Election 2016 Forecast

It is time for me to succinctly explain why I believe that Trump has met his goose.

I will admit to being unable to reconcile Trump's behavior to that taught by any conservative Christian. I will admit to having concerns about Trumps stability and executive skills. But I assure our readers that I do not qualify as establishment. I have more reason to be angry at government than most. I only care about facts and how we can learn from them.

My opinion is based on an understanding of our broken human condition, in particular how change draws us into fear based negativity. Allegations and innuendo can hurt a person, but in the long term it is the truth that endures forever.

Is This my Goose ?

This election, as with 2008 and 2012, will be decided by the relatively small number of undecided and independent voters. Who reside in sixteen battleground states.

Most of these voters, regular hard working Americans, do not seriously engage in election thinking until after the first Presidential debate. This may be difficult for many of us who follow politics. But it is their reality, and probably wisely so.

Open4Politics stopped its coverage of the 2016 primary election once we were statistically certain that Trump would get 1237 delegates, and that Clinton would be nominated by the Democratic convention. We saw no point in speculating on conspiracy theories or the possibility that either party would ignore their voters choices.


Unlike the main media we do not have salaries to pay, 24x7 television time to fill or advertisers to satisfy. I do offer that the newscasters on all three major cable networks should be awarded a joint Oscar for the imaginative scenarios they have all pontificated with their respective panels of experts, in their attempts to keep us all glued to their channels.

We know that 338 of the 538 electoral votes have essentially been decided. The electoral college and socioeconomic demographics have created an electoral map of red and blue states that seldom swing. Trump 155: Clinton 183.

The election is decided in 16 swing states. Trump needs 115: Clinton needs 87: electoral votes to reach 270.

But some 70% (could be 80%) of the white males, blacks, Hispanics, women, and young people living in these 16 states have already made up their minds. They tend to decide on traditional party lines which I find difficult to understand. But I also try and remember how hard it was for me to become a citizen and to earn the right to vote. If this pattern holds true for 2016, Trump's goose will be in the hands of less than 30% of the electorate, in these 16 battleground states.

Major Issues

We have listed the major issues raised at both parties conventions in the editorial section of our electoral map, for those who care to know what they are. The reality is that few voters have time to study most of these issues. The undecided and independents pay even less attention. We all want sound bites. e.g. Comparing a personal credit card to our national debt. The problem is that sound bites seldom change minds. They mostly tend to reinforce preconceived ideas.

I will be curious to see how the polls respond to Trump's obviously softening position. Talk about a lose lose situation for Trump. With 74 days to go Gallop's polling shows that 65% of Americans want a path to citizenship. Trump has the choice of ignoring the many Americans who find his statements on deportation offensive. Or of facing the ire of his base and being accused of the biggest switcheroo (flip flop) in political history. Neither choice is positive for Trump.


Back to Trumps goose, and the 30% of battleground state voters. The 2016 election has been described as the competition between a liar and a racist. Unprecedented behavior. Never seen in our history. A competition over who can prove the other as having the less suitable temperament and character to be President.

Each time something more inflammatory is said; Clinton is a lying bigot; Trump is a racist misogynist; the most recent assertions; the media wrings its hands in glee. Viewers all understand these. The words are ideal for sound bite experts. No matter how little time anyone has for politics, this is ultimate reality TV, where the winner gets to lead the world.

This media focus will not change. There is far too much advertiser money at stake. Hence I conclude that this 30% of battleground voters will decide the 2016 election based on who can best assassinate who's character.

An analysis of character assassination - link to Wiki - suggests that the closer an attack is to actual facts and the more often the attack is repeated; the more likely the attack is to be successful. Lets look at what each have to work with.

Some time ago I suggested that this election would be decided if/when someone got under Trumps skin and forced him into an unrecoverable political mistake. The counter argument was that Trump would character assassinate his way to victory against Clinton in the same way that he did in the Republican primaries. Both were valid positions in late June.

Trump started with a good lead. Forty years of Clinton's public office provides plenty of opportunity. The Clinton Foundation; private email server; classified emails; Bill Clinton; past political positions; wow! The problem however comes in the last dig. Trump's final blows are often built on fear based future speculation. e.g. Clinton's private email server is true. Clinton did delete emails. Clinton was careless. But saying 100 Federal Investigators were corrupt in their decision is speculation. Trumps facts are mostly allegations. And weak facts or no facts, make for weak attacks.

Clinton started from behind. She knew little about Trump. There are few public documents affirming his wealth. He has no formal history of political positions. His business troubles can be explained away. Early attacks by Clinton served more to position him as the agent of change we needed to fix our government than to harm his character.


I am a veteran. I served in a covert war in Angola in 1975. I have stood with the father of a son who died and lied about what happened. Trump lost this war of character assassination when he went after the mother of a young Muslim soldier who died for his men in Iraq. What he said is fact. Unlike most news which gets its 24 hours on cable news and is forgotten. This made the local news. I doubt that there is a person who has not heard what Trump said. Many times.

I suggest that Trump has assassinated his own character and that there is no greater killer blow than that.

I shudder to think what we are going to hear in the weeks ahead as this battle goes viral and ratchets up. But as I said in my introduction, it looks to me like Trump has met his own goose! Clinton gets to watch him prepare the meal.

We will all know on the 8th of November!

Get Smart about Politics™