A week to go, but no end in sight

The good news is that the election will be over in just nine days.

The bad news is that between today and Tuesday, November 8th, most of us may suffocate from the endless stupidities being shouted by Trump and his surrogates, and repeated by the dumbed-down media. Trump is after voters, and the media is after audience and the advertising dollars that come with viewers and readers. Many have told me over the decades that I’m going straight to Hell. I almost wish such a place existed, for it would be a great pleasure to see Kellyanne Conway and the other Trump surrogates along with various TV “journalists” on fire for real.

This election has been full of information, 99% of which is not informative. Those looking for the truth are pretty much on their own. Lost in the mind-numbing endless repetitive chatter, lies, misleading claims, bitter accusations, and Trump insults are these truths that are among the more important ones just now:

  • Clinton will win in a mudslide, I mean landslide, possibly earning 375 or more Electoral votes
  • She’ll “flip” a number of long-time Red states to Blue
  • She’ll re-take control of the Senate
  • She has a better than 50% chance in the judgment of your Truthteller to flip more than 30 House seats, and thus send denyin’ Ryan to the back of the class, along with his archenemies in the Freedom Caucus
  • The United States of America will have elected its first female President.

Not bad, fellow citizens; not bad at all.

Truthteller “Late decider prediction tool” update

We’ve continued daily tests of our new model, and it is still performing as we’d hoped. Meaning it’s quietly tracking the steady, unspectacular drift of the remaining third party and undecided supporters to Clinton and Trump. As hypothesized back in September before the first debate, the great majority of these late deciders are indeed falling to Clinton.

Readers will recall we’re testing the new tool using the main twelve Battleground state daily poll averaged results. These are the most hotly contested states, the ones that will decide the election. As of last night, October 29th, since September 26th in these key states:

  • Johnson and his Libertarians have lost 31% of their supporters
  • The Green Party have lost 25% of theirs
  • Almost 19% of the undecided voters have made up their minds
  • Of these, 27% have settled on Trump, but 73% have decided on Clinton.

Just to remind you, the primary purpose of the new tool is to predict the final national winning margin for the victorious candidate. This percentage is the key predictor in guessing how many House seats, if any, might flip to Democrat occupants. More on this below, but for now we can say that the tool predicts that Clinton will win with at least a 15% margin over Trump. To be blunt, this projection is regarded by most experts as wishful, possibly insane, thinking.

The main analytical problem in 2016

As noted here and in many other election analysis sites, the undecided likely voters are taking their time to make up their minds. Similarly, the greater number of third partiers than has been the case in prior elections are hanging on to their candidates right down to the wire. We cannot really blame these late deciders, given the tendency in this ugly contest for a new revelation to appear every ten days or so. These last roughly fifteen percent of the likely voters have made life miserable for the polling organizations. Many of their most revered “rules” and past voter behavior patterns simply don’t apply this year, with its two intensely disliked main candidates, and its two third parties.

Seeing this relatively huge pool of late-deciders on the horizon is the reason we invented a special-purpose, applies-to-2016-only predictive model in September. It’s experimental, and hard to test, since there are no fat files full of past data to use, simply because this type of election has never occurred before.

What we expect to see

With eight more testing days to go, we may find a flaw in the math, but based on the trial so far, we’re confident that the model will come reasonably close to predicting Clinton’s final victory margin. With each passing day, the shift of the majority of late deciders to Clinton has been rock-steady.

Then came a stunning confirmation of our tentative projection from a quality polling service. Over nineteen million voters have already voted, so Reuters/IPSOS finally has enough of a pool to build a sample of these early deciders. Yesterday they announced that Clinton’s reported winning margin among these folks was, indeed, 15%! We cannot say for certain if that margin will hold up through November 8th, but if it should be close to that, then we’ll feel our effort was vindicated.

Much more importantly, a huge winning margin of twelve percent or more will give the Dems a good chance of adding 30 or more House seats to their present total, and taking control of the Congress.

We’ll publish our final projection next weekend, before Election Day.

The House divided — our updated “Late Decider” Battleground Tool trend

Just two weeks to go! Soon we’ll all be able to step back and survey the damage done to our democracy by the worst Presidential election campaign in living memory.

We can take comfort in the very high probability that Trump will face a crushing defeat on Election Day. We can also breathe a collective sigh of relief that Clinton will hold the vacated Harry Reid Senate seat in Nevada, plus take at least five away from the Republicans, for a net 51 to 49 Senate tally. My forecast says she will get at least one more, and could even get two more, depending on the results in Florida, Missouri, and North Carolina.

Hopefully, all our readers have already voted, as have we. But we cannot just sit back and wait for the results in two weeks. The one remaining issue of how many Congressional seats Clinton can flip on November 8th is a long way from being settled. As the frightened comments by seasoned Republican political operatives and pollsters testify, the House is very much in play.

Here’s what we think we know.

