Maybe Just Bet Chalk This Time, I Tell Myself Again

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Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire and his writing website Yonderandhome.com

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149 Responses

  1. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    In my day to day life, I have but a handful of indicators. Stuff like bumper stickers while driving around, yard signs, and the amorphous “enthusiasm” thing.

    One thing that struck me as vaguely problematic for Joe was that I hadn’t really heard that many arguments *FOR* him. Oh, there was no shortage of arguments against his opponent! But what about Joe? People who liked Warren talked about Warren. People who liked Bernie wouldn’t shut up about Bernie. Even Yang and Williamson had people talking about Yang and Williamson instead of talking about Trump. But Biden was Trump Trump Trump. Nothing about Biden.

    That struck me as bad.

    But when I go for my jogs around the neighborhood, I jog past Biden yard signs. I don’t recall seeing any Clinton yard signs. (“Yard signs don’t vote” is one of the things that I was told back in 2016. I suppose that that’s true as far as it goes, but I was seeing a lot of Trump signs and bumper stickers.) I’ve seen Biden bumper stickers. Not just “Biden, I Guess” bumper stickers, but BIDEN/HARRIS 2020 bumper stickers. The arguments *FOR* Biden haven’t really materialized… but back in the NYT endorsement days, the lady on the elevator was not just anti-Trump but pro-Biden and her worldview was not reflected by the paper. The signs and bumper stickers are an indicator to me that her worldview is swishing around out there (and not just the TRUMP TRUMP TRUMP version of it).

    Now, I’m not in Wisconsin, Michigan, or Pennsylvania but if Biden can do 1% better than Clinton did in those states, he’s got the election in the bag.

    And, what with the Covid and all, I think that Trump has taken a hit that will move (AT LEAST) the 1% of persuadables to move from voting Trump to staying home and the others to move from staying home to voting Biden in November.

    I’ve moved from “I think Biden is going to win, but I won’t be surprised if Trump pulls it out” to “I think Biden is going to win and I’ll be surprised if Trump pulls it out”.

    But that makes me notice that I’ve effectively moved to more or less where I was in early November 2016.

    Which has me doubting myself again.Report

    • Avatar North
      Ignored
      says:

      Oh God(ess?)!! I’m in the same place I was in 2016 as well- confident of a Dem victory if not a landslide. That sent a cold chill down my spine and my leg. Thanks Jay.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        Is this time different? I think it is. I could give you a handful of reasons why it’s different, if you want.

        And I think that I wouldn’t be lying to myself by vocalizing them. I think.

        But many of the things I thought last time got a huge amount of pushback at the time. And the things that I think are different about this time have a lot to do with the things I thought last time.Report

        • Avatar North
          Ignored
          says:

          I have all the things that are different logged, I do try and read an assortment of right wing sites to try and keep my perspective at least exposed to the dissenting opinions.Report

    • Avatar Michael Siegel
      Ignored
      says:

      I’ve noticed the signs too. Just as many Trump signs in Rural PA. But a significant uptick in signs in town. I think we tend to overestimate narrative and agendas and forget that there are a lot of people who just feel comfortable with Biden. And he’s leaning hard into that, not portraying himself as a revolutinoary but just as a a return to normal.Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels
        Ignored
        says:

        Goldman Sachs: A Democratic sweep would mean faster economic recovery

        https://www.cnn.com/2020/10/06/business/economy-election-blue-wave-goldman-sachs/

        Shorter plutocrat capitalist bosses: Vote for the radical socialist revolutionary!Report

      • Avatar Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        Biden is likable. More than that, he’s more likable than Hillary Clinton was.

        More than that, he’s more likable than Trump is.

        The “Who Would You Rather Have A Beer With?” test is a silly test to apply to a world leader.

        But if we apply it here, we see that Biden waltzes away with it. And if we applied it in 2016, well. There’s a lot of reasons to say that it’s a silly test.Report

        • Avatar George Turner
          Ignored
          says:

          Pre-Alzheimer’s Biden was likeable, but I’m not sure Alzheimer’s Biden is, you dog-faced pony soldier. The press knows this is a big potential problem so they are averse to asking him anything that he might find the least bit upsetting. They’re just going to lob softball after softball so that the ugly, angry, senile Biden stays hidden.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird
            Ignored
            says:

            Well, “you don’t have to be faster than the bear, you just have to be faster than the other guy”.Report

          • Avatar Pinky
            Ignored
            says:

            You know that’s garbage, right? Or at least somewhere between garbage and conjecture. If you feel like you’ve got to hit the talking points, that’s up to you, but for your own sake, please don’t believe them, or next month could be really painful for you.

            Biden has always been at times passionate, at times incoherent, at times plagiaristic, at times deathly dull. The press isn’t going to let Joe be Joe, because he’ll embarrass himself. But that’s baked in.Report

            • Avatar Philip H
              Ignored
              says:

              He’s also a life long stutterer and not for nothing but the necessity of paying attention to that requires a lot of personal effort. Its part of why Chris Christie told Trump to hammer him the way he did in the debate.Report

    • Avatar greginak
      Ignored
      says:

      Signs.Meh? I’m far more Biden signs here then trump. Trump is still gonna win AK. The R sen might lose which would be nifty but that is the best to hope for here.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        Well, it’s two things. One was the signs. The second was the defense of the (lack of) signs being “she’s not that kind of candidate” instead of being “you live in Colorado Springs.”.

        “Jaybird, I live in Philly and, lemme tell ya, I see so many Clinton signs that I’ve stopped thinking of her as Hillary Clinton and started thinking of her as Clinton Kaine!” is an argument that would have gotten me to say something like “yeah, I’m just in a bubble”.

        Instead I got told “she’s not that kind of candidate” which seems to have an implied “yeah, I’m not seeing that many signs where I live either” in it.

