Tomorrow. not only will the Presidential election, fate of the US Senate, and 435 Congressional contests be decided but also hundreds of legislative contests, a dozen gubernatorial contests and major statewide ballot initiatives ranging from marijuana legalization to assisted suicide. I cannot comment on all of them but I can make several predictions. Don’t kill me if I am wrong come Wednesday.
Presidential: Despite Trump’s surge and my bullishness on his chances he has a very narrow path to victory. If I had to make a wager I would say Clinton wins about 300 votes in the Electoral College based on her dominance among college educated women and minorities. However, Trump will win red states like Arizona and Georgia and he will also take reddening Midwest states like Iowa and Ohio as well as North Carolina (albeit very narrowly). Clinton, short of seeing piddling black turnout, should win Florida but also only win blue states like Minnesota and New Mexico by small margins. All in all, an unimpressive coronation to her career’s crowning achievement. Gary Johnson and Jill Stein will combined garner about 5 percent of the vote nationally and keep Clinton well below Obama’s 2008 and 2012 popular vote totals. Prediction: Clinton
US Senate: Republicans hold a slim four seat edge in the Senate. Currently, there are seven seats (Nevada, Missouri, North Carolina, Indiana Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire) rated as toss-ups. Democrats are all but certain to pick-up Illinois barring a major polling snafu and Clinton non-performance in the state. They should also narrowly take back Wisconsin. But that is where the edge for the party ends. Republicans should hold Ohio and Florida (again, barring polls being accurate) but Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and North Carolina are tough to predict. Out of the three North Carolina looks like the best part for the party to hold followed by New Hampshire and Pennsylvania. In recent days Pennsylvania has polled towards Democrats and Pat Toomey will have to over-perform Trump significantly in the Philly suburbs to win.
Missouri, Nevada and Indiana are the surprise contests of the cycle. On paper all three lean clearly towards one party but Joe Heck in Nevada is polling strongly and arguably is the best GOP candidate of the cycle. In Indiana, Democrats recruited a star in former Senator Evan Bayh. But Bayh had a record ripe for attacks from Republicans and absent a controversial Republican to run against Bayh now trails. His success hinges on his ability to draw Trump supporters to his side in a state Clinton is sure to lose. Roy Blunt in Missouri should be winning easily but he has been attacked for being a part of DC. Jason Kander, the Democratic candidate, is his party’s best recruit of the cycle. Voters in 2012 voted Democratic for Senate and Republican for President and Democrats are hoping for the same this time. Prediction: 52R-48D (D+3: Illinois, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania) (R+1: Nevada)
US House: Republicans walked into this election knowing they faced a test in holding their historic majority (247 seats). It has been even more daunting with Trump at the top of the ticket. But, despite it all, Democrats look like they can gain at max 20 seats and may not even gain seats in the double-digits. Republican incumbents in minority heavy districts and suburbs have distanced themselves from Trump and campaigned on being a check on Clinton. Democrats at every turn have tried to link GOP candidates to Trump but the move might have backfired in some Democratic districts in Iowa, Pennsylvania and elsewhere where GOP incumbents have polled strongly. Prediction: Democratic gain of 10-15 seats
Gubernatorial: A majority of states deciding their chief executive this cycle are in red or blue states. But, recent voting trends and statistical analysis shows that voters decide their votes for federal and state office differently. As a result, Democrats appeared poised to hold the Governor’s mansion in ruby red West Virginia while Republicans likely will acquire deep, blue, Sanders country Vermont. Races in Missouri and Montana are too close to call and Democrats are working feverishly to hold both. New Hampshire and Indiana also feature to close to call races and the parties might swap these contests. Washington State and Oregon look set to reelect their Democratic incumbents as does ruby red Utah. Prediction: 32-17-1 (R+2: New Hampshire, Vermont) (D+1: Indiana)
Legislatures: Hundreds of legislative races are on the ballot and a number of chambers hang by just a thread. Democrats are targeting chambers in Florida, New Mexico, WA State, New Hampshire and more while Republicans are gunning for chambers in Iowa and Kentucky. Expect Democrats to gain back some chambers they lost in 2014 but like the Governors chambers, Republicans will still be in solid shape in the states after the dust settles.