Trumpocalypse

This is going to be a very bad four years for a lot of people.

I predict that Kathy Cramer is suddenly going to be much in demand to explain what happened.

Slate's VoteCastr experiment has turned out to be less mesmerizing than I had hoped, partly because I'm not totally sure what it's telling me. Plus I don't know how much early turnout is predictive of final voting. That said, the Florida data is pretty interesting:

This snapshot was taken at 5 p.m. Eastern time. There are two things to note here. First, turnout in Florida is sky high: With two hours of voting left, it's already nearly as high as it was in 2012. Second, Hillary Clinton is ahead by 3.4 percentage points. Out of 8 million votes, that's a lot. At this point, it looks like Clinton is a lock to win Florida, and if she does, that's the race. There's no way for Trump to win without Florida.

Among the other states in the Eastern time zone, Clinton is ahead by 4.1 percent in New Hampshire; 2.9 percent in Pennsylvania, and 0.7 percent in Ohio. In the other three states VoteCastr tracks, she's ahead by 7.5 percent in Wisconsin; 1.8 percent in Iowa, and 0.8 percent in Nevada.

I have no idea how meaningful any of this is. No one's ever done it before. But if it means anything at all, it suggests Clinton is very close to becoming president-elect.

UPDATE: Well, apparently the VoteCastr folks have some work to do on their model. Trump won Florida handily.

Ha ha ha. The Trump men don't even trust their own wives to vote for Donald. I'm not sure I blame them.

Time to Vote!

I think it's time to toddle up to my polling place and cast my ballot for the candidates of my dreams. I'll be back in a few minutes.

UPDATE: Everyone has to contribute their polling anecdote, so here's mine. There was a huge line. I had to wait five minutes to vote.

Seriously. I always vote at 10 am, and normally there's maybe two or three people voting and no line at all for the remaining machines. Today, all six voting booths were full and there were four people in front of me in line. The poll workers were so worried about this state of affairs that they were offering paper ballots to anyone who didn't want to wait.

I know: boo hoo. But compared to normal, my polling place was much busier than usual. I have no idea what this means.

Kathy Cramer, a political science professor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, has spent the last decade criss-crossing Wisconsin talking to rural folks about politics. Today she tells us what they're so mad about:

What I was hearing was this general sense of being on the short end of the stick. Rural people felt like they not getting their fair share.

That feeling is primarily composed of three things. First, people felt that they were not getting their fair share of decision-making power....Second, people would complain that they weren’t getting their fair share of stuff....And third, people felt that they weren’t getting respect....So it’s all three of these things — the power, the money, the respect. People are feeling like they’re not getting their fair share of any of that.

....What I heard from my conversations is that, in these three elements of resentment — I’m not getting my fair share of power, stuff, or respectthere’s race and economics intertwined in each of those ideas.

When people are talking about those people in the city getting an “unfair share,” there’s certainly a racial component to that. But they’re also talking about people like me [a white, woman professor]. They’re asking questions like, how often do I teach, what am I doing driving around the state Wisconsin when I’m supposed to be working full-time in Madison, like, what kind of a job is that, right? It’s not just resentment toward people of color. It’s resentment toward elites, city people.

This is obviously a tough nut to crack because so much of it is due to demographic changes that simply aren't going to slow down. Generally speaking, rural communities are overrepresented in legislatures, but nonetheless they've lost relative influence as urban area have gotten more populous. Likewise, they get more stuff than they should, but again, less than they used to thanks to dwindling relative numbers.

And then there's respect. But what's the answer? Rural beliefs that city sophisticates look down on them has been a feature of American life forever. Hell, it was a feature of life in the Roman Empire. Urban areas are more cosmopolitan, and city mice do tend to be contemptuous of the old-fashioned mores of the country mice. This is not something that's going to change.

It's common to explain white resentment as a function of demographic change: whites used to be the vast majority of Americans, but they're steadily losing that distinction. And that's true. But it's a tiny rivulet compared to the tsunami of de-ruralization. Take a look at the chart on the right. In 1900, rural communities made up 60 percent of the population. Today it's 20 percent. Even if rural communities get more attention than their numbers deserve, they're still a tiny minority these days. They simply don't have much political power anymore.

Rural-urban tension has been woven into American history since its very beginning. Thomas Jefferson represented the yeoman farmers at the turn of the 19th century and William Jennings Bryant represented them at the turn of the 20th. But if "Eastern elites" held a stranglehold over rural interests even then, today it's far worse. Eastern elites no longer really even care. Except when they come by courting their votes, they just ignore the country folks.

So, yeah: power, money, respect, and racial decline. It's all part of the stew. And it's hard to figure out any way to really make a dent in this.

UPDATE: For an earthier and much more fun version of this argument, check out David Wong here.

Der Tag! Go vote today. And drag some of your apathetic friends to the polls too—though you might want to ask them first who they plan to vote for.

