The time has almost arrived. If you haven’t selected your choice in the Clinton vs. Trump contest, time is running out for you to do so. It seems that this year’s election has been more of a circus or reality TV than anything about serious issues. Even the FBI’s “official” remarks supposedly clearing Hillary Clinton of any blame can’t erase some voters’ feelings that she belongs behind bars, and even many of Donald Trump’s supporters are disgusted by his comments and behavior.
Another month of Clinton vs. Trump???
But Americans are especially fond of entertainment, so to whoever thought it would be funny to pit Clinton vs. Trump in this election: it’s time to end the comedy sketch. Perhaps some just want to see Donald Trump say to Hillary Clinton, “You’re fired,” punctuated with that pointing finger he’s known for from his reality TV show The Apprentice. OK, one last entertainment reference. Is Jerry Springer’s show still on? Americans are fans of the circus that’s created by outrageous behavior.
Unfortunately for those who think they’ll be breathing a sigh of relief tomorrow night or Wednesday at the latest, the results of this train wreck of an election may not come as quickly as we hope. If it comes down to the Electoral College’s decision, we won’t know until next month. And even if the popular vote does come out with a clear winner, the Electoral College could always make the business even more complicated, such as in the case of a “faithless elector,” who is someone who pledges to vote one way and then actually casts their ballot in the opposite direction. This is unusual, but it happened in 1988, according to NPR. In that case, it didn’t make a difference, but this Clinton vs. Trump business is probably going to be a much closer call.
Oh yes, the Electoral College…
Most media attention is focused on the popular vote because that’s the most dramatic part of the election, but the Electoral College has the final say. True, the popular vote impacts the results of the Electoral College vote, but it is possible to lose one and win the other. You may recall the 2000 election between George Bush and Al Gore. Bush won the electoral college, 271 votes to 266, but Gore won the popular vote by roughly half a percentage point.
The Electoral College will vote on the Monday after the second Wednesday in December, which this year is Dec. 19. In 2000, the Green Party gained popularity that year, with Ralph Nader taking nearly 3% of the popular vote, some Democrats view him as having split the Democratic vote, this keeping Gore from winning.
In a similar fashion, Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson has gained popularity this year. His platform is more Democratic than Republican in many ways. As a result, it will be interesting to see whether some Democrats will opt for him instead of Clinton because of the FBI investigation, despite the fact that she has received nothing more than a slap on the wrist in the form of comments about her being careless.
Clinton vs. Trump: too close to call?
And what if the Electoral College isn’t able to decide on a winner of the election? It’s possible because there could be a tie, or one of the candidates might not get a majority of the votes. In either case, then it falls to the House of Representatives to decide who the next president could be. That’s right. This circus could go on for much longer than most people want it to. While this hasn’t happened yet, it’s been such a strange election year that the pieces could be in place for it to happen this year.
Both candidates seem to be equally hated, which is another reason that this could be the year the House of Representatives may have to step in and break the tie. Republicans currently control the House, but that could change. If it falls to the House to make the decision in the Clinton vs. Trump circus, then it will be the House that takes office in January.
Who will it be?
It seems clear that the financial markets would prefer a Clinton presidency, judging from the rally that came after it was announced that the FBI decided again not to pursue charges against her. Trump is widely seen as a loose cannon, so if he is elected, expect more volatility ahead.
Apparently the prediction markets are overwhelmingly expecting a Clinton win, which only increases the volatility that could be ahead if Trump pulls it out. PredictWise is assigning an 89% chance of Clinton being the next U.S. president and only an 11% chance of Trump winning. The organization assigns a 67% chance that Democrats will take over the Senate. Such high numbers are interesting given that other polls show a much closer contest.
The poll run by ABC News and The Washington Post grants a 4-point lead to Clinton, while Bloomberg shows a 3-point lead. However, the Investor’s Business Daily/ TIPP poll shows Trump with a 2-point lead over Clinton. According to Zero Hedge, their poll has been the most accurate over the last “several” election cycles. The Los Angeles Times shows Trump with a 5-point lead. Of course with each of these sources, it all depends on who their readers are. The only real clue that can be had from these polls is that this could be a very close call that takes time to sort out.
Opinions on Facebook (Feel free to comment):
For Twitter users:
— Sheeraz Raza (@SheerazRaza) November 7, 2016