October 9, 2020

OK, so we’re less than four weeks away from Election Day, and I’ve gotta admit that things are a heck of a lot more volatile this year than they were back in 2016. Given that this is 2020, I hasten to say anything definitive because four weeks is a lifetime in politics; not just with the COVID-19 thing, but there’s a truly impressive full-court anti-Trump press underway involving pretty much everything and everyone associated with Washington, New York, Silicon Valley, every media market in between, and our nation’s education system, so it’s much harder to read the tea leaves this year than it was four years ago.

That being said, there are some variables in this political cycle that remain unchanged from four years ago. For one thing, you can take it to the bank that the polls are going to be even more unreliable than they were four years ago. There are a number of reasons for this: (1) the pressure on the pollsters from the media and social media markets this go-round to try and lift the Biden-Harris ticket (to therefore deflate the enthusiasm of the Trump voter) is quite intense; (2) the inability to accurately gauge the so-called “likely voter” is far more prevalent than it was back in 2016. It’s truly sad that people have to go out of their way to hide their support for the President, but one only need peruse the bowels of Twitter – and it is a cesspool – Twitter has the most vile, petulant, sub-human (and I have to admit, best organized) followers when it comes to anything involving President Trump; anyone who dares to express any kind of support for the President risks not just their financial and emotional well-being, but even their physical one as well; (3) the whole COVID-19 thing and voting by mail (VBM) – most especially in Democrat-governed “battleground” states – is going to make the whole prospect of knowing who has won on November 3 highly unlikely.

There are some pollsters (Richard Baris, for example) who believe we won’t actually know who was won until near Thanksgiving; while I think that’s plausible, I do believe (just as I did back in 2016) that there is a wellspring of Trump voters out there who simply defy being identified and defined by traditional polling; this has been made even more so by the increasingly brazen jackboot tactics of the “professional left” who out, shame, and if need be, destroy anyone who refuses to adhere to their belief system. If you believe (as I do) that Black Lives Matter is a vile, racist, and Marxist organization you run the risk of personal and professional destruction. If you believe that “all lives matter” and/or “blue lives matter” and you find yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time and can’t or don’t keep your mouth shut, you risk public shaming, loss of livelihood, personal harm, or even death.

As I’ve often said in this space, you know what the tea leaves are saying by what the political campaigns are doing and where and how they are focusing their time. So, given the above and the fact that there is still a lifetime of time left in this election cycle, allow me to make a few points and prognostications:

1. I don’t believe there are nearly as many undecideds out there as the pollsters are saying. At this point you are either voting or you’re not voting. In my view (and the view of some pretty savvy political watchers I trust) the vast majority of undecideds are either voting for Trump and are refusing to say so, or are not voting at all.

2. Forget about what the pollsters are saying that this is going to be a “high turnout” election. It is not and will not. Between the COVID-19 and the mess over VBM (the number of ballots tossed is going to be astronomical) my prediction is that you’re going to find less turnout this year.

3. There are several factors associated with this, and not just because of the VBM issues I mentioned above. The great Larry Schweikart has been pushing for a while that the forced movement of college students at major universities across the country to remote learning is going to have a huge impact on the number of votes. There’s just no way – even with VBM – that you’ll have the same numbers of 18-24 voters in 2020. And when you consider the locations of these universities in key “battleground” states (think Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Arizona) this is going to have an impact not just on the Electoral College but on the popular vote as well.

4. Because of the above, what this all boils down to is that 2020 is going to be a turnout election. Whichever candidate can convince their base to come out and vote the best is going to win. It’s really that simple. How do you know the two campaigns are aware of this? Because both campaigns are now focusing their efforts on a very small handful of states: Florida, Pennsylvania, and Arizona. Sure, there are other states that are important to the campaigns: Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and North Carolina, but here’s what it comes down to: if Trump loses Florida, it’s all over. If Biden loses Pennsylvania, it’s all over.

5. The reason for this is obvious, and it all boils down to demographics: if Trump wins Florida he’s gonna win Georgia, North Carolina, Texas, and (likely) Arizona. If Trump loses Florida, the election is over – period. Which is why, as Red Eagle Politics has been saying all along, this will not be a “Rust Belt” election, but a “Sunbelt” election.

6. In Biden’s case, I suppose he can afford to lose Florida, but that means he absolutely has to win Pennsylvania and pretty much run the table in the Rust Belt (sans Ohio, where he has no chance). Which is why, if I’m Biden’s campaign, I’m basically in PA and Michigan for the rest of the campaign.

7. I have always subscribed to belief that, when it comes to Election Day in-person voting, there is a not an insignificant block of voters who will vote for the person they believe is going to win regardless of their political beliefs. This is why the pollsters are increasingly employing the question of “who do you believe is going to win” in their surveys. And Trump is winning this question across the board, in some cases, significantly.

8. Forget about the presidential debates. To what extent they will occur or not, they will have insignificant impact on the election. The mainstream media loves to use the debates as a way to focus on “undecided voters”, but as I mentioned above I don’t believe there are many – if any – undecided voters at this time. The differences between the two campaigns in 2020 are that stark.

9. Given the above, voter enthusiasm is going to be the biggest factor in this year’s election. And there is zero doubt that the enthusiasm is with Trump voters than Biden voters. Two reasons: (1) you only need to look at the number of voters who came out during the Republican primaries with Trump running virtually unopposed to know he has them and is not going to lose them, and (2) the enthusiasm on the Democratic side is not for Biden, it’s against Trump. And I will tell you that human nature (and political history) dictates that the “for” candidate always wins. Simply put, Trump voters will crawl two miles over broken glass to vote for him; I don’t care how passionately you are against Trump, there aren’t enough of you who feel the same way.

It’s still too early to make a definitive prognostication, but all I’ll say at this point is that I would much rather be in the President’s shoes than in “Slo’ Joe” Biden’s.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 11:30 | Comments (0)
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