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May 30, 2016

Comments

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi virgil

So I did a long series of replies to you, but onto that specific comment of will I write 'I am an idiot' - yeah, as long as its not an act of god (Hillary heart attack or something) and this is a relatively normal election, but Trump wins by whatever slightest squeaker - I will loudly say I was an idiot. But I go by the numbers, and anyone who refuses to see the HISTORIC advantage that Hillary already NOW has, before the full race has even started - come on, you KNOW Hillary will crush Trump in their two TV debates (if Trump doesn't chicken out of them) - the polls from August to November will only go one way - ever worse for Trump. He has ZERO assets to claw back the race. He has no money, he has no ground game, he has no surrogates, he has no issues, he has no major endorsements of trusted independents (or rivals). And he is really bad at debates. The only area where he is strong is getting to free media by publicity stunts. They already are wearing thin, he has to resort to ever more outlandish methods - and in the general election the media will obey very closely a 50/50 rule, no matter how much Trump manages to push himself into the news - the media will then obediently go and ask for Hillary to comment - and in rough terms, will give her about the same amount of time. So Trump's only advantage is neutralized.

But Hillary has an historic treasure trove of nasty things said by Trump or about Trump. She has the money to run endless nasty ads, she has an unprecedented array of surrogates to run into every corner to tell her story. She is a master of the policy details, a true policy wonk and her team has a Big Data machine to help pick the most damaging attacks against Trump. Trump has no new mud to sling at Hillary but Hillary has a mountain of mud to sling at Trump that we haven't even heard yet. So the overall polling gap will grow worse for Trump in September and October.

I am 100% convinced that Hillary will not just win, she will win by a landslide. So yeah. If I have somehow managed to miscalculate this badly, no margin of error at all. Not 95% certain. 100% certain. Not of a win, 100% certain its a landslide (at least 10 points) and EVERY data point out there in the past weeks supports this - Hillary is ahead in EVERY state that was a battleground state in 2012 including the only one that Obama lost (North Carolina) plus Hillary is ahead even in Arizona, which was not even in play in 2012. She will win by epic landslide. And this is BEFORE we witness idiot Trump campaigning in the fourth most Democratic state and second most Hispanic state in the nation. Yeah. I can promise you, I'll put in all caps, the title of my blog, if Trump wins. I will say I WAS AN IDIOT if that happens haha. But you know it won't be happening. I'm a bit too good at math, this is too much of a sure thing.

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Oibur (am on 2 June)

On unexpected stunts. Yeah. I am still pondering this bizarre California campaigning. He was AGAIN in CA yesterday, Thursday (its Friday night my time). He did another event. You said he is having fun - yes, he clearly is. He is LOVING this. Now, if Trump felt that his campaign is tinkering on a loss, he is right at the abyss, and he has to devote all effort to stave off loss, because he still COULD capture a win - he would be doing everything in his power to try to win.

Now, if he KNOWS its beyond recovery, he can't win, then he'd maybe go all out, and just enjoy it, and have his run but enjoy it, while going down to epic defeat. I don't think that is the case. We know he keeps reading the public polling. And the last two weeks the polls showed a tightening of the race and we had a few outlier polls with Trump ahead. I believe Trump thinks, he knows better than the idiot pundits, he won't listen to the 'experts' like Manafort. He won't pivot. He was better than all the talking heads in the PRIMARY race when everybody doomed his campaign - and yet he ran it his way and he won. And the polls kept getting better for him all the time, when he did it his way.

