Reading The Tea Leaves: My gut prediction is that Clinton will lose this election if she loses this debate...

(Image courtesy of Real Clear Politics)

Folks, the map above is the prediction I made two weeks ago. It assumes that Clinton will lose a bunch of huge states that Obama carried in 2012, like Ohio, Florida, Iowa and even Nevada. Right now, Clinton is hanging on by the skin of her teeth. Democrats who still believe that this is going to be a cake walk for Clinton might end up being disappointed on November 9th. There is so much riding on this debate. I predict that if Clinton loses this debate, her poll numbers will continue to decline. She does not have to lose a lot of support to lose the election because she is already in dangerous territory. Even though she starts out at a serious Electoral College advantage over Trump, she's not performing as well as Obama did in 2012. If she continues to hold on to the majority of the states on my map through election day, but loses just New Hampshire, Donald Trump is your next President.

(Image courtesy of Real Clear Politics)

Clinton's margins and polling have been looking pretty good in a bunch of the states that will be critical to a win for her, namely Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Virginia and Minnesota. On the flip side, Colorado, Michigan and New Hampshire are not looking so solid for Clinton. I am really skeptical that she will be able to put Ohio, Florida, Nevada or North Carolina back into her column before the election, that is, unless something major happens at this first debate.

I can't agree with Nate Silver more... (Image courtesy of Twitter)

I will be perfectly honest, I think this first debate is critical for Clinton. If she loses this debate, I think she is going to have a hard time regaining momentum which already looks to be waning for her. Trump, like it or not, appears to have the momentum right now. If you are a Democrat who is rooting for Clinton, I would be really, really worried at this point. She's still hanging in there, but by the slightest of margins, and if she makes a misstep on Monday, I predict Trump will prevail in November.

The current 538 Polls Only Forecast is exactly the same as my election day prediction of a worst case scenario win for Clinton. (Image courtesy of 538)

If I was Clinton, and I wanted to flip just one state right now, it would be Florida, and here's why. Lets assume Clinton's map on election day looks pretty similar to my prediction. If she was to pick up just Florida, she could afford to lose Colorado, Michigan, Maine and New Hampshire, and still beat Trump. 

What it could look like if Clinton could pickup Florida. (Image courtesy of Real Clear Politics)

Here's a look at recent polling in Florida. A mixed bag for Clinton.

(Image courtesy of 538)

538 rates each candidates chances over time of winning Florida like this:

(Image courtesy of 538)

Restoring the honor!


  1. If I was Clinton, I'd be fighting like hell to put Nevada and Florida back into her column right now for insurance. Preferably Florida.

  2. Trump's momentum seems to have stalled out. The debate will certainly play a big role, but Clinton still has the advantage of the Blue Wall. I know the one guy says Trump should win with his model, but he's been sort of wishy-washy going with the flow on this. Still, I think we will see some action after the debates in the polls that indicate a more definitive result.

    1. Oh yeah. I think the Blue Wall is going to hold. I've said that from the beginning. The problem is, Colorado and Michigan are looking shaky. That's a bad position to be in this close to the election. I think Florida is her best bet. If she can pick up just Florida, she doesn't need Colorado or Michigan, and she can still afford to lose New Hampshire and Maine and still beat Trump. Florida would be a really nice insurance policy, and it's one of her closest in terms of doability.

      The problem with a "loss" at this debate is that her momentum has slowed to nothing lately. If Trump picks up momentum this close to the election, even if she is stronger in the second two debates, they are too late in the cycle to really help (IMO). There is a bit of a lag as we have seen with the polling. I think this is going to be razor close.

    2. One good thing is that the third party vote is going to melt away the closer we get to the election. Many believe Hillary is going to benefit from that more than Trump. If that turns out to be the case, it could be enough to push her over where she needs it (close states).

      Hillary and Trump are both pretty unpopular. I think the Left is more divided right now. The Right seems like it is unifying behind Trump, but I'm not really seeing the same thing on the Left. The Bernie voters are very bitter. She isn't having great luck with Millennials either.

  3. Bad for Clinton = good for the country, or what's left of it...

    1. Well your theory that Trump is good for the country is predicated on the fact that he's not Clinton. I get that, really, I do, but really listen to the things he's saying. You're rooting for someone who questioned our 1A rights the other day. This is very dangerous. I fear that you will find out that Trump will be worse than Clinton. Seriously. These are bedrock principles he is questioning.

      "NEW YORK ― Republican nominee Donald Trump cited “freedom of expression” Monday as a potential roadblock in the fight against terrorism, remarks that set a troubling precedent if he’s elected president in November.

      While speaking about the recent bombings in New York and New Jersey, Trump suggested that press freedom is preventing law enforcement from arresting the publishers of bomb-making instructions.

      “I see the other day, and they’re all talking about it so wonderfully, because, you know, it’s called freedom of the press, where you buy magazines and they tell you how to make these same bombs that I saw,” Trump said in an interview on on “Fox & Friends.” “Now people will go crazy, they’ll say, ‘Oh Trump is against freedom of the press.’ I’m not against. I’m totally in favor of freedom of the press. But how do you allow magazines to be sold?”

      Trump didn’t mention any specific titles, but he’s presumably referring to Al Qaeda’s English-language propaganda magazine Inspire or jihadi websites that publish bomb-making instructions. However, publications such as Inspire are not sold at any mainstream U.S. bookstores or newsstands, as Trump suggests, but can be found on the internet. It’s also unclear who is supposedly speaking “wonderfully” about jihadi propaganda in the context of press freedom, as Trump contends.

