Days of Change

That Which Remains | October 3, 2016

Of all the hundreds of millions of American adults, the hundred million who might actually vote and the ones who will actually show up, there are only three groups that matter now. There are the ones who might vote for Trump, the ones who might vote for Clinton and the ones who won’t vote for either.

While the campaigns can still get donations in the last 5 weeks, there’s less to be done with the money since the targeting is well underway. Supporters are practically useless now, except for the ones who need motivation (or motor transportation) to get to the polls. It is time to cater to the truly undecided voter and damned if I know who they are.

First of all, the Trump campaign now depends on the failure of traditional political calculus. By that measure, he is only slightly ahead of where John McCain or Mitt Romney were at this point. Trump is lacking in both field offices and data analysis compared to Clinton, two things that can pull a couple more percentage points on election day.

Even if Trump can run a national campaign, mostly devoid of targeted advertising, he still needs to raise his ceiling above the 46% that has only gotten lower since the convention. That requires people who are not currently voting for Trump to vote for Trump. One theory holds that people are afraid to tell pollsters (which are often computerized prompts anyway) they like Trump or hate the machine so much they refuse to talk to them. However, they seem to have no problem voting in internet polls, especially after a call to arms on Reddit or 4chan.

Hillary’s home stretch is to use her current peak to lock down early voting. This is part of big data, knowing who probably supports you and nagging them until they vote because they will still probably choose you even if it’s to get you off their back. Trump is still doing the rally thing, feeding off large crowds waiting for the thing he says that gets on the news that night.

Trumpers are getting even more belligerent about that group of people planning to vote for someone other than Trump. Besides 7% for Gary Johnson, lonely loser Even McMullin is even at 2% in some polls. I imagine if their total vote exceeds the margin that Trump loses by, it’s going to be as bad as the reaction to the Ralph Nader campaign in 2000.

If you take the people who decided months ago and the ones who live in states that aren’t competitive, there’s a cohort of about half a million people who are just now deciding the presidency.

Yikes.

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