Courtesy, as ever, Princeton Election Consortium
Sam Wang’s right. This really is a remarkably stable race. Even Obama/Romney ’12 had more variability, and that one seemed like the poster child for electoral inertia. (Yeah, I know a lot of worried Democrats were convinced Romney would take advantage of a non-existent Bradley effect, but that’s the thing about non-existent effects: THEY DON’T EXIST.)
So here we are three weeks and a moment before Election Day, and the PEC meta-margin, which I guess has become my de facto proxy for the race, because it’s, well, a de facto proxy for the race, remains rock-solid at Clinton +4.8, leading to a 98% chance of victory.
Rigged? Nah, way too big a lead for that, or by crooked regime standards, way too small a lead for that. Even Mike Pence, between bouts of throwing up in his mouth every time he has to rebut his own leader, which he seems to do at least as often as he he does Hillary Clinton, felt obliged to state that the election was in no way, shape, or form, on anything but the uppest of up-and-ups. Took a few seconds, of course, before the top of the ticket saw that and hit Twitter to rebut his own running mate, and not for the first, second, or umpty-fourth time.
The fear I’m hearing about from within GOP circles is what happens if CLinton wins decisively and Trump refuses to concede a race he’s plainly lost. The Electoral College will meet, certify the results, and he tries to take it all to court, creating a Bush v. Gore without the benefit of an actually contested election. Want to watch this Supreme Court go all 8-0 on something? I’ve got one for you.
All makes a heck of a launch for Trump Media™, wherever in the former Warsaw Pact it may be required to broadcast from…perhaps the Ecuadoran Embassy in London?
Anyway, it’s all down-ballot now, where the Senate is on a knife-edge, and the gap in the House is likely to close dramatically. Speaker Ryan knows it, hence his unprecedented “do whatever’s good for you” instruction to Congressional Republicans. There will be an accounting starting November 9. Whether or not the party can figure out how to prevent this next time is another matter. Irony is that the greatest shame for the Republican party in 2016 may end up being that it never followed up on Richard Nixon’s plan for 1976: a new coalition GOP ejecting the far right and bringing in more center to center-right Democrats. Might have hastened the departure of the rump of liberal Republicans, but that happened anyway.
For the math, as ever, go to http://election.princeton.edu or Drew Linzer’s superlative work at the otherwise deeply partisan Daily Kos (http://elections.dailykos.com/app/elections/2016) and ignore all rectangularly-spectacled pundits.