      “We should arrest the people that do that because they’re participating in crime,” Trump continued. “We should arrest them. Instead they say, ‘Oh no, you can’t do anything, that’s freedom of expression.’”

      He added that “we don’t want to touch them because of freedom of speech.”

      What’s chilling about Trump’s remarks isn’t his criticism of jihadi propaganda ― which is clearly awful ― but his casual dismissal of “freedom of expression” and “freedom of speech,” bedrocks of American democracy, as potentially disposable in fighting terrorism. He presented an ominous scenario on Fox News in which U.S. counterterrorism is being stymied by the First Amendment, though didn’t provide evidence to support his assertion. Meanwhile, Trump has repeatedly expressed unwavering support for the Second Amendment and against restrictions on guns."

      What you don't understand is that he's not just questioning my rights, but your rights too.

      He's also been signaling that he will be a tough war hawk, which is totally hilarious because we just saw how totally disastrous the war Presidency of George W. Bush was. Of course, everyone knows that all of the folks that are supporting Trump on the pie-in-the-sky basis that he's going to keep us out of war, while signaling that he's not, are all of the same folks who brought us W..


      "Woolsey, by contrast, was a key member of the Project for the New American Century — a neoconservative think tank largely founded to encourage a second war with Iraq. Woolsey signed a letter in 1998 calling on Clinton to depose Saddam Hussein and only hours after the 9/11 attacks appeared on CNN and blamed the attacks on Iraq. Woolsey has continued to insist on such a connection despite the complete lack of evidence to support his argument. He also blames Iran.

      Weeks before the invasion of Iraq, Woolsey called for broader war in the Middle East, saying “World War IV” was already underway."

      How soon we forget:

      "Years before George W. Bush entered the White House, and years before the Sept. 11 attacks set the direction of his presidency, a group of influential neo-conservatives hatched a plan to get Saddam Hussein out of power.

      The group, the Project for the New American Century, or PNAC, was founded in 1997. Among its supporters were three Republican former officials who were sitting out the Democratic presidency of Bill Clinton: Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz.

      In open letters to Clinton and GOP congressional leaders the next year, the group called for "the removal of Saddam Hussein's regime from power" and a shift toward a more assertive U.S. policy in the Middle East, including the use of force if necessary to unseat Saddam.

      And in a report just before the 2000 election that would bring Bush to power, the group predicted that the shift would come about slowly, unless there were "some catastrophic and catalyzing event, like a new Pearl Harbor."

      That event came on Sept. 11, 2001. By that time, Cheney was vice president, Rumsfeld was secretary of defense, and Wolfowitz his deputy at the Pentagon.

      The next morning — before it was even clear who was behind the attacks — Rumsfeld insisted at a Cabinet meeting that Saddam's Iraq should be "a principal target of the first round of terrorism," according to Bob Woodward's book Bush At War.

      What started as a theory in 1997 was now on its way to becoming official U.S. foreign policy."

      I haven't forgotten. History always repeats...

    3. Trump is just another globalist who has successfully duped dumb Americans into thinking there's any difference between him and Clinton. How stupid can you be to believe that he's going to MAGA. He's not.

  4. This is bad news for Clinton. If she loses this debate, I think it's over for her.

  5. This is essentially what I said last night:

    "If any of the states just to Clinton’s side of the gap slips toward Trump — Pennsylvania, Colorado, New Hampshire, Wisconsin and Michigan are the most plausible candidates — he’ll pull ahead in the Electoral College. But conversely, Trump leads by less than 1 percentage point in Florida and by barely more than that in North Carolina and if either of those were to fall to Clinton, his electoral math would become very difficult. The same is theoretically true for Ohio, although Trump’s lead has been more consistent there."

    Clinton had some not-so-great polls in Colorado and Pennsylvania this weekend. That's bad news on the eve of a night that could decide this election.

  6. So who won the debate? (I slept through it.)

    1. I'd call it a draw. Donald looked comfortable, but unhinged, triggered, and petty. Clinton looked scared, robotic and rehearsed. No surprise really. I think she was very nervous.

  7. Based on that performance last night, Clinton crushed Trump. She looked and sounded like an outstanding leader while Trump continued to lie repeatedly throughout the debate. When pressed for specifics, Hillary provided them while Trump either skipped providing any specific ways to deal with a problem or offered solutions that were unconstitutional (stop and frisk).

    Trump was not in his element which in this election has been to stand in front of audiences and telling them what they want to hear. The debates are not about grandstanding, but providing answers to questions about problems. Trump had nothing to offer that was even remotely feasible. His tax plan was laughable if not outright ludicrous. It sounds great to people who who think they pay too much in taxes, but the problem with the plan was it wouldn't help them at all.

    Trump was soundly defeated by Clinton in this debate. I really wonder if he will participate in another one.

    1. It appears as though this was judged to be a giant FAIL for Trump, and mostly a win, albeit not a knockout for Clinton. She will get a bump in the polls. Clinton needs to concentrate on Florida and shoring up states like Colorado and Pennsylvania. She needs to work on connecting with people on a human level and stop looking so robotic and rehearsed. I felt there were times where she was struggling to remember which sentence came next. All in all, she did well, but it will be at least Saturday before we start to get an idea of how well, and how it translates to her poll numbers.

    2. Speaking of taxes, how much does Trump pay???

    3. According to his statement on live television last night, NONE. No wonder he doesn't want to release his tax returns. Hillary and Bill may have paid more in five years than Trump has in his life.

  8. BAM!


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