        Your comment, the one that I’m responding to? Already I know that you’ve got a ton of Biden signs around where you live… which means that you’re not having to resort to “Well, you have to understand… Biden’s just not that kind of candidate.”Report

        • Avatar greginak
          Ignored
          says:

          It’s not, in fact, 2016. I double checked. This election will be different. Maybe trump will win the pop vote, who knows, but using the 16 template is cracked.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird
            Ignored
            says:

            I don’t know what the “16 template” refers to.

            Is it the thing where people were arguing that Trump had a chance?
            Or was it the thing where only trolls who were pretending to be polysci majors thought that Trump had a chance and how those trolls needed to be shamed?Report

            • Avatar George Turner
              Ignored
              says:

              Here’s another observation for you, Jaybird.

              Real Clear Politics, Romney vs Obama, 2012

              Their selection of polls ranged from tie to +3 Obama, a span of 4 points, inclusive.

              Todays selection of polls ranges from +3 to +16 Biden, a span of 14 points, inclusive.

              The precision of 2020 polls is 3.5 times worse than the precision of the 2012 polls, and until precision is establish, accuracy is out the window. In rifle terms, the bullets are just flying wild. Until that gets fixed, (head space? loose seating?) there’s no point in trying to adjust the scope to bring the bullets on target.Report

            • Avatar greginak
              Ignored
              says:

              You don’t know what the 16 template refers to and you are then hearkening back to things from 16. Um yeah. What does any of that mean. People were wrong in all sorts of ways in 16. People(across the board) still haven’t , or don’t want to, accept all the factors that led to the result in 16.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                To put a finer point on it, “the 16 template” could mean one of many things.

                I don’t know know which of the many things you’re referring to.

                “People were wrong in all sorts of ways in 16. People(across the board) still haven’t , or don’t want to, accept all the factors that led to the result in 16.”

                The refusing to accept factors that led to the result in 16 strikes me as being an indicator that, whatever outcome they pick, they’ll be getting it right by chance rather than because they saw things clearly.

                Hey! Getting things right by accident is better than getting them wrong after doing all of the homework!

                But it’s no way to consistently get them right.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw
      Ignored
      says:

      There are not many Biden-Harris flags in San Francisco but that is not going to tell you anything about how San Francisco is going to vote. Bumper cars and things are not data, they are anecdotes for the media who are too lazy to do actual analysis.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        Well, for what it’s worth, I’m seeing anecdotes this time that I didn’t see last time.

        And there are some anecdotes that I saw last time that I’m not seeing this time.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      Here’s the sort of thing that I was missing:

      Sure, start scrolling down and see tweets about Trump Trump Trump, but there are also tweets talking about Biden without mentioning his opponent at all.

      And that’s a good sign (for Biden).Report

      • Avatar Philip H
        Ignored
        says:

        Do recall that Biden has only been the nominee since July. Trump nominated himself for reelection about a month after he first took office. It means Biden has a 3 + year head start on volume of stuff in the public square to make up for.Report

  2. Avatar North
    Ignored
    says:

    PA is looking stronger and stronger for Biden. That, along with the other Blue Wall states being back in line along side a very likely defection to team blue by AZ is the whole ballgame. If Biden can pull it out in FL, as polls suggest he has a decent shot at doing, it’s important because FL votes early, counts fast and winning it would basically immediately signal that there’s not going to be a contested election.
    Right now 2020 is shaping up to be the exact reverse of 2016- a very predictable and obviously signaled outcome but no-one believes it.
    *sigh* I still wish it was Amy though, or Pete.Report

  3. Avatar Saul Degraw
    Ignored
    says:

    1. As Paul Campos said on LGM, the economics of the media make them want everything to be a horse race. The media does not cover San Francisco congressional elections because those are very boring. Everyone knows who is going to win. Maybe it will change when Nancy Pelosi dies because you can get a story of who her successor will be, there are lots of options. Likewise, a sure thing Presidential election would be very boring for the media. So they have an incentive to make things seem tighter than they are and gin up noncontroversies because it helps keeps eyeballs glued to screens.

    1a. The electoral college helps with the horse race because it allows for freak occurrences where a candidate loses the popular vote but wins the EC and partisans can bray about it.

    2. There are lots of hardcore partisans in OT and other political blogs that like cosplaying as TV news spin doctors.

    3. As Jesse has pointed out, a lot of OT posters seem to exist in a world where no election has occurred in 2016, Democrats are always in disarray, and Trump has always had a an approval rating above 50 percent. This is a fantasy land.Report

  4. Avatar CJColucci
    Ignored
    says:

    My own political correspondent in the part of PA fitting James Carville’s definition: Philly on on end, Pittsburgh on the other and Alabama in the middle, tells me the signage and what-have-you favors Trump somewhat, but that it was overwhelmingly pro-Trump in 2016. He concludes that Trump will take Pennsylbama, but by nowhere near as much.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw
      Ignored
      says:

      Your own political correspondent is unscientific just like the rest of the national media. Trump received just over 44K more votes than HRC in 2016. He does not have much of a margin to work with.

      https://www.nytimes.com/live/2020/presidential-polls-trump-biden

      According to this even if the polls were as wrong as they were in 2016, Biden still wins PA at plus three points. So they would have to be really, really, really wrong. I find it rather frustrating that people want to hold out for the sign metric.Report

  5. Avatar Kazzy
    Ignored
    says:

    Every year Sports Illustrated does a whole MLB preview issue, included in which they predict a World Series winner. Back in the late 90s or early 200s, after a few years of “surprise” champions, they proudly declared (paraphrase): “Since the best team hasn’t won the World Series the last few years, we are going to intentionally choose not-the-best team as our predicted winner.” It felt pretty silly.

    Does the best team always win? No. But unless there is good reason to bet against the best team, it is always smart to choose the best team.