If Clinton’s winning national margin is, say 7%, most experienced observers feel she’ll take a net 10-12 House seats away from Paul Ryan. The prevailing estimating rule of thumb, such as it is, advises that for each additional percentage point she achieves, she can expect an additional four to six seats to flip.

The consensus estimate going into these final two weeks is that Clinton will win by about ten points, nationally, or three points above her current seven in the most-quoted polling averages. If we assume just four seats gained per point, the three additional margin points should yield another twelve seats, bringing her flip total to, say, 22 to 24 seats. We cannot guarantee this number, but we can say it’s not outside the bounds of reasonable expectations, based on the (still poor) understanding we have of the winning mechanics in Gerrymandered House seats.

A wave by any other name is… holy s**t!

Now it gets really interesting. If Clinton’s wave builds into a true electoral tsunami, what are the odds she’ll add another ten or more seats to her flip score?

About a month back, we concluded the best way to estimate this possibility is to model the late-decision behavior among five distinct voter sub-populations:

  • Johnson supporters — (Libertarian leaning) voters
  • Stein, or Green party supporters
  • Polled undecided voters who will decide to go and vote at the last minute
  • Polled undecided voters who will remain so, and stay home on Election Day
  • Polled Trump supporters who, betrayed by their party, will decide in the end not to vote.

We further hypothesized that in this particular year, with its two intensely disliked major party candidates, the third group, the undecided voters who finally come out to vote, will not split evenly between Trump and Clinton. Rather, we’re predicting the majority of such voters will opt for Clinton. (See older posts for my simple reasoning to support this radical idea.)

We decided to focus our analysis on the twelve key Battleground states, using only recent state poll results. The twelve states are Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida. (We are also modeling Missouri, Texas, and Georgia out of curiosity, but their results are not included in our prediction numbers.) Our thinking was that tracking the day-to-day polling in the hotly contested swing states would clearly reveal evidence for our splitting theory, if any such proof comes to light.

We built such a tool and had it ready to test by September 26th, the day of the first debate.

Our first challenge was to track day-today-changes in the five reported voter categories:

  • Clinton supporters
  • Trump supporters
  • Johnson supporters
  • Stein supporters
  • Undecided likely voters

Our second challenge would be to predict the ultimate percentage split among these five groups into the more refined subgroups listed earlier. The key assumptions here are that Clinton supporters would do as they had told the pollsters they would, but that while the majority of Trump’s supporters would come out to vote for him, a proportion of them would not, after being told by Trump himself so often that their votes would not matter in this “rigged” election. Or, as we speculated here months ago, many Trump-supporting women would decide at the last moment not to cast their vote for him out of sheer disgust.

Results to date

We’re still tweaking the second part of our new baby, but the first part, the tracking of the decision pattern among the Johnson/Stein sujpporters and undecideds, is humming along nicely.

To begin, we isolated the percentage of 3rd party and undecided voters in all 12 Battleground states. Together, they made up 18.67% of all the polled likely voters (in these twelve specific states, not in the country as a whole). Since September 26, the “movement” among the Battleground voting groups tested by the tool has been as follows:

  • A total of 6.8% of late-deciders so far have settled on Clinton
  • But only 1.5% have moved into the Trump column
  • Johnson has lost over 26% of his support
  • While Stein has lost 10.7% of hers
  • Strikingly, just 9% of the 3rd partiers and undecideds have decided as of today.

A stunner, readers, truly! In these past three weeks, just 17% of the late-deciders so far have chosen Trump, while 83% have moved to Clinton.

Our intuitive vote splitting theory is thus validated. That’s reassuring. But the fact that nine out of ten late-deciders still have yet to make up their minds is unsettling, at least for someone trying to predict Clinton and Trump’s final share of the national vote.

What it means for November 8th

Undaunted by the large remaining number of late-deciders, which nationally come to about 8% of voters still supporting the 3rd parties and 5% still undecided, we can now make an initial estimate of Clinton’s likely final winning margin. First, we think that only 3 of the third partier 8 percent will stick with their candidates through November 8th. We’ll also hazard that 2 of the 5 percent currently undecideds will “decide” not to vote, and stay home. If we’re close to being right, that should leave a total of 8 of the 13 percent late deciders making a choice for either Clinton or Trump.

Based on our model results to date, we suggest that at least 75% of these voters, equal to 6 of the 8 late decider percent, will be voting for Clinton. This would add 6 national points to Clinton’s current 48, for a final national share of 54%. Trump would pick up the remaining 2 points, bringing his final total share from today’s 39% to 41%.

A 13% winning margin for Clinton on November 8th, in other words. Mega wave!

But wait, there’s less…

There’s going to be more bad news for Trump. We can be certain that some percentage of his current supporters are going to decide in the end to stay home, or go to the polls to support the down-ticket Republicans, but not vote for Trump.

But no one has a clue right now what proportion of the Republican voters will choose this course. We happen to think the number will be small, on the order of perhaps one in twenty of his present polled supporters. That would be about 2 points deducted from the 41 points we estimated for him above. Not a very big deal, it may seem; a paltry five percent.

