Sunday, November 6, 2016

Election 2016 - Who I'm Voting For & My Election Prediction

This Tuesday is election day and I find myself for the first time in a troubled situation. There is no one on the ballot that I really support. Unlike in 2008 and 2012 where I was a pretty strong Obama supporter, this year there isn't anyone I'm enthusiastic about.

Obviously this election is different than most years because of Donald Trump. It's the first time we have a major party candidate who has no political experience I think since George Washington. He's rambunctious, foul-mouthed, unconventional, and a little crazy — to say the least. Trump becoming president is terrifying on so many levels. He lies through his teeth so blatantly and with such utter disregard for truth that he's taken the concept of the "lying politician" to a new level. Indeed, his brain seems to be impervious to facts. He's proposing filling the Supreme Court with Scalia clones, which if another justice dies in the next four years will tip the court conservative enough to reverse Roe v Wage and Obergefell v. Hodges, effectively turning abortion and same-sex marriage back to the states. Trump has no serious knowledge of the way government works, or the world, and he as all but the most simplistic understanding of the political issues our next president is going to have to deal with. He's a wild card, unpredictable, capable of undermining our democracy and stability, and his VP pick Mike Pence is one of the most conservative members of the Religious Right in the nation.

If Trump is going to win he has a narrow margin in the electoral college. Here's a possible winning scenario for him. Trump would have to win Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, and Michigan. If not Michigan, he'd have to win Pennsylvania. He also has to win Iowa. Or if he loses Iowa, he has to win New Hampshire and all the typically Republican states. Hillary Clinton just has to win just two of those states and Trump's done. The electoral college heavily favors democrats.

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Then we have Mrs. Hillary Clinton, who if it wasn't for how incompetent Trump is, would seem much worse than she actually is. Clinton is a fairly typical establishment politician who takes money from banks and corporations, leads from behind and says whatever she wants or thinks will get her elected. Yes I agree with her on abortion, her tax policy is decent, and I trust (for the most part) that she'll appoint Supreme Court judges that are are not going to reverse all of the progress we've made. But she's a liar who voted for the war in Iraq, supported the disastrous TPP (the one thing Trump gets right), and will most likely do whatever the corporations want her to do. Yeah she'll do a few things for working people because she has to do something, otherwise the democratic base will turn on her. But she's most likely going to keep all the laws and loop holes in place that the rich use to get away with not paying their fair share of taxes and use to enrich themselves at the expense of the working class and the environment. That's not the kind of change I can believe in.

Then of course we have the third party candidates like Gary Johnson and Jill Stein. To sum up Johnson, he could have made this year the year that we had a viable third party candidate but Johnson just doesn't come across like a forceful candidate. He acts as if he's high all the time. And don't get me wrong, I love weed, but that's just not good. He just doesn't seem like he's capable of doing the job of the presidency. Policy wise he's socially liberal, but he wants to gut government and destroy things like the Department of Education. Libertarian views are obsessed with small governments and free markets. Now Johnson is somewhat of a moderate among libertarians but he's still got some wacky views on the free market's ability. I can't vote libertarian because of that.

Then there's Jill Stein who is the Green Party candidate. Her politics are the most closely aligned with what I believe in, but I'm just not very impressed by her. She just doesn't seem confident. On paper she's the best cadidate for me, but in person she just doesn't seem like she has it. There have been some criticisms of her views on vaccinations and alternative medicine that I've read are mostly over blown, and as far as I can tell, she, as a doctor, knows the science behind these issues. But it's really just her demeanor and apparent lack of confidence that I don't like about her. I'm just not that excited but I agree with almost all of her views.

So what should I do? I heard an interesting idea that's been touted around. It goes like this: if you live in a solidly blue or red state and you are not a fan of either major party candidate, vote third party. If either the Green or Libertarian parties get at least 5% of the vote they get federal funding for the next election in 2020, which would allow for some much needed competition among the parties. But if you're in a swing state, hold your breath and vote Clinton no matter how hard that seems. Interesting. As I am in a solidly blue state, I think I just might take that advice. So I'll be unenthusiastically voting Jill Stein this election.

My prediction for the election

Here's my electoral map prediction. I predict a very narrow Hillary win with this electoral college result. Trump wins Florida, North Carolina, and Ohio, but it's not enough. Hillary wins Pennsylvania and Michgan along with all the other typically democratic states and that's enough to get her over 270. She can even lose Nevada and it wouldn't make a difference, but if she loses Nevada and New Hampshire she dips under 270, but so is Trump, and then we have to go to congress to decide. That's a possibility, but not likely. So I predict 279 Clinton to Trump's 258.

In any event, November 8th should be really interesting. I'll be partying with friends and drinking heavily no doubt. Make sure you vote.

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