Despite my reliance on Pollster throughout this race—primarily because they produce pretty pictures—my most trusted poll guru for the past decade has been Sam Wang. So without further ado, here are his final projections:

President: Most probable single outcome: Clinton 323 EV, Trump 215 EV....The win probability is 93% using the revised assumption of polling error. National popular vote: Clinton +4.0 ± 0.6%.

Senate: 51 Democratic/Independent seats, 49 Republican seats.

House: Generic Congressional ballot: Democratic +1%, about the same as 2012. Cook Political Report-based expectation: 239 R, 196 D, an 8-seat gain for Democrats.

My own guess is that Clinton will do a bit better than a 4 percent winning margin in the popular vote. I'll go along with Wang on the Senate. And perhaps out of a surfeit of optimism, I'll take the over on the House. So my final guess is: Hillary Clinton wins by 4.7 percent in the popular vote; the Senate ends up 51-49 Democratic; and the House ends up 235-200 Republican.

What's your guess?

HuffPo's Jeffrey Young passes along a radio interview of Paul Ryan:

Obamacare doesn't get repealed, likely ever, if Hillary wins....Agree?

Yes. Yes, I do agree....All of us have basically gotten to consensus on what our plan is, but we have to win an election to put it in place.

OK, that's good to hear. Except for one thing: remember what Ryan's predecessor said a couple of days after the 2012 election? Diane Sawyer asked John Boehner if he still planned to repeal Obamacare:

I think the election changes that. It's pretty clear the president was reelected. Obamacare is the law of the land.

As I recall, Boehner was immediately savaged for saying this, and within a few months House Republican passed yet another Obamacare repeal. Since then they've voted to repeal Obamacare nearly a dozen times or so, depending on how you count. The most recent attempt was in February of this year.

If Ryan is smart, he'll call it quits on Obamacare repeal and work instead on finding places where he can horsetrade with Hillary Clinton. Unfortunately, I don't know if Ryan is smart. Nor do I know if his caucus will allow him to move on even if he wants to. We'll see.

Here's a question for you all to ponder. Last night I took snapshots of four newspapers after FBI director James Comey announced that the emails they had reviewed on Anthony Wiener's computer didn't show anything new. Here are the four headlines:

At the top left, the LA Times says the FBI has "cleared" Hillary Clinton. On the bottom left, the New York Times declines to say Clinton has been cleared, only that the new emails "don't warrant action" against Clinton. Finally, on the right, we have the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post. They use pretty loaded language, saying there are no grounds for "charges" against Clinton.

Who got it right? My take is that the word "charge" is inherently negative. It leaves readers with the impression that Clinton might be guilty after all, but has somehow managed to skate by. Given what we now know—that Clinton was careless but did nothing seriously wrong—it strikes me as putting a big thumb on the scale. If you're going to use legalistic language, why not follow the lead of the LA Times and say that Clinton has been "cleared"? That's what happened, after all, and it better gets the point across that this was basically good news for Clinton.

The New York Times is somewhere in between. Perhaps someone less partisan than me would find it the best compromise. For my part, I think the LA Times got it right, while the Journal and the Post screwed up. There's nothing technically wrong with their headlines, but they leave a groundlessly sordid impression.

Slate is moving boldly beyond the now-routine practice of releasing early exit poll results. It has teamed up with VoteCastr, a Silicon Valley startup run by data gurus from both the George Bush and Barack Obama campaigns, to provide us with real-time estimates of who's ahead throughout the day:

VoteCastr will make rolling projections of how many ballots have been cast for each candidate in each of the states we’re tracking: Florida, Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. If you visit Slate at 11 a.m. EST on Tuesday, you’ll see projections for how many votes have been cast for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in each of those states as of 11 a.m.

....Slate readers will be able to watch live as those vote totals update throughout Election Day. They’ll also be able to sort the data in a number of different ways. We’ll make it possible, for instance, to compare real-time turnout in Trump-leaning counties and Clinton-leaning counties, as well as to gauge turnout in counties grouped by age, income, and race. If our real-time trackers are seeing that turnout in Pennsylvania’s middle class or predominantly black counties has surpassed 2012 levels, you’ll know that. If turnout in Ohio counties that are predominantly white or lower class does the same, you’ll know that, too.

Needless to say, this is a horrible abuse of the editorial process that we should all strongly denounce—which I'll probably get around to doing on Wednesday because I'll be too busy obsessively checking it throughout the day on Tuesday. I'm willing to bet that all the other denouncers will be checking it too.

In other words, this doesn't really bother me. Maybe I've just gotten too jaded. But honestly, it's not clear that being aware of these estimates affects voting patterns very much. Are you more likely to vote if your guy is ahead and you're stoked about it? Or if your guy is behind and you're scared that someone horrible will win? Beats me. Besides, if more than 0.5 percent of the population is actually aware of what Slate is doing, I'd be surprised.

Anyway, we'll see. I expect my Twitter feed to be full of folks either panicky or gleeful about the latest VoteCastr results. So I probably couldn't ignore it even if I wanted to.

Are you wondering which candidate American investors are rooting for? Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words: