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Crystal Ball: Gript Writers predict the US election

At 11.30pm Irish time, the polls will close in Indiana and Kentucky, and counting will begin in a US Presidential Election that has been ongoing now for 18 months. Joe Biden announced his candidacy for President on April 25th, 2019. Tonight, voters will render a judgement both on him, and on the incumbent President, Donald J. Trump.

Public polling has favoured Biden heavily in recent weeks, but elections are unpredictable, and there are signs, if you look for them, that President Trump’s support is stronger than the polls would suggest. There is also a gap between the popular vote – how many votes each candidate gets nationally – and the electoral college, to the extent that many observers say that Trump is the favourite to win the election if he can manage to lose the popular vote by only one or two per cent.

So who do Gript writers think will win? We asked them, and here are their answers. Feel free to congratulate them, or mock them, as the case may be, when it’s all over. And leave your own prediction in the comments!

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John McGuirk, Editor: Polls might lie, but not this much – Biden Wins

I’ve been going back and forth on this prediction for days, but ultimately, the polls might lie, but not by this much. President Trump has not run a great campaign – focusing far too much on weird stories about Joe Biden’s son, and not nearly enough on his own economic and foreign policy record. He inspires immense love from his own supporters, but too many people just find him off-putting, and ignorant. That’s damaged him in particular with the well-to-do voters in the suburbs who usually vote Republican, but who value being seen as respectable. I think Biden will win all the Clinton states, and add Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Arizona, North Carolina, and a single electoral vote in Nebraska, taking him to a comfortable 305-233 win in the electoral college. And I think he wins the popular vote by 6 – 51% to 45%.

POPULAR VOTE: Biden 51 Trump 45

ELECTORAL COLLEGE: Biden 305 Trump 233


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Gary Kavanagh: I think these polls are correct, unfortunately, but who knows?

According to pretty much every poll in existence Joe Biden is going to absolute destroy Donald Trump in this election. As a big believer in polling and statistical analysis I should probably just say Biden is going to crush Trump and leave it at that – that would give me the highest chance of being comfortable correct and avoid me looking like a tit on the internet.

Unfortunately, I just can’t shake the feeling that those polls aren’t correct. When people in America are polled on what we would consider the fundamental questions, like “are you better off now than before Trump was president?” or “how enthusiastic are you about voting?” we’re seeing results that reflect very well on Trump. In fact, when you look at the fundamentals, Trump should be on course to crush Biden. Like into the dirt crush.

Trump is a divisive candidate, and he has the enmity of nearly all of America’s media, who have been only to happy to attack him consistently since his election, sometimes on legitimate grounds but often on rather spurious ones. If he loses he’ll lose because being Donald Trump, the aesthetics of it, has been able to overcome every advantage he now possesses from policy wins and economic growth.

I do not rightly know what will happen, and anything from a Biden landslide to a respectable Trump win would not surprise me. Similarly the Senate could also be close, and people seem to have become so wrapped up in the presidential election that they’ve forgotten that a Trump or Biden presidency with a hostile Senate is a very different beast than one with a supportive Senate.

(Editor’s note: Way to chicken out, Gary!)


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Ben Scallan: Biden offers negativity and fear, Trump offers hope

Donald Trump, the most unconventional President in US history, will defy the odds and the political pundits once again, and win re-election tomorrow, and some of us think it won’t even be close.  I know what the polls say. I did not believe them last time, and I don’t buy it now. Simply put, Donald Trump has given American’s three things that no free people will easily vote away.  Trump gave America Peace, Prosperity, and Hope.

1) In his first three years he gave every American prosperity with an economy that lifted up the poor more than the rich for the first time in decades. 

2) Donald Trump ended the cycle of international terrorism which had its focus in the ISIS/DAESH caliphate. So much so that in Trump’s four years in office there was only 1 significant Islamic terror attack (2017 Lower Manhattan attack).

3) The Democratic Party under Joe Biden revels in talk of ‘Dark Winters’ and ‘National mask mandates’. In a speech this week Joe Biden in one of his many gaffes even said ‘America is dead’. Trump, on the other hand, is optimistic. He offers hope, a vaccine, and embodies the fact that even 70 year old overweight men who get covid1-9 can make a full recovery.

Peace, Prosperity and Hope, Donald Trump’s running mates, will give him back the White House for 4 more years, and give the American people the president some of them may not want, but the whole world might need.


