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A hundred days to go until the 2016 White House election on November 8th

July 31st, 2016

Electoral College 2016 Forecast

James Burt (The White Rabbit) looks at where we are

There are now less than one hundred days to go before America goes to the polls in the 2016 Presidential race.

If a week is a long time in politics, then three months is enough for some pretty big shifts in popular opinion. However the party conventions have given an indication of what Clinton and Trump will be trying to do in to do in that time.

The most sustained campaign by either side has been Trump’s determination to target a generation of white, working class Americans who see themselves as the “losers” in the game of globalisation. This group feels out of touch with politicians on Capitol Hill, and a progressive, metropolitan elite. By tying together Clinton with the establishment and pro-free trade big business, Trump hopes to provide a contrast to his self-made, straight talking, politically incorrect outsider status.

With that in mind, it is possible to get some sort of picture of the White House race as it will develop in the next hundred days. I have assume that the race will be fairly close, as it looks like at the moment, so that individual states will take the contest. Of course if one side develops a significant national lead, then the individual state picture will be rendered moot.

The six states in green represent likely battleground or marginal states, largely responsive to the national polling picture. Donald Trump would need to win all of them to gain to seal his route to the White House. However the three states in purple reflect an alternative, based on Trump’s unique pitch to the white working class. They are the states which, in my view, are most likely to be swung not by the candidates’ national campaigns, but by Trump’s success in peeling off a section of the Democratic vote that saw all three states go blue under Obama. Success in these three states can offset losses elsewhere, most importantly including the green states.

Clinton won’t make Trump’s task any easier, of course. On paper, Clinton is four or five points ahead in these states and is already set to defend that lead. Tim Kaine, whom she selected as her running mate, is a former governor and current Senator for Virginia, and Clinton has begun her post-Convention campaigning in Pennsylvania. Michigan hasn’t voted for a Republican President since 1988. It will be a formidable challenge for Trump to see success in any of them, but it is clearly one he wants to take on.

Opportunities to bet are currently too sparse to allow any value I could identify, but this should change as the election nears.

James Burt (TheWhiteRabbit)