Now he sees the tightening of the polls, and a few polls with him ahead - and Trump honestly believes, he is WINNING. That Hillary is losing. So now the right move - if you do that analysis, he tried the pivot - it didn't help. Then he went back to being the belligerent Nazi racist - and he is now tied with Hillary (ahead in his fave polls). Why NOT continue this way. He is not only enjoying himself, but he loves this time - because he has fallen into a false sense of security - he thinks he is winning. So he will continue the most destructive behavior conceivable - where OBVIOUSLY any half-wit politico would know, after you clinch - you PIVOT away from the extremist positions into the moderate positions for the general election. Instead, Trump is still CONTINUING the primary race, even as Cruz & Kasich have quit and all the fight is gone. Yet he continues the same. And as it was big rallies that got him here - and as he loves doing those - he continues doing them (instead of pivoting and doing the local press and various local events in the battleground states).

So for example the NY Times story with the girlfriends. This was a few weeks ago. But just yesterday at his stump speech - Trump went on a tirade about the NY Times being such lying bastard newspaper to print those lies about his girlfriends. First, this will not win him NEW voters, those who think all press are liars, have long since joined the Trump Train. MEN can believe Trump that those were lies printed about his past conquests and Trump really wasn't a sleazebag and he really is a nice guy and it was a hit piece. WOMEN however, they IMMEDIATELY recognize the arrogant, rude, sexist guy - each of them has dated someone like Trump, in their past, and IMMEDIATELY see from his defensive claims - that there is truth to those stories. So this ONLY hurts Trump with zero upside but big downside. Why on earth would Trump dig that hole for himself. Its BAD NEWS. Stay away from it, don't remind anyone about it. But he does. No discipline, weird behavior, destructive behavior - and great circus for us watching on the sidelines. Yeah, this is the real Trump, we'll get 5 more months of this.

The 44 million dollar loan is the nastiest part - but note, Trump can repay himself whenever and however he wants. Even if some rich donors and the party say - you can't use this money to pay yourself back - Trump can use his NORMAL donations to pay himself back (like the ones who then get a hat or t-shirt). Incidentally, Politico reported that one of his biggest expenditures is 1 million per month in buying hats and other clothing to his supporters. And that he spends only a tiny fraction of that on all of his data operations. Haha. And Hillary is building a 200 million dollar Big Data machine...

On the GOP needing Hillary to obliterate Trump - yeah. I think some smart ones in the GOP do see that. Most are not that smart and will truly freak out when the truth becomes obvious. It does mean White House stays with the DEMs, the Senate flips (this was to be expected), the House flips (catastrophic) and of course SCOTUS (which means the whole Republican/Conservative AGENDA is suddenly undermined). When Hillary appoints her first Justice, that will be a VERY liberal and activist judge, who will be joining/driving several progressive/liberal agenda items from voting rights to women's rights to minority rights to anti-gun issues. Oh, and against the over-reach of business rights and religious rights. THAT is the desperation side of Hillary's landslide (thanks to Trump). If it was Jeb or Marco who was against her, the Republicans would lose by about 10 points and probably would keep a slim majority in the House, and that could help hold some of the conservative agenda. But as everything slips to Hillary's control and SCOTUS flips, it will be a crushing change to the Republicans. (and after Bush-Cheney, I say: serves them right).

For those who don't get it why GOP needs Hillary to crush Trump - yes, the Republicans need to get this type of campaigning 'outlawed' as 'flawed' and unworkable. They NEED to become friendly to Hispanics and women - so things like comprehensive immigration reform and no more war on abortion - these have to be accepted by the party. The leadership saw it after 2012 but the Tea Party and the grass roots fanatics have pulled in the wrong direction. A total drubbing of Trump will help extinguish some of those tendencies. Its kind of shock treatment. A mild push is not enough, it has to be a severe shock. Then it becomes a lesson that will be learned (like the Democrats learned from Mondale's loss in 1984).

