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  • Seth Barrett Tillman: Some Thoughts on the 2016 Presidential Election

    Posted by Jonathan on March 6th, 2017 (All posts by )

    Seth re-games the election. The conclusion:

    A 269 to 269 tie would have come about in those circumstances because of the 2 electoral vote bonus awarded to each state. Trump carried 30 states (each bringing a bump of 2 electoral votes), but Clinton only carried 20 states and the District of Columbia. It appears that Republicans go into presidential elections with about a 10 state or 20 electoral vote bonus.

    Worth reading in full.


    4 Responses to “Seth Barrett Tillman: Some Thoughts on the 2016 Presidential Election

    1. Grurray Says:

      I’m not sure that you can automatically give Republicans that head start. Had Hillary carried a combination of either Iowa or Wisconsin along with both Ohio and Florida – all states Obama won in ’08 and ’12 – then she would’ve won.

      Ohio and Florida are thought of as bellwethers or kingmakers, but I don’t think of them like that because they are too culturally sedimentary. I see them more as fulcrums or levers for the prevailing winds. North Carolina seems to be that way now also.

      Middle America/Middle Class should be Republican by default. Many people who live there and most in the coastal media would probably agree. However, that isn’t the case. Usually it’s contested ground. That’s why Obama had to lower himself to talk with the Joe the Plumber types. That’s why Hillary worked long and hard in 2008 to build a so-called swing state firewall (only to discard all the little people in 2016 when it looked to her like she had the election suitably rigged).

      Unfortunately, as has been documented by many knowledgeable commenters here and elsewhere, the GOP had drifted from its base. Rather than just going wherever the winds were blowing as the party had been doing, Trump figured out how to capture their source.

    2. Mike K Says:

      I think all bets are off for 2018 and 2020. If Trump does a reasonable job of keeping promises, the Democrats are in very deep trouble, probably for a generation.

      If the economy does not improve, in other words if Democrats are right about automation and jobs never coming back, the country is in very deep trouble.

      The next two elections resemble 1856. The Whigs were unable to deal with slavery.

      If what Trump does works, even moderately, Democrats’ top and bottom coalition will lose its bottom.

      The educated would-be elites, like a couple of my kids, who know nothing of the real world, will not change. They are pretty well insulated.

    3. Christopher B Says:

      Seth is usually better than this, and I really don’t see the support for his thesis. As Grurray pointed out, Trump won several states that Obama won twice (at least OH, PA, MI, and WI I believe) by the thinnest of margins. CA and NY total about 80 electoral votes, and haven’t been close to competitive for a GOP candidate since the Reagan/GHWB era. That comes much closer to my definition of a ‘bonus’.

      I think he’s also entirely too comfortable with the politics of an election decided in the House, maybe due to familiarity with parliamentary systems. We all saw the firestorm unleashed on the fairly anonymous electors to get them to desert Trump. That would have been doubled against GOP Reps that have to face election in 2 years, and installing Trump as President might well have been a Pyrrhic victory on the level of passing Obamacare for the GOP.

    4. Andrew X Says:

      I don’t quite understand this article or the posting here. It’s kind of a, “yeah, we expect the sun to rise tomorrow”, or, “there could be a big earthquake on the San Andreas, and if there were, it would be very bad for California.”

      Well, um…. OK…. thanks for that, I guess.

      On election night itself, a number of times it was noted that, “we could wind up at 269-269, and here is how it could happen” scenarios mentioned on all networks. And Seth’s scenario of Clinton specifically winning Wisconsin and Arizona was really never much considered by the post-midnight EST hour that he posits here, so it was never a serious proposition by then, at least any more serious than it was throughout all of 2016.

      Sure, yeah, this could have happened with some convolution I suppose, yes, it would have been very tricky in the House, everyone who knows anything about elections and the constitution has known this forever, so…. why am I losing three minutes of my life reading this?

      Just puttin’ in my $.02.

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