The Night of the Comet: What happens on November 8

Now that the year-long beauty pageant they call the presidential debate cycle finally came to an end on October 19, this is what will happen in the remaining two weeks or so before the Grand Coronation Night of November 8, called Election Day.

The Candidates

Trump will continue his popularity rallies, gathering a couple of dozen thousands of supporters or even more, where he will be explaining the obvious – that America will be great again, provided that the American people care to detour from the Obama and Clinton cul-de-sac.  That they are willing to genuinely engage themselves in an act of profound reparation of a broken, corrupt, and free-falling society.  And that they truly desire to force a comeback to the American traditional values.

Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, will continue undisturbed to seek shelter in her Chappaqua nursing home, sending her surrogates and cronies to campaign for her all over the place.  She will be fully assured that the liberal mainstream media, together with the hordes of bipartisan establishment activists and obfuscated "conservatives," will propel her toward a pre-announced landslide victory.  Occasionally, she will appear in friendly milieus, comfortably sitting on soft plush sofas, chit-chatting with her fan club scribblers who call themselves journalists, or comics acting as talk show hosts.  Or she will consistently support herself from sturdy podiums, in 200-or-so-people gatherings she calls "rallies."  She will brag robotically, bobble-heading, with scripted jokes about that "Stronger Together" thing.  Or about what else Trump privately whispered decades ago about women currently searching for instant fame, weeks before the election.

The Mainstream Media

Meanwhile, the plethora of talking heads will continue to reshape their own narrative about whatever things Donald Trump said whenever, as a private citizen: the tax deductions, Putin's sympathy, Alicia Machado's antipathy, the allegedly groped lady on a plane in the 1980s, Trump's intent to take a closer look to possible election frauds...

They will continue to ignore or spin what Hillary Clinton did (wrongly or illegally) as an elected or appointed official: Hillarycare, Vincent Foster's "official" suicide, Travelgate, Filegate, the Lewinsky affair, the Chinese donations, the Russian "reset" button, the Haiti get-rich-quick schemes, the lucrative paid speeches, the Arab Spring, Benghazi, the private server, the quid pro quos... 

And, of course, they will putt the blame for all these revelations on the "vast right-wing conspiracy" and the Russians.

They will also continue to debate zealously about the national-flagged colors of Hillary's pantsuits on various occasions, her over-rehearsed alleged gotcha phrases, the jab-trading at the Al Smith dinner, the First-Female-President ballad, and her (no-legacy) 30-year experience.

The Pollsters

They will continue to provide surveys with leftward polling, based on previous models from the 2012 and 2014 elections, that sample Democrat, Republican, and independent "registered voters" in 45-35-20-percent ratios, instead of sampling likely voters in 35-35-30-percent ratios.

They will not tell you about the percentages of "independents" and "undecideds."  Nor about how many Democrat-leaning independents will vote Republican (although the primaries have given you a hint of that).  Nor even about how many incumbent-leaning undecideds will stay home compared with the newcomer-leaning undecideds who will actually show up and vote.

And everything will go nice and smooth.  Until The Night of the Comet.

The Turnout

Turnout is not known by pundits, nor designed by pollsters, and it will hit hard.  The year 2016 is The Year of the Insurgency.  And election night will be The Night of the Comet.

At the end of the day, the pundits' and pollsters' magic crystal ball, that has helped so many times the pundits to go wrong about Trump, will shatter.  All of those responsible for creating parallel realities will have to pick up the shards from the floor.  They will scratch their heads with amazement, asking themselves what the heck just happened.

We know.  We have witnessed this before.  Just ask one-term president Jimmy Carter about November 4, 1980 or Tom Brokaw's "Florida declared winner" Al Gore about November 8, 2000 or the non-Brexiteers across the pond about June 23, 2016.  They have witnessed comets coming, too.

Tiberiu Dianu is a scholar and author of several books and articles in law and post-communist societies.  He currently lives in Washington, D.C., where he works for various government and private agencies.

