The Economist on the 2016 unpopularity contest

has done a report on the 2016 presidential election. Their findings include:

  • The Economist Intelligence Unit expects Hillary Clinton to win the 2016 presidential election
  • The Democrats are likely to win back a majority in the Senate
  • The Republicans will retain control of the House of Representatives
  • Ms Clinton will benefit from the broad unpopularity of her opponent, Donald Trump.
  • Mr Trump’s plans for a huge wall on the southern border with Mexico and mass deportations of millions of undocumented workers are completely unrealistic.
  • Filling the vacancy on the Supreme Court will be the most consequential act by the new president.
  • We expect Ms Clinton to serve for one term.
  • The business cycle will turn in 2019, pushing the economy into recession. Voters will desert the Democrats, disappointed with its failure to maintain economic growth.
  • The Republicans will win the 2020 presidential election, having made small concessions on immigration policy and toned down its nativist rhetoric. The party will field a better salesman than Mr Trump as its candidate, but its long-term success will depend on changing some of its policies, which appeal to a shrinking proportion of the electorate.
  • A long-term realignment of the two parties is possible. We expect union influence to weaken in the Democratic Party, enabling a pivot towards policies supportive of free trade. The Republican Party, swayed by its voters, will increasingly adopt protectionist rhetoric and will grow more suspicious of globalisation. This could trigger the biggest shift in voters’ allegiance since the Democrats embraced the civil rights movement in the mid-20th century.

It will be very sad if the Republicans do become more protectionist.

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