This has been the craziest, most bizarre election cycle in modern history. Hillary Clinton was supposed to have a coronation as the Democratic nominee, but a crazy socialist dragged the process until weeks before the convention. On the Republican side, it took nearly a year to go from 17 candidates to one. And the one was the probably the weakest general election candidate the Republicans could field.
After the crazy ups and downs it all comes down to a few predictable states to try to guess the outcome on November 8th.
Conventional wisdom has Hillary Clinton winning in a landslide. However, this year has been anything but an election following conventional wisdom. While our analysis would put Clinton at a clear advantage of winning, there is a still a narrow path for Trump to get to 270 Electoral College votes.
According to private polling that has not been released to the press, there is a less than one percentage point difference between Trump and Clinton in Florida, Pennsylvania, Nevada, and Iowa. Trump leads Clinton by 4% in Ohio.
While the Democrats typically have better turnout operations than Republicans, if there is a sentiment shift with late-deciders, it is plausible that Trump could add Florida, Pennsylvania, Nevada, and Iowa to his column. If that happens, and Clinton wins the remainder of the traditional swing states the outcome is 270 Electoral College votes for Trump and 268 for Clinton.
Think about that: 270-268. Guess who would be screaming “rigged election!” at that point.
However, if Trump can’t tip it over in Florida, Pennsylvania, Nevada, and Iowa, Clinton ends up with more than 320 Electoral College votes.
There is another crazy possibility. In Utah Trump leads Independent candidate Evan McMullin 32%-30%, with Clinton at 24%. If Trump does win those states as outlined above, but loses Utah to McMullin, that would put the Electoral college count at 268 Clinton, 264 Trump, and 6 McMullin. If no one has the required 270 votes, then the election is determined by the U.S. House of Representatives.
Now THAT would be some post-election drama!