How and when we’ll know the fate of Donald Trump, other Republicans

UPDATE at 7:54 p.m.: For running commentary on the election results, please click here.

ORIGINAL POST:

I decided earlier this year that I am out of the predictions business, at least for this crazy year we call 2016. Predictions are based in large part on what’s happened before in similar situations, and it’s clear that past was no prologue for this year.

Trump South Carolina

So, instead of telling you what I think will happen — because prompting another hearty laugh from the election gods at my expense isn’t high on my to-do list at this point — here are the things I will be watching for tonight when it comes to federal races:

Presidential race: Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers stabilized in the last few days, helped no doubt by FBI Director James Comey’s whiplash “nothing to see here” on the additional emails he brought to the public’s attention less than two weeks earlier. This looks like hers for the taking, but here’s a reason not to get cocky, Dems: The expected margins in the states it would take to put Donald Trump over the top are very thin. Here is how Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight.com projects those states:

  • Florida: Clinton +0.7 percentage points.
  • North Carolina: Clinton +0.7
  • Nevada: Clinton +1.2
  • New Hampshire: Clinton +3.6

So that’s two states within 1.5 points, and another within 4 points, which could swing the Electoral College vote to Trump. This assumes he also wins Maine’s 2nd Congressional District, which Silver basically rates a toss-up, and all the states where he’s ahead. Of the latter group, his narrowest expected margins are in Ohio (Trump +1.9), Arizona (Trump +2.2) and Georgia (Trump +4.0). Put all that together, and he’d have a bare-minimum majority in the Electoral College: 270 votes. Real Clear Politics, based on its poll averages, has Clinton also winning narrowly: 272-266.

Here are those Trump-leaning states by when their polls close:

  • Georgia: 7 p.m.
  • North Carolina and Ohio: 7:30 p.m.
  • Florida, Maine, New Hampshire: 8 p.m.

So we could have a pretty good idea by 9 p.m. whether Trump still has a chance.

Senate races: The Republicans’ chances appear to be far better at holding on to their majority in the Senate. Silver has their chances basically even, and Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball is calling for a 50-50 split, with the vice president needed to break ties. Can you say gridlock? Real Clear Politics is slightly more bullish for the GOP, with its poll averages putting the party at 51 seats.

Republicans were at a disadvantage this cycle, having to defend 24 of the 34 seats up for election. It seems certain Democrats will pick up a GOP-held seat in Illinois and all but certain they’ll win another in Wisconsin. Republicans’ best chance of a gain is in Nevada, where they would definitely savor putting one of their own into the seat being vacated by Harry Reid. Here are the seats Silver has as the closest calls:

  • New Hampshire (R-held; D +0.3 points)
  • Missouri (R-held; R +0.7)
  • Nevada (D-held; D +1.2)
  • Pennsylvania (R-held; D +1.2)
  • North Carolina (R-held; R +2.2)
  • Indiana (R-held; R +2.5)

Note that, in addition to the times listed above, Indiana polls close at 7 p.m., and Missouri and Pennsylvania at 8 p.m. Again, we could have a fairly good idea by 9 o’clock tonight what the balance of power in the Senate will look like.

In Georgia, even the possibility of forcing a runoff with incumbent Johnny Isakson has begun to look like a faint hope for the Democrats. I’ll be watching here to see what Isakson’s number looks like compared to Trump’s. He has a decent third-party candidate in his race, too, so it’s a pretty apt comparison. In fact, looking at Trump’s numbers compared to GOP Senate candidates’ in all the swing states with Senate races will be very instructive for trying to draw conclusions from this election on the Republican side, especially if Trump loses but the party holds the upper chamber.

Reader Comments 0

85 comments
FIGMO2
FIGMO2

@Eye wonder 

Late to your party.

I beg to differ - you constantly trash 'jay's' living room.

jay must not think so. 

He hasn't told me to clean up my act.

Besides...jay's is a public forum. Mary Elizabeth's is her personal domain. 

Pickle7
Pickle7

Dear Kyle:

I'm sorry that your side of the political debate is full of such numb-skulls.  You're welcome to join our team anytime you'd like.

-Pickle

Lil_Barry_Bailout
Lil_Barry_Bailout

@Pickle7

The majority of your team can't pay their own bills and require tax payer money to survive.

Sooooo smart and capable...