(more comments coming)

Tomi Ahonen :-)

cornelius

Hi Tomi,

I think your 2014 midterm prediction was wrong because there is some stuff that is not easily quantifiable. And I think you underestimated two things. First you underestimated the amount of democratic voters that did not show up to vote (luckily this only happens during midterms). The second thing that you underestimated is the erosion of the popularity of the elected officials. Unfortunately this will play an important role in the 2016 elections. This erosion helps explain why in the past elections we had roughly two terms of Republican presidents alternating with two terms of Democratic presidents. Normally this erosion affects only the government but this year the hatred towards the establishment is just another form of this phenomenon. Incidentally Clinton is negatively affected by both aspects of this erosion (government erosion and establishment erosion) as I'll explain below.
Closely related to the erosion phenomenon is the charisma of the presidential candidate. A candidate that advocates change is bound to be more popular, is perceived as more inspiring (because he/she brings hope). Clinton chose to center her campaign on the idea of continuing Obama's legacy. That makes her uninspiring. Compare her position with Trump's who is both anti establishment and anti current government.
I wish your predictions come true but I am skeptical. I think Clinton will win but it won't be a landslide. Of course there is a lot of wild stuff going on this year and it makes this election very hard to predict. For example we still don't know if/how Sanders will endorse Clinton, we still don't know if/when Trump will improve his disorganized campaign. But I am not sure if the Democrats will be able to flip the senate. I think Clinton's win will be in the 5%-10% range.

@virgil Your moronic personal attack reminds me why I left that shithole of a country.

virgil

@Tomi, wow, you write a lot :). I truly hope that you're right (like I said - thought nobody seems to believe me - I'm not a Trump fan). But I'm not sure math applies in all situation (elections are not science); we shall see. Hillary will only win if she changes tactic and turns "populist" like Trump, otherwise I think Trump will get the best of her.

Oh, and BTW, ... the reality disagrees with these statements:
> Trump could NEVER win the MAJORITY of the delegates. That was not possible.

You may wish to check google. He already has a majority of delegates, and more than 10% are still up for grabs, for all we know he might take them all. I know, you'll say "but this is not fair, the others gave up, if they had run until the end Trump wouldn't have won the majority". Well... maybe yes, maybe not. But it doesn't matter - they gave up. So, here - it IS possible for Trump to get the majority.

Just like there, unfortunately there are multiple ways for Trump to win the election too. A Hillary medical issue (she has problems), the FBI investigation, etc... you may write them off as "unpredictable events", but they are not to be ignored, she is vulnerable on more than one angle.

@cornelius, WTF dude? what personal attack? :O

cornelius

@virgil You "guessed" that I was employed by SIE. Considering that Securitatea was the scum of this Earth, I consider your "guess" a personal attack.

virgil

Take it easy, man. It was a joke - you correctly guessed my nationality based on very little information. I would've said NSA but you had disclosed that you're a Romanian and you're living abroad so... SIE was the natural replacement :D

Millard Filmore

A very interesting blog post about Trump supporters and how to identify them. Yeah, they are mostly white, but also they are mostly middle class or slightly above. Not poor.

"What is it that most of these people do have in common that would draw them to Donald Trump? Philip Klinkner, professor of government at Hamilton College set out to find out and the answer isn't pretty. Via Vox:

You can ask just one simple question to find out whether someone likes Donald Trump more than Hillary Clinton: Is Barack Obama a Muslim? If they are white and the answer is yes, 89 percent of the time that person will have a higher opinion of Trump than Clinton. "


http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2016/06/how-do-you-if-theyre-trump-voter.html

Millard Filmore

A very current poll result (summary from addictinginfo.org):

"A new poll from Reuters/Ipsos shows Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton leading the Republican candidate Donald Trump by eleven points (her largest lead yet), 46-35, while 19 percent weren’t sure or responded with someone else. This newest poll shows even more good news for Clinton: just last week, the same poll had her up by only five points."

The poll is from here:
http://polling.reuters.com/#!poll/TM651Y15_13/filters/LIKELY:1/type/smallest/dates/20160401-20160531/collapsed/true/spotlight/1

Millard Filmore

@Tomi: there is a blogger out there saying things that are rather close to your evaluations and predictions.

http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2016/06/look-at-my-african-american-over-there/comment-page-1#comment-2021719

"This campaign is going to be a non-stop car crash. Since I predicted last summer that Trump had a real shot at the nomination, I’m going to throw another prediction out there now: There’s a non-trivial chance that Trump actually withdraws from the race at some point prior to the election."

