A week before the 2016 presidential election officially comes to a close, it is time to do a final prediction. There have been many ups and downs in both the Clinton and Trump campaigns, with many 'swing' states coming in to play. Although expected to happen in 2020 and 2024, 2016 saw the potential swing of many traditional Republican states including Texas, Arizona and Georgia. However, this came far too late and the Clinton campaign lacked momentum in these areas.
I predict a Clinton presidency - she has been consistently ahead and is generally more liked than Trump. However, she will not consolidate a big mandate within the Electoral College. Trump's campaign has stepped up the surge toward November 8th, with Clinton focusing too much on helping down-ballot Democrats and stretching her campaign out too far. The FBI email scandal, no matter how controversial as a matter of partisan politics from a non-partisan agency, will hurt the Clinton campaign to Trump's advantage, but it is unlikely to devastate Clinton because the email story has been continuously played in the media for so long.
A state by state breakdown of my prediction in swingier states and why:
AK - Democrat - Potentially my most controversial prediction. With the Democratic increases in recent cycles and Democrat focus on Native Alaskans, it is quite possible this state will flip Democrat. See: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/duncan-kenyon/alaska-the-republican-par_b_12516246.html
AZ - Republican - Too little, too late by the Clinton campaign. Michelle Obama's scout to the Republican state was more a sign of confidence by Clinton than a genuine attempt to take the state. Had they have been serious, they would have kept prominent Democrats in the region. They have a shot at taking the senate seat, however, due to the hype from Obama and split in McCain's support. Trump Republicans are angry McCain has not endorsed him and the traditional Republican base is not strong enough to keep him in his seat. That is one area the senate race will be more important than the presidential one.
CO - Democrat - Colorado has been looking Democrat since the beginning of this race. It would be difficult to conceive a Republican victory in this state.
FL - Republican - A state that likes to switch, and has been Democrat for the last two cycles. Clinton is probably the more popular candidate to the average Floridian and Trump is in trouble with the Cuban population because of his dealings with Cuba. However, voter contempt for both candidates will see a poor turnout, which plays into Trump's favour. Trump supporters are energised to vote for him, whereas Clinton supporters are generally less so. Trump will win Florida because of this, combined with his huge push throughout the state.
IA - Republican - Iowa should be a Democratic state. Its location in the Mid-West, matched with a strong working class who value jobs in traditional industries, such as farming and manufacturing should make this an easy win for the Democrats. However, this is the group that Trump has overwhelmingly impressed this cycle. His promise of creating more jobs, 'Making America Great Again' and bringing back jobs from countries that have undercut Mid-Westerners will be a vote winner - people believe they are voting to increase the size of their wallet. Clinton is too associated with NAFTA, which also damages her. Like Florida, Clinton is probably the more popular candidate, but voter turnout will be low and suit Trump.
NC - Democrat - Clinton is popular in North Carolina, having made so many appearances here and made such a big push. Clinton's tackling of gun crime and appeal to African American voters during the Presidential Debates, as well as Trump's unpopularity in these areas, should deliver an easy victory for Clinton - one she should try to keep for 2020.
NH - Democrat - New Hampshire voters are generally savvier than the average voters. Although many may like Trump, they will be wary of him and his promises. Clinton has made a big push in the area, as well as popular New Englanders such as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. It would be unlikely that a state showing such good poll numbers for Clinton would change its mind on the day.
OH - Republican - Similar to Iowa. A mixture of promised jobs from the Trump campaign to benefit the average unskilled worker and low turnout from Clinton supporters will turn this state red. It may be the bellwether state usually, but I doubt it for this cycle.
Clinton should win the presidency, but not with the margin she would like to project the death of the GOP. She needs to work hard to keep her support base strong and happy - she will need it for the 2020 cycle.