The 2016 US Presidential election has been a big debating topic in Australia over the last few months. A lot of people I know are wishing for a Trump-Sanders showdown in November. I'm not certain whether it would happen myself, but the possibility is very interesting: a non-politician running as a Republican versus a capital S-Socialist running as a Democrat.
So I was wondering "Where's the Mackerras pendulum?" Mackerras pendulums are built for two-party electoral systems such as the Australian one, where it is easy to line electorates up in their likelihood to vote for one side or another. If you assume a uniform swing in voting (doubtful, but let's go with it), then you can see how much of a swing is necessary for one party or another to win the election.
Mackerras pendulums weren't used for US Presidential Elections before 2004, because it made no sense to do. But 2000 onwards, you had the coagulation of the Electoral College into "Red States" and "Blue States", and thus it made sense to line the electorates up from solid Democrat (e.g., D.C.) to solid Republican (e.g., Utah).
Nobody seems to have done it for 2016. "Ricardian ambivalence" did it for 2012, and Mackerras himself did one for 2004 (where he predicted a landslide victory for Kerry, apparently.) Here is a first draft of a Mackerras pendulum for 2016.
|374||Maine (AL)||2||7.65%||166||467||South Dakota||3||-9.01%||74|
I might have calculated wrong, but it seems like the key state for 2016 is Colorado - highlighted in yellow); it went Democratic in 2012. That party could lose Virginia and Ohio and Florida (although for its own sake, it shouldn't), but lose Colorao, and it's game over. That's about a 2.69% swing.Share on Twitter Share on Facebook