The Odds of Donald Trump Winning the White House

I’m an independent voter, and I am not registered with any party. In the past, the Democrats allowed independents to vote in their primaries—the GOP never has—but I’ve read that this year, independents like me, that make up the largest voting block in the United States, have been shut out of the primary process in the Democratic Party too. I hope what I heard isn’t true.

According to Gallop, 43% of registered voters are political independents. Registered Republicans make up 26% and Democrats 30%.  There are more than 146 million registered voters in the United States and in 2012, 126.144 million voted (almost 219 million Americans are eligible to vote but only those who are registered to vote, who vote, really count), and about 87% of registered voters turned out to vote in 2012. Gallup

If this is true, then the two major parties have locked out the largest block of registered voters (62.35 million) when it comes to the primary selection process that helps determine who runs for president.

  • 43.5 million are registered Democrats
  • 37.7 million are registered Republicans

It’s obvious to me that in the general election, it will be independent voters that will decide what candidate wins the popular vote. However, 538 hand-picked Americans that belong to the Electoral College, have the final power to decide who the next president will be. The following video shows how the Electoral College Works and why our votes can mean nothing when it comes to electing a president.

The process for selecting electors varies throughout the United States. Generally, the political parties nominate electors at their State party conventions or by a vote of the party’s central committee in each State. Electors are often selected to recognize their service and dedication to their political party, and Trump is a Republican in name only and a GOP outsider.

What this means is even if Donald Trump (DT) won the popular vote—that I think is highly unlikely—in an election against the Democratic candidate, DT could still lose in the Electoral College.

Knowing these facts, I think the odds of DT becoming president are slim to none and here’s why:

According to Gallup, 26% of registered voters belong to the GOP and another 30% belong to the Democratic Party. Sure, DT gets a lot of media attention because he is winning in GOP primaries, but what does that really mean?

For instance, Pew Research Center reported that through the first 12 primaries, GOP turnout had included 17.3 percent of eligible voters. That translates to 6.57 million registered voters. In addition, Trump has 680 delegates versus 733 for the three GOP candidates still running against him. That means Trump has, so far, earned 48% of 26% meaning that about 18 million registered Republicans might support DT.

AND, this is a big AND, Nate Silver says that Donald Trump is really unpopular with General Election Voters.

Nate Silver says, “Trump is extraordinarily unpopular with independent voters and Democrats. Gallup polling conducted over the past six weeks found Trump with a -27-percentage-point net favorability rating among independent voters, and a – (minus) 70-point net rating among Democrats; both marks are easily the worst in the GOP field. (Trump also has less-than-spectacular favorable ratings among his fellow Republicans.)

If Trump managed to become the GOP candidate for President in 2016, he may go down in history as the biggest loser ever with about 20 million votes to almost 100 million for the Democratic candidate.  In addition, considering that the president is really selected by the 538 members of the Electoral College, I think Trump has less than a 1% chance of becoming president.

Donald Trump told CNN’s Chris Cuomo that if he doesn’t get the nomination after a brokered convention, there would be riots.

Will DT urge his followers to riot if he doesn’t win the White House, and will his Tea Party followers set America on fire if they don’t get their man elected?


Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

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Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy followed by his award winning memoir Crazy is Normal.

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