2016 Predictions

2016 Predictions

“These are the times that try men’s souls.”

This was written by Thomas Paine in 1776. The quote applies today. The Presidential election has been chaotic. Utah was a potential battleground.

Alas, here our some of our predictions.

US President

Cameron: On Earth2 the Rubio/Fiorina ticket is cruising to a double digit victory in the presidential race. Or was that the Cruz/Jindal ticket? Or perhaps the Paul/Walker ticket (Vin Diesel was a big supporter). Any one of those would be preferable to what the GOP gave us this year. Heck, virtually any breathing Republican could beat the rolling scandal dumpster fire the Democrats put up but here on Earth we picked a guy who steals homes from little old ladies and leers (or worse) at the younger ones. The Donald/Pence ticket will lose the election by 6 points, not win any of the swing states Republicans have to win, and likely lose a state or two Republicans always win. The electoral college is all that matters, but national polling has it a little closer which is bad news for Evan McMullin in Utah since too many people incorrectly think voting third party here will swing the election to Hillary. McMullin comes in second in Utah by a few percentage points leaving Hillary in third just like her husband a quarter century ago. (A quarter century. That’s how long Clinton Inc. has dominated our political discourse. Eat Arby’s.)

Richard: This election has had so many twists and turns. I feel like we have been on an emotional roller-coaster and I can’t wait to be done. I thought when the audiotapes of Donald Trump came out that he wouldn’t recover. Since then he has run a very disciplined campaign and has been very visible. Mike Pence has turned out to be the better VP candidate at uniting a party behind a ticket. Momentum feels like it is in Trump’s corner. I think Trump takes the popular vote and the Electoral College is close. I’m going with Trump to win. While it is a long shot, if I am right I look like a genius! If I’m wrong everyone says that it was fun picking the longshot.

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Beau: At any rate, despite the historic awfulness of these candidates, someone has to win. That someone won’t be Gary Johnson. Ultimately Hillary Clinton will prevail, even though her vaunted firewall has as many leaks as her email server. The fundamentals of the race stack it against Trump even though he is gaining ground. Clinton still has 268 pretty firm electoral votes, and early voting in Nevada would indicate that it will be hers as well. That gives her 274 EVs and the presidency, though I think that Trump will pick up every other state but Utah, where Trump’s Mormon problems come home to roost, with Evan McMullin barely getting the win and becoming the first third party candidate since George Wallace in 1968 to win EVs.

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US Senate (Utah)

Beau: Unfortunately for Utah Democrats, they’re even more dysfunctional than Utah Republicans right now. Mike Lee wasn’t unbeatable yet, but against Misty Snow he may as well be Ronald Reagan. He wins 70-30.

Richard: The Democrats picking Misty Snow as the nominee shows how far left that party has moved. Jonathan Swinton might have given Lee more of a challenge in the debate and would have polled higher. Lee wins this race easily. The question is the margin. I pick 37%.

Cameron: A dominant 40 point win for Mike Lee means this is his seat for as long as he wants it. With the establishment licking its chops just 18 months ago to take Lee out, its one of the more underappreciated races this cycle. Lee came out of nowhere to beat an 18 year incumbent six years ago and ticked off every major politician and donor in the state in the process. Shockingly, those guys don’t like upstarts making waves. But Lee has won them over, and become an example to every upstart conservative in how to maintain your principles while placating the powers that be. We need twenty more Mike Lees in the Senate. One side effect of Lee’s dominance is that all those who were lining up to challenge him will now look towards Orrin Hatch’s seat in 2018. He’s going to break his promise (again) and run for reelection, so the question then becomes, will all those CMV backers who were so offended Bob Bennett had an intraparty challenge now decide to challenge Hatch? Dan Liljenquist was the only local with the stones to take him on four years ago, will he try again? What will Jason Chaffetz do? Mitt Romney endorsed Hatch last time, will he support his son in a bid to unseat him? Former Republican State Party Chair Thomas Wright has been manuevering for a run for a while, and what will current chair James Evans do with all his delegate supporters? The race probably begins November 9, so no taking days off, politicos.

