Down to the wire

Clinton favored as Election Day finally arrives


Google image/Creative Commons license

After more than a year of campaigning, the 2016 presidential race ends tonight.

As polls opened across the country today, a number of pundits were forecasting that Democrat Hillary Clinton already had a big enough advantage in states to win at least 270 electoral votes, the threshold needed for victory, but this is not to say Donald J. Trump cannot win.

In terms of national polling, the populace is almost equally divided between the two candidates, but the most recent electoral college maps have shown Mrs. Clinton with a fairly distinct edge.

Both candidates have had dizzying travel schedules over the past few days, as they have made last-minute cases to voters in swing states.

But even if Mr. Trump wins Arizona, Iowa, Ohio, Utah, North Carolina, Florida and New Hampshire, he’s still short of 270. Mr. Trump will have to secure a surprise victory in a state that usually votes Democratic in order to get over the top.

Mr. Trump has one real path to the presidency: run up the score among white voters without a college degree enough to compensate for his losses among well-educated and nonwhite voters,” reported The New York Times.

The electoral map adjusted for population centers illustrates the uphill climb for Republicans.
Google image/Creative Commons license
The electoral map adjusted for population centers illustrates the uphill climb for Republicans.

Nevada has been viewed as a key bellwether in the past week, one that Mr. Trump needed to win in order to move into a better position, but early voting has skewed Democratic and Latinos, a bloc not seen as friendly to the Republican cause, have shown up in large numbers.

The popular vote has remained very tight over the past month, with neither candidate able to pull ahead arguably because of “scandals” on each side. Mr. Trump dealt with sexual assault allegations in the wake of a released video, and interest in Mrs. Clinton’s emails spiked last week when FBI Director James Comey issued a statement saying that potentially relevant information had been uncovered.

As of today, the BBC election poll tracker shows Mrs. Clinton in the lead at 48 percent and Mr. Trump slightly behind at 44 percent.

“Enthusiasm for Mrs. Clinton had slipped slightly in that poll, with the number of her supporters who said they were very enthusiastic about her down from 51 percent to 47 percent,” the BBC wrote.

Americans in general have expressed disgust with the state of American politics, and both candidates are among the most unpopular standard bearers in the history of either party. The country seems equally divided on which candidate is the “lesser of two evils.” Neither seems to be able to appeal to the majority of American citizens.

The days leading to the election have produced much anxiety. The odds in Mrs. Clinton’s favor range anywhere from even to close to 90 percent, depending on the organization and the data used in forecasting models.

With demographic shifts over the past two decades, however, the electoral college map is much friendlier to the Democratic candidate, making the road to victory for the Republican candidate a tricky one.