Commentary: A Prediction On The Presidential Race

Nov 1, 2016

Next week I’ll give you most of my predictions for key elections.  I’ll give you one today: Hillary Clinton will win the presidential election. 

I realize this revelation will send few of you to the fainting couch.  Most observers are predicting this outcome, and with good reason.

I have my reasons as well and I thought I’d look back at how I’ve been tracking the presidential race from this spot on the dial over the last year.

Last October I said: “Candidates who have the best organizations usually prevail.”  Yes, that’s one of the reasons Clinton will win.

I also said: “Current celebrity GOP candidates will eventually flame out and a few fairly traditional candidates will fight it out for the nomination.”  Remember one of the classic lines from the first Terminator movie, right before the cyborg played by Arnold Schwartzenegger creates gory mayhem in the gun shop?  The line was: “Wrong.”  Boy, was I ever.

Last November I said that 2016 fundamentals favor Clinton serving Obama’s third term, like George H. W. Bush served Reagan’s third term in the late 1980s and early 1990s.  That’s another reason she’ll win.

Last January I said “Like many of you I am fascinated by the Donald Trump phenomenon,” and I compared him to a former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.

Last March, ever more fascinated with Trump, I compared him to 1930s populist politician Huey Long, about whom it was said “He kept faith with his people and they with him.  He is not to be dismissed as a mere rabble rouser.”  No kidding.

Last May I said the fundamentals of American electoral politics will not change because of the 2016 election.  I now think the GOP will eventually emerge from this election as a different party.  It will remain a nationally-competitive major party, different in ways currently unknowable.

Last June I said “How many times have we heard: ‘That’s it.  Trump’s finally said something so outrageous that his candidacy is surely doomed?’  These are the same people who have not yet learned that you underestimate Donald Trump at your peril.”  These same people are still doing it.

Last August I wrote “The wild card is white males who have voted Democratic in the past but who, today, form a key part of Trump’s base.  Will they stay with him through thick and thin?  Will they defect?  Or will they just stay home?”  Looks like they’re staying with him.

Barring something from Wikileaks that is a ten on the Richter scale, and maybe not even then, in one week Americans will elect their first female president.  It’s hard to know what the FBI Director was thinking when he announced that Anthony Weiner’s emails were now under investigation.  It didn’t change the trajectory of the campaign.  All it did was to make it, in the words of an astute pundit, a Kardashian reality show.