In 1980, the polls said that the election would be close. That year, Mrs. Hoge and I were traveling on a business trip (the Audio Engineering Society Convention) over the weekend before the election and were driving back from New York to Nashville on election day. We had voted by absentee ballot. We were driving down I-81 and stopped in Harrisonburg, Virginia, for supper as the Sun was setting. By the time we finished, got back on the road, and turned on the car radio, the election coverage was effectively over. As voting was ending in the East, the size of the blowout was already evident. Ronald Reagan was crushing Jimmy Carter. He secured more than the 270 electoral votes needed before voting hours were over on the West Coast. President Reagan carried 44 states and received 489 electoral votes.
At this point in the 1988 election cycle, Michael Dukakis had a double-digit lead in the polls.
I have no idea how this election will go. I am unalterably opposed to Hillary Clinton, and I view Donald Trump as the lesser of two evils. I’ve written before that I will probably vote for whichever third-party candidate seems likely to collect more popular votes than the others. My reason is simple. Maryland is the bluest of the blue states. Trump can’t carry the state unless it’s a 48- or 49-state blowout, and Maryland’s electoral votes would be lost in the noise in such an election. However, if a third-party gets at least 5 % of the national popular vote this year, its candidate will be entitled to federal matching fund in 2020. I find the thought of the Libertarians getting federal matching funds humorous. I also believe that having a better funded Libertarian or Green Party candidate would have a beneficial effect on the two major parties.
If you live in a deep red or deep blue state, you may want to consider my voting strategy. But if you live in a true battleground state, you should really vote for whichever of the two major candidates you think will do the lesser harm.