But these opt-out Trumpsters would be lowering his final national vote share to 39% again — and give Clinton, with her 54 point final total, an estimated final margin of 15%! (Our experimental tool actually predicts a margin of above 16% at the moment, since the split-out of late-deciders we used in the example above was conservative.)

If, and, folks, this is a very large-sized if, Clinton earned four seat flips for each margin percentage point above seven, at 15% we would be talking of a total House take-away total of 40 seats. Or, deep breath everyone, more.

Hold on to your life-preservers, any readers out there who are supporting the Donald — surf’s up!

Polling watcher inside tip — and a special welcome to all our new readers!

Here’s an insider tip for those worrying that the new ABC/WaPo polling lead of 12% for Clinton might be an outlier result, erring on the upside. Readers need to be aware that the oft-quoted national lead for Clinton of “6 or 7%” used by the TV lightweights is low. They mostly just quote the Real Clear Politics average, which is a seriously flawed number. Some use the Huffpost Pollster general polls average instead, which currently shows a 7.3% lead.

But for much improved accuracy, we use a customized version of the Huffpost average. Here’s the link:
Huffpost average — corrected TruthTeller version 2016/10/24. Technical note — we’ve used only the “live phone” polls collected by Huffpost Pollster. These are the most reliable polls.

When you open the above link (in a new tab), you’ll see that Clinton is probably leading Trump nationally by almost eleven points, not six or seven. This in turn means that the ABC/WaPo lead of 12 points is not so different. It’s a point higher because the poll was taken entirely after the 3rd debate, while the (corrected) Huffpost average of 11 points includes hundreds of polls results going back to August 1st.

Looking ahead two weeks, we expect Clinton’s final lead going into Election Day eve to climb further, probably topping out between 13.5 and 14%. Hang on to your spreadsheets, folks; we’re headed for a wave of historic proportions!

Welcome to all you new TruthTeller readers

Thank you for signing up! The TruthTeller blog was not scheduled to be launched until next year, when it would deal primarily with the issues of climate change and global warming mitigation, my primary research and analytical interest area. But seeing the potential disaster of a Trump-led Republican victory in this election cycle, I decided to start TruthTeller this year, hoping to add my quantitative analysis talents, such as they are, to the dialog.

I hope I’ve been able to make some of the complexities of this uniquely hard-to-predict race a little clearer. Even more, I hope you all will stay with us after November 8th. We’ll be commenting on the new administration, especially as part of our focus on mobilizing people and resources to deal with the looming climate disaster. We’ll also continue to track the first stages in the 2018 Congressional contest, when the Clinton team will be challenged to hang on to their 2016 winnings.

Updated TruthTeller Battleground Electoral Map & Forecast

Here’s our current projected map and EV forecast. At 375 EVs, we’re a bit above the consensus, due to our positive view in Georgia and Iowa. Enjoy!

2016-evmap-002-dy1023-finalAs far as the new swing-voter model test is concerned, we’ve now reached a major milestone. We had hypothesized that in this weird election year, the majority of late-deciders would go for Clinton. Through three weeks of testing since the first Presidential debate, that is happening to a degree well beyond my expectations.

Using the daily pollling averages of the twelve key Battleground states, we have determined that in these specific states

  • Johnson has lost 22% of his support
  • The Green Party has lost (so far) only 4% of their support
  • 13% (so far) of the undecided voters have made up their minds.

Drumroll, please: all of these losses have gone to Clinton. Trump is at exactly the support level he enjoyed on September 26.

We’ll continue tracking the changes in the 3rd party/undecideds cohorts every day. But at this point, we are sufficiently confident in our tracking math to say that Clinton will win every Battleground state on November 8th, most by a substantial margin.

We can also say with confidence that this will be a so-called wave election, allowing the Democrats to make aggressive gains in the Senate and House. But due to the difficulty in predicting the splits in the expected surge of last-day votes, we won’t know how many House seats Clinton’s coattails can flip until November 9th.

I feel compelled to add a footnote. It’s clear from our measurements that Jill Stein’s Green Party could hurt Clinton’s House push if the party members fail to vote for the Democratic House candidate in their district. Vote Green if you want to send a message, but be sure to vote for the folks who can help Clinton implement your agenda.

 

With just three weeks to go…

…The Clinton Coalition is on the verge of swamping the Republicans in a wave not seen since Lyndon Johnson crushed them in 1964. Many pundits are finally awakening to this possibility; we intimated as much months ago in our first Battleground map.

Could something suddenly throw up a roadblock to the looming progressive victory? Well, sure; in an era of Wikileaks and sensationalistic revelations it would be daft to assume that the contest is over before it’s truly over: we’ve only to remember how Trump threw himself under his own fancy bus just ten days ago.

But time is short, and it’s unlikely in our judgment Clinton’s juggernaut can be slowed, much lest stopped. The notion that some massive mob of mystery Trump supporters will emerge from their shadows of shame, vote for him, and pull off a surprise win is, sorry, absurd.

