Michigan, Colorado, or Faithless Electors Could Scuttle Clinton Coronation

sunday-school-clinton-nyma-trump

“Beds are damp. There is a crack in the blue wall, and it has to do with trade. This is the ghost of Bernie Sanders.” –Van Jones on CNN re: Michigan

Either former Methodist Sunday schooler Hillary Clinton or former New York Military Academy cadet Donald Tump will claim the mantle of the next U.S. Presidency within the next forty hours.

Or perhaps both will. We’ve had two Popes, even three. Why not two Presidents?

Clinton has a 45.4% to 42.4% average national poll lead by my calculations. Those calculations almost exclusively involve strictly averaging the latest results from all pollsters in the field within the last ten days. Furthermore, for months, the mathematical geek aggregators’ consensus has been that Trump’s chances of upsetting Clinton are slender even on his best days. If Clinton wins her “firewall” of states totaling 272 electoral votes, states where she’s led and usually led handily for most of the way, or if she loses one of them like New Hampshire, but ekes out a victory in hard fought Nevada, as now widely expected, or a win in Florida, North Carolina, or even Ohio, the candidate Democratic operatives, major media, and Barack Obama have fought so hard to help coronate will finally have won her imperial crown.

If, on the other hand, Trump can breach the firewall without leaving behind states he is expected to win like Ohio, Iowa, and Arizona, the Donald will assume the position of Groper-in-Chief, a position that has moldered vacant these sixteen years since Clinton’s consort William Jefferson and his merry band of playboys left the West Wing bereft of any keyboards with the letter W, with a “Jail to the Thief” sticker stuck to a presidential filing cabinet and with obscene anti-Bush slogans vandalizing the loos.

To breach the firewall, Trump must claim victory in Florida and North Carolina and win one of a handful of states like Michigan, Nevada, Colorado, Pennsylvania or, in a real stretch, Virginia, New Mexico, Wisconsin, or Minnesota. These last four states are ones where polling averages, mine and the average of averages for FiveThirtyEight, RealClearPolitics, Huffington Post and Drew Linzer’s Votamatic, see Clinton maintaining a lead of 5.0% to 6.5%.

By my count, just eight state contests over the last three presidential cycles have seen RealClearPolitics (RCP) average miss by 4.5% or greater. Bush outperformed in Florida and Hawai’i in 2004. Obama underperformed the RCP average in Iowa, still winning handily, and overperformed in New Mexico and Nevada in 2008. Finally, Obama handily beat polling averages in Oregon and Michigan in 2012. This last polling miss, by 5.5% in Michigan last time around, is particularly relevant for what lies immediately ahead.

Michigan was, of course, also the site of the “one of the greatest upsets in modern political history,” when Bernie Sanders out performed polling averages by more than 20% to win the Democratic primary in March of this year.

I correctly predicted the Sanders’ upset and am predicting, once again, that Clinton will defy polling expectations, including my ten-day average modelling, and lose Michigan.  This does not necessarily mean I am predicting that Clinton will lose the election as a whole. I will not bore you here with a long explanation of my reasoning, but it is clear that the Clinton camp is also seeing the very real potential of a loss in Michigan. This tracks very well with what I am hearing from family and friends and extended networks in the state where I vote.

For virtually all other states, I am sticking with the data I and others have collected, though I should note that I have a strong suspicion that Trump may win in Colorado and that Clinton could pull off a big surprise in Arizona on the strength of Latina and Latino voters. This latter possibility could take weeks to settle given how badly Arizona runs its elections and election counting. Early voting in Colorado has not gone nearly the way Democrats would have liked it to go and the best pollster in the state projects a 39% to 39% tie with lots of third party and undecided voters. Of note, I am projecting that Donald Trump will split out Maine’s second congressional district, winning it by a few percentage points and picking up an extra electoral vote. I should also note that my polling averages, as of now, project a 0.4% Clinton win in North Carolina, but I am going with the average of other aggregators to pick a small Trump win in the Tarheel State.

