Maybe Kurgan or Amanda or somebody much smarter about politics on me can forecast what they think is going to happen?
Well first off, thanks for the shout out, but there's nothing complicated about this. Maybe I'm 'smarter' than you on politics (emphasis on maybe).. in the sense that I've probably read more politics related things than you have, but I dunno, I did major in it.. but if we're being honest, there's nothing hyper-technical about this, or anything particularly impressive about having a major in political science. Give me a day, and someone who's taken at least a basic high school American History class, and I could teach them everything I know.
But to address the topic- most writers right now are predicting low turnout for two basic reasons:
1. Obama's base is likely to turn out in fewer numbers. His base was basically- minorities, the youth, poor people, and affluent liberal whites. Affluent liberal whites will turn out in the same numbers, but we'll probably see black turnout decrease, as well as youth turnout, just because Clinton isn't that exciting of a candidate (especially compared to Obama). Poor people turnout is generally low anyway and will likely stay that way.
2. Both candidates have high unfavorable percentages. This impacts primarily independent voters. Since neither candidate has good numbers when it comes to the favorability rating- i.e., they are both disliked on a personal level, a lot of the centrist/non-partisan type swing voters may not even show up.
So the next question is- how will this impact the race. Well, that's a question I could write pages on.. but I'll keep it short. Low turnout elections generally favor Republicans (see, e.g., midterm elections) since conservatives always turn out (no matter how much they bitch about the candidates), and it's Dems that always are fighting an uphill battle in this sense as they rely on minorities to show up to the polls, which is always hit-or-miss. However, that doesn't necessarily point to a significant advantage for Trump in this election. Not because of GOP defections (bitch as they may, they won't vote for Clinton, and even if they stay home, the states they are numerous in are going GOP anyway). But it's because of a combination of the swing vote- independents who have no real allegiance (national polling is actually the best way to track them), and demographics. Even in low turnout, since it's a general election there will probably be enough minorities to vote Clinton in... keep in mind that Romney not only won white men (easily), but also white women (56% to 42%). I expect it to be the same for Trump- even in low turnout, he'll win whites overwhelmingly (even women), but will lose the swing states due to minorities. Unless, of course, he magically increases white turnout in certain blue-collar PA counties (not holding my breath on that one).