As readers of The Drum may recall, my political predictions in these pages have been decidedly counter to the views of the pollsters on all the key political events over the last few years.
“Vote Leave will get 52-53%”: result 51.9%
“Conservatives will win General election with a single seat majority”: Conservatives won by six seats
“Scottish Yes Vote will get less than 45%”: result 44.7%
“Theresa May at 14-1 as next Prime Minister is a good bet”: She is.
“There is no way Jeremy Corbyn will not be on the ballot paper for the Labour leadership election”: He was.
“Article 50 will be triggered on March 15”: It will be.
Well the last two, if not in these pages, were given to a leading journalist and Blairite back in July who was celebrating the fact the moderates had stitched Corbyn up at the NEC and was adamant he would not be allowed to stand for a second time.
However for the US presidential election I am breaking with convention and on this occassion, siding with the pollsters in predicting Clinton will trump Trump despite all the analogies being made with the Brexit example.
Great swathes of print have been expended on the triumph of Brexit as an example of how ‘post-factual politics’ can turn the status quo upside down.
However there are two major differences which seem to have been ignored. As detailed in a Vote Leave camapaign, LONDON Advertising uncovered via a progamme of video interviews with the electorate across the UK (i.e. outside of London) the phenomenon of the ‘shy Brexit voter’. These were people who wanted to leave the EU but would not say so in public due to a concern of being seen as a Farage-esque ‘little Englanders’. Thus the pollsters misjudged the result.
In the US there is nothing shy about a Trump voter: they will shout it to your face and proclaim it loudly on their bumper stickers “Trump that bitch” et al.
From my own research in the US I believe the reverse it taking place: ‘shy Republicans’ who will silently vote for Hilary to ensure Trump does not ruin their country or their party’s prospects to gain power again.
The ‘we are bees’ theory. Well it is not an established theory but my own pet idea, which is that people collectively behave like bees in a sub-conscious way to get to an outcome for the good of the colony. Look at how the will of the British electorate has played out over the last 40 years in the context of our quaint electoral system: from dethroning Brown but only giving Cameron partial power in a coalition etc.
So in the wider context of how America sees itself and wants to be seen outside of America, having Trump as Commander in Chief is discordant with that collective view irrespective of how a large part of the electorate may wish it.
So in conclusion even if Trump were to win the popular vote (which I don’t think he will) the US Electoral College System will make it hard for him to win all four of the key battleground states (Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania and North Carolina). I won’t bore you with all the electoral math of why Clinton can win by just taking one of those States, but I think the American public overall will collectively pull back from putting Trump in the White House.
And then there is the US desire to replace their loss of our Royal Family so they have to have create their own hereditary lines: The Kennedys, The Bushs and, this November, The Clintons.
Michael Moszynski is founder and CEO of London Advertising.