    Like, would you rather hold 20 against the dealer’s 6? Or 16 against the dealer’s 10? Obviously the former. Will you sometimes lose? Yes. Will the latter sometimes win? Of course. But, you play the odds.

    The odds are in Biden’s favor right now… and rather strongly based on certain models. If you’re making a straight prediction — and absent some insights that the models are lacking — you’re smart to predict a Biden victory. That doesn’t mean it is guaranteed… not now and not on November 5th. But, currently, he is favored to win and the “right” person to predict winning.Report

  6. Avatar Koz
    Ignored
    says:

    Yeah, Saul is right and the OP is right too.

    There’s an important but overlooked dividing line splitting those who want Trump to be the center of American politics and those who don’t. Here, there are jumpy, anxious libs who are thinking outside the box trying to shut the door on weird Trump scenarios. There are the Trump fans who are desperate to believe the race closer than it is. There are also the media who are institutionally inclined to view everything through the lens of a horserace.

    The Trump scenarios aren’t entirely ridiculous, but the media and the voters are clearly underweighting the possibilities of a comfortable Biden win, and the implications from that. Eg, what’s the difference between Biden by 4% and Biden by 9%? I don’t know for sure but I have to think it’s relevant, and for now at least it’s passing beneath notice.Report

    • Avatar Philip H
      Ignored
      says:

      The main issue is if Biden wins at 9% its way harder for Trump to pick any of his scorched earth, lawsuit clock runners that he thinks will keep him in office. Hell, even today he called off the Stimulus talks his own treasury secretary has been mostly successful in to essentially dare a weakening economy to run him out of office.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        What bugs me the most about this is that we might be in a Reagan/Mondale situation with Biden.

        It doesn’t *FEEL* like Reagan/Mondale, though. If we were in a Reagan/Mondale situation, wouldn’t it feel like Reagan/Mondale?

        My feelers are off, if they are.Report

        • Avatar Koz
          Ignored
          says:

          Reagan v Mondale was a 20 point win though, that’s why it doesn’t feel like that. Biden could very easily win by 4 points, or 6, or 9, or 11 and it still feels the same to us.Report

          • Avatar LeeEsq
            Ignored
            says:

            Between Grover Cleveland’s defeat in 1888 and Bush II’s election in 2000, the electoral college mainly served to amplify the popular vote. So Reagan got nearly 60% of the popular vote and nearly 100% of the electoral vote. The same thing happened in 1972 with Nixon-McGovern.

            In 2000, increased polarization tended to blunt this. The electoral college vote makes the popular vote loser look more popular than they are or can even secure victory Obama got nearly 53% of the popular vote but this didn’t translate into a Regan in 1984 style electoral college beating. Nearly everybody openly admits that Biden is going to win the popular vote by millions. The issue is whether Trump can still pull off an electoral college victory, especially without trickery.Report

            • Avatar Koz
              Ignored
              says:

              Sort of. If the race is 60-40, polarization doesn’t matter. If it’s 50-50, it has to matter (that and who gets lucky in which state, who rallies in a state but doesn’t win it, etc).

              My point is, everybody is obsessed with the quirks like the EC, mail in ballots, lawsuits, the “Trump vaccine”, polarization, etc, but still the main driver is going to be the national percentage Biden wins over Trump, and there’s a lot of variance there that hasn’t been accounted for.

              And that goes for the partisans of both teams, especially ours.Report

      • Avatar Koz
        Ignored
        says:

        The lawsuits thing, that’s mostly a thing for the anxious, jumpy libs. Or to be more precise, Never Trump Deep Staters and ex-Republicans. If Biden wins by 4% he wins, or he gets some really bad breaks in the swing states and loses. I don’t think lawsuits are going to matter.

        Assuming Trump loses, what happens then? A lot of that is very much in play, and a lot of partisans, especially Team Red partisans, haven’t thought through it at all.Report

        • Avatar Philip H
          Ignored
          says:

          I’m referring to the active lawsuits in a dozen or more states trying to limit ballot counts and access but the Trump Campaign and the RNC. That’s not a thing for Jumpy Libs.

          I agree a lot of Red partisans – including here – haven’t gamed it out, but the president who is exactly the same as the day he came into office has made some really plain statements. I take him at his word. They should too, and if he looses by less the 4% I fully expect him to deploy at least some of those threats just to sow chaos.Report

    • Avatar Michael Cain
      Ignored
      says:

      Eg, what’s the difference between Biden by 4% and Biden by 9%? I don’t know for sure but I have to think it’s relevant, and for now at least it’s passing beneath notice.

      I suspect the difference would be that Biden by 9% and the Democrats also gain control of the Senate. Biden by 4% and they don’t.

      At least for my issues — energy and environment — Biden without the Senate is not that much of a prize. It will take most of four years to reverse Trump’s rule changes and get back to where things stood in mid-2016. Probably not reverse everything because the Supreme Court is likely to be less receptive this time around (eg, it seems to me that the current court, and even moreso if ACB is approved, is likely to reverse Massachusetts v. EPA).Report

      • Avatar Koz
        Ignored
        says:

        “I suspect the difference would be that Biden by 9% and the Democrats also gain control of the Senate. Biden by 4% and they don’t.”

        You would think so at first glance but I’m not sure it has to be that way. One of the dogs of this election that has not barked at all is any kind of triangulation for the Senate GOP against the libs on one side and Trump on the other.

        But just because it hasn’t barked yet doesn’t mean that it will stay quiet. And if it does wake up, now is as good a time as any. So far this week, we’ve had Trump’s assholic performance at the debate, Trump getting sick from the virus and infecting a bunch of people in a way that reinforces the negative fallout from June through August. And, you’ve also got at least one poll that shows Biden ahead by 16 points nationally.