IReportYouWhine
IReportYouWhine

So the government run census bureau tells you that obamacare is great and 88 million people now have health insurance, even though the premiums and deductibles cost more than would be suffered in a catastrophic auto accident.


That's almost as ridiculous as listening to the government run media's pre election polls.


IReportYouWhine
IReportYouWhine

You want to see a Republican Congress shriek, get the vapors and faint? Sneak up behind them and say "government shutdown."


The democrats own that a$$.


They aren't going to own President Trump.

McGarnagle
McGarnagle

@IReportYouWhine


Yes. Not paying our military service men and women by shutting it all down. Great idea. Go for it.

ByteMe
ByteMe

@IReportYouWhine That last line is correct, since there won't be any "President Trump" of these United States.

IReportYouWhine
IReportYouWhine

Matter of fact, when the Republican Congress threatens President Trump with a government shutdown, and you just know it will happen, he will be like "good idea."


"Shut it all down."

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@IReportYouWhine Wait, I thought Trump's platform was the GOP platform and all was hunky-dory and there was no daylight between them, so why would anyone who votes Republican not vote for Trump? Why would you be talking now about Trump and the Republicans in Congress fighting???!?!?!?!?

IReportYouWhine
IReportYouWhine

@McGarnagle @IReportYouWhine Come on, man, he's the President. If obama can shut down the war memorials in DC over pure spite, Trump can get the troops paid without the US Department of Education being amongst us anymore.

McGarnagle
McGarnagle

@IReportYouWhine @McGarnagle


What fantasy. Since right wing media has portrayed Obama as some dictator and then you think Trump can do all these things with a snap of a finger. Details have no place here.

IReportYouWhine
IReportYouWhine

@McGarnagle @Kyle_Wingfield @IReportYouWhine See, what I'm saying, I brought up "government shutdown" and all the establishment hacks freaked. And here I thought that was the purpose of the Republican party, to shut down government.


Huh, they act just like democrats.

McGarnagle
McGarnagle

@IReportYouWhine @McGarnagle @Kyle_Wingfield


I was going to write something but it would really be a waste of time. If you can't see how someone who has no health insurance can benefit from having access to medical care. Then I just give up.

Caius
Caius

Gridlock?          "Congress shall make no law..."


TicTacs
TicTacs

Either way I'd like to see a congress work with the President or they should jump off a bridge.

newsphile
newsphile

@Lil_Barry_Bailout  Both parties have to work together or our country is doomed.  We can no longer afford to act like toddlers. 

McGarnagle
McGarnagle

@Lil_Barry_Bailout @newsphile


I don't think GOP priorities become law rather they are implemented and carried out. But since you asked:


Immigration reform. Improve our country's infrastructure. Boost the economy. Dismantle ISIS and its allies. 

McGarnagle
McGarnagle

@Lil_Barry_Bailout @newsphile


I don't know much about healthcare to offer a compromise. But isn't a free market system what we had prior to Obama care? Was that any better?

Lil_Barry_Bailout
Lil_Barry_Bailout

@newsphile @Lil_Barry_Bailout

OK.  Americans think Obamacare sucks and should be repealed and replaced with free market oriented reforms.  Democrats think it's great but just needs more money or to be completely taken over by government.

Suggest a compromise.

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@McGarnagle "But isn't a free market system what we had prior to Obama care?"

No. Not even close.

newsphile
newsphile

@Lil_Barry_Bailout @newsphile I'm a moderate.  IMO, GOP has gone too far right and Dems have gone too far left which has a lot to do with all the anger in this election.  When we refuse to compromise, we are not working for the good of our country, but for our egos.  Both parties are guilty. 

McGarnagle
McGarnagle

Think by 9-10pm we would know fairly well where the east coast states fall in. So far the narrative hasn't change. Trump has an uphill climb.


The Senate races will be interesting. For all the talk of outsiders, the Republican establishment will win if they maintain Senate and Trump loses.

lvg
lvg

So are the Cons scheduling hearings on Garland for tomorrow or are they going to continue shirking their responsibility?  

Watch Obama yank the nomination if Hillary wins.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers stabilized in the last few days, helped no doubt by FBI Director James Comey’s whiplash “nothing to see here” on the additional emails he brought to the public’s attentionless than two weeks earlier. 


Another nothingburger. Did you learn anything ?


