More Election Predictions

Ed writes:

What you are really saying is that Hillary Clinton will defeat Donald Trump at the polls because she is more popular than Trump is. More people want her to become President. That is all you are saying.
But you did not make the argument until challenged in the comments. You hid it behind all this pseudo-sophisticated Electoral College nonsense.

It’s not pseudo-sophisticated, and it’s not nonsense. The Electoral College is all that matters. Everything else is crap. Trump is the most toxic Presidential candidate in recent memory. Over half of Republicans say either they are uncertain he would be a good President or they say he will be a lousy President. Fully 40% of Republicans say Trump will be a lousy President. 40%!
Hillary will win all of the battleground states, well, at least if the election were held today. She will win Florida, Colorado, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and even North Carolina. Colorado, Virginia, and North Carolina have gotten much more liberal in 20 years. Ohio and Pennsylvania are flat, but they lean ~3-4 points Dem. Florida is flat, but she will win there. A Republican barely won the governor’s race recently despite spending a mountain of money.
Nevada, New Mexico, Wisconsin, Michigan, New Hampshire, have all gotten quite a bit more liberal in the last 20 years.
Not one single battleground state is getting more conservative over the last 20 years. Not one!
Hillary will not turn any red states though. At best, she could win Indiana and Arizona.
This is the longterm trend, and it will not be reversed.
Black turnout will be the same as 2012. Women despise Trump. Trump will win no more than 15-20% of Hispanics and maybe less than that. He has to win 66% of the White vote, and he might not even win 60%. His gains with working class Whites will be wiped out because Whites with some college hate him. Hardly any working class Democrats support him. Yes, working class Whites support him, but those people have been backing Republicans for a long time.
At least as of right now, he can’t win. She has 347 electoral votes. Total blowout. The election is over and it hasn’t even started yet.
Nate Silver puts Trump’s chance at winning at 2%. I would say that is optimistic.
Look at who the bookies are betting for. These people are willing to lay down their money to bet who wins. If Hillary wins, you will get a 33% return on your money. If Trump wins, you will get 150% return. The betters are favoring Hillary by a large margin.

Swing State Election Forecast

Swing states include states like Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Virginia, North Carolina and Florida.
Nevada and New Mexico are Western states that were former Republican strongholds, but have gone over to Democratic in recent years. Most of this is due to more Hispanics in those states. Hillary will win both states.
Colorado is a bit more red, but it is also getting more Democratic. Colorado was former hard conservative Western state, but it’s changed. This is also due in large part to a growing Hispanic population. This state is very much up in the air, and Trump is leading at the moment. It will be a challenge for Hillary to win here, and Trump may well win Colorado. The percentage of gun nuts in this Wild West state is very high.
Iowa has also been trending Democratic. Reasons are not known. Hillary will probably win, but it may be quite close.
Wisconsin has been trending heavily Democratic for some time now. Hillary will win this state handily. Hillary is not even spending one nickel on ads here now because she knows it is in the bag.
Michigan has also been getting more more Democratic lately, and Hillary will win here easily. Hillary is not buying any ads here either.
Ohio is very much up in the air. This is another state that has been trending Democratic lately. Hillary has been ahead in the polls by 4-5 points though. This state could probably go either way.
Pennsylvania has not voted for a Republican in nearly 30 years. Polls show a close race, but Hillary is not spending one nickel on ads here yet. Hillary’s campaign says their internals show a much better race for Hillary. Apparently Hillary thinks she has it in the bag. Pennsylvania as a whole has been getting more Republican if you go county by county, especially in the east and center of the state. However these rural counties are not heavily populated.
The problem with Pennsylvania for Republicans is Pittsburgh and especially Philadelphia. Most of the state’s population lives in these large urban centers that are heavily minority. Philly in particular has a huge Black population. The Democratic votes in the cities should easily outweigh the rural red counties. Hillary should win Pennsylvania.
New Hampshire was long famous for being a conservative state, but it has been voting Democratic in recent years also. Hillary will easily win this state.
Virginia is very much a swing state. This was long a conservative Republican stronghold, the capital of the Confederacy. However, many Northerners have been moving down there in recent years, changing the state. This is very nearly a blue or Democratic state now. It’s incredible. Hillary will most probably win Virginia, but it will be close.
North Carolina is very much up in the air. This state was a conservative red state for a very long time. However, it is now moving towards the Democratic Party, but it is not all the way there yet. This is because many young hipsters have been moving down there for the good jobs to be had in the region, especially in the Research Triangle, where many high tech firms have moved.
It seems hard to believe that the state of Jesse Helms is now moving Democratic. The state is now flip-flopping back and forth between voting for Democrats and voting for Republicans. The state government is still very conservative. This was where the famous transgender bathroom bill was passed recently. This will be a very close race, and it could easily go either way.
Florida is the ultimate swing state and has been flipping back and forth between Democratic and Republican votes for President for the last 20 years. I have no information how the state was voting before then. If anyone knows, please tell me.
Northern Florida is like the US South and is very conservative. The center of the state is very mixed, and the south is also also a very mixed bag.
Many Jews from the Northeast have been moving down to Southern Florida to retire. These people vote Democrat. The state also has a very large Black population, especially in the northern part of the state. South Florida is very Hispanic but these Hispanics are conservative as they are mostly Cubans. Cubans have long voted Republican, but a lot of the younger ones are voting Democrat. There are also large populations of rightwing Venezuelans and Nicaraguans living here who fled leftwing regimes. However, there are also many Haitians here, and they vote Democrat. There are many Puerto Ricans in the center of the state, especially around Orlando. They vote Democratic.
This state will be incredibly close as it has been since at least 2000. The state government is run by Republicans, and there are major voter suppression efforts underway. Florida is completely up in the air and could go either way.