        You would think that Joni Ernst and Thom Tillis could start cutting ads to say, “Don’t give Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and Bernie Sanders a blank check.” I think they did this in 1996 when Bob Dole was not competitive at the top of the ticket and IIRC it worked.Report

        • Avatar North
          Ignored
          says:

          I think your recollection about ’96 is correct. The problem, though is that Trump is no Dole. If Tillis or Ernst cut those ads Trump would rain verbal and twitter napalm down on them for their “betrayal” and any modest conservative gains they’d pocket would be erased by losses from their true Trump believing base. Dole didn’t react that way to the Senate triangulation by the GOP- he was, after all, a party man. Trump, on the other hand isn’t a party man; indeed it’s rather the reverse- he’s captured the GOP.Report

          • Avatar Koz
            Ignored
            says:

            Yeah, that is certainly their fear. But as things stand, I’m not sure that should be the most relevant thing to be afraid of.

            It would be interesting to see how such a move would be packaged. It would also be interesting to see how the President reacts. I don’t think any part of this is necessarily determined.Report

            • Avatar North
              Ignored
              says:

              I, for one, would love to see the GOP try to cut Trump loose and the fireworks that would ensue. I, and the GOP leadership, both think that Trump would retaliate in fury. I, and the GOP leadership, both suspect that the voting core of the GOP likes Trump more than they like their own leadership elite- thus the nomination of Trump in the first place.

              So, I and the GOP leadership, think that trying to cut Trump loose would result in a calamity for the GOP wherein their attempts to distance from Trump fail to earn middle of the road voters while angering right wing base voters and would turn a loss into a bad loss or a bad loss into a historic landslide defeat.

              But I firmly agree with you. I think they should try and cut Trump loose. The way back to having a functional party on the right leads through the political wilderness. They’ve deferred it for 10-12 years now, they need to just get it over with, take their lumps and figure out what the new right wing party is.Report

              • Avatar Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                It all depends on execution.

                I don’t think you’re allowing for the likelihood that the GOP has the winning message, that’s being obscured by Trump the person.

                Eg, I think Trump’s message wrt the riots and BLM basically works. It’s just not cutting any ice because of Trump the person.Report

              • Avatar North
                Ignored
                says:

                Perhaps? I mean it’s possible, sure. But the Party message was supplanted and overturned by Trump in the first place. The right wing voters looked at a host of GOP regular suspects with regular GOP messages and they looked at Trump with his utter repudiation of many GOP messages and they chose Trump.

                Is that something the party and conservatives can just jettison after four years and just start pretending that Romney was the last Republican contender for the Presidency? I have my doubts.

                But I feel for you dude- for a while this year before South Carolina I had the uneasy beginning of a feeling that must be akin to what you’ve suffered for a whole term.Report

              • Avatar Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                I think you’re slightly misunderstanding me, which to be fair is understandable since people might be using the the same words to mean different things.

                What I am saying, broadly speaking, is that the GOP message is fine and the Trump message is fine.

                The problem is Trump the person and his histrionics and his Twitter feed. And his capacity to force such an overwhelming part of Right American politics to get sucked into his dramas.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Wouldn’t this winning message show up downballot?

                I’m looking at the Senate and Congressional races, and the state level races, and having a hard time seeing any Republican message other than white male resentment.Report

              • Avatar Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                It would, except that as things stand, the GOP is too closely tied into Trump’s personal dramas, eg, George’s comments elsewhere on the thread.

                That’s what has to be broken, or at least finessed.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                As Lee points out below, and as evidenced by the judicial nominations and tax cuts, I don’t see how any of Trump’s signature accomplishments are “his drama” so much as they are just GOP orthodoxy.

                As I see it, a Romney administration would have done all these things, with less drama and more skill.

                Looking forward, it isn’t Trump alone who wants to repeal Obamacare, its the Republicans.
                It isn’t Trump alone who wants to prevent Democrats from voting, it is the Republicans.
                It isn’t Trump alone who wants to cut Social Security and Medicare, it is the Republicans.

                Where is this “winning message”?Report

              • Avatar Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                Nominations, Obamacare and taxes aren’t why Trump is 16 points in the hole according to the latest CNN poll.Report

              • Avatar LeeEsq
                Ignored
                says:

                You keep telling yourself that.Report

              • Avatar George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                The reason Trump is 16 points in the hole in the latest CNN poll is because only 28% of that polling sample identified as Republicans. What they showed was that Trump badly trails Biden among Democrats.Report

              • Avatar Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                Yeah but that’s bullshit. You can make some kind of methodological quibble about one poll, but there’s an NBC national poll with Biden having a 14 point lead, and a couple others with double digits.

                Trump is losing badly, and he’s had a horrible week.

                I just don’t seen any percentage in trying to body English Trump into an extra point or two when it wouldn’t help him any if he got them.

                Let me ask you this. What are you hoping for regarding your support for Trump. And if he loses, will you view anything differently then?

                Do you view yourself as being in a Flight 93 situation? I don’t find that to be tenable. 2016 was the Flight 93 election, and Trump won. Given that Trump won, and we’re nearly four years on, we have to be able to think about the best interest of the American people beyond a spastic panic.

                I don’t think we can do that under Trump’s leadership.Report

              • Avatar George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                In the same sample the polls have Biden up by between 3 and 16 points. Do you really think that in a sample of a thousand statistically random people, you can get 14 points of variation?

                Note that in an even race, such a spread would be compatible with anything from a Biden landslide to a Trump landslide, and we’re pretty sure that all the polls are undercounting Trump support by 3 to 6 points because a huge percentage of Trump supporters admittedly lie to pollsters.

                But it gets much worse. Trump has just declassified all the documents regarding Obama, Hillary, and Biden rigging the 2016 election. Brennan’s hand-written meeting notes detail that he briefed Obama on Hillary’s plan to deflect from her e-mail scandal by framing Trump with colluding with the Russians. That’s from Brennan, CIA director who briefed Obama, in his own hand written meeting notes.

