WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- After a tumultuous final week of campaigning for the Presidency, Chappaqua’s Hillary Clinton will stave off Republican Donald J. Trump in Tuesday’s election, according to political election forecaster Tom Gardner of Armonk.
“The race tightened considerably last week as a direct result of the first (FBI Director James) Comey letter,’’ Gardner said on the eve of the election as he posted his final predictions on his blog, www.BornToRunTheNumbers.com. “Clinton maintained her lead through that tough week, but the race definitely narrowed. Some of her ‘solid’ states became ‘leans,’ and some of the ‘lean’ states became ‘toss-ups.’ The nature of her support softened.
"But by Friday, Trump’s momentum seemed to have stalled, and he was no longer making progress. And Clinton appeared to have survived the October surprise.”
On Sunday, Comey sent another letter to lawmakers that said the agency has not changed its opinion that Clinton should not face criminal charges after a review of new emails.
The 23rd-hour twist will probably not effect the election greatly, Gardner said.
“I think it will lock down the race right where it was, with Clinton ahead.” Gardner is predicting that Clinton will end up with 322 electoral votes to Trump’s 216.
With Clinton, who's lived in Chappaqua since 1999, set to become the first woman to capture the presidency, the battle for control of Congress could be fascinating on Tuesday.
“The Senate is nearly impossible to call,’’ Gardner said of the chamber where the Republicans currently have a 54-46 majority.
There are 36 Senate races on Tuesday, and Gardner said six are true toss-ups. He predicted the Democrats will prevail in New Hampshire, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, while Republicans will take North Carolina and Missouri.
That would give the Senate a 50-50 balance, with the Democrats controlling given a Clinton win.
“All of those toss-up state polls are two points or less and they’ve bounced back and forth a great deal, which makes them very difficult to forecast with great confidence,’’ Gardner said.
In races for the House of Representatives, Gardner sees Democrats picking up five seats.
“That’s very modest progress,’’ Gardner said. “This has really fallen back. At the worst of Trump’s problems, it seemed like he might drag the House down for the GOP. But it doesn’t look that way now.” Republicans currently enjoy a 247-188 edge in the chamber.
Gardner said the last weeks of campaigning delivered more eyebrow-raisers than just the Comey letters.
“The most surprising thing was Trump’s ability stay on message and stay out of the news while Clinton was in the spotlight, which clearly helped him – but his choice of campaign stops also seemed quite a scatter shot approach.’’ Gardner said. “There did not appear to be much of a guiding strategy on where to spend his time.”
Click here for the link to Gardner’s final election day predictions for every national race, all 50 states for the presidency, and each Senate, House and Governor race.
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