Variables for Donald Trump to win the election

This thread is to discuss the situations on which Donald Trump could win the election. What would be the most likely variable to shift the outcome of the election? Here are the variables I think would be most likely to cause a change in the polls:

  1. Economic Crash/Depression
  2. Terrorist Attack
  3. WikiLeaks report on Clinton
  4. Republican rigging on the polls (the Illinois Governor election can be an example)
  5. Strong debate performance
  6. Anything I didn’t look at or consider (Please explain by posting below)
  1. Terrorist zombies eat out the brains of all voters.

2, 4, and 6.


“A congenital heart defect has apparently felled Clinton moments before she could step into the debate…”

Drunken racist Trump rally attendees register to vote and show up for the general?

  1. One factor that I pointed early that was important, but many did not look at: If all of the right wing media and Republicans leaders were 100% enthusiastic about Trump.

What is happening now is that this time there are a lot of conservative sources that are also dumping on Trump and many important republican leaders (For crying out loud! Even the former Republican nominee!) are condemning him in public. Among republicans that does not make much of an effect, but it has been IMHO a very important factor in the final part of the race for the majority of Americans that are now paying more attention to the election.

I don’t think more Wikileaks nonsense would make much of a difference unless Assange actually creates fake stuff, like outright treasonous fakes. (I would not put it past him.). The “Clinton email scam” story is yesterday’s news. Many people already confuse the server mess with the DNC leak.

I’ve said in the past the Trump’s best chance for winning was a major terrorist attack right before Election Day which would panic people into voting for him.

But I’m getting to the point where I’m feeling even that wouldn’t help him. Trump appears to be getting to the point where even people who agree with him are having serious doubts about his judgement. I think if a terrorist attack happens in November, people might say “Wow, Trump was right about those Muslims all along. But now that the war has started, I think Clinton can lead our country through it better than Trump would.”

I think “8. Democrats so confident Trump can’t win they don’t bother showing up at the polls” is a strong contender.

Happened here in France in 2002 - instead of having to pick between a left wing or right wing president, as is the norm, we had to choose between a right winger and a Nazi ; in part because the left wing was (as usual) up its own arse and splitting its vote between half a dozen fevered egos ; but also because voter turnout was generally low during the first round of voting… except among the Nazis.

  1. Trump bribes the hell out of the electoral college would work too

A.* I rescind my decree forbidding the Republican Party from winning the Presidency ever again.

*I use “A” instead of joining the numbering schema because it is a necessary but not sufficient prerequisite for any of the numbered conditions to lead to a Trump victory.

Massive, sudden economic downturn, which is highly unlikely.

Terrorist attacks by some refugees.

Trump suddenly becoming sane.

I’ve been wondering about this too. A recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll shows Clinton having double-digit leads when people are asked which candidate would be better at “being a good commander-in-chief,” “having the ability to handle a crisis,” and “handling foreign policy.” And it appears that there may be a substantial number of Trump voters, or at least non-Clinton voters, who acknowledge that Clinton would be better at handling foreign policy, so I’m really not sure turning this into a foreign policy election would be good for Trump.

A few weeks ago, any one of the above factors could have made Trump electable. But he has fallen so hard so fast that it means that Trump would probably need several things to fall into place, and he’d have to start with being a more emotionally balanced and disciplined candidate. The few times when Trump has struggled have been when he has had discipline and self-control problems. However, the voting public have repeatedly forgiven him, and they’ve done so relatively quickly. Trump doesn’t actually have to be presidential; he just has to convince voters that he can be. Hillary has not become more popular. Trump has just become more unpopular. But we’re under 100 days now and Trump needs to turn it around fast.

An economic “crash” is nearly impossible in such a short time frame (and a “depression” is truly impossible, by definition).

I voted “Wikileaks” and “Terrorist attack.” Neither would make Trump a sure bet, but either, if severe enough, would likely bring us to a 50-50 horse race.

“Strong debate performance” is both impossible and guaranteed. That is, Trump has to be who he is, but anything other than a complete meltdown will be seen by many as “beating expectations.” Plus, his supporters define “strong performance” differently than his detractors do (basically, style vs. facts and substance). So, polls won’t shift – it’s all “baked in,” to use a political phrase du jour.

Nothing can save him now, the polls are showing the die is cast. He finally dropped off the edge.

People have made up their minds about him. Aside from small fluctuations, he’s screwed. All he can do by acting normal at this point is go lower because he’ll start losing the hardcore nutjobs.

The next poll out of Ohio could nail the door shut.

I honestly believe the tipping point has passed for Trump, and I believe the Khan’s pushed it over the edge… Trump’s endless supply of gaffes, not his message, is the focus of everything Trump related on the news. Even those supporting Trump are having trouble defending him. They’ve taken side stepping and question avoiding to a new level. This isn’t lost on the voting public.

Hillary would have to lead a ISIS invasion of Southern Florida to lose this now.

Is there any evidence this ever happens?

If one candidate has a massive lead, the effect of this would merely be a slightly less massive lead. Generally speaking, people are either voters or they’re not; it’s a civic duty thing. Clinton isn’t going to lose a significant enough percentage of her votes because her lead is too big. That does not happen.

Absolutely no one on God’s green earth thought Walter Mondale had a hope in hell in 1984 against Reagan. It was one of the most clear-cut massacres-in-waiting in American electoral history. I don’t think Mondale himself thought he had a chance. That didn’t make Reagan lose enough votes to lose, or even make it closer than the polls said it would be.

The comparison to the French first round of voting (or primaries, or any number of examples of multi-way Parliamentary election) is misleading. Other types of elections involve different mathematics, slimmer margins, or differently selected electorates; Nate Silver has a great column up about how Congressional primaries warp the political process. The Presidential general election, however, is rather straightforward; you pick (D) or (R) and the whole country votes. The turnout is generally what it is; people vote because they feel it’s a civic duty. Here are the turnout figures, by percentage of voting age population, since Carter was elected over Ford in 1976 (Note that this percentage includes people ineligible to vote, such as convicted felons, and so may differ from other numbers you have seen):

1976: 53.6
1980: 52.8
1984: 53.3
1988: 50.1
1992: 55.2
1996: 49.0
2000: 51.2
2004: 56.7
2008: 58.2
2012: 54.9

There is no clear correlation between the expected closeness of the election and turnout. 1976, which was very close and was expected to be close, is the same as 1984, which was a historic landslide. 2000 was also very close and was expected to be, but has been easily surpassed by every election since. The 2008 election was widely expected to be a victory for Obama once the polls kind of settled in early October but turnout was higher than in many years all the same. The 2012 election, which was closer and was expected to be, saw LOWER turnout.

Everyone would go to prison.

Actually I thought Mondale had a chance. But I was young and foolishly optimistic. I agree with your larger point, Hillary’s voters are not going to stay home out of overconfidence. If anything, we’ll be like sharks smelling blood and sent into a feeding frenzy.

The Democrats also need to do a reasonably good job of conveying the message “We need to take back Congress, too”, which their candidates have generally been doing.