Tuesday, November 8, 2016

What To Watch For On Election Night

Tuesday evening, after Election Day's tranquility, new clamors will erupt as analysts with agendas tickle portents and lessons from the torrent of election returns. Herewith some developments to watch.
  • In the 17 elections since World War II, the winner has averaged 385.4 electoral votes, the loser 145.1. In six elections (1952, 1956, 1964, 1972, 1980, 1984), a major-party candidate won fewer than 100. In the seven elections after 1984, no Democrat has received fewer than 111 (Michael Dukakis in 1988) and no Republican fewer than 159 (Bob Dole in 1996). Measure Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump accordingly. 
  •  Republican nominees' popular-vote totals this century are: 2000 (Bush) 50,455,156; 2004 (Bush) 62,040,610; 2008 (McCain) 59,934,814; 2012 (Romney) 60,932,152. Measure Trump's total accordingly, bearing in mind that there are 10 million more eligible voters in 2016 than in 2012 and nearly 20 million more than in 2008. 
  •  In 2012, Romney's totals in 10 swing states were: Texas 4,569,843 (57%); Florida 4,163,447 (49%); Pennsylvania 2,680,434 (47%); Ohio 2,661,407 (48%); Michigan 2,115,256 (45%); Virginia 1,822,522 (47%); Arizona 1,233,654 (54%); Colorado 1,185,243 (46%); Nevada 463,567 (46%); New Hampshire 329,918 (47%). Use these numbers to measure Trump's success at enlarging the Republican electorate. 
  •  In 1976, when Jimmy Carter narrowly defeated President Gerald Ford, 20 states were won by five points or less; in 2012, just four were. In 1976, Ford won California and Illinois with 49.3% and 50.1%, respectively. Carter won Texas with 51.1%. Tuesday will show how much has changed in four decades. 
  •  In nine consecutive elections (1980-2012), Florida has been more Republican than the nation. Is it still? 
  •  In 1976, a majority of House seats were won by 10 points or less. In 2012, most were won by at least 20 points. Watch Tuesday night for further evidence of the extent to which representatives now pick their voters rather than voters picking representatives. And for how many incumbents are defeated by an electorate supposedly seething against "insiders." 
  • The "blue wall" consists of 18 states and the District of Columbia (totaling 242 electoral votes) that have voted Democratic in at least six consecutive elections: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin. Will Trump, who vowed to expand the battlefield, carry any of these? 
Read the rest from George Will HERE.

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