Here is what that data, which I’ve been tweeting about (#10at10) for a few months, looks like, updated just after midnight eastern November 7 to November 8.

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As an additional wildcard, at least one, if not two Electoral College voters in Washington state are insisting they may well not vote for Clinton on December 19. These potential unfaithful electors mean Clinton needs at least 272 Electoral Votes, if not a few more to guard against the possibility of further defections.

Florida is too close to call. My prediction is a 0.5% gap in one direction or the other, triggering an automatic recount, a 2000 redux if you will. If absolutely forced to pick who will win Florida and thus the presidency, I would waver for a long while and finally suggest Clinton by a nose, sticking with my data that projects a 0.4% Clinton win.

Here’s what that electoral map looks like, Florida a toss-up, courtesy 270towin.com.

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At Least 40 Women Have Accused Bill Clinton or Donald Trump of Sexual Assault

More Than Double Trouble; pictures from the William J. Clinton Presidential Library

More Than Double Trouble; pictures from the William J. Clinton Presidential Library

No, Bill Clinton is not just accused of consensual affairs. Yes, he and Hillary Clinton are a team. She has been a regular part of attacking Bill’s victims, has worn the mantle of his supposed successes, and has promised that he will have a key place in running the economy in her administration.

No, Donald Trump did not just use naughty, “locker room” words, nor was he just suddenly accused of sexual assault as an October surprise.

At least 40 women have accused Bill Clinton or Donald Trump of rape or other sexual assaults going back to the 1960’s and forward through every decade since.

What holds this system in place? Well, partisans from Team Red or Team Blue relentlessly attack the guy on the other side while dragging, shaming, and mocking accusers or otherwise dismissing accusations against their guy. Or, as recently with Megyn Kelly, someone from the same Team rightly aggrieved against someone on their side, goes after their own guy relentlessly while letting the other guy slide off easily.

Some news outlets or websites have collected lists of accusations against whoever the guy is on the other side. Most of these lists have one problem or another even with getting the list completed without questionable additions or subtractions.

To be up front, I am very reluctantly voting Team Blue in a likely swing state this time, even while having voted for Jill Stein in 2012 and having taken pictures with Bob Dole and Jimmy Carter in the past.

What Team you are on shouldn’t matter.

Taking sexual assault seriously and believing women shouldn’t be a partisan matter. Yes, there are very rare cases of women making false claims or having their stories manipulated and fluffed for political gain, but when well more than a dozen women have accused each man, refusing to believe or even entertain the worst about your side is a massive part of why rape culture continues its steady and sickly march forward.

