Greg Valliere – Two Possible Election Outcomes

This article is part of our Schwab IMPACT 2016 Special Coverage this week. More articles are listed below.

Only two election scenarios are possible, according to Greg Valliere. Either Clinton will win by a modest 4-5% margin, or she will win by a blowout margin of 12-13%. It would be really tough for Trump to get to 270 Electoral votes, according to Valliere.

Valliere is the chief strategist for North Carolina-based Horizon Investments and is a frequent speaker on politics. He was one of the opening night keynote speakers at this year’s Schwab IMPACT Conference, held in San Diego.

Approximately 2,000 advisors were registered to attend the conference, the largest in the industry

The big story will be the margin of victory and the control of the House, he said. If Clinton wins in a blowout, the House could “flip,” along with the Senate, he said.

Valliere asked the audience to ponder the leadership “troika” of Clinton, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. That would create a “real concern” about tax policy and an unfriendly environment for business, he said.

If the House stays Republican, there is no chance of a tax increase (except perhaps for the end of the favorable treatment of carried interest), according to Valliere. That is a key point, he said.

“All of your clients who are worried about tax increases should breathe easier,” he said.

Election handicapping

Clinton has three key advantages, according to Valliere. Her ground game is very good and well-funded in the key states, such as Ohio. Trump, he said, is poorly funded and run by amateurs. “A good ground game can be worth 1% in a key state,” he said. Second, the electoral map tilts towards Democrats, and it will be tough for Trump to get to 270 Electoral votes. Lastly, he said there has been a “tidal wave change” in demographics – “there aren’t enough old white men to elect Trump.”

Valliere pondered the possibility that he and the pollsters could be wrong. After all, those pollsters got the Brexit vote and the outcome of a recent referendum in Columbia wrong. He acknowledged that there are big disputes over weighting segments of the population, such as race and ethnicity, in overall poll results. The biggest source of error could be that those who hold controversial views may not want to admit them to a complete stranger on the phone. Thus, there could be a hidden segment of un-polled Trump supporters. “It’s possible that could happen,” he said.

The bigger wildcard is turnout, he said, which pollsters have a hard time predicting. Valliere explained that Trump voters may be more likely to turn out in bad weather than some Clinton voters. Turnout will also be more uncertain if Clinton’s lead grows.

Valliere said that Trump has squandered opportunities to easily defeat Clinton. She was vulnerable on issues such as the weak economy, Obamacare and the WikiLeaks. Instead, he said, Trump did things like spending “two and a half days going after Miss Universe.” It was an “utter lack of discipline,” according to Valliere. Indeed, Clinton got really lucky and faced the one candidate she could beat. She would be trailing a ticket of John Kasich and Marco Rubio, Valliere predicted.