will put image up.
- Hillary Clinton has to leave race and the Democrats go for a Joe Biden over Bernie Sanders, it is a tough climb but I think more doable for Democrats than Republicans.
- If both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have to withdraw then it is Mitt Romney/Ted Cruz/Paul Ryan Versus Joe Biden, I think the Democrats have momentum at the present time.
(2) A Turnout Election:
Wow, that first part was more complicated than I thought it was going to be. It was only an afterthought because the take was meant to be about the turnout on election day. The basic premise of this theory is that a high turnout will elect Hillary Clinton and a low turnout will elect Donald Trump. For the purpose of this part of the take, we are going to say everything remains equal, no major outside events, pure number crunching. The election has polarised the American people like no other and possibly as high as 90/95% have decided which way they will vote if they vote. To all intents and purposes as referenced above, it has become a pro Donald Trump vote versus an anti Donald Trump vote so I feel that it is not the undecided who seal the fate of this election but the people who don't vote.
Okay, look at the far right of that graph, a huge spike in 2008 and a small drop off in 2012 but still a lot higher than 2000 and 2004. That was the "Obama Coalition" getting Barrack Obama elected, I feel Hillary Clinton needs a 55% plus turnout at this stage for the "Anti Donald Trump Coalition" to vote her in. Why is turnout so important? - (I know it is not a popular vote but a state by state vote but I obviously haven't the room or the knowledge to break that down)
For the sake of argument we will pick 130 million as the 55% turnout mark, we will give Gary Johnson 7% and Jill Stein/Evan McMullin 3% (that is 13 million, we are down to 117million), we will give Donald Trump a rock solid 37% of his base plus 3% loyal republicans to give him 40% (52 million) and we will give Hillary Clinton a fairly solid 30% (39 million) a not so solid 10% of other anti Trump votes (13 million), this 10% is the most important group, the "I am not sure about Hillary but I prefer her to Donald", will they come out and vote for Hillary Clinton in sufficient numbers? - They could stay at home or write in a name. That leaves 10% who are undecided about voting at all (13 million) but will probably split in favour of Hillary Clinton if they vote.
Leaving those numbers aside for the moment I go back to a blog Michael Moore wrote about the five reasons that Donald Trump will win https://michaelmoore.com/trumpwillwin/ in which he spoke about the fervour of the Donald Trump supporters, they will be there half an hour before the polling station opens, they will round up their neighbours/friends/relatives to vote Trump and the "Anti Donald Trump coalition" once it gets over 30% is into serious "Will I bother to vote today?" or "Can I get past voting for a candidate as the lesser of two evils"
Look what happens to Donald Trump's solid 52 million as turnout reduces:
55% Turnout 130mill DT 52mill 40%
53% Turnout 125mill DT 52mil 41.6%
50% Turnout 118mill DT 52mill 44%
If the other 3 get 10% that is means 54% is gone and of the remaining 46%, the solid Hillary Clinton vote could be well behind Donald Trump and she would have to win heavily in those last few undecided voters to overtake Donald Trump. Now if we look at the rising turnout:
57% Turnout 135mill DT 52mill 38.5%
60% Turnout 142mill DT 52mill 36.6%
We add in the other 3 (10%) and get 46.6% which leaves 53.4% to play with. Hillary Clinton should be close or ahead of Donald Trump at this stage and will just need the undecided to break in her favour which should get her elected.
My conclusion is there is no conclusion. This has been the most unconventional election in my lifetime. The electorate is totally polarised. The Donald Trump campaign has been all about him, his personality and him being the outsider, the voice of the people throughout the primaries . So the Democrats have turned it into an election about him, it has become a pro Donald Trump vote and a anti Donald Trump vote. The republicans are trying to pivot to a general election campaign and take light away from Donald Trump, to put it onto the issues themselves plus drag Hillary Clinton's character into it as well. I am reminded of two unusual quotes I heard on CNN over the past few weeks because of both candidates' very high unfavourable ratings.
The Republicans have picked the only candidate who could possibly lose to Hillary Clinton and the Democrats have picked the only candidate who could possibly lose to Donald Trump
The Democrats want to turn the election into a referendum on Donald Trump and the Republicans want to make it a referendum on Hillary Clinton
This election still has many twists and turns to come even the fact I include a date and time in the take because the campaign is so changeable says it all (maybe a partial joke). I haven't a clue how it will turn out.