Don the Con has been calling himself “Mr. Brexit,” anticipating that the election will beat all the pollsters’ predictions and hand the presidency to Trump.
That’s unlikely. There were a few factors going on with Brexit that aren’t going on here. First, Great Britain is less diverse than the US. Considering that the pro-Brexit voters were older and whiter Brexit had a bigger edge in the UK than Trump has in the US. Secondly, UK polls were NOT as solidly behind “Remain” as US polls are behind Clinton. Indeed, UK polls were very tight, very volatile, and described by “fivethirtyeight.com” as "a mess” leading up to the vote. Thirdly, UK citizens were only allowed to vote on ONE DAY! A week day! Thursday, June 23rd, between 7am-10pm.
Polling stations in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are open on June 23 between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. local time, or 2 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern Time.
They couldn’t even schedule it for the weekend? And it was a rainy, rainy day too! This is a massive disadvantage for working voters who do not have flexible schedules and need to fit voting around a heavy work schedule. It meant that retired pensioners, who overwhelmingly favor "Leave," and were less likely to be held up at work, were over-represented on that one day, June 23rd, when voters were allowed to vote.
One survey found that 75% of those 18 to 24 want Britain to stay, but 67% of those over 65 favor a "Brexit" — British exit. The figures exclude those who don't know or say they won't vote.
Compare that to voting in the US. 33 US states have early voting or voting that takes place over the course of several days, even weeks, before election day. This is a real boon to lower-income voters, younger voters, or voters who need to squeeze in voting in an already crowded schedule. Democratic voters, in other words. Most blue states have early voting, as do most swing states. Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Michigan do not have early voting hours though I hope Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, who is a real champion for voters' rights, will open up early voting. The current Democratic governor of Pennsylvania, Tom Wolf, should also try to open up early voting though I understand he is struggling against a GOP-controlled state legislature.
Michigan has no early voting hours, has a GOP governor, and has a population that has been seriously screwed by the political status quo. Michigan has also been the home of a few nasty surprises for Hillary Clinton. The Michigan Democratic primary was so in the bag for Hillary Clinton that Nate Silver predicted her odds of winning the state at more than 99%. Instead, in a stunning upset that defied every single poll, Bernie Sanders won. Clearly the rage against the status quo was so potent in Michigan that Sanders managed to make some necessary in-roads among voters of color along with his regular base of disaffected white males and young progressives. This could indicate a possible Michigan tip towards Trump. A lack of enthusiasm for Clinton among voters of color combined with a lack of early voting days may lose Clinton the state on November 8th. Ipso's, a highly-rated polling firm, has recently posted a poll showing Trump leading Michigan by 1 point. This has some credibility since Ipso’s has also posted a poll in neighboring Wisconsin showing, in the wake of the Milwaukee riots, Trump leading by 3 points. Now, granted, Ipsos has had a rough week. It posted a ridiculous New Hampshire poll showing, with a sample size of only 133 likely voters, a Trump lead of 15 points. This is such an outlier compared to every other New Hampshire poll that nothing less than Hillary swearing allegiance to the Islamic State at a Concord rally would explain that swing. Conversely, I think Ipsos has been a bit too rosy on Clinton, showing her having a seven-point lead in Florida. Meh. A one or two-point lead is more likely.
Nevertheless Michigan during this election has shown a trend towards defying polls and showing greater-than-anticipated voter antipathy against the status quo.
Instead of “Mr. Brexit,” Trump should call himself “Mr. Michigan.”
And Hillary needs to be prepared for that.