Wolverines in Colorado and Utah

Repost from the old site.
Separate posts on this blog deal extensively with wolverines in Oregon, Washington, Idaho (here and here), Wyoming, Nevada, the Upper Midwest and New Mexico. There are also five posts on the wolverine in California.
This post was split off from an earlier post that got too large, California Wolverine Re-discovered After 85 Years. This particular post will deal with the question of wolverines in the states of Utah and Colorado.
Wolverines are present in Colorado on the Pike and White River National Forests and in Utah in the Wasatch and Uinta Mountains and in Sanpete County in central Utah.

The Pike National Forest southwest of Denver, Colorado. This forest is believed to harbor wolverines. The famous Pike’s Peak is located in this forest.
The Manti-La Sal National Forest in Utah in Sanpete County. This county in central Utah is believed to harbor a wolverine population. This area is northeast of Fillmore, Utah, which is the sighting nearest to Nevada.

 
I recently received a report of a good, but unconfirmed, wolverine sighting in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. The sighting occurred on August 20, 1989 in the Upper Escalante River Canyon at the junction with Coyote Gulch (map here). The wolverine was in the canyon chasing a beaver near its beaver dam. It also swam across the river.
The sighting was by a man with a Master’s Degree in Ecology from UC Davis. The elevation for the sighting was 4,100 feet, but wolverines are not always found at high elevations.
This is an extremely unusual place to see a wolverine, but they probably used to live here. There are place names such as “Wolverine Bench” on the map in the Escalante Canyon area and wolverines used be found into northern Arizona. If wolverines existed in northern Arizona, clearly they existed in the Glen Canyon area. Wolverines live in very similar habitat in the Snake River Canyon in Idaho.
The Upper Escalante River Canyon is in the Aquarius Plateau, which has 50,000 acres of land above 11,000 feet. That’s clearly wolverine habitat. The junction of Coyote Gulch and the Upper Escalante is a ways away from the Plateau, but it’s likely a dispersing juvenile could be found in the area. A photo of the terrain is here.
There have been sporadic wolverine sightings for decades in Colorado.
A Colorado Department of Wildlife biologist spotted one south of Trapper Lake in Flat Tops Wilderness in the mid-1960’s.
 

Trapper Lake in the Flat Tops Wilderness. Canyon walls tower up to 1,000 feet at this late at the 9,500 foot elevation level. Fishing is very popular in this lake and it is said to be very good.

The Flat Tops is partly in the White River National Forest and partly in the Routt NF. There was another unconfirmed sighting of tracks from the Flat Tops in 2003.

A photo of Vail ski resort and the town of Vail, Colorado as seen from Red Sandstone Road, which goes north of town. A wolverine was seen on this road recently. Click to enlarge.

