Sunday, August 14, 2016

Over and Under: The Electoral College in 2016

Come the evening of Tuesday, November 8, nothing on Earth will be as important as the Electoral College. Yeah, some folks are going to get out their quadrennial placards bitching about the college and then quickly stow them before they get any splinters.

Except not this year because about 60% of the electorate is going to be preemptively cheering a Hillary Clinton win and the other 40% will find that like most collective bubbles of ignorance, their collective bubble of ignorance will be popped by The Very Serious and Adult World of Voting in America, a world created by two of the greatest enemies of willful ignorance: math and law.

Actually, cancer edges out law, but law's still third.

Like I did four years ago, I'm going to break down the numbers. Unlike four years ago, I'm not trying to get people to skip the live coverage. I want to talk about margins. You see right now Hillary Clinton is heavily favored to win, based on collected data and statistics.

But What If
If Clinton voters turn out. Democrats are generally bad a turning out to vote*. Given, say, a 52/48 split of consequential votes (votes strictly between Clinton and Trump) in favor of Clinton, a 10% drop in Clinton voters shifts those numbers to 49/51 in favor the Republican candidate. So how bad does that need to be before it changes our next president?

Hillary has a huge advantage in 11 swing states and 6 states that are leaning Hillary. Let's put all of those states into play from voters not voting. That will leave Hillary with 11 states and 165 electoral votes (out of 539) in the bag. We'll presume Trump gets the 23 states and 191 votes from the states that are currently leaning in his direction.

Consider the following table of numbers, undoubtedly minced by my blogging interface:
New Mexico41330.550.450.520.48550
New Hampshire43.2380.530.470.50.5400
North Carolina44.440.40.520.480.490.5115015

HtH is head to head, turning the gross percentage of votes--which will be divided between Green and Libertarian candidates as well--into percentages of "consequential votes." Those votes are then reduced to account for Hillary voters in those states complacently staying home (SaH). 

I'm assuming that's 8%, just one in twelve folks who would ordinarily vote against Trump opting to stay home instead. In that case, Hillary only picks up 97 more votes from the Electoral College and Trump gets 71. A Trump win at 272 is close and unlikely, but it's very likely if folks don't vote.

What I'm saying is that if you live in one of these states and you don't want Donald Trump to be our next president, vote. Get other people to vote. Help folks vote. Start planning now. Anticipate obstacles. 

Vote like motherfucking Batman.

That'll Change
Obviously, I made a spreadsheet for this, and I'll try to update it at different milestones of the campaign. The most obvious points are the debates and any spectacular Trump meltdowns where he's forced away from rally/designated Donald safe space for too long. The debates will be held on September 26th, October 4th (vice-presidential only), October 9th, and October 19th.

*Whether that's because, as Bernie Sanders famously said, poor people don't vote or whether it's the left's version of "everyone agrees with me but I need an excuse why I keep loosing"--y'know, the same way Republicans blame voter-fraud myths for why they keep losing--I'm not sure.

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