The TruthTeller swing vote predictor tool

We’re still testing the new model with each day’s results, but the trend is clear: third party and undecided voters are making up their minds for Clinton, not Trump.

Long-demonstrated political experience says that most third party and undecided voters will opt to support one or the other of the two major party candidates as the contest nears decision day. Conventional wisdom has it that these last-minute deciders will tend to split roughly fifty-fifty.

Seeing the very substantial number of third party and undecideds this year, we wondered if that might foretell a different split. Our theory was, loosely, that the late-deciding voters would disproportionately decide for Clinton. Our reasoning was simple:

  • Most Libertarian leaners had come to that party to avoid Trump, not because they weren’t sure if they should oppose him, and he’s done nothing to make them change their mind
  • The Green party supporters are the hard-core activists for climate change mitigation; there’s no way many of them would ever be Trump supporters
  • The undecided voters were unhappy with both major party candidates, so, yes, they might split down the middle at the end, but given the odious nature of Trump, our gut said the majority would not trust him in the Oval Office, no matter how much they did not trust Clinton in general.

We therefore concluded that

  1. The majority of last-minute deciders would vote Democratic
  2. Many of the rest would stay home rather than support Trump

As announced to our readers, I proceeded to construct a last-minute swing vote model that could predict such a result in credible numbers.

The express objective? To test my hypothesis that in this specific and uniquely messy election, as the three categories of “swing” voters gradually opt for one or the other major parties, the disproportional majority of them will go for Clinton.

How it works

Unlike current models, ours contrasts a consolidation of polling in the twelve main Battleground states with the averaged consensus national poll. We know the results in the BG states will tend to be tighter, since that is where the contest is being waged most intensely. But the national trend is also important, since that correlates better with how each party will do in the Congressional races.

The model employs only recent state polls in the more or less “traditional” Battleground states, namely: Virginia, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, Nevada, Ohio, and Iowa, plus a twelfth I added last Spring, Arizona, after I realized the Latino vote was swelling there along with Colorado and Nevada. (Georgia, which I saw as another potential new swing state, has so far this cycle failed to develop sufficiently to make the Battleground cut, but should be there by 2020.)

Basically, our BG sub-model allocates 1200 percentage points — twelve states times 100 — across the five distinct voting categories:

  • Clinton supporters
  • Trump backers

plus what I define as the three categories of “swing” voters

  • Libertarians
  • Greens
  • Undecideds

We were ready to begin test runs on September 26th, the day of the first debate.

Complications — what else is new?

After a week or so of initial runs, we were gratified to see just the sort of trending our thought-model had suggested. In the two weeks between the first and second debates, we saw a steady increase in Clinton’s percentage of the vote across the BG states, excepting Iowa.

In the same period, we saw Trump’s share of the vote holding more or less steady. Meaning her gains had to be coming from the third parties and/or the undecideds. But the undecideds were also holding at the level of September 26th, so her gains were in fact coming from the two third party candidates. These voters were NOT going to Trump, just as our hypothesis had predicted. Satisfactory, dear Watson.

Then, on Friday October 7th, we all saw the Access Hollywood tape. Almost overnight the numbers began to roil, mainly due to millions of women, and men too, rejecting Trump’s boorish behavior, along with his insincere apology for it. In the week since, the polling has been all over the NBC Studios lot, as women come forth to accuse Trump of being a sexist liar and molester.

How a trend becomes a wave

Just before the 2nd debate, we were ready to share the preliminary results of our testing with you readers. The results at that point projected a strong Dem victory in every one of the twelve key Battleground states, even including Iowa. More importantly, the new tool forecasted a national win for Clinton of 12.2 points over Trump.

This margin is terribly important, since anything above 6 or 7 points nationally can spell a major win in the Senate and House of Representatives contests. In 2008, for example, the Obama team flipped 21 House seats after beating McCain by 7 points. If our estimate of 12% turned out to be correct, the 30 seats needed to return the House to Democratic control would likely be within reach.

But then, two immature boors on a bus happens, and the polling numbers go bananas.

They’re still unsettled, but our latest run, Saturday the 15th, suggests a winning Clinton margin above 14%. Gulp. We’ll keep running the tests, and hope that we see a final trend emerge about five days after the upcoming Wednesday third debate. That should let us make a prediction for the Democratic prospects in the House, with, still, nearly two weeks to go before voting day.

Watch this space!

“Survivor 2016 — Rumble in the Jungle”

Where is Mark Burnett when we really need him? Oh yeah — he’s guarding the MGM vault where all the “Apprentice” production videos are hidden. Pity. Thanks to iron-clad legal agreements between the show’s principals, chances are we’ll never even see so much as a snippet from those thousands of hours full of Trump’s disparaging, bullying, sexist remarks.

No doubt most voters will be glad to hear that another video tape starring Trump at his boorish worst is unlikely before November 8th. Me, too, at least on one level. But the statistically inarguable truth is that were we all to see the unreal reality star on tape, joking about forcibly f**king or molesting a cringing female cast or production staff member to her face, it would be the end of Trump’s candidacy. Period, as Ryan likes to say. Full stop.