  1. Eileen Wellstone accused Bill Clinton of raping her at Oxford in 1969. Capitol Hill Blue, a kind of pre-cursor to Politico which reported positively and negatively on both parties from inside the Washington D.C. beltway, confirmed the accusation with Ms. Wellstone in 1999 and found a key State Department official who had originally investigated the accusation to support the claim.
  2. In 1972 a woman at Yale University accused then law student Bill Clinton of sexual assault. Capitol Hill Blue‘s outstanding reporting on all of this included finding the accuser, who confirmed the accusation but would not allow her name to be used, and multiple policemen from New Haven at the time who confirmed the incident.
  3. In 1974, also reported in Capitol Hill Blue, a female law student of Bill Clinton’s in Arkansas accused him of blocking her departure from a room then forcing his hand down her blouse. Daniel J. Harris and Teresa Hampton, the Capital Hill Blue reporters for this piece, again tracked down the accuser and obtained her confirmation of the incident, but not her consent to use her name.
  4. Juanita Broaddrick accuses Bill Clinton of raping her in 1978. The most nuanced, in-depth, and dignified piece on Broaddrick is Katie Baker’s stunning profile in Buzz Feed earlier this year. Broaddrick explains why she initially gave an affidavit saying Clinton had not raped her, an explanation Megyn Kelly, Hillary Clinton, and tons of Democrats are completely and conveniently ignoring.
  5. Unnamed (1978-1980)
  6. Unnamed (1978-1980)
  7. Unnamed (1978-1980)
  8. Unnamed (1978-1980)
  9. Unnamed (1978-1980)
  10. Unnamed (1978-1980)
  11. Unnamed (1978-1980) – Harris and Hampton, in the Capitol Hill Blue investigative article, were able to discover that state troopers in Arkansas knew of at least 7 complaints from women who said Bill Clinton sexually assaulted them during his first term as Governor of Arkansas. The Washington Post quickly discusses what may be one of these claims in one of the laziest “fact checks” it has ever unloaded, but dismisses it out of hand because “[w]hen sexual harassment claims were made against GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain, [Rand] Paul dismissed them because the women refused to publicly identify themselves.” Allowing Rand Paul’s hypocrisy to invalidate a woman’s claim is, of course, standard corporate media schlock. The anonymous woman, a “former Arkansas state employee,” said that “during a presentation, then-Governor Clinton walked behind her and rubbed his pelvis up against her repeatedly.”
  12. Carolyn Moffet accused Bill Clinton to Harris and Hampton of forcing her head into his lap when she refused his request for oral sex in 1979. Ms. Moffet also spoke with Harris and Hampton.
  13. Leslie Milwee has recently come forward to accuse Bill Clinton of sexually assaulting her on three separate occasions in a newsroom in 1980. Milwee says Bill rubbed himself against her to the point of orgasm without her consent.
  14. Jessica Leeds accuses Donald Trump of grabbing her breast and trying to shove his hand up her skirt on a flight in the early to mid-1980’s, as recounted in a recent New York Times article:

    “He was like an octopus,” she said. “His hands were everywhere.” She fled to the back of the plane. “It was an assault.”

  15. Becky Brown accuses Bill Clinton of sexual assault in the the Arkansas Governor’s mansion in the mid-1980’s, according to a book written by her husband, an Arkansas State Trooper. Without consulting the book, the Washington Post “fact check” column claiming just three sexual assault allegations against Bill Clinton spuriously dismissed what appears to be the same claim as an anonymous “woman identified as a third cousin of Clinton’s [who] supposedly told her drug counselor during treatment in Arkansas that she was abused by Clinton when she was baby-sitting at the Governor’s Mansion in Little Rock.”
  16. Elizabeth Ward Gracen, according to multiple accounts including a former friend’s deposition during the House of Representatives’ Paula Jones investigation in the 1990s, accused Bill Clinton to family and friends of raping her in 1982. Gracen eventually very publicly stated that it was consensual sex. Not long afterward, however, Gracen indicated in an interview with the Toronto Sun that she and her family were under duress when she walked back the rape claim:

    “I think Clinton is a very dangerous, manipulative man and I’ve had to be very careful,” she says. “There was a lot of pressure on my family and friends, people were being staked out. I was a little bit afraid for my own safety at one point. It’s just not an area where you’re safe.” She pauses, then says, “I would never have said what I just told you a month ago.”

    Sally Miller, another woman who had a consensual affair with Clinton, reports that a  Democratic Party official threatened her around the same time. “They knew that I went jogging by myself and he couldn’t guarantee what would happen to my pretty little legs.”