Now that the year-long beauty pageant they call the presidential debate cycle finally came to an end on October 19, this is what will happen in the remaining two weeks or so before the Grand Coronation Night of November 8, called Election Day.

The Candidates

Trump will continue his popularity rallies, gathering a couple of dozen thousands of supporters or even more, where he will be explaining the obvious – that America will be great again, provided that the American people care to detour from the Obama and Clinton cul-de-sac.  That they are willing to genuinely engage themselves in an act of profound reparation of a broken, corrupt, and free-falling society.  And that they truly desire to force a comeback to the American traditional values.

Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, will continue undisturbed to seek shelter in her Chappaqua nursing home, sending her surrogates and cronies to campaign for her all over the place.  She will be fully assured that the liberal mainstream media, together with the hordes of bipartisan establishment activists and obfuscated "conservatives," will propel her toward a pre-announced landslide victory.  Occasionally, she will appear in friendly milieus, comfortably sitting on soft plush sofas, chit-chatting with her fan club scribblers who call themselves journalists, or comics acting as talk show hosts.  Or she will consistently support herself from sturdy podiums, in 200-or-so-people gatherings she calls "rallies."  She will brag robotically, bobble-heading, with scripted jokes about that "Stronger Together" thing.  Or about what else Trump privately whispered decades ago about women currently searching for instant fame, weeks before the election.

The Mainstream Media

Meanwhile, the plethora of talking heads will continue to reshape their own narrative about whatever things Donald Trump said whenever, as a private citizen: the tax deductions, Putin's sympathy, Alicia Machado's antipathy, the allegedly groped lady on a plane in the 1980s, Trump's intent to take a closer look to possible election frauds...

They will continue to ignore or spin what Hillary Clinton did (wrongly or illegally) as an elected or appointed official: Hillarycare, Vincent Foster's "official" suicide, Travelgate, Filegate, the Lewinsky affair, the Chinese donations, the Russian "reset" button, the Haiti get-rich-quick schemes, the lucrative paid speeches, the Arab Spring, Benghazi, the private server, the quid pro quos... 

And, of course, they will putt the blame for all these revelations on the "vast right-wing conspiracy" and the Russians.

They will also continue to debate zealously about the national-flagged colors of Hillary's pantsuits on various occasions, her over-rehearsed alleged gotcha phrases, the jab-trading at the Al Smith dinner, the First-Female-President ballad, and her (no-legacy) 30-year experience.

The Pollsters

They will continue to provide surveys with leftward polling, based on previous models from the 2012 and 2014 elections, that sample Democrat, Republican, and independent "registered voters" in 45-35-20-percent ratios, instead of sampling likely voters in 35-35-30-percent ratios.

They will not tell you about the percentages of "independents" and "undecideds."  Nor about how many Democrat-leaning independents will vote Republican (although the primaries have given you a hint of that).  Nor even about how many incumbent-leaning undecideds will stay home compared with the newcomer-leaning undecideds who will actually show up and vote.

And everything will go nice and smooth.  Until The Night of the Comet.

The Turnout

Turnout is not known by pundits, nor designed by pollsters, and it will hit hard.  The year 2016 is The Year of the Insurgency.  And election night will be The Night of the Comet.

At the end of the day, the pundits' and pollsters' magic crystal ball, that has helped so many times the pundits to go wrong about Trump, will shatter.  All of those responsible for creating parallel realities will have to pick up the shards from the floor.  They will scratch their heads with amazement, asking themselves what the heck just happened.

We know.  We have witnessed this before.  Just ask one-term president Jimmy Carter about November 4, 1980 or Tom Brokaw's "Florida declared winner" Al Gore about November 8, 2000 or the non-Brexiteers across the pond about June 23, 2016.  They have witnessed comets coming, too.

Tiberiu Dianu is a scholar and author of several books and articles in law and post-communist societies.  He currently lives in Washington, D.C., where he works for various government and private agencies.