In 2016, the Republican Primary turnout was 15% of US population; the average had been 10% since 1980. The Democratic Primary turnout was 14% of US population; the average had been 13% since 1980. The Republican primary ended one month before Democrats, so the nine states after had about half the turnout of usual, and in Colorado, the GOP did not permit citizens to vote. Those discrepancies allow an easy estimation of 18–19% turnout for Republicans had their primary gone the distance of the Dems.
This means that during the primaries, Bernie mania moved the Democratic needle to a slightly above average turnout. However, Trump enthusiasm moved the GOP needle to a (corrected for all states voting) virtual turnout-tie with Obama in 2008. What does this mean? Well, this #BasedAsian went way deeper than I just did and established several predictive scenarios using party-swapping as the variable to determine the outcome of this election. Because the basis is a set of invariable results rather than volunteered information from about 100 people selected at party percentages with sketchy justifications (i.e. voter polls), this method is far more reliable for predicting the election results.
Also, because there is no incumbent candidate, primary turnout actually does have predictive value so long as the actual campaigning from both candidates in the General Election remains moderately competitive. The numbers were way off on Reagan vs Mondale due to maybe the worst campaign in American history run by Mondale. With Bush vs Dukakis, Bush had semi-incumbency as the VP while Dukakis ran a campaign trying to establish national security credentials on the idea that the USA didn’t need nukes (during the Cold War) or space-based weaponry, but did need tanks (which we hadn’t really used since the Korean War, at the time). Dukakis then did an ad with him riding in an M1A1 Abrams Tank – the most self-destructive campaign ad in US history. During THIS election, however, both Clinton and Trump had (until that last debate) been kept competitive by the near-universal media bias for Hillary Clinton.
A Super PAC called the Trumpocrats, whose stated goal is to sign Democrats up to vote for Donald Trump on Election Day, has signed up over 200,000 voters to date. Conversely, the #NeverTrump “GOP” camp, as far as anyone can tell, consists of around 2,000 assorted political pundits, writers, and politicians. I’m willing to bet most readers have heard of one of those groups, and it’s not the one with over 200,000 people.
The #NeverTrump people are very loud, going so far as to run their own independent candidate who won’t be on the ballot in 43 states, while constantly and persistently delivering attacks on Trump like they are the very “liberal media” that they have publicly decried for decades. They are like a small dog who barks loudly at a coyote through a fence and will not shut up, demanding everyone’s attention. All the while no one notices that the rest of the coyote pack broke into NeverTrump’s house, emptied their fridge, ate their wife and kids, and mauled their owner from behind. But the coyotes don’t devour the loud dog, they let it keep barking. That poor dog is going to turn around on November 8th to see that its whole world is gone, and it is now doomed to slowly starve and die within the bounds of the fence that it thought protected it. The dog will likely never know that if it had just shut its yap and taken stock for a second, its only chance for survival could have been preserved.
Overly elaborate metaphors aside, the evidence points to a scenario Daniel Kwon did not mention, let’s call it Scenario T – the scenario where the media pretends that the Trumpocrats and primary turnout don’t exist, instead basing their polling on guesswork and wishful thinking. Simultaneously the NeverTrumpers loudly, constantly, spew their salt over many “right-wing” news media sites. In this scenario, we witness a repeat of what happened throughout the entire primary – a virtual consensus across all our news outlets that Trump won’t win, that he’s being abandoned enmasse by the GOP, that Hillary will, of course, be victorious.
In Scenario T, 5% of registered GOP who would have voted, instead stay home (or vote either Johnson or Bill Kristol’s puppet), 5% vote for Hillary, and the rest vote for Trump. For the Dems, 10% don’t vote (or vote either Johnson or Stein), 10% vote for Trump, and the rest vote for Hillary, causing Trump to win in the biggest landslide since Reagan.
Sadly, this prediction is highly speculative because some of the evidence for the variable is qualitative, but said evidence is being applied quantitatively. However, even if over-estimated by 50% for Dems as well as GOP (which is highly unlikely), that would still make the election results land in either scenario A or B.
Should Trump make it 27 more days without a campaign cataclysm of magnitude worse than “Grab ‘em by the pussy,” he will be the 45th President of the United States.
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Top photo by Spencer Platt / Getty Images