Disclaimer: the article below represents the noodlings of a dumbass who is talking about things way over his head, but which he nonetheless finds interesting as a mental exercise.
At this point, I think it’s clear that the results of the 2016 US presidential race will be extraordinarily strange, and that strangeness primarily comes from Donald Trump’s candidacy. His campaign has been unlike any in my lifetime, and he’s certainly been a unique major party candidate.
As November approaches, I can’t help but consider the possible outcomes, as follows (from most to least likely, in my opinion):
Trump Drops Out: I think the most likely scenario is that Trump will realize he can’t win and so drops out of the race because that prevents “losing”. Also, he’d never come right out and say that he’s dropping out, he would wrap it in some kind of faux drama, like:
Has a business deal going that is too big to pass up, but it would be a conflict of interest to continue his candidacy
The fix is in and he’s not going to play along in a corrupt system
Some kind of family drama (wife having issues, kid sick, etc)
Assassination attempt (real or contrived) and he quits for the good of his family
A mysterious walking away and steadfast refusal to explain, with hints of a nefarious cause
Trump Stays In, Loses: It’s possible that even if he sees he won’t win he’ll stay in to the bitter end, most likely culminating with lawsuits and the launching of TrumpTV.
Trump Concocts a Legal Challenge, Delays the Election: He’s got floors full of lawyers who make their living off of Trumpian litigation, he could spin up some kind of legal challenge that causes a friendly court to stay the election until resolution (and/or virtually certain reversal by SCOTUS).
The Republican Party Disavows Trump: In order to try to preserve and rebuild their brand, the Republican party could choose to disavow Trump as their candidate, and possibly even run an alternate candidate. This move would virtually guarantee a win by Hillary, but the Republicans might see it as necessary for cutting their losses and reducing the damage to their party in the long term.
Trump Runs Third-Party: If the Republicans disavow Trump, or he senses it is imminent, he could spin up a third-party candidacy in order to try to remain in the race.
Trump Stays In, Wins: I think at this point this is an unlikely, but not impossible, scenario. It would, in my opinion, require a Clinton scandal of incredible proportions to swing the momentum at this point. If he does win, I’d expect him to either resign before the first term was done, or be impeached and removed from office.
As per the disclaimer at the top of this post, I’m just another dumbass with a blog spouting nonsense. However, this election is going to be different from any in my lifetime, and however it ends it’s going to be with a bang.