Election 2020 Chapter 5: Towards The Homestretch…

Luis A. Mendez

Boricua. Florida Man. Theist. Husband. Writer. Critic. Oscar Predictor. Godzilla Fanboy. Member Of The Critics Association Of Central Florida And The Puerto Rico Critics Association

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31 Responses

  1. Michael Cain says:

    No doubt I’m just being a snowflake, but I found the fireworks a bit offensive during a summer when more big chunks of the West are burning down and several of the states are under total outdoor fire bans.

    One of the most recent California fires was started by people using a smoke bomb as part of their gender-reveal celebration. That fire is up past 11 square miles already. I am torn between lock them up and throw away the key, or garnish their wages forever.Report

  2. North says:

    Great analysis.
    I hang on 538’s daily updates to try and keep perspective. It feels so much like Biden is in a good position. I felt the same way about HRC, of course, but Biden is pretty unambiguously a stronger candidate than she was, has the benefit of hindsight that she didn’t and, obviously, has enormously lower odds of a Comey surprise than she did.
    But yeah, 2016.
    Feels like the debates are it this time around. I can’t think of any other shot Trump has at turning this around.Report

    • George Turner in reply to North says:

      Trump’s going to win in a landslide. The other day he carefully explained to his supporters that they should both vote-by-mail and show in person on election day to cast a ballot the usual way, so that if the Post Office or corrupt election officials toss out their mail-in-ballot, their vote will still be counted. I don’t think Democrats are going to take that second step because of the Covid risk, so potentially Trump will double or more than double his vote total over 2016.Report

    • Burt Likko in reply to North says:

      Clinton was in a good position, as proven by the fact that she actually got more votes than Trump. The Electoral College intervened with that. It’s another discussion about whether that was a good or a bad thing.

      Whether that repeats is a different question, because then as now the general polling numbers and the EC map are intertwined but not always closely. 538’s state-by-state approach is obviously the right approach for forecasting and there are many other things to like about their model. What the model can’t predict and therefore can’t account for are jack moves, and Trump will certainly try one of those if the numbers continue to look this way for him in a month.

      The model also can’t predict and therefore can’t account for cheating.

      There’s still two months to go and two months is a long time in politics, especially these days.Report

      • Chip Daniels in reply to Burt Likko says:

        What both the 2016 and 2020 elections have in common is that they are both close with the winner separated from loser by a few percentage points in either direction.

        Also in both, the GOP is not capable of gaining a majority of the votes, but may win both anyway.Report

        • George Turner in reply to Chip Daniels says:

          I just got back from checking (the DeLorean’s Mr Fusion is still cooling down), and it turns out that you are mistaken.Report

        • North in reply to Chip Daniels says:

          I am Pollyanna enough to still think Biden could win a with a large and decisive victory. It’d be incredibly good for almost everyone involved if he did. Really the only losers in that scenario would be Trump himself, the far right and the far left.Report

          • Chip Daniels in reply to North says:

            Fingers crossed!

            But we will still need to confront the fact that the Republican party representing a plurality of the American electorate sees democracy as an impediment to their goals and will not accept the legitimacy of any government that isn’t theirs.Report

      • North in reply to Burt Likko says:

        Oh I concur. HRC made a strong showing and won the popular vote. That’s no excuse, though, she lost and lost for an assortment of reasons. What infuses the subject of HRC’s loss with so much heat rather than light is that whichever of those items one choses on their analysis of it being the cause of her loss is correct because any -one- thing; whether it be her campaign own missteps, the unconscionable idiotic intervention of James Comey, the cyclical purity fetish of the left, or any of the other factors that count in her loss; any one of those things covers a swing that encompasses the margin of HRC’s loss. There’s not a lot of point litigation it. HRC lost to Trump and it was her job not to. The elements she did control could have prevented the impact of the things she didn’t. So it’s on her. Hillary will always be the woman who lost to Trump. There’s no sense revisiting it much more beyond that.

        Now the relevant question is whether Biden is in a stronger position that Hillary was vs Trump. When you break it out every single element- from Trump being a known value to Biden being a more likable and less baggage laden politician- speaks to Biden being in a stronger position. The polls bear it out: Biden’s carrying a moderately strong, but far from insurmountable, lead both nationally and in the states.

