As readers know, I changed my mind on the likelihood of Trump winning following a disastrous first debate. I flipped back to possible, following a Wikileaks disclosure culminating in FBI director James Comey’s decision to reopen the case against Hillary.

My own case for Trump all along had been about social mood. I expected Trump to decisively win the rust belt and he did. My recent mistake was believing polls, rather than my own carefully presented thesis.

Let’s return to my May 23, 2016 article Grim Election Map for Trump? Fox Analyst vs. RCP vs. Mish just for grins (mine) to see how I felt about things back then.

Note: This is an exact repeat of the entire post until a note at the end following a label “New Comments“.

Juan Williams

To win the 270 votes needed to claim victory in the electoral college, Trump will have to keep every single state won by Romney — including Arizona and Georgia — and find 64 more electoral votes somewhere.

The question is where? If Trump holds all the Romney states and carries Virginia, Pennsylvania and Florida, he still loses.

“Every preliminary electoral-map forecast this spring paints a bleak picture for Donald Trump in his effort to win the presidency against Hillary Clinton,” Dan Balz recently wrote in the Washington Post.

Balz pointed to separate forecasts from three veteran political handicappers who make the same prediction: Trump is going to get crushed by Clinton in an electoral college landslide.

Larry Sabato, Charlie Cook and Stu Rothenberg all predict a big Clinton victory. For example, Sabato projects Clinton to win 347 electoral votes to Trump’s 191.

RCP Map Analysis 2016-05-23

What a bunch of hooey. Let’s start with an RCP Tossup Map.

Election Map 2016-05-23-RCP

It’s absurd to start with a map of “Romney states”.

Williams’ comment “If Trump holds all the Romney states and carries Virginia, Pennsylvania and Florida” is even more ridiculous.

Mish Map Analysis 2016-05-23

Election Map 2016-05-23-Mish

I believe Trump will win the rust belt states of Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio. If so, Hillary will need a clean sweep of about every remaining state to win.

In the above map, if Trump wins Michigan as I project, all he needs to do is win North Carolina.

Suppose Trump does not win Michigan. Instead, give him North Carolina. In that case, either Virginia or Pennsylvania would put Trump over the top.

If Trump wins Pennsylvania and Ohio (not unlikely actually) I believe it’s pretty clear he will win.

In fact, if Trump carries those states, it’s likely he picks up other swing states moving towards an electoral landslide.

I purposely did not presume a miracle for Trump. I gave him leeway tradeoffs consistent with some things likely to break his way.

A Trump landslide is not impossible.

Landslide Map

Election Map 2016-05-23-Landslide

A landslide by either party is not my prediction, but it’s quite possible Trump could pull one off, and perhaps even lose the popular vote by a little bit.

The West coast is likely to vote Democratic by a huge margin. So is the Northeast.

If Trump wins the swing states by a tiny bit, he can rack up huge electoral totals while losing other states substantially.

Campaign Slogans

Hillary Slogans

Because she really did not have one, just today Clinton Unveils ‘Stronger Together’ Slogan.

The former first lady and senator launched her campaign last year under the rallying cry, “I’m With Her.” But that message quickly was eclipsed by Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” and Democratic rival Bernie Sanders’ call for political revolution. (Sanders’ slogan is “A Future to Believe In.”)

Clinton then tried to pivot and road-test some anti-Trump slogans after Super Tuesday. Speaking in Miami that night, Clinton sounded the message: “Make America whole.”

She called for “love and kindness,” and a push to “break down barriers” and “build ladders of opportunity.”

Within minutes, Trump was mocking her, asking “what is that all about” and telling supporters: “Make America great again is going to be much better than making America whole again.”

As for whether her new slogan can help, Gravis Marketing President Doug Kaplan said it does serve to at least strike a contrast with Trump.

He said Trump’s “Make America Great Again” works well for the presumptive Republican nominee, and Clinton is trying to counter that.

“It’s a hard message to break down. ‘Make America great’ is a hard thing to tear apart,” he said. “What her goal is, is to show that when Trump’s saying ‘Make America Great Again’ [he] means make America great for some people, not everyone. … Her message is inclusive, not exclusive.”

But Brian Morgenstern, vice president of the Manhattan Republican Party, questioned the tone of Clinton’s new slogan.

“In this time of upheaval and angst, where people are so fired up, her campaign slogan might as well be let’s just calm down, everybody,” he told FoxNews.com’s “Strategy Room.”

Electoral Factors

  1. I give Trump the rust belt for the same reason I confidently predicted he would carry Indiana in the primary: his trade protectionist policies (that I strongly disagree with).
  2. Disenfranchised citizens don’t vote. A Gallup Poll shows 81% of Sanders supporters say the “election process is not working”.
  3. This is not Obama vs. Romney, when young, energetic voters turned out in record numbers. This is 2016 when the main Democratic enthusiasm is for someone who will not win the nomination.
  4. Trump made a number of response mistakes on abortion and women. But those comments have all been heard, and generally ignored. In contrast, we have not heard the full story on the Clinton Foundation and Hillary’s email server scandal. Those details will not help Hillary.
  5. The US economy may or may not be in recession, but at best the economy is anemic. Poor conditions favor Trump. Worsening conditions hugely favor Trump.
  6. Hillary is a warmonger. She may pick up a few Republican crossovers because of it. But she is likely to lose more crossover Democrats votes and independents who are sick of war. Obama promised “change you can believe in”. People believed, but what change did we have?
  7. Make America Great Again is a fantastic campaign slogan. What does Hillary have? I’m still not sure we know.

New Comments: 2016-11-10

My Base Map had Michigan headed to Trump. I do not know anyone else who saw things that way. I did not have Nevada or Colorado in my base map and both went to Hillary.

My Base Projection was “If Trump wins Michigan as I project, all he needs to do is win North Carolina. … If Trump wins Pennsylvania and Ohio (not unlikely actually) I believe it’s pretty clear he will win. …In fact, if Trump carries those states, it’s likely he picks up other swing states moving towards an electoral landslide.”

My Landslide Map got only Nevada, Virginia, and Wisconsin wrong.

I had it right all along, I just did not stick with it.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock