From top: Hillary Clinton; Derek Mooney

He called Brexit wrong.

But know Derek has some ‘hard evidence’.

Hillary Clinton will steal win tomorrow’s US election.

Derek Mooney writes:

A week before the UK’s Brexit referendum I wrote an analysis piece for Slugger O’Toole  in which I criticised, at length, the poor preparation and campaign messaging of the Remain side.

But, for reasons attributable to the triumph of hope over experience, I ignored the evidence I had just presented and concluded – on the flimsiest of evidence – that Remain would still win.

I was wrong.

Now, with one day to go, I may be about to do the same thing again by predicting that Hillary Clinton will win the U.S. presidential election – though this time I think the hard evidence is on my side.


US election polls six month average via Real Clear Politics

If you look at a graph (above) of the US presidential public polls over the past 6 months you will see that there have only been two brief points where Donald Trump was ahead. The first was in June and the second was just after the Republican Convention.

For all the rest of the time she has been in front.

But you notice something else. Whenever the polls start to show him as getting close to winning, her support rises. When he seems out of contention, as he briefly did after the release of the “bus” video, her voters slip away. They only re-emerge, reluctantly, when they realise that he is once again back in contention.

Trump or, more correctly, the prospect of a Trump win has become a better motivator of Hillary’s supporters than the candidate herself. It is as if she has a cohort of ‘supporters’ who are more motivated to support her to stop Donald than they are to support her to make her President.

As we saw from Brexit, there are dangers in depending too much on public polls – and I stress the word public. Political parties do not do poll in the same way as news media.

Political party polling is more targeted and more refined – it looks for movement in specific sectors (demographic/geographic) of the electorate, not the whole mass.

Fortunately, for Hillary, there is evidence beyond the public polling which suggests that she will prevail.

The first is the changing nature of American society. The demographics suit her. Her supporters are mainly college educated, they are also non-white. These two groups are on the increase – more Americans are now college educated and a higher percentage of the America population is non-white.

Trump’s supporters are mainly white, male and non-college educated. For reasons I have explored here several times before; white blue-collar workers (and ex-workers) are angry and disillusioned with the system.

Perhaps some see Trump as their last best chance of having a white and male President, but most just want to stop globalisation and trade deals that have seen their jobs shipped out to Mexico and China. This includes a chunk of blue collar workers in the rust-belt states who supported Obama in 2012 and are now backing Trump.

The other factor favouring Hillary is the way that campaigns are organised and the critical importance of voter databases. These databases are vitally important to US elections in a way that they are not here, due to our increasingly strict data protection rules.

In America both parties know who they need to get to the polls in fine detail. Clinton’s campaign knows county-by-county just how many voters it needs to get out to vote and precisely who they are. Their ground war over the past few days and weeks has been focused on get out the vote (GOTV) operations in a way that much of Trump’s own campaign has not.

Trump himself prefers the air campaign, conducting big rallies and using the media to reach out to the voters. Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s one-time campaign manager, has been dismissive of these ground campaigns, calling them old fashioned.

While the Republicans (GOP) also have a strong ground campaign, especially as it has so many Senate seats to defend, its capacity and/or its willingness to assist the Trump effort varies from State to State. In many areas the GOP is using the probability of a Clinton win as a way to motivate its base to back its Senate and House candidates to counter balance a Clinton White House.

The third factor favouring Hillary Clinton is the Electoral College. Tight elections are the norm in the US. Obama’s margin of victory over Romney in the 2012 popular vote was 5 million out of the 129 million votes cast. Obama was the winner in 26 States, plus Washington DC, while Romney won in the remaining 24. In terms of the Electoral college Obama won by 332 to 206.

In 2000 George W Bush was the winner in 30 of the States, but just shaded the electoral college winning 271. In terms of the popular vote he lost to Gore who won 51 million votes to Bush’s 50.5 million.

The point of these examples is to show that Democrats are traditionally stronger in the States that have the higher electoral college votes – the so called Blue states – another factor giving Hillary the advantage.

Trump’s third campaign manager Kellyanne Conway conceded this point on CNN yesterday acknowledging that Hillary started the race with a secure 240 electoral college votes, based on safe Democrat states.

For these reasons, I think Hillary Clinton will be the 45th President, though I would not be willing to bet on the margin. My own best guess is that she will get 290 electoral college votes, but it all depends (once again) on Florida.

The one thing I am prepared to bet on, is that the furore and turmoil of this divisive and nasty campaign will not end with the result. If anything, it is likely to get worse. The next President may well be faced with a task and a challenge which the conduct of the campaign has ensured they cannot fulfil.

Derek Mooney is a communications and public affairs consultant. He previously served as a Ministerial Adviser to the Fianna Fáil-led government 2004 – 2010. His column appears here every Monday afternoon. Follow Derek on Twitter: @dsmooney

Top pic: Getty

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51 thoughts on “In The Clear

  1. human

    If she wins I hope the republicans make every minute of her presidency a living hell.

    But she is not going to win :)


    1. Sheik Yahbouti

      You are beyond stupid, and beyond psychotic, ‘human’. I earnestly hope that the help you need will be forthcoming, sooner rather than later.