Nah

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

In other words a real cliff hanger.

Republicans’ best chance of a gain is in Nevada, where they would definitely savor putting one of their own into the seat being vacated by Harry Reid.

SWEET JUSTICE! Harry (hold-em) Reid kicked in the keister on his way out the door!

Gimme some of ^^^ THAT! 

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

Someone, today, selected an entry from my blog of months ago which contained the following words.  I want to share my thoughts, here, especially since we will know our next president this evening:


"Simply stating facts will never bring people together. Only wisdom and love can do that. . . One can cherry pick ‘facts’ at will, especially facts regarding a person’s character and beat them to death, incorrectly, by either limited, or devious, interpretation. . . Too little value is placed on wisdom and love today.  Winning has become everything in America.  We think we can ‘win’ by spouting facts as we can ‘win’ by shooting bullets. This path only leads to cynicism and death, if not of the body, then certainly of the spirit.


We must reject those values, and start to value more wisdom and love, if we will save our nation and our world.  And, we can start changing directions, right here, on this relatively unknown blog. Offered as a prayer."

JFMcNamara
JFMcNamara

@MaryElizabethSings , The problem is that some people don't actually believe in facts. 


Our country, right now, is better than its ever been. More people can read, fewer children are dying at birth and people are living longer than ever.  The economy is doing well, new businesses are opening ever day and the stock market is near all time highs.  We are safer, factually, than we ever have been before and there are fewer wars on Earth today than ever in the modern era.   All people, minorities, women and WASP can honestly believe that if they work hard, they can achieve the American dream.


America doesn't need to be saved.  The World doesn't need to be saved.  That's already been done as Obama ended the wars, saved the economy and addressed climate change.  Some folks will just never acknowledge it.

CardiganBoy
CardiganBoy

@MaryElizabethSings MES, you're like a Hallmark card on steroids where Donna Brazile and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz are co-managers of the Creative Department. 

JFMcNamara
JFMcNamara

@CardiganBoy @JFMcNamara @MaryElizabethSings , Well, when he took over in 2009, we had Iraq and Afghanistan out of control.  Iran on the verge of nukes.  A failed economic system leading to bank failures and massive layoffs.  Climate change was still being debated as a myth.  Now, we don't even really talk about any of those things because they are so far removed. 


We literally just had an election cycle where we didn't talk about issues because there is nothing wrong.  Think about that.  The biggest election issues were about Syria which we don't care about and outsourcing even though we are at full employment.


It's night and day since 2009, and you know it.

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

@Eye wonder @FIGMO2 @MaryElizabethSings

I would never trash someone's living room.

Though ME's a bit long-winded, not to mention flighty for my taste, I would appreciate seeing what others think about what she writes, redundant though it may be.

JFMcNamara
JFMcNamara

@Kyle_Wingfield @JFMcNamara No, Trump could not pivot back to issues, because Democrats are on the right side of the polling on nearly every major issue.  


Economy, terrorism, jobs and healthcare were the four bipartisan issues based on Gallup polling. 


1. Economy - Favors D because it has improved from 2009.  Trumps "plan" was basically Bush's plan, and Clinton actually painted him into a corner. 65% of Americans favor free trade deals and globalization which he thought was a winning issue.


https://www.thechicagocouncil.org/publication/actually-americans-free-trade.


2. Jobs -  The jobs report is rigged!!!


3. Terrorism - could have been won by Trump, but he had zero foreign policy and got bogged down protecting Putin for some odd reason.  ISIS got destroyed as well making the talking point go away.


4. Healthcare - He had no plan aside from repeal.  Swing voters actually want help, not just to repeal Obamacare.


On the four problems that Americans cared about, he found a way to lose all four.

CardiganBoy
CardiganBoy

@JFMcNamara @MaryElizabethSings It's all so simple then!  Obama saved America; no he saved the whole freaking world.  


A penny for your thoughts.  And I want some of what you're smoking, please.

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@JFMcNamara "We literally just had an election cycle where we didn't talk about issues because there is nothing wrong. "

No, we had an election cycle where we didn't talk about issues because one of the major-party nominees was a narcissist who wanted to talk about himself, not the issues. And his opponent wisely let him do so.

bu2
bu2

@JFMcNamara @Kyle_Wingfield Except that 62% of the country things the country is going in the wrong direction vs. 30% going the right way.