  17. Helen Dowdy accused Bill Clinton of groping her “up there” on a dance floor at a Rodham family wedding in 1986. She tried to pull away, per Dowdy’s recounting the story to Jerry Oppenheimer in State of a Union (page 215), but “he’s a big man.” She says she was eventually rescued when Hillary Clinton turned it into a three person dance. “He was holding me very close, pulling me into him. … It was so inappropriate.”
  18. There is now a cascade of people supporting accusations that Donald Trump repeatedly raped underage models in New York beginning in the 1980’s. Katie Johnson has filed a suit accusing Trump of raping her at one such party with convicted pedo rapist Jeffrey Epstein when she was 13 in 1992. The details of the unusual accusation and lawsuit are most fairly reported in Jezebel. Michael Gross, writing for Daily Beast, dug out two male witnesses/participants at several of the parties to go on the record, one of the men allowed his name to be used, one of them is unnamed.
  19. Paula Corbyn Jones accuses Bill Clinton of sexually assaulting her in 1991. After she tried to walk away from his initial advances, according to her story, he grabbed her hand, pulled her toward him, lowered his trousers, and asked her to kiss his erect penis. Clinton paid Jones an $850,000 settlement after the US Supreme Court reinstated her lawsuit against him during his Presidency. Jones continues to speak out against both Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton, whom she accuses of shaming and lying about her.
  20. Sandra Allen James accused Bill Clinton of sexually assaulting her in 1991. She told Harris and Hampton that Clinton pinned her up against a wall in a hotel room and forced his hand up her dress and that he only stopped when she screamed loudly enough for the Arkansas State Troopers outside the room to hear.
  21. Ivana Trump, Donald Trump’s first wife, accused him, during 1992 divorce proceedings, of raping her. She later said it wasn’t rape in the criminal sense, apparently as part of the divorce settlement. The initial charges in court papers, along with the partial retraction, can be read at Gawker.
  22. Christy Zercher, a flight attendant on Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign plane, accuses Bill of groping her without consent on the plane while Hillary Clinton slept a few feet away.
  23. Kristin Anderson recently accused Donald Trump in the Washington Post of sexual assault by reaching up her skirt and touching her vagina through her underwear at a Manhattan night club in the early 1990’s. Anderson says she was deep in conversation with friends, shoved his hand away, and only noticed it was Trump after she fled several steps away and turned to see who the stranger who had groped her was.
  24. Kathleen Wiley has repeatedly accused Bill Clinton of sexual assault in the Oval Office in 1993. Like many of the women accusers, Wiley says Hillary Clinton has been complicit in shutting her down: she’s “been calling me a bimbo for 19 years.”
  25. Jill Harth accused Donald Trump of groping her multiple times without permission and of trying to rape her in one of his children’s bedrooms in 1993. The claims were first aired in a 1997 lawsuit and were reported in the Guardian in July, well before the Billy Bush-Trump Tapes were released.
  26. Temple Taggart accuses Donald Trump of sexual assault on two separate occasions in which, according to her account, he kissed the 21-year-old 1997 Miss USA contestant on the lips without permission.
  27. Mariah Billado accuses Donald Trump of intentionally walking in on her and several other Miss Teen USA contestants in 1997 while they were in a state of undress. Her claim was supported, according to the Buzz Feed story in which she first reported the assault, by four other contestants and by Trump’s own words on a Howard Stern show where he bragged of purposefully walking in on naked beauty pageant contestants for sexual gratification. Such voyeurism counts as sexual assault according to a wide variety of statutes and definitions, including the one used by the Office of Women’s Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
  28. Cathy Heller accuses Donald Trump of sexually assaulting her at Mar-a-lago around the year 1997.  According to her account in The Guardian:

    “He took my hand, and grabbed me, and went for the lips,” she claimed. Alarmed, she said she leaned backwards to avoid him and almost lost her balance. “And he said, ‘Oh, come on.’ He was strong. And he grabbed me and went for my mouth and went for my lips.'” She turned her head, she claims, and Trump planted a kiss on the side of her mouth. “He kept me there for a little too long,” Heller said. “And then he just walked away.”