Recently, there was an unconfirmed wolverine sighting 4-5 miles up Red Sandstone Road in Vail, Colorado on the White River National Forest.
 

The famous Maroon Bells in the White River National Forest in western Colorado. Aspen and Vail are also located in this forest. I spent a week skiing in Aspen in 1978. Great place! The White National Forest is believed to harbor a wolverine population. Along with Pike NF, these may be the only populations in the state.

 
There was another unconfirmed sighting of a wolverine chasing a boy on a motorcycle down a road in the Routt National Forest in far northern Colorado some years ago. The Routt is near Steamboat Springs up by the Wyoming border.
There have been multiple unconfirmed wolverine sightings in Rocky Mountain National Park since 2000.
In June 1979, a man watched a wolverine for four minutes as it approached a bear bait he had set near Parshall in Grant County. That area is southwest of Rocky Mountain National Park.
 

A photo of the Aspen Canyon Ranch in Parshall, Colorado. A wolverine was seen here in 1979. Parshall is not much of a town. It is really just an unincorporated collection of small homes and trailers. There are dude ranches all around here. That may be the Colorado River in the photo, as it runs through town here near its headwaters. Fishing is supposed to be great in the river here.

 
In June 1978, a couple photographed an adult wolverine with three cubs in the Uncompagre. In the late 1980’s, there was an unconfirmed sighting of a wolverine in the Uncompagre Wilderness on the Uncompagre National Forest. The Uncompagre is in southern Colorado and is located about 20 miles northwest of Telluride.
In March 1979, three biologists with the Colorado Department of Wildlife saw a wolverine near the Rifle Falls Fish Hatchery near Rifle, Colorado in Garfield County in western Colorado.
 

Rifle Mountain Park, 13 miles north and just beyond the Rifle Falls Fish Hatchery, the largest fish hatchery in Colorado. There is great ice climbing here during the winter and mountain climbing the rest of the year. You don’t even have to worry about rain much because the cliffs catch so much of it and you can always take shelter under one. A wolverine was seen near here in 1979.

Also in March 1979, a man shot a wolverine on Highway 40, 1½ miles west of the Colorado border in Utah near Dinosaur, Colorado.
In June 1978, a man took three photos of a wolverine crossing a snow field on Trinchera Peak (13,513 feet) in the Sangre de Christo Mountains in southern Colorado.
 

The spectacular Trinchera Peak in the Sangre de Cristos. Bighorns roam on the top slopes of the mountain.

There have also been quite a few sightings in the San Juan Mountains north of Durango and southeast of Wolf Creek Pass.
In July 1977, a man found a wolverine skull in the East Fork of the Cinnamon River Drainage in Gunnison County. The skull was less than 10 years old.
Wolverines have also been spotted, incredibly, near Sterling on the Great Plains in northeastern Colorado, which seems very odd, but looking through all of these reports, it becomes apparent that wolverines in Wyoming, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Iowa and Minnesota may indeed use prairie habitat.


An incredible photo of a tornado over Sterling, Colorado from a storm-chaser page. Storm-chasers chase tornadoes so they can get pictures of them, or just to watch them. Pretty dangerous sport. Click to enlarge. I think it is quite clear by now that wolverines do use prairie habitat.
Even aboriginally, prairie was thought to be marginal for wolverines, but perhaps that was wrong. Pre-contact, vast herds of buffalo roamed the prairie, and there would be plenty of dead buffalo for the scavenging wolverine to eat.

References

Biodiversity Legal Foundation, Predator Conservation Alliance, Defenders of Wildlife, Northwest Ecosystem Alliance, and Superior Wilderness Action Network. 2000. Petition for a Rule to List the Wolverine (Gulo gulo luscus) as Threatened or Endangered under the Endangered Species Act within the Contiguous United States . Submitted to the U.S. Dept. of Interior Fish and Wildlife Service on July 11, 2000.
Nead, D. M., Halfpenny, J. C., and Bissell, S. 1984. The Status of Wolverines in Colorado. Northwest Sci.: 58: 286-289.
Predator Conservation Alliance. 2001. Predator Conservation Alliance’s Literature Summary – Draft – January 24, 2001 – Draft Conservation Status and Needs of the Wolverine (Gulo gulo).