I am live from Washington, DC where I think I am the only cautious voice around. Whether it is from the aggregators, the odds-makers, the soothsayers with their laptops full of data, or the reporters, all I am hearing about is a easy victory for Hillary Clinton tonight. The nationwide polls, for the most part, have broken her way. Her average lead is up to 3.3 percentage points and that is not bad at all. But it is still close and fluid because there are still about 6% of likely voters who have not decided yet. She holds a lead of .2% in Florida and the early vote tallies are being spun by both sides that it is impossible even for this seasoned veteran to find out what any of it means. The Latino vote is up by 2 points in Florida over 2012, but the African American vote is down by 3 points. And young people have not been standing in line.
The same is true for North Carolina with both sides cheering the early vote. North Carolina is one of two states I am watching. If young African Americans turn out there, especially after the full court press by the President, First Lady, and stars galore – then it means good news for Mrs. Clinton in other states. On the other hand, Mrs. Clinton now leads in Pennsylvania by only 2.3 points, a state where she had a double digit lead, two weeks ago. So I am watching the Keystone State, too. If there is not a large turnout in Philadelphia, where the President was simply stunning before 30,000 last night, and there is not a big turnout in Philly’s “Creative Class” suburbs, then it could be s surprise win for Mr. Trump. If he wins or comes close in Pennsylvania, then Michigan could be within his grasp.
Colorado is now very close with a Republican-leaning pollster showing Mr. Trump up by a point. Colorado was not even on the radar screen all campaign. New Mexico is close, too. And it wasn’t supposed to be.
Here we are on Election Day and there still is no major break one way or the other. That is very odd. The popular vote had already started breaking for the Reagan in 1980, for Al Gore in 2000, and for Obama in 2012. If anything, the nationwide vote is moving one way (toward Clinton) while the states are moving away from her. Mr. Trump’s path to victory remains narrow but he is a lot more competitive today than he was a little while ago. I do think a Trump victory would be an upset. If he loses Florida then his path to the White House is most difficult. But Mrs. Clinton as of 11AM Election Day when I writing this is not a lock to be 45th President.
We still just don’t know. At least I don’t know yet. When I know more I may have a moment to let you know. Be very careful of anyone who says he or she has it all figured out.