                Why did Trump toss the DC rule book right out the window? Who knows? Maybe he feels that the Democrats just tried to use Covid to try and assassinate him, his family, and his friends. Maybe lots of folks on the right will assume that they did.

                But even aside from that, I don’t think the right will accept Biden after the full document dump about what he did in 2016. Divorce or war is looking to become war. And the press has stoked the fires for four years. Prior to 2016, only about 8% of Americans said that it was sometimes justifiable to use physical violence to advance a political goal. Now that number is up in the high-30’s.

                It took Republican numbers a long time to catch up to the Democrat numbers because it was the Democrats who were being told to form “a resistance” and try to overthrow the government of the United States. But now Republicans are in the lead! It probably helps that they have a trillion rounds of ammunition stockpiled, which gives them piece of mind.

                And we know the Democrat plan to win the election is just massive voter fraud. A trans Pennsylvania election official was just arrested for altering ballots. A voting machine warehouse in Philadelphia just reported the theft of a bunch of their USB dongles for accessing all the city’s voting machines.

                A bunch of Democrat officials in Texas were just indicted on 134 felony counts of voter fraud stemming from a massive ballot harvesting scheme in 2018. In this year’s scheme, a Democrat county clerk sent out 2 million unsolicited ballots. A few million here, and a few million there, and you have a completely invalid election.

                Unless it’s a clear Biden win in the polling booth, which is highly unlikely, I think the election aftermath has the potential to make 2020 seem like a really nice year.Report

              • Avatar Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                Ok, now I think I’m starting to get your pov, which I think is misplaced in several respects.

                “But it gets much worse. Trump has just declassified all the documents regarding Obama, Hillary, and Biden rigging the 2016 election. Brennan’s hand-written meeting notes detail that he briefed Obama on Hillary’s plan to deflect from her e-mail scandal by framing Trump with colluding with the Russians. That’s from Brennan, CIA director who briefed Obama, in his own hand written meeting notes.”

                First of all, nobody is going to care about any of this. They didn’t care about it when the Demos and the Deep State were trying to pin this on Trump. They’re not going to care now.

                Without particular reference to any of the above, Trump has legit been dirtied by the Deep State. Libs won’t ever believe it and the American people don’t care.

                They cared about Hillary’s emails. They don’t care about this.Report

              • Avatar Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                “… and we’re pretty sure that all the polls are undercounting Trump support by 3 to 6 points because a huge percentage of Trump supporters admittedly lie to pollsters.”

                I don’t believe this either. One thing you should bear in mind is the extent to which, contrary to narrative, the polls were actually accurate in 2016. The national polls converged around a 3 point margin for Hillary and she ended up at +2. The thing the polls didn’t anticipate was the demographic shift inside that margin that carried Trump over the top in a few key Rust Belt states.

                I don’t think that’s especially helpful for Trump any more, because he’s already gotten whatever EC advantage there is to be had. At this point, any EC flukes are likely to be in Biden’s favor.Report

              • Avatar George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                One of the reasons the national polling was fairly close in 2016 is that they blew the Trump surge in the critical states, but were even worse the other way in some blue states, which helped cancel the errors out.

                For example, the RCP polling average for California had Hillary winning the state by 22.3. She won by 30.1! The polling error was 7.8 points, with Hillary getting more than a million unexpected votes, and Trump getting 53,000 less. California is so big that the polling error there alone canceled out 1.27% worth of polling error in the rest of the country. The error is so large that if she could redistribute the error, she could’ve easily flipped 8 or more Trump states.Report

              • Avatar Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                “One of the reasons the national polling was fairly close in 2016 is that they blew the Trump surge in the critical states, but were even worse the other way in some blue states, which helped cancel the errors out.”

                Well yeah, that’s the way it works. The point being is that Trump could 4 points ahead in Pennsylvania than he does nationally _and carry Pennsylvania_.

                Point being, Trump already bottomed out that well in 2016. Maybe a point or two more, tops, in a wildly optimistic scenario.

                It seems ridiculous to me to think we should be maneuvering and litigating our way towards scratching out some eyelash-margin win.

                We should just try and earn more support instead, so all these other silly scenarios become irrelevant. Our albatross for winning that support is clearly Trump, so let’s dump that albatross.Report

              • Avatar Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                “But even aside from that, I don’t think the right will accept Biden after the full document dump about what he did in 2016”

                This is a misconception I’ve heard more often from libs.

                The politicians or their base, don’t have to “accept” or “concede” anything. It’s a mistake to pretend there’s a veto point in a situation where there isn’t one.

                There’s a procedure that’s going to be followed. The states will count the votes, Biden will win the states, the states will appoint his electors to the EC. The EC will vote. The Senate will open the votes and count them. The Senate will certify Biden as President-Elect. John Roberts will administer the oath of office to Biden (or to Trump if he wins).

                This is all going to happen under its own steam. At no point are any of these people going to ask the Proud Boys or whoever if this is all kosher with them.Report

              • Avatar George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                Oh, that’s they way things happen when we vote as usual, but we’re not doing that this year, are we?

                No, we’re using massive numbers of unsolicited mail-in-ballots that, in some cases, may just keep on showing up weeks after the election. A judge will rule that they MUST be counted, even if they are wildly invalid, as has already happened in several states.

                Blatantly stealing an election often happens in other countries, and it often leads to violent revolution. You may think “That doesn’t happen here!”, but it doesn’t happen here because we make sure politicians can’t blatantly steal elections. If they did, note that we’re emotionally no different than all those Europeans who fought in violent revolutions.