Of course such a videotaped revelation would also mean the likely end of a Republican House majority, period. Full stop.

So we’re left with the latest unprovable if emotionally-charged accusations against the sleazy buffoon. Will these allegations be enough to cause his few remaining educated female supporters to either switch their support to Clinton, or, if not, stay home on voting day? What proportion of them might go to the polls, simply skip the Presidential box and vote for the Republicans down-ballot?

These and similar possibilities make predicting the contests extraordinarily difficult this year. And we’ve not yet factored in other fallouts from the two sexist jerks on a bus video. Like Republican and Independent adult males, for example. It’s one thing, your Truthteller contends, when Humpty Trumpty spews his bigotry about immigrants and Latinos, and quite another when he brags about sexually assaulting our precious white girls and women. The notion he could have invaded the dressing rooms of naked teen beauty contestants for all those years he owned all those pageants is enough to turn any father’s or uncle’s or brother’s stomach. If anything, the men who heard that tape and now, these latest reports, may turn out to be even more opposed to him when they enter the polling booth than the women.

It’s no wonder, therefore, that the Trump brain trust has decided to adopt, as they put it, a “Scorched Earth” strategy. Since Trump has burned his last bridges with possible new supporters, Bannon and his Queen of MissMisDirection, Kellyanne Con, will now try and make Hillary Clinton stink of even more sexual perversity than their combed-over clown candidate. Their hope? To make so many Clinton supporters so angry at her that they’ll stay home on Election Day, thus enabling Trump to squeak through to a victory.

It won’t succeed. It will only serve to motivate parents of all persuasions and their adult kids to vote in even larger numbers than the Dems are now envisioning. No one wants their daughters, sisters, wives, and moms to be subjected to the tawdry remarks and insulting behavior represented by Donald Trump. The thought that such a girl-ogling, sexually sick monster could somehow be sitting next year in the Oval Office, pushing reactionary Supreme Court Justices, promoting anti-woman legislation, and helping Ryan and Company further degrade our rights, threaten our families, stick us and our children with new federal deficits as they cut taxes on the super rich will mobilize the progressive and independent voters in numbers unseen even by President Obama.

Spoiler alert — it’s going to get even uglier

 

Swing vote predictive tool update

With two full weeks (14 days) under its belt, the new model is stabilizing nicely. It clearly shows the evolving, highly dramatic shift in voter preferences toward Clinton in the twelve Battleground states. I want to incorporate the next two days of state inputs before explaining it here, so please be patient! It should be worth the wait, since Wednesday’s and Thursday’s polls will tell us more fully the real cost to Trump from his tape and his terrible 2nd debate performance.

Stench warfare

Amidst the media and Republican howling over Pussygate and the ancient alleged sexual crimes of the Clintons, it’s easy to become depressed. Does anyone really care about the true issues in this contest?

We know the media don’t, since they’re making millions from the sales of TV ads in these final, hottest, most disgusting weeks before November 8th. And Trump and his minions have never seriously discussed any plans for the country’s future. Why would they start now, when, except for a plan to make the wealthiest 1% even wealthier, they basically have no plans?

In contrast, Hillary’s campaign team has a comprehensive set of policies and plans on her web site. It’s up to voters to go read them. Some will say that she should be spending her huge television budget on promoting her plans, instead of relentlessly attacking Trump’s character, or rather, lack of it. In their eyes, the Clinton tactics serve mainly to make her out to be as “dirty” a candidate as he is.

I respectfully disagree: Trump’s messaging, delivered via his billions of dollars worth of free media time, is like an all-out missile barrage. The Clinton team has had no choice since June but to mobilize an airwaves defense strategy more extensive than any we’ve ever seen since modern media was invented after WW2. Had they failed to react to his onslaught of lies and insults with such focus and determination, he might well have successfully made the transition from clown candidate to change candidate.

To her team’s credit, they’ve been able to use Trump’s own verbal garbage as the main ammunition in their counterattack. Instead of getting bogged down in the turgid details of his lies and tirades, they’ve simply let the ads quote the windbag’s foul wind baggage.

Americans have gotten it. Even before the disgusting revelations of last Friday and Trump’s loutish behavior since, 50% of voters were determined never to vote for him.

This percentage will only go up from now through October. But we’re not finished, yet. His candidacy is dying, but still has enough rancid breath to rail against the truth, and enough die-hard supporters to try and trash our democracy as they descend into the cesspit of demagogic history.

Keeping our eye on the (Supreme) prize

All the sound and fury must not divert us from the major fundamentals of the contest:

  1. We must elect Clinton to ensure a progressive Supreme Court — without this, we’ll see none of the critically-needed changes involving women’s rights, civil rights, voting rights, marriage rights and campaign finance reform.
  2. We must take back the Senate to have any chance of implementing any part of the progressive agenda, beginning with aggressive action on mitigating climate change.
  3. We must take back the House to ensure that the full array of Clinton’s programs can be implemented.