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi gang

Its the weekend and I'm playing with my buddies, the numbers. I've done a total update to my massive every-state-every-demographic model with the latest inputs of latest/current data. If you want to play along, there is a VERY good but simple one-page chart of every state and the major demographic blocs at Real Clear Politics at this page:

http://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/2016-swing-the-election/

The REALLY nice thing about that summary table (by every state) is that they split out the 'White College Educated' ie 'generic Republican' voter from the 'White Non-College Educated' ie 'hard core Trump voter' demographic. Plus blacks, Hispanics, Asians. By every state.

Now, note they used the exit poll and other data - from the 2012 election. So the Hispanic vote for example shows at 10% when it is expected to be 13% this year. But if you want to just quickly grab a look, to see what is the mixture of the voting electorate in say Arizona or Virginia or Pennsylvania, that is an EXCELLENT table with the type of info that is probably the most relevant this cycle (bearing in mind, women are a bit over half, not separated in that table, but the ratio of women will be essentially the same percent in all demographics, meaning of Hillary gets a 10 point gender gap with blacks, she'll probably also have about a 10 point gender gap with whites, etc).

But yeah, I did some heavy math all last night and more this morning. I have some cool insights to share. Lets do in two separate comments

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Wayne Borean


Damnit. Been slowly working my way through the comments (and attached links). There's lots of them. New pair of glasses, still getting used to them!

Where to begin...

Tomi,

Before you ran your numbers and came to the conclusion that Trump had a chance, I told you he was serious about running, and that I thought he had a good chance of winning the Republican nomination. Just wanted to remind you...

Everyone else,

Trump lost this election when Obama said he had 'evolved' on the Same Sex Marriage issue. While the LGBT is only between 3-5% of the population of the USA, many elections are won by smaller margins, and the Religious Wing of the GOP would prevent the party from changing.

Trump is just icing on the cake. Back when he announced I assumed he'd run as a New York Republican with a big mouth. Well, I got the big mouth part right!

Instead Trump has managed to alienate so many demographics I can't count them all. Yes, he has some of the same things Reagan had, in a more uncouth manner. The problem is that he's self destructive. Reagan was a terrible president (see my discussion with Tomi a couple of months back) but he didn't antagonize voters. Trump does.

If Trump doesn't drop out, or die of apoplexy, I think that the gap will be closer to 25 points (this also assumes that the Libertarians are stuck at 1-2 million votes).

I didn't run numbers to get that, it is based on comments from Americans I know, very few of whom like Trump.

Tomi T Ahonen

First off,

This lunatic idea by Trump to fight for California (and New York). He was there again on Friday, another rally. I wanted to find some NUMBERS to show why this is so idiotic. I think I have a VERY interesting case study for us.

I went back through every state vote of the past four election cycles, to find which was the largest 'captured state' by percentage of the swing in the vote. So a state that one party lost the previous election, which they then 'flipped' and won in the next election. These happen, Obama stole North Carolina from the Republicans in 2008 but Romney took it back in 2012. But those were elections which were close all along and the swing in the votes was not that big. What has been the largest swing in votes (I only went back to year 2000). And I found it, quite a doozy in fact. Indiana. In 2004 Indiana voted for W Bush with 21 point margin. Then in 2008, Obama came and stole Indiana - with a one point victory. So the swing was 22 points. That is an amazing capture and would give plenty of hope for the Trumpistas thinking, yeah, they can flip California (which is a consistently Democratic state that went by 21 point win for Obama over Romney in 2012) or even New York (the fourth-most Democratic state in the nation, going by 27 points for Obama in 2012).