                And now many Democrat politicians have done a 180, panicked about all those mail-in-ballot schemes they pushed. The Republicans are all going to show up at the polls and vote in person, which is better than 99% successful. The mail-in-ballots are often less than 90% successful, with 10% or more being rejected as invalid, tossed aside, or what have you.

                So, if Democrats throw away 10% of their votes, and the Republican votes all count, what happens to that Biden lead? It turns into a Trump landslide – even if more people tried to vote for Biden.

                So what will Democrats do when they realize that election officials threw out so many Democrat ballots, handing Trump the election on a platter?

                Will they patiently follow the logical and time-worn procedure you listed above, or do you think they’ll start torching cities yet again? Do you think they’ll push for the West coast to secede? Do you think they’ll try to use every legal and illegal means to oust the illegitimate Trump regime?

                As I said, the election aftermath has the potential to make 2020 seem tame.Report

              • Avatar Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                “And now many Democrat politicians have done a 180, panicked about all those mail-in-ballot schemes they pushed. The Republicans are all going to show up at the polls and vote in person, which is better than 99% successful. The mail-in-ballots are often less than 90% successful, with 10% or more being rejected as invalid, tossed aside, or what have you.”

                There’s some juice in these sorts of issues, but less than you’re arguing, I think.

                Like you said, the Demos are panicking about votes-by-mail being thrown out. They are telling their voters to vote in person, or vote early in person where that’s available.

                As the lawsuits about counting mail-in votes go, the Demos will probably win some of them. The Demo percent captains/gotv people will probably get their voters to vote in person. Only some of the states extensively use vote-by-mail and only a fraction of those are competitive.

                So instead of losing 10% of their votes, they end up losing .1%. Or maybe even they end up winning, if their vote harvesting schemes actually work.Report

              • Avatar Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                “Will they patiently follow the logical and time-worn procedure you listed above, or do you think they’ll start torching cities yet again? Do you think they’ll push for the West coast to secede? Do you think they’ll try to use every legal and illegal means to oust the illegitimate Trump regime?

                As I said, the election aftermath has the potential to make 2020 seem tame.”

                Most importantly perhaps I wonder why are you supposing that this represents a good outcome for you?

                I’ve got a radical plan. How about instead, we run a good candidate, on good issues, with a good campaign, and just win the normal way?

                Have you followed UK politics over the last year or so at all?Report

              • Avatar Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                “In the same sample the polls have Biden up by between 3 and 16 points. Do you really think that in a sample of a thousand statistically random people, you can get 14 points of variation?”

                Maybe not, but that’s not the issue here. The three point margin poll is an outlier, and it’s also stale after the events of last week.

                Specifically, some of the respondents may have been interviewed after the debate, but I’m pretty sure that it predates Trump’s post covid recklessness.Report

              • Avatar LeeEsq
                Ignored
                says:

                Trump might have repudiated the standard Republican talking points but he is governing like a rather conventional Republican, only more so on the cruelty, xenophobia, and open thievery:

                https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/06/us/politics/family-separation-border-immigration-jeff-sessions-rod-rosenstein.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=HomepageReport

    • Avatar Saul Degraw
      Ignored
      says:

      I think a lot of liberals are overcorrecting for 2016. If anything, they are expecting lightening to strike twice for Trump a bit too much.

      The big difference is that a 9 percent lead for Biden makes it much harder for Trump to contest or contend or ratfuck. It also probably brings down Senators and Congress members with Trump.Report

  7. Avatar Saul Degraw
    Ignored
    says:

    Thought experiment:

    Suppose there was a Presidential election where it was absolutely clear that Candidate X was going to be the victor. There was basically no darkhorse way for candidate Y to win the election. The question:

    1. How would the media react? What would they say to cover all the airtime?

    2. Do you thin their reaction to candidate X winning clearly and early would be different if candidate X had an R or D next to his or her name? Would our media treat a Reagan 1984 blowout as more legitimate than a FDR in 1932 or 1936 ?Report

  8. Avatar Aaron David
    Ignored
    says:

    “Suppose there was a Presidential election where it was absolutely clear that Candidate X was going to be the victor.”

    Do you mean like there was in 2016?Report

    • Avatar George Turner
      Ignored
      says:

      A guy I watch in New York City says his Democratic operative friends (many of whom are fundraisers) are seriously worried that Trump will win New York, due to the outflux of people, the homeless problems, the vacancies, Covid, De Blasio, and Cuomo. He adds that none of them care a bit about Biden. They don’t even talk about him, and he doesn’t come up in conversation. He says they seemed resigned to a Trump victory and don’t seem the least bit upset by the prospect. However, he may have an odd sampling of acquaintances that is non-representative.

      One of the recent polls that showed a big Biden lead sampled 50+% Democrats and about 35% Republicans. Skewing polls like that makes Republicans more determined to vote and Democrats less-likely to vote (since they’ll think victory is in the bag). In 2016, how many Democrats skipped voting so they had more time to prep their celebration parties?Report

      • Avatar Andrew Donaldson
        Ignored
        says:

        “A guy I watch in New York City says his Democratic operative friends (many of whom are fundraisers) are seriously worried that Trump will win New York…”

        This is asinine even by George Turner commenting standards.Report

        • Avatar Chip Daniels
          Ignored
          says:

          If there’s one thing New Yorkers are known for, its their fond affection for Donald J. Trump.Report

        • Avatar George Turner
          Ignored
          says:

          How is that asinine? Almost a thousand people watched him discuss it on a livestream, where he was having a discussion with some writers and artists from around the country.

          People in the City are demoralized and worn out. At one point this spring, 420,000 of the city’s wealthiest residents, the most reliable Democrat voting block, up and left. How many of them, now at their vacation homes and perhaps not even planning to return, are even going to bother voting? Nobody knows.

          What was most interesting about the discussion was that it was even a topic. The mere existence of it paints a vastly different picture than what the media is portraying. The same thing happened in 2016, when British reporters were touring the backwaters of Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania and saying that the US press might be missing a huge shift in the way working class voters were leaning.