  29. Karena Virginia accused Trump of sexually assaulting her in 1998 by touching her breast without her permission as she waited for a car to pick her up after the U.S. Open tennis tournament. While she is not planning to file a lawsuit, Virginia told the story with her lawyer Gloria Allred by her side. Trump has threatened to sue all women who have made allegations after the election is over.
  30. 2001 (1) Unnamed
  31. 2001 (2) Tasha Dixon and another unnamed 2001 Miss USA contestant accuse Donald Trump of sexual assault, also by way of voyeurism, when he purposefully walked in on contestants naked on two separate occasions, as detailed by an article in the Guardian.
  32. Virginia Roberts first accused Bill Clinton in 2011 of having regularly been with now convicted pedo rapist Jeffrey Epstein and said that she had seen him with particular underage girls, though she did not see sexual activity or participate in it. According to a deposition with Alan Dershowitz, Roberts “described in great detail a dinner with Bill Clinton and two underaged Russian women who were offered to Bill Clinton for sex” in 2002. Flight records have proven that Bill Clinton often flew on Epstein’s “Lolita Express,” and that, during the at least 26 flights, Clinton sometimes ditched his secret service detail.
  33. Mindy McGillivary accuses Donald Trump of sexual assault in 2003 at Mar-a-lago where, she says, he groped her butt without permission. McGillivary’s account is supported by her companion that day, Ken Davidoff.
  34. Jessica Drake recently held a news conference to accuse Donald Trump of sexual assault by holding her tight and kissing her without her permission at a celebrity golf tournament in 2005. According to Drake, Trump then offered her $10,000 and the use of his private jet for sexual favors.
  35. Also in 2005, Rachel Crooks accuses Donald Trump of having sexually assaulted her by kissing her multiple times, including on the lips, without her permission when she tried to shake his hand at Trump Tower in Manhattan where she worked as a receptionist.  Crooks told her story first to the New York Times as a part of the story also including Jessica Leeds’ account of her unpleasant encounter with Trump.
  36. Natasha Stoynoff, a third woman to accuse Trump of assaulting her in the year 2005, is a journalist and wrote her own story up in People Magazine earlier in October of this year. She was working on a story on Donald and Melania at the Trump mansion. Donald, according to her account, sent Melania to change clothes then began showing her around: “We walked into that room alone, and Trump shut the door behind us. I turned around, and within seconds he was pushing me against the wall and forcing his tongue down my throat.”
  37. Ninni Laaksonen just recently accused Donald Trump of sexual assault just before an appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman during her time as Miss Finland in 2006. “Trump stood right next to me and suddenly he squeezed my butt. He really grabbed my butt,” she said. “I don’t think anybody saw it but I flinched and thought: ‘What is happening?’”
  38. Unnamed – Very soon after the tape of Donald Trump bragging to Billy Bush about taking tic-tacs before kissing women and just grabbing them “by the pussy,” CNN anchor Erin Burnett told the story on air of her friend who was “once ‘really freaked out’ by Trump: He ‘took tic-tacs…and kissed me almost on the lips’.”
  39. Summer Zervos, a 2007 contestant on The Apprentice, read a five page statement at a press conference accusing Donald Trump of sexually assaulting her. As excerpted by the Hollywood Reporter:

    “He then grabbed my shoulder and began kissing me again very aggressively and placed his hand on my breast,” recalled Zervos. “I pulled back and walked to another part of the room. He then walked up, he grabbed my hand and walked me into the bedroom.”She said he asked her to lay down and watch television and, when she tried to push him away, “he began thrusting his genitals.”

  40. Finally, Cassandra Searles, Miss Washington 2013, accuses Donald Trump of sexual assault by groping her without permission. After the Trump/Billy Bush tape broke, she took to Facebook to say, “He probably doesn’t want me telling the story about that time he continually grabbed my ass and invited me to his hotel room.”

So, with due deference to the Washington Post’s “fact checkers” and Megyn Kelly, it isn’t just three women who have accused Bill Clinton of sexual assault. And, no, it isn’t “just words” from Donald Trump while Bill Clinton engaged in actions. More than a dozen and a half women have accused each man. Both are deeply entangled with Jeffrey Epstein. Many of the stories bear the same hallmarks. And high-ranking women and men from both parties have said and done horrible things to go after the accusers on the other side while letting their guy off the hook.

Come what may, this January a man serially accused of rape and unwanted groping will be in the White House either as President or as our first First Gentleman.