First off, its the only state that did anything this massive a swing, and after 2008, Obama abandoned Indiana and did not try to win it last time, and Indiana went back to the Republicans voting for Romney by 10 points. Now, lets see HOW they did it in 2008. The Obama-Biden ticket held 8 campaign events in the state of Indiana that cycle (none in 2012) while the McCain-Palin ticket held 5 events. So to start with, you will need to spend a lot of time in a state you try to win, and the scale is something nearing twice as much time. The reason Obama could 'afford' to 'waste' so much time in Indiana in 2008, was because he was SO FAR ahead of McCain. Obama was kind of padding his lead.

But then lets look at the money. The TV ADVERTISING spending by the two sides in 2008. Obama spent nearly 18 million dollars in Indiana avertising, compared to just over 3 million for McCain. Obama outspent McCain by 15 million dollars. Or to put it another way, Obama outspent McCain by a factor of SIX. He spent SIX TIMES more. To understand how big was 15 million dollars in 2008, the total campaign was about 500 million per side, and roughly 40% of that went into advertising so about 200 million. Obama threw 8% of his total ad budget to OUTSPEND McCain pick up this one state. Then what was the result - the thinnest victory of that year, where Obama just barely squaked out the win, by 1% over McCain. There was a Libertarian candidate on the ticket who took more votes than what was the difference between Obama and McCain. Almost certainly the Libertarian was what finally killed McCain in the state, but this was all academic because Obama was cruising to a 7 point landslide victory anyway over McCain, he utterly did not need Indiana, Obama was already the winner and had won the election before they stopped counting Indiana votes.

But we can get a VERY ROUGH and only 'ballpark' type of number of how expensive it is to flip a state. Obama had a 7 point national vote advantage. So his race in Indiana was not to go from 20 points loss to 1 point victory. Obama's national popularity cut that race to being behind only 13 points before the fight begins. Then see what he did. He converted 14 points. To do that, he spent just under 15 million dollars MORE than McCain (plus spent 3 more events in Indiana). We could simplify this to say, for a state roughly the size of Indiana, to convert 14 points takes 15 million in TV ads, so its roughly 1 million dollars of TV ads would swing 1% of the vote. This was 2008 campaigning, when the total race was 500 million per side. Now it is a Billion-dollar race, so for a state of the size of Indiana, we could say it now costs probably - in very VERY rough terms - two million dollars in TV ads more than what your rival spends in that state - and you have to also spend more time in the state than your rival.

So Trump is in California. California is a FAR larger state than Indiana and far more costly to advertise in (many media markets). Lets now use a multiplier, again a simplification but it is based on voter numbers. Lets use the Electoral College factor. Indiana gets 11 EC votes, California gets 55 EC votes. So we have a factor of 5. California is (in VERY rough terms) 5 times more expensive to campaign in, than Indiana (but obviously California also yields 5 times more EC votes if you win it, rather than Indiana). This is again a gross oversimplification, but I have bigger fish to fry, we need a model that has some relevance to reality. We do know California is more expensive to campaign in, than Indiana.

So if in 2008, it took one million dollars of TV ad overspending more than your rival, to win one point of election victory, in Indiana; then today in 2012, in a larger state like California, and with today's budget, it means 10 million per single points of California vote percent (above what your competitor spends). And California is 21 points for Democrats. Trump would have to overspend above what Hillary spends, in California, in VERY rough terms, something like 210 million dollars JUST TO TIE the race, or 220 million to pull ahead by one point. If we assume Hillary spends say 100 million to defend California, that would mean Trump would have to spend 320 million to try to flip the state. Plus he'd have to spend significantly more time in the state than her. (oh, and not commit stupid errors like saying there is no drought in California, I can't hope to estimate how much that damaged his vote in the state. It may have doomed him already, like how Romney was doomed in Ohio after he wrote in a Wall Street Journal editorial 'Let Detroit Go Bankrupt')

So the TOTAL 2016 TV budget for Hillary is likely to be about 400 million dollars - for all 12 battleground states, commbined. Trump will have less money than Hillary. And his plan would cost him 320 million AT LEAST to even BUDGET a CHANCE to win California - assuming that Hillary would only do a lukewarm defense of the state.