        I agree with you that it seems, at the moment, like Trumps’ only shot would be to try and ratfish the election but the election system is, by design and necessity, huge, dispersed and largely beyond his control. Trumps administration has negative credibility- there’s no figure in it that could pull a Comey move because no one that isn’t already a Trump voter would take any Trump admin figures accusations seriously.

        But yeah, two months to go but early and mail in voting starts sooner than that. I think the debates are Trumps last shot at reversing the narrative. I honestly feared that the riots might help him but Biden’s been unafraid to denounce the rioting and as the weather cools the dynamic for rioting becomes less congenial to that kind of left wing idiocy.

        But we shall see.Report

        • George Turner in reply to North says:

          Why would Trump have to make up something at Biden? The truth is bad enough. He’s a proud pro-Confederate who accepted an award from George Wallace, led the fight against school busing, and authored the notorious 1994 crime bill that put millions of black men behind bars for extended stays on trivial drug offenses.

          Biden colluded with Russians and Ukrainians to rig the 2016 election, and allowed China a free-hand in the South China sea in return for over a billion dollars in Chinese investment money for his alcoholic drug-addicted son, Hunter.

          And now he’s in the early stages of dementia and can barely string together a coherent sentence. Last week when he was reading from a teleprompter he read the words “end of quote”. I’m surprised his wife hasn’t already taken power of attorney.

          There’s also a rumor from multiple sources that Biden will soon announce a “life altering” medical diagnosis and drop out of the race. It will be fascinating if that happens because all the campaign materials are already printed, and the party doesn’t necessarily go with the candidate’s VP pick.

          So who would the replacement be? Kamala Harris dropped out when she was polling at 2%. Elizabeth Warren would be considered too far left to win. The B-team, candidates like Bernie, Beto, Buttigieg, Bloomberg, Bennet, Bullock, and Booker are all yesterday’s news.

          No, only one person has the campaign and government experience to step up and take the reins. Only one person will be able to save the Democratic party in 2020. Yes, only Hillary Clinton can do it.Report

    • Marchmaine in reply to North says:

      The one poll of polls I like to track is the RCP Swing States… which shows Biden at only +3.2% with approx 6% undecided. The undecideds in 2016 in Wisconsin right before the election were approx 14%, but HRC was showing a 6.5% lead. I’d assume the undecideds will break somewhat more favorably for Trump (again) bracketing the unkown unknowns.

      Here’s my observation regarding “hindsight” and Biden being better a retail politics… Biden’s advantages over HRC are somewhat being negated by C19… he’s not backslapping and glad handing, not out there with the regular folks. Sure, Trump can’t do his Circus shows, but he’s got the everyday White House circus which helps and hurts him alternately. I’ve said that the Riots in Portland don’t move the needle Nationally, but riots in Wisconsin concern me. Michigan has a higher number of undecideds, and that would concern me as well. Theory and Execution matter.

      Which is to say, that I expect Biden should be able to beat Trump somewhat decisively… I’m forced to recognize that some of what I expected Biden to repair vis-a-vis Biden being Biden isn’t happening (or hasn’t happened yet)…Report

      • Jesse in reply to Marchmaine says:

        “’d assume the undecideds will break somewhat more favorably for Trump (again) bracketing the unkown unknowns.”

        Actually, consistently, undecideds break for the challenger, regardless of party. Undecideds aren’t the same undecideds every year either. For example, in most polls, undecideds this year largely disapprove of Trump, but are meh on Biden.

        Last time around, they disapproved of Hillary, but were meh on Trump.Report

        • Marchmaine in reply to Jesse says:

          Mostly I’m interested in the size of the non-decided pool (which is smaller in 2020, but still larger than one would expect)… but I’m never much impressed with the “historically” unknowns break this way arguments. Like seeing patterns in the surf.

          A once-popular idea called the “incumbent rule” held that undecideds tended to break toward the challenger (as they did toward Reagan in 1980). There are some big flaws with this idea as applied to 2016: It hadn’t hadn’t held up well in recent years (late-deciding voters broke slightly to President Obama in 2012, for instance)”Report

          • Jesse in reply to Marchmaine says:

            I’d actually argue, and I’d have to look deep into historical polls, the undecided poll is about average. 2016 was the outlier, because both candidates were seen as unlikable by the population, and there was semi-competent third party candidates.

            Also, I’d also say Mitt Romney, at least the 2012 version of Mitt, was the worst actual nominee since Dukakis in ’88 or Bush in ’92.Report