A Donald Trump presidency is not the liberals' biggest nightmare, analyst says

Niall Ferguson: Like Brexit, voter turnout key

Neither party can afford to take the presidential election for granted at this point, political veterans and analysts told CNBC's "Power Lunch" on the eve of Election Day.

"A Donald Trump presidency is not the liberals' biggest nightmare ... It's a successful Trump presidency," Niall Ferguson, a senior fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution, said Monday. In his travels, he has found the Chinese to be supportive of a Trump presidency, saying they believe his campaign rhetoric promising to crack down on China is mostly a bluff. His "bromance" with Russian President Vladimir Putin is another X factor, which could possibly give him some credibility with voters here in the states if he is, in fact, able to strike a deal with Russia on Syria, he said.

Ferguson said this election brings back vivid memories of Brexit, where there were huge differentials in voter turnout. Trump's base of older, white, male and "less well-educated" voters could turn single-handedly change the outcome of the election, he said.

"If they turn out in numbers significantly higher than they did four or eight years ago, then the polls are going to be wrong," he said. "The lesson of Brexit is to watch those differentials in turnout."

Former New Jersey Senator and New York Knicks basketball player Bill Bradley admitted that Washington is broken. He believes that Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton will take the necessary steps to reform the system, specifically the Citizens United decision that eliminated corporations' campaign spending limits. He said he doesn't believe Donald Trump is qualified to prevent nuclear warfare.

"The most important question a citizen can ask himself or herself before they vote for president is 'who do I trust with my life?'" he asked.

Bill Bradley: Vote for someone you can trust with your life

On polling, Ed Rendell, former governor of battleground-state Pennsylvania, said there are variables that may not be represented accurately in the polling, such as voter enthusiasm and the "hidden Trump vote." He suggested that the recent settling of the transit strike in Philadelphia helps the Democrats because of seniors who rely on public transportation to vote.

He also said Uber and Lyft will also be offering free rides for voters to and from polls, thanks to a super-PAC that raised about $60,000 for the ride-sharing companies to offer that service.

Correction: This story has been updated to name Bill Bradley, former New Jersey senator and New York Knicks basketball player.