Now compare Florida and Ohio. Combined, those two states have 47 EC votes. But the Republicans are behind in those two states by only about 3 points. So say 4x cost of Indiana to fight in these two states, Trump would need to overspend above what Hillary does, to maek a 4 point difference in these two states (from 3 point loss to 1 point win) and it would cost him 16 million dollars (above what Hillary spends to defend the two states). It is 14 times more expensive to try to win from the deep hole in California, for nearly the same amount of EC votes, out of the very narrow race in Ohio and Florida instead.

You see why I think this is total sheer absolute madness by Trump to waste his days and money in California. Here is the kicker. If Trump were to spend all his money in California and actually flip the state. If Hillary only keeps all other states that Obama won - all states where Hillary currently also holds a polling lead by the way - then it doesn't matter if she loses California, she STILL WINS. Without spending one cent to 'defend' any of the other about dozen real battleground states and doing no events there. The REALLY REALLY painful part is, that Hillary is ALSO already ahead in two states that Obama lost in 2012 - if Trump doesn't fight for those (Arizona and North Carolina) Hillary can throw away California and still win with so much to spare - she can ALSO lose New York state haha (and Trump hasn't got anything like the money to try to win both California and NY).

The ONLY way you CAN win, is to know where the battle is, and focus and then outperform in those states. The battle is in Ohio, Virginia, Colorado and Florida. Here is the rough part for Trump. He actually has to win those three (or he can swap out Colorado and win another state in its place, like New Hampshire or Iowa or Wisconsin).

The EASIEST path, the cheapest path for a narrow narrow barely by-the-skin-of-his-teeth win for Trump is that he HAS to win Florida, Virginia and Ohio. Plus one more battleground state. New Hampshire is the easiest of the rest but it could be Colorado or Nevada or Wisconsin or Iowa. But if Hillary just snatches ONE of those three - Florida, Virginia or Ohio - the race is over. Just one. And Hillary is ahead in EVERY one of those states, absolutely every one. Plus she's ahead marginally even in two states that Obama lost in 2012 - Arizona and North Carolina. And Hillary is within striking distance already now, early summer, before she has fully gotten her act together - she is within striking distance in at least five more states - Missouri, Georgia, Indiana, Mississippi and Utah. And we haven't gotten any recent polling out of Texas, but I betcha after the Conventions, the next two or three polls from Texas show a race within single digits and could be only a handful. She is that close also in Texas, only it hasn't been measured recently.

This is a classic strategy BLUNDER. You don't go fight your enemy where the enemy is strongest and you are weakest. That is a sure way to lose. You pick the fights to be where your ENEMY is weakest and you have your best chances. That is Ohio, Florida, Virginia and then add a few more, to pick one more victory out of Colorado, Iowa, New Hampshire or Nevada, possibly Wisconsin. The more Trump deviates from a tight four-state precision battle, the more he wastes his sparce resources on futile battles he will lose. And California (and New York), no. It is yes, technically possible to bombard that state and try to force a victory, but not if you're the underdog and don't have the money. Hillary can EASILY match every dollar and every event, and keep that race at 20 points - while Hillary has the money and time and surrogates to go ALSO secure the actual battleground states. If Trump won't spend dozens of millions in all of those, Hillary can clinch them with a couple of million of happy-face Hillaryads, and some nasty Trump-is-a-monster ads thrown into the mix. She is AHEAD in every battleground state that Obama won, plus two more that Obama lost.