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Daniel O’Dowd: Trump wins, because he appeals to voters others cannot reach

President Trump’s campaign since the Coronavirus has been inconsistent, but just when he needs it, some of his policies are starting to bear fruit. As economies falter the world over, Trump has ensured the American economy is still going strong. Keeping schools open and fighting lockdowns have proven popular with Americans who can least afford for the economy to grind to a halt. I think Trump is going to shock Biden, by beating Biden where it hurts in blue collar states like Minnesota, Michigan and Pennsylvania. His messaging on fracking, guns, law & order, and China were key ingredients to his success in 2016, and delivering upon that messaging should be enough to keep those voters. If Biden wins, he will unfortunately be tainted by the perception that the election was won for him – not by him. Trump’s combative style may lose him certain voters, but also opens up voters never reached by the GOP before.

POPULAR VOTE: Biden 51 Trump 48

ELECTORAL COLLEGE: Biden 233 Trump 305


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Tim Jackson: There’s not enough enthusiasm for Biden

Are there enough shy Trump voters in Pennsylvania to hand Trump that key swing state? If so, it’s likely the president will win a second term. My bet is that Joe Biden’s negative comments about fracking, and the riots in Philadelphia, will tip the balance in Donald Trump’s favour there, and that those brow-beaten “deplorables” whom pollsters tend to miss will win the day once again. If not, Trump will rue much of the self-inflicted damage done to his credibility among the middle ground. As it stands, I don’t sense enough enthusiasm (and therefore turnout) for Joe Biden to suggest he’ll have a night to remember in the swing states.

Popular Vote: Biden 49 Trump 47

Electoral College: Biden 258 Trump 280

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Margaret Hickey: Changing voter demographics mean it’s Biden

I think Biden is more likely than Trump to amass the 270 electoral votes required to win on November 3rd. That is principally, if not solely, because of changing voter demographics.  Covid and remote voting along with the Democrats’ campaign to maximise virtual turnout will mean that the age profile of voters could switch from mostly elderly to mostly young. In 2016, 72% of those over 65 voted compared to only 41% of those between 18 and 24. That is what will secure a narrow, and most likely disputed, victory, for Biden.  A radical demographic change should be enough to flip enough swing states to Biden. As in 2016, many voters are ambivalent and conflicted and the choice is more about who and what ideology you want to exclude than any enthusiasm for the candidate you decide to support.


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Prof Ray Kinsella: Americans will keep faith with Trump

This much can be said of President Trump: he did not precipitate a nuclear ‘event’ with North Korea (remember?) or Iran which he might have done had he listened to the warmongers. He has brought (a kind of) peace to the Middle East, unlike Bush et al who brought war and massive human misery. He has brought soldiers home, in the face of huge resistance from the deep state. He has pushed back against a hegemonistic and totalitarian Communist China. He has stood unapologetically in support of Life, in the teeth of those who believe that the ‘People’ of the US should pay for the killing of the children of the ‘People’– and who then disclaim about the ‘Affordable Healthcare’. He engineered a massive tax- fuelled increase in jobs and growth– till, like the rest of the global economy, he was undone by Covid-19.

But Americans don’t seem to be listening–or have already voted in massive numbers. The bookies think he has already lost the Election. Like a boxer defending his title, he may have conceded too many of the early rounds and now needs a KO as we approach the last round. It happens– he did it first time round–but not too often. The liberal media– CNN and the NYT and the rest– won’t hear a word against Joe Biden.

The Democrats– my own former political domain–sold out a long time ago. Joe Biden is a 40 year denizen of the Dáil– sorry, Washington–whose political antenna swivel true left, towards political advantage. Outside of Capitol Hill, he wears his ‘ordinary’ Joe Biden persona like an overcoat. He will not decide policy, good bad or indifferent. The Marxist ‘woke’ forces ranged behind him ( ‘what, me– man of the people Joe Biden, a Marxist’?) will decide who, what and when– and they are truly terrifying to anyone who abhors the darkness.

Who wins? Trump. But then I’m a sucker for a ‘happy’ ending.

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Bryan O’Shea: Trump landslide, baby (Okay, maybe not landslide)

I think the President is going to win big. Polling has consistently underestimated Trump’s support and continues to repeat the mistakes of 2016. Reputable polling outlets that predicted Trump’s victory in 2016 are predicting the same now. and predictors of election success in the Trump era have changed from standard methodology to different methods that capture the “secret Trump voters”.

Enthusiasm is high, his rallies are huge events in comparison to Bidens. Tens of thousands of people in blue states like California and New York are having marches and parades in support of Trump that weren’t seen in 2016. Primary concerns of voters are jobs, economy and law & order – all of which Trump leads his establishment rival on. Don’t underestimate the damage of the Hunter Biden scandal either.

I predict Trump will win all of the states he won in 2016 and flip Nevada and Minnesota.

POPULAR VOTE: Biden 48 Trump 47

ELECTORAL COLLEGE: Trump 321 Biden 217



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