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Sunday, January 29, 2023

Columns

Trump will win in a tight race tomorrow


Tomorrow is when the pain finally ends, temporarily, as the American people decide who is our next president. A year and a half of presidential politics, speculation and utter sadness, thanks to the black hole that is the 2016 election, will come to a close.

There are two possible ways I see this election going: Hillary Clinton will destroy Donald Trump in the Electoral College — essentially pulling a 1984 Ronald Reagan, but not as dominant.

The other possibility is that Trump narrowly sneaks by Clinton and gets a few more delegates above the required 270. There is also the distinct possibility of a tie, but the chances of that happening are less than Leicester City winning the Premier League.

The states that matter

My views on the candidates are well established: I despise both of them and would really like if we, as a country, decided to perform a redo. Neither Clinton nor Trump deserve to be president.

Zero percent of my prediction has to do with ideology.

With that said, I think that Trump is going to win the election. This might sound insane and go against every fiber of conventional knowledge that has made sense for forever, but I have my reasons, and they’re not as shoddy as you might think.

I am not basing this on national polls. They mean absolutely nothing due to the Electoral College.

To be clear, I’m not saying he’s going to win “big,” I’m just saying he’s going to win. If I had to bet on Trump winning, I’d bet 50 cents.

This is the least empirical of my state reasons: There is the case of poll analysis website FiveThiryEight’s odd pendulum of each candidate’s chance of winning. For some reason, people seem to forget and begin to like Trump again every two months.

Trump makes a comeback — from the dead — and almost comes even with Clinton.

This is significant because we’re coming to the peak of that two-month period. The possibility of a Trump victory has been trending upwards since the third debate.

This isn’t some crackpot site that pushes false narratives and half truths. FiveThirtyEight is extremely reliable.

This idea of this peak is important because I’m basing my prediction entirely on it.  Though it may seem foolish, you must admit it makes some sense. Once is a coincidence, twice is an accident but three times is a pattern.

The third time is happening now.

These are the states that each candidate should win, regardless of peak:

Clinton: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Washington D.C.

Trump: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah (no, Evan McMullin won’t win), West Virginia (coal country), Wyoming

Up for grabs: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin

Necessary ‘chaos’

Let’s start with the Midwest: Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. These states make up the Rust Belt and have lost a lot of their former gusto due to the slow loss of manufacturing.

That is where Trump comes in — protectionism appeals. Frankly, Trump is going to lose Michigan and Pennsylvania. I don’t see him winning either state even with the pendulum in play.

Trump is going to win Ohio. Not only is Trump currently up in the state, but during the last peak (approximately from Sept. 20 to Sept. 29), Trump was ahead in all Ohio polls. It also has Gov. John Kasich, and even though he does not support Trump, there are red tendencies in the state.

Wisconsin is the more difficult and controversial state to call. It is an odd state that is historically blue, but is also kind of red. Gov. Scott Walker and House Speaker Paul Ryan come to mind.

Here are the facts: Clinton is currently ahead in Wisconsin, but her lead has been shrinking. Last time there was a pendulum peak, Trump began to lead in Wisconsin for about a week. That is all the time it takes.

North Carolina is a must-win state for Trump, though not entirely necessary by a miracle. The state is leaning toward him at the moment, but just barely. This is close to a toss-up, but Trump should win with his momentum and the polls.

Just like every other election, the most important state is Florida. Trump can only win the presidency if he wins Florida.

We will know early on who won if Clinton wins Florida. I think Trump, however, is going to win.

As of right now, Trump has a slight lead in Florida. He has also been going after Florida hard — holding rally after rally in the Sunshine State. The pendulum doesn’t really matter here since Trump and Clinton have been exchanging leads in Florida the whole cycle.

The one thing that can destroy Trump in Florida is the minority vote, or more specifically, the Hispanic vote. Here’s the thing: The minority vote will not matter as much this year because the person at the head of the ticket is Clinton and not Barack Obama. Other minority voting turnout is down (somewhat drastically), and no one really expects it to rise.

Also, white turnout is surging, so it’s pretty even.

Quick side note: Early voting numbers really don’t matter that much. Democrats always vote more in early voting than Republicans, so it’s nothing new for Democrats to be “up” during early voting.

Finally, there is one fact that Trump is inherently correct about: He is an outsider. Love him or hate him, you cannot disagree with that point.

People are legitimately angry with politicians and the direction of the country. We hear it all the time, and it’s become a correct talking point this election.

Former presidential candidate Jeb Bush said it best: Trump is the “chaos candidate,” but that’s what a lot of people are looking for. They want something different, whether it be good or bad.

Final prediction:

Trump — 275 (win)

Clinton — 263

If I’m wrong come Tuesday night, feel free to chastise me. Even if you don’t agree with me, however, please go vote.

Senior staff columnist Jorden Smith is a political science junior and president of the College Republicans. He can be reached at [email protected]

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