Of Gaps and Horses


Well, the national horse race that is the American presidential election is nearing the finish line. I ask your indulgence on a final few thoughts.

I’ll start with 1912. When you look at Woodrow Wilson victory in the electoral college, it was a large span of victory. That span masked an underlying point of divergence from appearances–the opposition was deeply split. I think the same thing might prove true in 2016. The polls are showing a slight upward tick for Clinton, one that might have a deceptively large reflection in the electoral college. If so, the opposition’s split condition (more informally than the formal split in 1912 but powerful and palpable nonetheless) will be part of the reason why.

Should a surprise occur and Trump prove to be victorious or very nearly so, I’ll point you back to another time in the past–this past summer. You may know where I’m headed: Brexit. The state-by-state polls as well as the national averages tend to show a Clinton lead of less than 5 points. The Brexit outcome in Great Britain revealed that pollsters weren’t able to count 4% of the actual “Leave” voting bloc. As I said in the summer, a substantial overlap exists culturally and emotionally between Trump supporters and Leave supporters. A Trump win will be an echo of the Brexit win.

Let’s all remember that the sun rises on Wednesday like any other day. The American polity and community has endured much since the declaration of its beginning in 1776. We can endure this, too.