The Election is not about electing Clinton, as wonderful a victory for women (and the rest of us) as that will be. The election is about defeating the Republican forces of legislative obstruction, and reversing the backward momentum forced upon us by the Tea Party and religious Conservatives.

Words shatter

Found in an email:

Humpty Trumpty was born to prevail,

at business, at building, no way he could fail.

No height in Manhattan Daddy’s wealth couldn’t scale,

and no female living the man couldn’t nail.

 

Humpty Trumpty could always get laid.

On models, on others, he endlessly preyed

He touched and he groped, hands wandering far,

“It’s OK, they love it! I’m rich! I’m a star!”

 

Humpty Trumpty rode on a bus,

cruising for women to abuse in his lust;

bragging of conquests, of his smooth gift of gab–

just show him a skirt; he knew where to grab.

 

Spying a victim, he quivered with heat.

“Quick! Gimme a Tic Tac! I need to smell sweet!

And no worries, sport, I’ve a license to grope.”

Which he really believed, the fat boorish dope.

 

Then he stepped off the bus in a hurry to meet

the young woman who waited, a celebrity treat.

Big smile, clever chatter, he began his routine;

he was sure she’d give in like some starry-eyed teen.

 

This was right, only fair, it was what he deserved.

But Oops! Oh no! He’s been stymied, unnerved!

In the midst of the hunt, he’d forgot he was wired.

Now he’s on the carpet, about to be fired!

 

Humpty Trumpty went on the TV

denying and lying: “Hey that was not me!”

But too many times the truth he’d denied;

“Dump the odious Trumpty!” his backers now cried.

 

And all of the spineless, those still on the fence,

from McConnell to Cruz, from Ryan to Pence,

all look down on the mess they’ve created,

staring at chaos, and voters’ rage, unabated.

 

Humpty Trumpty had buildings so tall,

but his power and wealth could not stop his great fall.

Now all the Koch forces, and all Ryan’s men,

can never put trumped-up Humpty together again.

 

With Truthteller’s best wishes for the good eggs, everywhere.

Your one-month-to-go reality check

With 31 days until November 8th, the numbers predicted here in various posts over the summer and early fall are basically looking good.

The National race

Clinton has re-established and reinforced her lead over the summer. Before the party Conventions she was leading by 5 points. After the Convention ups, downs, and bounces, including a stretch of self-inflicted wounds by Trump, and Clinton’s deplorable error, the two had seemingly fought each other to a 1 or two point difference. Then, just eleven days ago, she performed strikingly well in the first debate, while Trump was Trump, and about 50 million people saw him be the odious bully he is for the first time. Very bad. The result in the national polls has been a surge for Clinton, to a solid 6 to 7 point lead. Very bad, indeed, Mr. Twitbag.

The Battleground

In the thirteen (as we defined them months ago) 2016 Battleground States, Clinton is now putting serious distance between her and the business failure. Trump acknowledged as much late this week as he publicly gave up his much-touted Rust Belt strategy to focus in the remaining days on Arizona, Nevada, and Colorado. Yes, reader, you read correctly, and yes, it is a stupid strategy.

The Ground Game

On the ground, the Clinton Team has the Trump folks out-gunned by at least five to one in the Battleground states, no matter how you cut it. Typically, a well-run ground game in the final month can boost a candidate 1 or 2 percent in the national polls, and more in the swing states where the actual fighting takes place. No model reflects this added percentage for Clinton, but you may count on it showing up in the final tallies.

The Electoral Vote

The consensus among the quality forecasting sites says Clinton has over 330 EVs to Trump’s roughly 200. Not quite as ebullient as my much higher prediction in the pre-“deplorables” days, I’m happy to admit. But I still expect to see Clinton top 360 EVs or come very close.

The new Truthteller swing vote prediction model

As mentioned in a recent post, your wily Truthteller has taken on the problem unique to this 2016 Election, namely, two more or less equally distrusted candidates, two third parties with significant national followings, and a larger-than-normal contingent of undecided voters.

I’ll be posting on this project this weekend, so only provide the briefest update here, as a teaser. I was able to have the new model ready for testing the day of the first debate. Tracking aggregated Battleground state polls results each day since, the new model is working better than even I expected. It shows Clinton’s surging strength in a simple and clear way. It appears to show that her final vote tally in these key states will, in fact, be stronger than the conventional predictive tools conclude.

What lies ahead?

Leads after the debates tend to be stable, so it’s unlikely we’ll see Clinton fall back to less than a 5% lead in these final days. To the contrary, our model suggests she’ll grow her current 6 percent to as much as a consensus 8 or even 9 percent by Election Eve.

