The Only Election 2016 Prediction Tool You Will Need

Though the answer was never really in doubt, the question of “Will she or won’t she?” has been answered: Hillary Clinton is running for president.  And so we move from “Will she or won’t she?” to “Can she or can’t she?”  As in win.

In just the few days since the official announcement of Hillary’s candidacy, one would need a supercomputer to calculate the total ink, newsprint, pixels, and electricity spent discussing whether Hillary can win – the answer is yes, she can – and eventually, after the GOP chooses its candidate, will she win?

The whole prognostication process can be greatly simplified via the chart below, based on some trenchant analysis by Myra Adams.  Indeed, this table and my instructions below may be the best if not the only election prediction tool you will need.

States That Voted for Every Democratic Presidential Candidate Since 1988

States That Voted for Every Democratic Presidential Candidate Since 1992

(Electoral Vote Count in Parentheses)

Hawaii (4)

California (55)

Massachusetts (11)

Connecticut (7)

Minnesota (10)

Delaware (3)

New York (29)

Illinois (20)

Oregon (7)

Maine (4)

Rhode Island (4)

Maryland (10)

Washington (12)

Michigan (16)

Washington, D.C. (3)

New Jersey (14)

Wisconsin (10)

Pennsylvania (20)


Vermont (3)

Here is why the table is useful:

152 votes since 1992 plus 90 votes since 1988 equals 242 electoral votes[, meaning] … only 28 more votes are needed to reach 270 and victory.  Those 242 electoral votes could be considered the historic base from which a Democratic presidential candidate begins.


The third element in the equation is Florida, whose 29 electoral votes, added to the 242 total, would bring the Democratic nominee to 271 electoral votes, just over the 270 needed for White House victory.

Here is how to use the table.  Whenever you read a state presidential election poll and that poll shows the Republican leading, check that state against the above table.  If the state in question is listed on the table, it means that state has “flipped” – good news for Republican.

On the other hand, if the state in question is not on the list, then you need to check the latest poll for Florida.  If the Democrat is leading in Florida, you can dismiss the poll in question as irrelevant, even if it shows the Republican ahead.

One may remember the hanging chads and assorted other hijinks in Florida in 2000.  Why were they important?  Because without Florida, Bush would have lost.  Bush was re-elected with 286 electoral votes.  Sounds impressive, but subtract Florida’s then-27 EVs, and Bush loses.  Bush won the popular by a margin of 2.4 percent – also impressive at first blush, less so when one translates that into vote share of 50.7 percent, barely above breaking even.

So now, with that background, let’s use the table for some objective – and sobering – present-day, real-world analysis.  Two weeks ago, Republicans were celebrating a Qunnipiac poll showing all of the prospective GOP candidates leading, tied with, or only slightly behind Clinton in the three “swing states” of Colorado, Iowa, and Virginia.  Hooray, right?

Not so fast.  Checking these states against the above table, we note that none is on the list.  So go to step two, which is to check Florida.  Here are the most recent polls via Real Clear Politics – two polls, with just two GOP candidates, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, both versus Hillary Clinton: Jeb leads Clinton, and Clinton leads Rubio.

Of course, it’s premature to draw definitive conclusions at this early date.  However, if the results of these two polls continue to hold, and if the states in our table vote in 2016 the same way they have voted in every election since 1988 and 1992, respectively, Hillary Clinton will be elected president of the United States on November 8, 2016 if Marco Rubio is the Republican candidate.  On the other hand, Bush might win if he is the candidate and if his poll results hold.

Note that I said might, because, as Myra Adams points out, there are multiple ways for the Democrat to win without Florida.  For example, in the 2012 Obama-Romney contest (emphasis in the original):

Mitt Romney won only 206 electoral votes, compared to President Obama’s 332.  Even if Romney had won the battleground states of Virginia (13), Ohio (18), and Florida (29), he would have earned only 266 electoral votes and Obama still would have won reelection, with 272.

Going forward – and again, assuming continuation of the voting habits of the states in our table – the Democrat could lose every swing state and still win.

If I were a GOP strategist, I would be sweating about now – and in 2020, 2024, and in every presidential election going forward, for as long as the states listed above continue to vote as they have – namely, for every Democratic presidential candidate, regardless, apparently, of that candidate’s experience, honesty, or indeed any other personal characteristic.  Given that track record, will even the baggage carried by a candidate as flawed as Hillary Clinton be enough to tip the scales and flip even one of the above states?

Time will tell.  And by checking Florida and matching the states where the GOP candidate is leading against the above table, American Thinker visitors should be able to sort through the polls, punditry, and blather and hear clearly what time is saying.

Gene Schwimmer is a New York licensed real estate broker and the author of The Christian State.  Follow Gene Schwimmer on Twitter.