So just wanted to share this logic and a very rough estimate of the COSTS of this battle and how much Trump is now throwing away of his slimmest of chances. And to be very clear, I love this, I hope he continues forever on this moronic path, but no semi-intelligent political operative would allow him to squander his chances like this. Trump is a rogue candidate out of control and undisciplined, wasting his chances (and sinking the party with him).

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Wayne

You're totally right and yes, this is part of why I love the discussions on the blog. i learned a lot from you and part of your writing is what made me open my eyes and study the chance for Trump. Most def, you were there to guide me to see the chance he had. Thanks! Also great discussions since.

Now I have the other big math comment I have to add, hold on, let me do that.

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi everybody

So then a part 2 of the big math update. I updated my big model, then I ran a series of scenarios. I took what I consider are the 'optimal' best case developments for either candidate (in a two-person race, ignoring Libertarians). So for Trump. There is the argument that Trump can narrow the gulf he has with Hispanic voters. Maybe he can attract back some of the black voters now that Obama is no longer on the ticket. Then the white vote, if there is a silent majority - mostly with the non-college educated whites but also among college-educated whites, then those need to be aroused for Trump. And maybe its like Catriona keeps telling us, that women hate Hillary and there won't be a women's surge. These would be the kind of optimal conditions for Trump. Then on the opposite end, what if Hillary powers a female voter surge. And with Trump's war on women, the BALANCE of women vote, the gender gap grows larger. What if there is a big Hispanic wave too (as I've repeatedly claimed) and then that the BALANCE of Hispanic voters is worse this time than last time with Romney, ie the Hispanic voters really hate Trump. And maybe the black vote is actually not down more than just a sliver, with Hillary hugging Obama etc. I ran the model through six scenarios for precise points of an election outcome. I modelled a 5 point Trump win; a total 50/50 election; a 5 point Hillary win; a 10 point Hillary win; a 15 point Hillary win; and a 20 point Hillary win. The reason I ran these specific intervals, was to give us 'warning signs' ie benchmarks.

If my model is reasonably close on the mix of the electorate, and the various trends that might happen for any of the above scenarios, then we will see WHICH STATES would be in play, at any of those intervals. That is where this gets interesting. We will hear, in September, from both teams, when they start to shut down local offices and cut their budgets, and not run TV ads, and not schedule public speaking events - that one side is abandoning some state. We may see, like Obama in 2008 with Indiana - that suddenly a team is going to 'attack' a state which was considered safely in the other team's column. When Obama started to run a barrage of TV ads, and scheduled a bunch of events in Indiana - then McCain had to react and respond. The battle had shifted. So by September we will see signs of this, and by October it will be VERY clear, where is the main battle. And now my model...

This model will tell us, roughly, what is the state of the race, based on where the epicenter of the battle is. I have picked 3 major states for the tighter race, and then just the nearest 3 states even if they're smaller states if its a blowout, to give us a warning. If the battleground includes these three states, the race is roughly at that level of final outcome (please obviously deduct any states if there is a Vice President selected from that state - ie if Trump selects Rubio, then Florida will be a special case, and no longer accurate in this count, or if he picks Kasich, then it would be Ohio which won't be accurate measure anymore, but there are 3 states in every scenario).

If its a 5 point Trump win - then the battleground is in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Minnesota

If its a dead-heat 50/50 race - then the battleground is in Ohio, Virginia and Colorado.

If its a 5 point Hillary lead - then the battleground is in Florida, North Carolina and Arizona.

if its a 10 point Hillary victory - then the battle is in Missouri, Indiana and Georgia

If the race is a 15 point landslide - then the battlegrounds are at Texas, Montana and Alaska

And if the blowout is a 20 point Hillary cakewalk - then the battlegrounds are at South Carolina, Mississippi and Louisiana

These numbers will not be very indicative this summer but from September we should see a narrowing and by October this 'thermometer' should give a pretty good indication of where the real race is. Of course also polling at that time will be telling us the same story, but some polls will be bizarre and a given campaign situation (Romney 47% quote, a bad debate by Obama) can cause temporary distortions. The race will be VISIBLE on those markers. If Trump is not in Pennsylvania and Michigan in September and Hillary is not bothering with them - there is no chance of a 5 point Trump victory. If Hillary is not spending any time or TV ads in Texas or Montana, then its not a 15 point race for her.