US Senate (US)

Cameron: Republicans have a 54-46 advantage currently, and it looks like they’ll lose seats in Pennsylvania, Illinois and Wisconsin (Thanks Donald!) They have a shot to take Harry Reid’s seat in Nevada but it won’t happen (Thanks Donald!). So GOP maintains control of the Senate by the slimmest of margins. Which is good because now Hillary won’t have a pliable Congress to ram through single payer Hillarycare like Obama did when he rammed through Obamacare.

Richard: I really like some of the Republican candidates for Senate. Todd Young has the momentum in Indiana as voters remember the last few years Bayh was in office. Joe Heck is a great candidate in Nevada. Ron Johnson will lose in a tight race against Russ Feingold. It is unfortunate because Johnson had a good record. Pat Toomey and Kelly Ayotte have run very disciplined campaigns and will squeak out victories in their states. The GOP maintains control 51-49.

Beau: This is where the pain from Clinton’s collapse is really felt. The Democrats were looking at a 53-47 Senate with pickups in Indiana, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Florida, and Wisconsin, Illinois, and Pennsylvania. However, the dynamics of the race have shifted and I think the GOP maintains a very, very narrow Senate control at 51-49. Democrats win in Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Wisconsin, while Republicans hold on elsewhere to barely maintain control. Of course, the turnout trends in Nevada are looking like it could bring the Upper Chamber to a 50/50 split with Joe Heck underperforming relative to where he should be (though probably overperforming considering he’s running with Trump)

Utah Governor:

Beau: Another easy GOP win. Herbert and Cox get more than a supermajority by clubbing Mike Windhorst 75-25. It’s hard to run against an incumbent when a state is doing well. It’s harder to do it when you’re working your hardest to ensure you don’t get any of the Mormon vote.

Cameron: It’s just hard for Democrats to find candidates who can win statewide races. They keep running out guys who have some money to spend but no political experience or name id. Until they find someone who can do both Herbert’s only close races will be at the GOP convention.

Richard: Weinholz is a trainwreck. Hosting a fundraiser mocking Mormon beliefs and traditions doesn’t help you much. Herbert and Cox win, and win big.

US House (4)

Cameron: Mia hasn’t set the world on fire and has some work to do polishing her message and her image, but Democrats made a big mistake rerunning Doug Owens. People act like she barely squeaked by two years ago but she won by 5 points. Democrats were hoping Utahns’ disgust with Donald would give Owens a chance but his attacks haven’t stuck and he’ll lose by double digits on Tuesday.

Richard: Mia Love has had a rocky two years in office. She had a mini-scandal with using taxpayer dollars to fly to Washington D.C. The taxpayers were quickly reimbursed. Doug Owens tried to make her use of franking an issue in the campaign, but it is always a plus when an elected official is in communication with their constituents. I walked over to the Democratic Convention in April and was surprised to see what a terrible presence Doug Owens had. This was his chance to build energy and moment. Henry “Doug” Owens loses to Mia Love by 8%.

Beau: If this was for a master baker, I think it’s fair to say that Doug Owens’ pie baking skills would win him the nod. Unfortunately he’s run a worse campaign than he did 2 years ago against Mia Love, who is now the incumbent. I think this ends up at 55-45 in favor of Love.

Utah Senate

Cameron: There’s 15 seats up for grabs in the Senate. Republicans have a 24 to 5 advantage and though there’s a few open seats this year the advantage will remain the same.

Richard: No seats change hands in the Utah Senate.

Beau: I echo Richard.

Utah House

Richard: The Democrats pick up a few state house seats. They retain Brad King as the lone non-Salt Lake County Democrat. Sue Duckworth, who is one of the nicest people, wins re-election after a close race two years ago. Karen Kwan will beat Macade Jensen in the Taylorsville area. Mike Winder was the Republican’s better option at winning in the general and will easily become the next House member representing West Valley City.

Beau: I see a few seats change hands, but it’s not enough to fundamentally alter the dynamics of the House. It’s still overly Republican.

Cameron: A lot of incumbents with no opposition on both sides of the aisle. Salt Lake is Democrat country and every else GOP.

Salt Lake County:

Cameron: Ben McAdams wins again as he prepares for a run for Governor in 2020.

Richard: Ben McAdams easily wins another term and Richard Snelgrove wins his re-election as well.

Beau: I see this as well. Another snoozer of a race.

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