          It turned out that those warning signs, desperately ignored by those in the bubble, told the story of the election.Report

          • Avatar CJColucci
            Ignored
            says:

            A thousand people — almost — watched some anonymous nobody on a livestream. NYC has over 8,000,000 people.
            Tell you what, George. I’ll put up $100 that Trump does not take New York.Report

            • Avatar George Turner
              Ignored
              says:

              Oh, I don’t think he’s going to take New York, which would require an 11.5 point shift. But that Democrats have even discussed the possibility, in private conversations, paints a completely different picture of how this election might go. That type of conversation simply never happened in New York City in 2016.

              For another example of unexamined assumptions, the media might point to the number of Democrat ballots pouring in compared to Republican ballots. But how many of those Democrat ballots are from police and fire units, or their families, or Democrat business owners, who have shifted heavily toward Trump? We don’t know.

              In Florida, the Democrats were ahead in early mail-in-ballots by about 125,000. “Aha!” you might think, they’re winning big. But in 2016 at the same point in the election, they were up by about a million mail-in-ballots, and they lost Florida in 2016. Further, Hillary got about 67% of the Hispanic vote in Florida (and lost). Biden is trailing Trump among Hispanics in Florida, and Biden is not doing well with Hispanics nationally.

              Biden is also not doing nearly as well with blacks as prior Democrat candidates (Claiming a Grand Kleagle of the KKK as his mentor isn’t exactly a plus). And lots of public sector unions have bailed on him and are backing Trump.

              And nobody really cares about Biden. He’s old and uninspiring, a third-tier candidate even when he was at his much younger best. He hardly leaves his basement, and when he does almost nobody shows up. The gap in voter enthusiasm is huge. Everybody really knows that even if he wins, he won’t be President very long, and Kamala only garnered about 2% support among Democrats.

              And finally, in order to spin Covid, Democrats tossed aside their traditional and powerful door-to-door ground game, one of the key advantages they always used to beat Republicans. Are they competitive without the massive get-out-the-vote operations? Nobody knows.

              The media isn’t going to report much on any of these potentially worrisome little signs because they’re in full Baghdad Bob cheerleader mode. Are the polls accurate? Again, we don’t know, and there is plenty of reason to believe they might be even less accurate now than in 2016, since the media has spent four years so demonizing Trump supporters that people in blue areas won’t even admit to supporting him.Report

              • Avatar CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                So no bet?Report

              • Avatar George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                Oh heck no. In 2012 New York state went 63-35 Obama, and 2016 was 59-36 Clinton.

                The Youtuber I watched, who reported encountering absolutely no love or enthusiasm for Biden, lives in Brooklyn. That’s in Kings County, which went 80-17 for Clinton. He’s not finding signs of strong Biden support in what should be a stronghold. These are people who should be deep, deep in the bubble, and they’re “Meh….”

                As an aside, outside of the four counties that make up New York City, Clinton only won the state by 39,000 votes. But for Trump to actually win the state, he’d have to pretty much tie Biden in those four counties, and in two of he didn’t even break 10% last time.Report

              • Avatar CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                Brooklyn isn’t “in” Kings County, it is Kings County. You want to talk to a Bronxite about NYC, go right ahead. But get the lingo right.Report

              • Avatar Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                “Oh, I don’t think he’s going to take New York, which would require an 11.5 point shift. But that Democrats have even discussed the possibility, in private conversations, paints a completely different picture of how this election might go.”

                Yeah, I gotta wonder what this is supposed to be for.

                On the one hand, you have this huge Demo bloc who’s demoralized and might not be motivated to vote. On the other hand, it’s not enough and Trump will still lose NY anyway.

                It seems to me this is a very bearish set of circumstances for Trump, but you seem to believe this is bullish for Trump instead. Why?Report

              • Avatar Saul Degraw
                Ignored
                says:

                Democrats are not demoralized. This is wish thinking. Trust me, Democrats are very very motivated this year.Report

              • Avatar Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                Ok fine, but that is George’s thesis. It’s also pretty clear that Trump is George’s horse, at least for now.

                My question is why.

                Clearly, at least for some conservatives, there is still an inclination to engage in coulda woulda shoulda speculation in Trump’s favor.

                Just for myself, I’m not playing that game any more. I’m not seeing the point in it, even if I were to “win”.Report

              • Avatar Saul Degraw
                Ignored
                says:

                George is a delusional nutcase who should have been banned from commentating long ago. I will say he is partially correct about Democrats being worn out but incorrect if he thinks this will lead to a Trump landslide.

                Trump does have a long standing ability to do the most idiotic yet exhausting thing. Today, we have him trying to be a mafia don with COVID relief but he is too stupid to realize that people can just vote against him, Pence somehow convinced the debate commission that no pexiglass is needed despite the fact that the public thinks Trump could have avoided catching COVID.

                Trump is Schrodinger’s scandal. He has so many of them that they somehow cancel each other out. Yeah this produces some exhaustion but not also motivating rage that this group often misses because OT exists in prime Trump loving demographic.Report

              • Avatar Jesse
                Ignored
                says:

                The problem is George is a lot closer to the average cosnervative’s views that the center-right people on this site.Report

              • Avatar George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                They’re motivated to unseat Trump, but if you can find someone who has a Biden poster on their wall, please let us know.Report

              • Avatar Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                I have a Biden sign in my yard. As do about a dozen of my close neighbors. In Mississippi. But you keep right on being you, man.Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain
                Ignored
                says:

                And people at the RNC haven’t talked about Trump losing Florida, or Georgia, or Texas? Or even just AZ, given the 2018 results there plus current polling?Report

      • Avatar Kazzy
        Ignored
        says:

        I’m loathe to engage you but…

        I get a lot of communications from the Biden campaign. They’re actively selling the fear of a Trump win, often downplaying Biden’s lead or advantages. They’ll show a poll that shows them losing in a swing state and then I click over to 538 and while that poll is accurate, it is one of many polls and the only one that seems to show him losing.