We can now be reasonably confident that Clinton will take all eleven of the traditional Battleground states, and has an even-money chance at taking Arizona. too. Georgia is going to be close, but my gut tells me the Clinton Team won’t be putting the time and money into the state to carry it. (This is a much more important question than all but a few realize: With its sixteen Electoral Votes, large educated white and growing minorities demographic, Georgia is on the verge of becoming the “Southern Ohio”. I’m arguing for the Dems to make an aggressive move now rather than later to make this a Progressive bedrock state for the future.)

Since five of the critically-close Senate seats are in the Battleground states, a strong win across the Battleground board could be just the push needed to win control of the Senate, by securing Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and New Hampshire. These wins would give the Dems and their Independent partners working control of the Senate. But the same Clinton surge in the final four weeks should mean victories in Illinois, Indiana, and Missouri, too, giving her a 53 seat majority. (Ohio is out of reach, as is Florida, barring a major push against Rubio.)

Adding even one or two percentage points to Clinton’s national totals on Election Day has a vitally important bonus effect: for each such added percent, the Dems should flip four to six additional House seats, even in such a polarized, Gerrymandered House as we have this year. The experts are currently expecting Clinton to flip at least fifteen of the 30 House seats she needs to take control in 2017 and throw out the Ryan/Tea Party partnership that has caused national gridlock these past six and more years.

But my model says Clinton may add a total of as much as three or even four points to her national percentage tally when all the votes are counted in November. That could mean flipping 16 or more additional House Seats. Hello Progressivism; goodbye obstructionism.

Team Clinton’s massive advantage in the ground game should play a powerful role in flipping the key six or seven Senate seats and also taking House seats away for the Republicans. “Down ballot” means nothing to Trump, since he never intended to actually govern. But it means volumes to Democrats who’ve had to watch the Obama agenda stymied by a Republican Congress determined to block any program to help the country.

So far as the Electoral College is concerned, if my predictions hold, and Clinton also takes Georgia and, just possibly, Mississippi, too, then she’d top 370 EVs, a crushing defeat for the right wing.

Takeaways for the most important election in U.S. History since 1932

We’ll know more of the details in the days following the second debate. But we know enough already to be confident of a significant Clinton win. What we do not know yet is the extent to which her success will also be a Progressive victory.

To be a truly meaningful, historically profound Progressive win will depend on how many House and Senate seats can be flipped. This number will determine Clinton’s ability to execute the comprehensive Progressive agenda she and Senator Sanders have put forth.

It is imperative therefore that every Progressive,Democratic, Independent patriot, and you Moderate Republicans, too, vote for the Democrat down ballot candidates in every state, not just the Battlegrounds.

Winning a state’s Electoral Votes decides who shall be President; winning the House and Senate seats decides which Presidents shall be great ones.

The most powerful man person woman in the world

As we await Trump’s likely humiliation in the second debate, I was anticipating a quiet week of quantitative analysis, perhaps with a meaty follow-up post on my current favorite topic, whence voteth the third partiers and undecideds come November 8th?  <Sigh>

Instead, along comes Trump’s number one advocate Rudy Guiliani, raging that Trump just has to be a better choice than a woman. Hey, as loathsome a remark as it is, at least he’s saying what he obviously really believes. His candidate Trump is incapable of such sincerity.

Anyway, thanks to Tweedledum and Tweedledummer, I have a chance to discuss something about the 2016 election the reader won’t find on TV, or in the formidable New York Times. Herewith, a tale that stretches back millions of years of cold, unsympathetic time.

Thanks to changes in the East African climate, five or six million years ago the main Homininae line of Great Apes split in two. One of the two evolutionary lines became the Chimpanzees and the other became the Humanzees. Both groups were violent, intensely territorial, and socially sophisticated. Both were essentially arboreal initially, but spent their waking hours on the ground — grooming, having sex, gathering food, killing small animals and occasionally, one another. Both were gathered into small, male-dominated tribal groups, with one male at the top of the tribal hierarchy, and the other males trying to dislodge him. As is still the case today for both groups of ‘Zees, the main motivator to be the local greatest ape was access to females for breeding and sex.

Both groups walked on all fours, but both stood up briefly to look for threats or reach food on bushes or the lower branches of trees. The two groups were thus hard to distinguish for a million or two years after the genetic split, but then, the various Humanzee derivative species gradually evolved a standing posture, while the chimps stayed in the ancestral mode of walking on all fours.

Both groups learned to make and use tools, but the Humanzees were able to make tools that became technologies — where the skill-sets of making and using were sharable and communicable outside one’s tribe. This in turn allowed a given technology like, say, throwing a sharp stick, to evolve independently of any particular Humanzee tribe.

Standing up freed our hands for new tasks, and therefore was the primary cause of our becoming the innovative ape. We needn’t go into the details of how and why. Suffice to say standing gave us enormous advantages as a species, including a half-million years of superior weapons development, a wide-ranging aggressive mobility, and a male-centered power culture where females were relegated to sexual service, child-rearing, gathering nuts and berries, and cooking the meat brought home by their owners. Progress, right? Yes, for the few strongest and smartest males in the clan. But the females and weaker males benefited, too. More meat and better security. Obey, and live essentially in slavery, but at least you’ll be fed and protected.

