The Oval Office Thunderdome desk hasn’t been all that busy this election cycle, but that certainly isn’t because of a lack of subject matter. This election has been among the most anguished in all of American history. Much of the electorate is in disbelief that someone with as many disqualifications for public office still has a shot at winning the Oval Office.
Donald Trump is a cancer on American democracy, birthed from the Republican Party’s continued sense of entitlement. That party continues to believe that only it has the right to govern, and when Democrats are in office, all methods of obstruction are fair game. Never mind the will of the voters. Their say in things is only acknowledged should they happen to agree with the Republican Party. Thus we have the shameful spectacle of the Senate abrogating its responsibility to give Merrick Garland a fair hearing for his nomination to the Supreme Court, and pledges from some in the Senate to deny a potential Clinton presidency any Supreme Court picks for the entirety of her term. Donald Trump as president is a frightening prospect, but never forget that it is the party as a whole that is instrumental in grinding American governance to a halt. And why are they doing it? Because they are not in charge. It’s infantile, and endangers our country.
So, it’s pretty clear that I do not want Trump to be the next president, nor do I want the Republicans to maintain control of the Senate. I would like to see the House flip to the Democrats, as well, but that’s not going to happen. Democratic House candidates could receive millions more votes than their GOP counterparts, but districts are so gerrymandered now that only the courts can undo that foul work and make the House competitive again.
But, it’s time to put emotions aside and get down to the nitty-gritty. It’s time to be murderously objective. It’s time to make some gambling picks. Lines are available all over the internet, so I’ll be grabbing them from multiple sources. Because I am a gambling god, I plan to do just as well this election as I did in the last, when I was correct on 17 out of my 22 predictions. Take it to the bank. I will make my Loyal Seven readers rich. My picks for winner come first in each item.
U.S. Presidential Election — Electoral College Winner
Hillary Clinton -350, Donald Trump +250
Back in August, this line was -100 for Clinton, and +2500 for Trump. Good lord, what is the matter with us? Trump’s late surge heading into the election is all the proof I need that people are really bad at comparing and contrasting candidates. Any objective look at the two major candidates should remove Trump from all consideration. But that is how deep our polarization runs. Look at evangelicals, after all. These are voters who claim a moral high ground and who believe personal behavior is policed by immutable supernatural laws. They believe they have souls that are placed into and out of jeopardy depending on how closely they adhere to those laws. For decades, they have demanded that we follow strict Christian morals, yet the candidate they embrace can’t go an entire day without ignoring those morals. Sometimes Trump is outright hostile to what evangelicals believe, yet they are supporting him 45% to 31%. Don’t tell me compromise isn’t possible when evangelical voters are so ready to do so with their values. There’s hope for Washington yet!
I am feeling a lot of anxiety over this election. I think Clinton is going to squeak by with a win, but if we were a rational electorate, it would be a landslide Clinton victory. If Trump does capture the White House, it will be devastating news. Hopefully it won’t become one of those points in history where future generations will look back and wonder what went wrong. If there’s one thing this election has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, it is that there is no difference between an American person and any other random person on the planet. We are stupid everywhere. There is nothing about being an American that makes us inherently better people. If there is such a thing as American exceptionalism, it is in our laws and institutions, and certainly not in the bags of meat that call this country home.
U.S. Presidential Election — Donald Trump Electoral College Tally
Over 238.5 -105, Under 238.5 -135
U.S. Presidential Election — Hillary Clinton Electoral College Tally
Under 299.5 +115, Over 299.5 -155
Ooh, an upset pick. I don’t think Clinton will perform as well with the Electoral College as President Obama did in his two runs. Ohio looks lost to her and Florida is also moving away from her. If she wins either of those two then this pick will not pay off, but that’s what makes betting exciting, right?
U.S. Presidential Election — Popular Vote Winner
Clinton -375, Trump +260
I’m surprised the line is this close. Clinton is only leading by a few points in national polls, but a few points represents millions of voters in a country this large. Demographic changes in this country are making the populace more liberal-leaning. The GOP has won the popular vote in a presidential election only once in the last six elections. Conservatism is a long-term loser when it comes to total votes cast nationwide.
U.S. Presidential Election — Clinton Total States Won
Under 25.5 -145, Over 25.5 +105
U.S. Presidential Election — Trump Total States Won
Over 25.5 -140, Under 25.5 Even
U.S. Presidential Election — Arizona Result
Trump -280, Clinton +185
It was only a fleeting moment when Arizona was truly in play. This is one of those places where voters need to be reminded constantly how awful a person Donald Trump is for the state to swing to Clinton. His normal bad behavior isn’t enough. His shenanigans need to dominate the news, otherwise attitudes about him regress towards the mean. Demographics will turn this state blue eventually, but we’re still a cycle or two early.