      1. human


        In the face of death my ancestors are smiling at me! Traitors, can you say the same?

    2. AtNigel

      The naked vindictiveness is on point but they’ve been trying to make her life and career a living hell for a few decades now. Yet here she is. Nobody would expect you to want them to treat a woman any other way.

      1. human

        oh she’s just a wickle ickle girl wahh wahh being bullied by all the big boys wahhhhhhhh

        TRUMP/PENCE 2016

        1. Nigel

          Or to put it another way, all the wivkle icke boys are being waaah bullied by a mean girl.

  2. Sheik Yahbouti

    Derek, you are, and will remain, a tremendous pain in the bottom. Faced with the prospect of Trump, the majority of the American people who are not suffering from a recognised psychosis, will vote for Hillary Clinton. You will then claim some extraordinary prescience? Don’t annoy me.

    1. bisted

      …I seldom agree with Sheik and don’t intend to in this instance either…except for the first sentence…

        1. nellyb

          “many others like you” – Sheik, what are you like? Pale and interesting? Dark and broody? Or hot red?

    2. ahjayzis

      Are you audaciously suggesting that the quality of Ministerial Advice to the Fianna administration under Bertie Ahern wasn’t absolutely wonderful and as close to actual prescience and precognition as the word competence is to Fianna Fail Ministerial Advisers?
      How dare you, sir?

      1. Sheik Yahbouti

        Ah, you are definitely my hero/heroine (I’m old, can’t tell the difference) either way, you are SOUND

      2. topsy

        Happy to make his twopence advising a Gov which bankrupt the country. Neck & jockey’s b_____ comes to mind.

  3. Sheik Yahbouti

    Dan, did you have my earlier post removed? If so, I am disappointed – if not, this website falls short of what is required.

      1. bisted

        …don’t apologise…they’ve just changed your original post…but Derek knows the type of orifice he is…

  4. SOQ

    Does turnout favour one or other? Maybe need to break it down a bit I suppose. Big turn out of Hispanics, blacks and women is good for Hillary I would guess. No self respecting gay would vote for Trump of course.

    1. ReproBertie

      Well since Derek says “Trump’s supporters are mainly white, male and non-college educated” I’m guessing a low turnout of everyone else is good for the sexist, racist, tax dodging, democracy denying, free loading, wall building, ignoramus.

      1. ReproBertie

        Also : More than 40 million early voters have already cast their ballots. Mrs Clinton was winning 51pc to 43pc in the early vote, according to polls. Analysts said there had been a sharp increase in the Hispanic vote in several key states which would help Mrs Clinton. In Arizona, Colorado, Florida, North Carolina and Nevada more than half of voters had done so. In Florida, 600,000 Hispanics had already voted, an increase of 129pc from 2008. Nevada also saw long queues at polling stations in Hispanic areas of Las Vegas.


        Early days though.

      1. ahjayzis

        But SOQ.

        Don’t you agree that millions made unemployed, a rise in hate crimes, a rise in general misanthropy and fear, possible world wars, a nuclear Saudi Arabia, aid and comfort to other far-right regimes, further Russian territorial conquest are a price worth paying to End Globalism™?

        1. Nigel

          It isn’t as if there’s any conceivable way Trump could outdo the heady mix of hawkishness and incompetence we got with W Bush is there?

          1. SOQ

            Ah here.

            President Lincoln: “…that government of the people by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

            President Kennedy: “Ask not what your country can do for you.”

            President Trump: “Grab ‘em by the p*ssy!”

        2. Termagant

          “a nuclear Saudi Arabia”

          You’ve said this before, multiple times, and it still confuses me

          Why do you think Donald Trump would give the Saudis nukes? Aside from the fact that the arabs have signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and don’t actually want any nukes in the first place, of course.

          Hillary is the Saudis’ friend and ally, Donald has nothing to do with the Saudis whatsoever. If the Saudis did want nukes Hillary would be far more likely to to put some in their hands.

  5. Nicorigo

    How could Hillary lose? She has the media, wall street, the industrial complex, the arm complex behind her, not too forget Beyonce and Jay-Z… It’s gonna be easy-peasy..

    1. ReproBertie

      Don’t forget she’s up against a walking, talking YouTube comments section.

      If she wasn’t so awful she’d be 20 points clear by now.

  6. dav

    She is truly a terrible candidate. Not terrible in the Trump sense but terrible in the sense that a half decent candidate would have trounced trump by now. I heard he try and make an “impassioned” speech a few days back and I felt that Stephen Hawkins voice box could have given more life to it.
    Everybody keep an eye out for UTAH, some Mormon is going to win there and Have 5 electoral college votes. Congress could choose him to become president if the other 2 are tied!!

      1. dav

        who’d have thought, nowadays, that an angry racist would get within spitting distance of the presidency

  7. Sheik Yahbouti

    BTW Mr Mooney, nobody gives a teeny rat’s pattuti about who you think will will the American Presidential election.

  8. TheDude

    Its hard to understand why the blue collar folks believe that Trump will actually do jack poo about outsourced industries, re-open the old mines etc. His buildings are made of Chinese steel and his clothing lines produced in sweat shops. Like Brexit, most voting for Trump are really just sending a big FU to DC.

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