This is no longer a placeholder. Some 'on the record' wild guesses are already out -- notably our Bob Kolker -- so I too am going to publish a prediction/analysis, knowing full well I might be picking through bird bones on November 9.
I think Donald Trump will lose the election on November 8th. I have some definite reasons why. I thought to post the reasons here, even if I am shown to be gawdawfully wrong later on. How 'off' will my analytic take be? Only time will tell.
Donald Trump lost because of the Republican Lady Vote, ultimately. He could have rallied a few more Latinos and African-Americans and other visible minorities to his base within his party's grasp, but that wouldn't have mattered as much as a seizing and a hold on Educated Lady votes.
That is the main reason he lost, looking back at me from the crystal ball. Ladies.
By state, he didn't capture the ladies of the Philadelphia suburbs, which cost him. He failed to capture the urban-suburban college-educated lady vote in Ohio and lost more crucial electoral votes. He failed to capture the conservative educated ladies in Florida in enough numbers to beat Romney's showing in 2012 He failed with the ladies of Utah. He failed with the ladies of North Carolina. He didn't get the crucial lady vote in states he needed.
There may be nuance, and other subsidiary reasons rooted in Mr Trump's behaviour and the challenges every Republican faces in terms of hostile and adversarial media. There may be ground-game reasons, money reasons, biases galore, party mutiny and backstabbiness, ghost-voting, sinister plots and precinct rigginess beyond the pale, but when the totals were officially-certified in places Trump had to dominate to be the Winner, he fell short with the ladies ...
-- with my Red Hat on, my reasons all turn on treason, or behaviour just-shy-of treasonous, by a panoply of bought and paid for agents against democracy. Not with a centre anywhere in particular, no grand plot, just a functional-structural bias on every dimension against Mr Trump. In the whole landscape of media small and large and fringe and newsworthy in themselves, it was ultimately Bannon and Trump against the world's sleaziest big-audience manipulators. That built-in structural disadvantage was key. Allied structural impediments were important but secondary and amplified by his own party's elite class, whether in the party itself or in positions of prominence and power in Wall Street and Washington.
That covers treasonous, bought, biased and elite party elders and candidates. Where were they when he needed them?
Those factors 'conspired' in a sense to depress turnout among previously likely voters. The ticket-splitters and the stay-homers of the GOP great coalition of voters gave Hillary Clinton an extra advantage that was totally undeserved, a side-effect of elite 'treason' against the candidate.
Finally, with Red Hat still firmly on, Trump lost because of loathing, not rational fear, not reason. The supine media and the fractured, corrupt party, and the 'got' functionaries of Clinton Inc put a false mark upon him and triggered an hysterical emotional reaction. They stoked phobia, hatred and division, and blamed Trump.They stoked loathing of the man and excused their complicity in feeding the hate.