U.S. Presidential Election — Florida Result
Trump +140, Clinton -180
I’m predicting another upset here. The momentum in this election is not with Clinton. I’m writing this two days before the election. I think by this point the electorate is immune to any news that will cause further swift changes in direction.
U.S. Presidential Election — Iowa Result
Trump -400, Clinton +250
At some point I’m going to pick Clinton to win a close state, right?
U.S. Presidential Election — Michigan Result
Clinton -450, Trump +275
Okay, I feel better now.
U.S. Presidential Election — Nevada Result
Clinton -190, Trump +145
This is a very important state for Clinton. There’s been a surge of Hispanic early voting, and a general consensus is emerging that Trump is toast in the Silver State. We’ll find out if that’s at all accurate on Tuesday.
U.S. Presidential Election — New Hampshire Result
Clinton -190, Trump +145
U.S. Presidential Election — North Carolina Result
Clinton -110, Trump -130
Wow, what a close line. Obama won North Carolina in 2008, but lost it in 2012. North Carolina now looks like what Arizona will look like in either the 2020 or 2024 election. It is a true tossup. The only reason I’m picking Clinton is because my pessimism runs deep, and it’s often wrong. My objectivity with this pick is enhanced by embracing a little optimism. But just a tiny bit.
U.S. Presidential Election — Ohio Result
Trump -290, Clinton +190
My homeland is about to break my heart a little bit more. Ohio is a true heartland state, but it has some demons. A large portion of the population is receptive to the vileness Trump represents. His pull on the emotions of the electorate is strong. Ohio will be on the wrong side of history.
U.S. Presidential Election — Pennsylvania Result
Clinton -350, Trump +255
This state will be probably be called sometime around 9pm. Earlier if it’s a blowout. As soon as that happens, I will take a belt of whiskey, because no matter how polls look leading up to the election, I will always be nervous about Pennsylvania. Both candidates need this state.
U.S. Presidential Election — Utah Result
Trump -500, Clinton +1200, McMullin +400
Nice effort, Utah. But let’s be serious.
U.S. Presidential Election — Virginia Result
Clinton -500, Trump +300
U.S. Presidential Election — Wisconsin Result
Clinton -500, Trump +300
U.S. Senate Election — Control of the Senate
Democrats -330, Republicans +210
This one is a tossup, despite the odds I found online. If this wasn’t just a silly exercise, if I actually were betting these races, I would stay away from this one.
U.S. Senate Election — Florida Result
Marco Rubio (R) -800, Patrick Murphy (D) +400
This race isn’t in any doubt, but I’m including it so I can shit on Marco Rubio. Remember when he pledged not to run for reelection to his Senate seat because he was running for president? Missile Test remembers. We also remember how transparently opportunistic he was as a presidential candidate. If the base believed it, so did he. Voters saw through his lack of integrity, and also his total lack of gravitas. Marco Rubio is the ultimate empty suit.
U.S. Senate Election — Indiana Result
Evan Bayh (D) -190, Todd Young (R) +140
U.S. Senate Election — Missouri Result
Roy Blunt (R) +130, Jason Kander (D) -160
U.S. Senate Election — Nevada Result
Catherine Cortez Mastro (D) -200, Joe Heck (R) +150
U.S. Senate Election — New Hampshire Result
Maggie Hassan (D) -220, Kelly Ayotte (R) +150
Senator Ayotte is one of those spineless Republicans that alternately supported and condemned Trump during the election. People like her can’t be thrown out of government fast enough.
U.S. Senate Election — North Carolina Result
Deborah Ross (D) +140, Richard Burr (R) -200
I’m doubling down on North Carolina. I just don’t see how the state could split its vote. If it’s going to go with Clinton, it’s also going to go with Ross.
U.S. Senate Election — Pennsylvania Result
Kate McGinty (D) -500, Pat Toomey (R) +300
So long, Toomey.
I’m not going to bother with any of the House races, or the many ballot measures that are out there. But I will make one prediction. There are currently ballot initiatives in nine states addressing the legality of either medicinal or recreational cannabis. The phrase ‘long national nightmare’ has been used frequently this year to describe the presidential election, but it is more of an apt term to describe the drug war. Things are beginning to move swiftly towards removing pot, and its ranks of users, from the clutches of the criminal justice system. The drug war is a self-inflicted wound and we will be a better nation after it is over.
Don’t forget to vote!