Wanted to share this 'tool' for us. I will be monitoring how it performs, its conceivable that the tool has some imperfections or some instance causes it to have a fault - most obviously the VP selections will mess with it (Hillary picking Julian Castro as VP will mean that Texas then won't be a valid measure, etc).

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi everybody

Just saw the bit on CNN. I think this is the most powerful hit-piece to demolish Trump and it is coming in tons and tons of variations. CNN just did a story about the Hillary foreign policy speech - where she accused Trump of saying a couple of silly things we've all heard. Then CNN cut to Trump at his next rally - answering Hillary, and claiming blatantly and openly 'I never said that'. And then.. the killer. CNN tape of Trump not just saying that thing, using the EXACT words that Hillary quoted. Devastating. Not just that the original Trump silly quote is said twice, but interspaced with Trump daring to claim he never said it.

I said months ago, that these 'Daily Show with Jon Stewart' style of ads will be the most damaging. I believe the Hillary campaign (and/or her SuperPAC) has tons of these prepared, and are just waiting for the optimal time to run them. They of course are at that incredibly delicious dilemma - of deciding whether to run them now - or wait as Trump is likely to commit even more damaging quotes still now, before at some point, he will be put under restraint by his team and the Republicans. But gosh, he seems like an imbecille and a blatant liar, when Hillary says 'Trump said x' Trump says Hillary lies, I have never said that - and the next clip from CNN is VERBATIM what Hillary claimed. And its possible Trump doesn't really remember what he has said, because he had never thought about the Presidency seriously, so he had no positions and he said whatever he felt like, at the time, never thinking it will ever be relevant. Boy there are MILES of such videotape waiting to come to light.

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

PS

Spotted on Twitter, Rachel Maddow on MSNBC did almost same bit on the clips of Trump and his actual words. I think the CNN version was more tight and better edited for real impact. But yeah, this is 'obvious'.

Oh, and then also from Twitter - if you've seen the movie Idiocracy, the producers are now working on anti-Trump attack ads with some SuperPAC. Could be funny...

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Winter

@Tomi
I always say that math is beautiful. Such a pity people only rarely believe me.

chithanh

Tomi,
> but then they would HAVE to show up in voter REGISTRATION numbers - where Democrats again this year have more than Republicans

I said so before, I think the increase in Democrat voter registrations is due to Sanders and not Hillary. Only Sanders and Trump appear to be able to raise voter turnout in any significant way. If Hillary is able to capture all of them, then I agree it is game over for Trump, but at this point it is not certain.

> it now costs probably - in very VERY rough terms - two million dollars in TV ads more than what your rival spends in that state

That is probably correct, but it doesn't paint the whole picture. The goal is to get ahead of your opponent, and converting their voters into your voters is nice but not the only way to reach that.
Another is mobilizing non-voters.
A third one is making sure a third candidate is in the race to draw votes off your opponent.

Winter

@Tomi
The wildcard in your model is the VP choice.
Ideally, it should be a respected moderate hispanic female govenor to complement Trumps negatives. Someone like Susana Martinez. Ok, who else?

Kasich, Rubio, and Bush would all help to attract voters in important states. Rubio wants it. The others, I wouldn't know.

But can the effects of the VP be incorporated in your model?

Winter

Maybe Martinez is still in the race?

Trump, New Mexico's Martinez to meet 'in the near future'
http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/03/politics/donald-trump-susana-martinez/

Tomi, any idea what a VP spot for Martinez would mean for Trump's losses? And for Martinez' chances in 2020?

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