All these many eons, as we’re learning from behavioral genetics, the fundamental mammalian gender division persisted, under the command of our ancestors’ genes: males are for fighting; females are for f**cking.

The slow grind of technological development did not not lessen our genetically bestowed male sense of authority, only enhanced it. Technologies were continually refined and invented, especially those related to hunting, warfare, and mobile migration. Almost all of the technologies were developed by Humanzee males, since females were by and large excluded from knowing the secrets of hunting or military or economic power. No doubt a better way found by a woman for dressing animal skins was appreciated, but the technique did not kill anything, or stop another male from raiding the clan’s camp, so did not bring the inventor any real power.

As the last Ice Age was drawing to a close, clans of male-ruled Humanzee tribes fanned out from Africa and quickly came to dominate all habitable regions of the planet. One can be sure that most females alive through these tens of thousands of years of explosive migration and conquest were little more than chattel and sexual slaves to the male warriors.

Did females protest their, to our eyes, oppression? Sorry, fellow Progressives, but the answer is no. In fact, to the contrary, the slowly advancing diminution and suppression of females was reinforced in their own genetically-driven behavior, as they acquiesced to the conditions of male power. Those who failed to submit were doubtless sold or worse.

But then, about ten thousand years ago, the most recent Ice Age ended, and another round of climate change gave us agriculture. Our male-controlled social hierarchies were forced to adapt, and, cutting out the chase, led us to vastly different cultures. But in all these “neolithic” and later cultures over a dozen millennia, the males at the top continued to wield all political and economic power. As the size of dominated populations increased, the power elites developed authoritarian, male-worshiping religious mythologies and structures to extend their control of the ruled females and weaker males. “God’s” principal purpose was to police the minds and behavior of females, or to explain any inconvenient failures by the ruling elite. Females were, and, if we look honestly at the global numbers, largely still are treated as property in practice, if not in law.

Fast forward to the 20th Century, and the breakdown of the traditional male-dominated power structure in massive wars and revolutions. Only in the last six decades have we seen a tiny number of females advance to hold meaningful political power, and in this new century, a few more rise to head a few major corporations. The handful of females to hold national political power since WW2 have been, of necessity, strong figures. The gradual enfranchisement of females meant they had a chance to rise in their national political establishments, and these women had the will and the skill to exploit the occasional crack in the glass ceiling.

But not in the U.S.A.

The genetic inheritance all males (and females, too) share had been allowed to go unchallenged here, until women were granted the right to vote. Then, in the decades after 1950, American women began to benefit from their emerging participation in the workplace. Many entered politics, most of them indirectly, like Hillary Clinton, but a few as candidates. Much progress has been made. But in no case has a woman held consequential national power: even a Secretary of State acts only at the express direction of her President. Now, after nearly 40 years of relentless work in public service, Clinton has mounted a direct and powerful assault on the highest and thickest glass ceiling in our country. So? What makes her case special, as compared to the great women who achieved the top rung of their respective ladder in India, Europe, or, briefly, Australia?

The profound difference is this: none of these women held the ultimate power as the undisputed military leader of the world. Her accession as lead protector of the global community forces us to look ourselves and our ancestors in the mirror.

Her opponent is so odious and incompetent that many Republicans, along with pundits and TV baby anchors ask “If she’s so superior, why isn’t her lead in the polls much larger?”. Or they dwell on “Why is she still so heartily distrusted?”. Or they get mired in worries about her “stamina”, meaning of course her stamina as a frail female compared to a big, loud male bully. Clearly, Clinton faces an added burden of proof that she is qualified to be our next President. Why?

The answer, my friend, is flowing in our genes.

Americans have finally been forced to come face to face with history and socio-political evolution. We must choose to hand over the ultimate military and police authority to a female, and deep within us, our genetically dictated behavioral command center is utterly opposed to this insane notion. Like it or not, an objective reading of our antecedents and history warns us that a very substantial proportion of otherwise allegedly “civilized” males, and probably nearly as many females, simply cannot accept the fundamental idea that women are up to and deserving of the ultimate power on Earth.

This, not phony rage against the “establishment” or a private email server, is the deepest-seated reason for the success of a con-man and hate-merchant like Donald Trump. This frightening vision of unmanly forced submission by millions of ignorant male chauvinists to her authority as Head of State is what drives them to Trumpism. The resentment of her “uppity” challenge to righteous male authority is what drags so many of the women to rallies where she is excoriated and condemned.

The great majority of these Trump supporters are not truly “deplorable”; few are outright racists-in-action, as opposed to racist in reaction. One cannot label a dumb beast as deplorable. No, these folks simply failed to hear or heed the message: “You can behave according to a rational creed of justice, science, and reason, or to the obsolete biological dictates coursing through your cells.”

It’s apparent Giuliani missed the message, too; perhaps he was screaming something stupid at the time, or maybe he was being stopped-and-frisked for criminal ignorance.