Saturday, October 29, 2016

Democrats, Don’t Panic about the FBI Flap—VOTE!

The recent FBI flap about possible new Clinton emails is unlikely to change the results of the race very much.  Most (read that practically everyone) will still vote the way they had decided long before the Friday news.  Why is that?

First, very few American’s make their decision based upon something like the FBI flap.  That’s not why people vote the way they do.

Jamelle Bouie Slate has written a great article explaining why most people are voting for Trump (and Clinton), why the race will likely be close regardless of what happens and why the latest FBI flap will not matter very much when it comes to who wins this election. 

When it comes to voting for a President, most people vote for the party, not for a candidate or his/her position on the issues.  The fact is, if you voted for the Republican in 2008 and 2012, you were going to vote for Trump this year.  You might have toyed with the idea of voting for a Democrat for the first time in your life, but eventually you would vote for the same party you have always supported.  The same is true if you have voted Democrat in the past.  You may have considered Sanders and even voted for him in the primaries, but eventually you were going to vote for Clinton, the Democrat.  The candidates’ personalities, position on the issues, and all that other stuff doesn’t really matter that much.  The FBI flap will just reinforce the decision you have already made, or more precisely were destined to make anyway.

Second, it is much too late in the election for an October surprise, like the FBI news to change the outcome very much.  Steve Shepard at Politico points out that the original Comey announcement back in July about the Clinton emails resulted in a net gain for Trump of only 1.6 points and that was a much more explosive story than the one that set the media on fire on Friday. Even then, it took several weeks for the true impact of the July announcement to emerge. As of Friday, the Real Clear Politics average had Clinton with a 4.6 point lead over Trump nationally.  Trump could have a net gain of 1.6 points from the new FBI news and still be losing by 3 points or more.  Anyway, by the time the needle moves, the election will be over.  There are less than ten days left.  Additionally, 12.6 million Americans (about 6% of the eligible voters) had already voted as of last Thursday. 

Third, Clinton has a commanding lead in the electoral college that is unlikely to change very much between now and election day.  The consensus forecasts give here 272 almost certain electoral votes, enough to win, without carrying states like North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Nevada, and so on.  Trump can count on only 148 electoral votes and needs to carry ALL of these states and MORE to have a chance of reaching the 270 electoral votes he needs to win.  That’s possible, but the probability, according to the forecasters, is less than 10%--nine times out of ten a candidate with the electoral vote that Clinton holds today would win the election, a good, but of course not certain bet.

BOTTOM LINE, Democrats:  Relax and VOTE, if you haven’t already.  The ONLY way Clinton is likely to lose is if you STAY HOME.

Read Bouie’s article here:

Read Shepard’s article here:

Read the Real Clear Politics averages here:

Read about early voting here:

Read about the composition of the electorate here:

Read the electoral vote forecasts here:

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