As regular readers know, I correctly predicted 81 out of 91 primaries this year, a record that humiliated Nate Silver’s. After I stole the top spot as America’s most accurate pundit, certain data cowards prayed I wouldn’t be bold enough to return to humiliate them once more.
But here I am.
Say my name.
Last month I debuted my first general election forecast. Back then Hillary, riding high on her convention bounce, was leading in states adding up to 347 electoral votes — a veritable landslide.
Now, with 52 days to go until Election Day, Donald Trump has taken the edge in what is for all intents and purposes a 50/50 race. Here’s where the country stands:
NOTE: My map depicts what would happen if the election were held today. A “Lock” indicates a candidate would be guaranteed to win in more or less a landslide; a “Lead” means a victory by a healthy, though not crushing, margin; an “Edge” means a victory by a few percentage points. A “Toss-Up” is considered tied and could go either way.
Just as Moses suffered a plague of frogs, Pharoah Hillary is beset by racist “Pepe” memes raining down from the sky, squishing her once-mighty lead in the polls. Also like her Biblical counterpart, Hillary is suffering from numerous illnesses and email foibles.
What a turnaround a little email treason, donations from autocratic Saudi billionaires, and lying about one’s debilitating health conditions makes! Trump, playing it straight and limiting himself to a conservative two racist outbursts per week, has capitalized on Hill’s refusal to assure her supporters that she’s alive at regular intervals. In doing so, several key swing states — and some previously safe territory for the Dems — have drifted in his direction. Here’s a rundown of the key contests:
Maine (Clinton Lead)
Maine’s 2nd Congressional District (Trump Lead)
Maine’s 1st Congressional District (Clinton Lock)
Maine divvies up their electoral votes by congressional district, a quirk that Donald Trump has managed to capitalize on. Maine’s 1st district, consisting of coastal areas and the cities of Augusta and Portland, is Ready for Her. But Maine’s 2nd district, a sprawling wooded region populated mainly by lumberjacks, Acadians, and Deep One-hybrids, is strongly for Trump. Lesser pundits will ignore this, but the French-Canadian brain is wired to be suspicious of nonwhites (“pied-noirs”), a tendency that endears them to Trump’s racial nationalism. This is a district that has gone for Democrats for the past two decades; that Hillary is losing on what should be her home turf should be a wake-up call to the Dreadfort.
Rhode Island (Safe Clinton -> Clinton Lead)
Another state where Hillary should be crushing but is just barely leading. Is “Little Rhodie” just acting out for attention, or is Hillary’s weakness here a sign of bigger problems across the board? It’s tough to draw conclusions from these lobster roll-, waterfire-obsessed simpletons who seem as upset about corrupt Democratic local officials as they are with earnest fathers who just want a refund based on the insufficiency of the flawed port-a-potties they thought would suffice at their folk festival.
Virginia (Clinton Lead -> Tossup)
Trump has made significant inroads with not only the toothless Civil War reenactors who go into convulsions when informed that the Confederacy lost, but also, more importantly, younger weapons contractors in the affluent northern region who are enamored by his “eh, bomb wherever, sure, I don’t care” approach to foreign policy. Most of NoVa’s defense industry personnel still views Hillary as the best candidate for their bottom line, but Trump can easily make a play for their votes by promising even more chaos and destruction as the Democratic nominee.
Colorado (Clinton Lead -> Tossup)
Team Hillary thought they’d shore up their supposed firewall of Latino voters by holding fundraisers with beloved figures such as Robert Kagan and Paul Wolfowitz. Inside sources tell me Sidney Blumenthal instructed Hillary that Latinos adore aging neoconservatives. Unfortunately, the madres and padres had different ideas, as the Democratic nominee has seen her sizeable lead in the Mile High State shaved to a coin flip. In areas like Boulder, Hillary’s key supporters might be too “stoned” on the “wacky tobacky” and “legal Marijuana” to even make it out to the polls on Election Day.
Nevada (Tossup -> Trump Edge)
The wastrel cretins that can somehow tear themselves from losing their reverse mortgage payouts at blackjack and stumble into a voting booth despite the absence of free watered down 7 and 7s are taking a bet: they’re leaning that Donald Trump may toss them some chips and give them a chance to play out of the hole they’ve gotten themselves into. Now, this may change, as these people are wretched with gambling-based neuroses, and could very well talk themselves into putting it all on blue. “Ah, she’s ready to lead! C’mon, daddy needs some new JDAMs in Saudi Arabia!” But as it stands, these fetid losers are teetering on the idea that Donald Trump will somehow break up the string of failures that make up their tragicomic lives.
Ohio (Clinton Edge -> Trump Edge)
Ohio is a place close to my heart because of my time with itinerant Governor John Kasich. With Kasich not full heartedly endorsing Trump, but speaking against Hillary (“Ah she’s uh….I don’t like the guy none too much either…thinks he’s better than me on account he sleeps in a big ole bed….but she….what she did to Benghazi Ben….can’t do it…”) amid Hillary’s pratfalls, the bridge-dwelling train car hoppers of Ohio’s rural white areas could bring their bindles and beans to the voting booth and cast a vote for who they see as the lesser of two evils. Hillary would be wise to make a public showing of giving Governor Kasich a place to charge his phone, and maybe intimate that if he does any illegal business in her campaign bus’ bathroom, she doesn’t care.
New Jersey (Clinton Lock -> Clinton Lead)
Eyy, paisan! We was a safe friggin’ state for Madame Secretary ova’ here, till she went kapootz like she tripped on some gabagool!
Voters from the Garden State are usually reliable Democratic voters in presidential elections as they have fond memories of JFK, or feel remorseful for their Mafiosa fathers and uncles murdering him and are trying to make it right.
However, mob culture is heavy on displays of strength, and Hillary does herself no favors by having approximately 50 concurrent diseases. If she wants to bring New Jersey back to a total lock, she needs to physically assault an underling. If I were advising her, I would tell the former Secretary of State to break a glass bottle over press secretary Brian Fallon’s head (a favorite technique among Jerseyans) and state, “I’m still. THE BOSS. Of. THIS FAMILY!”
While Trump holds a slim lead today, one caveat: the debates are coming up, and this race is going to change. Maybe Donald’s ad hominems and genocidal proposals will alienate key voting blocs like Snapchat Dads and Percocet Moms; maybe Hillary will collapse and die on stage. It’s so unpredictable, and that’s perfect. There’s exactly one reason why we watch this race for next leader of the free world: for the dramatic twists and turns. Enjoy this real life Game of Thrones while it lasts, my friends!
Carl “The Dig” Diggler has covered national politics for 30 years and is the host of the Digcast, a weekly podcast on iTunes and Soundcloud. Got a question for the Dig? E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tweet to @carl_diggler.