        I can’t speak to the soundness of the strategy or if it is informed by more behind the scenes than I am aware of. But the Biden campaign and everyone around it (I get adds from Harris, too) are actively selling the idea that the race is closer than it is. And I’m sure many folks — in and out of the campaign — are buying into that.Report

  9. Avatar Saul Degraw
    Ignored
    says:

    https://www.nytimes.com/live/2020/10/06/world/covid-coronavirus?action=click&module=Spotlight&pgtype=Homepage

    Trump is basically saying no economic relief until he gets reelected and that is not really a winning stance especially when most Americans seem to think he could have avoided catching COVIDReport

    • Avatar George Turner
      Ignored
      says:

      Trump tried to get economic relief, and issued an executive order to provide what he could. Nancy simply isn’t going to allow any relief prior to the election because it might help Trump.Report

      • Avatar Philip H
        Ignored
        says:

        Pelosi sent a bill to the Senate in May – McConnell has refused to act on it. She has bene negotiating with Mnuchin since at least July – with Mitch keeping the senate out of it. Based on those negotiations she and her leadership framed another bill week before last that they are still set to vote on.

        Exactly how is tis her or Democrats problem?Report

        • Avatar George Turner
          Ignored
          says:

          Again, Democrats will not allow a bill to pass because Trump will be the one to sign it. They will not move from the positions that assure it will not pass the Senate because they will not allow a bill to pass.

          Some of the less partisan Democrats broke with Nancy and tried to get a compromise bill, but she shut them out.Report

          • Avatar Philip H
            Ignored
            says:

            right now the only bills on the table are democratic bills. Nice try, but your desperation is showing.Report

            • Avatar George Turner
              Ignored
              says:

              They are spending bills. All spending bills must start in the House. There will be no Republican bills coming out of the House because they don’t control the House.Report

              • Avatar Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                You know as well as I do that once the House passes a spending bill the senate is more then free to propose and pass one of their own. They then get worked out in conference. McConnell has not allowed the introduction of a Senate companion bill. He has not allowed a vote on the House bill. Neither of those decisions are the House’s fault.Report

              • Avatar George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                McConnell introduced the HEALS act, which is the $1 Trillion version. Nancy won’t budge from her $2.4 Trillion version that gives a trillion to state Democrats, and I think $60 million to her husband’s company, and she won’t budge from it.Report

              • Avatar Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                Well now that’s interesting, because according to the esteemed lobbying firm of Holland and Knight:

                “A package of individual bills, the proposal provides the option of passing parts of the agenda now – such as extensions of unemployment insurance or schools funding – and leaving the others for later action. The introduction of the bills was the first step toward negotiating a compromise plan with House Democrats, who approved their $3.5 billion relief plan, the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act (HEROES Act), on May 15, 2020.”

                Which means there is not one bill unlike what was passed out of the House in May. Its 7 bills. Across 6 committees, all introduced by their own sponsors. And while you can find the texts of those bills on individual members websites, you can’t find them as bills actually read on the Floor or referred to committee.

                Me thinks McConnel pulled a great show. But like so many other GOP circuses these days its dazzling lights are not supported by any actions.

                (Of note a HEALS Act on domestic violence was introduced in 2019 by Roy Blunt and referred to the Banking Committee, where it appears to have died.)Report

              • Avatar George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                Steve Mnuchin started at $1 trillion and negotiated his way up to $1.7 trillion, but Nancy wouldn’t budge. So he gave up.

                As I said, she’s not going to allow any Covid bill to pass prior to the election because it would help Trump. Many voters list Covid as one of their top concerns, and most of those back Biden. Ease their minds on Covid and many of them would swing back to Trump, and she is not going to let that happen.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq
      Ignored
      says:

      Trump is basically resorting to black mail in hopes of getting re-elected. This is a particular stupid threat because Biden-Harris are going to give economic relief if he gets elected. It only works if Republicans are guaranteed to keep the Senate.Report

  10. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    So I thought for a second about what the CW will be after the election.

    If Trump wins, here’s why:
    The BLM rallies alienated a lot of voters and they voted Trump because the alternative was voting for more riots.
    The Democratic Response to the Covid was more lockdowns rather than smarter risk assessment.
    Moving from “reform the police” to “disband the police!” to “tear down the statues of Catholic saints!” to “GET RID OF AUNT JEMIMA!” to “well, you have to understand, police unions are very important for any progressive vision of the country” alienated a lot of people on the fence.
    The media is in a bubble of its own design. From the NYT dual endorsement to sampling the polls, they have an idea of themselves and in any conflict between their idea and reality, they will reject idea instead of changing their minds.

    If Biden wins, here’s why:
    (waves arms around pointing at everything)Report

    • Avatar North
      Ignored
      says:

      Yeah the Trump wins scenario is, admittedly, a lot more dramatic and interesting. I mean we’d be seeing protesters making asses of themselves everywhere. Then there’d be everyone in the media and polling community from Nate Silver and everyone to the left of him crawling around in the burning rubble of their models trying to find their glasses/eyeballs and wondering what train ran over them.

      A Biden win? Looks a lot like now really, just a month later.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        Thinking about it some more, a Trump win probably also has “that thing that happened in late October” on the list, as well as “that thing that happened in early November” on it.

        “Remember (conspiracy theory)? Well, turns out it was true.”Report

  11. Avatar Aaron David
    Ignored
    says:

    On November 7th, 2016, there was a post scheduled here at Ordinary Times to go up at 8 am on November 9th. The gist of the post was something to the effect of “why did we as a nation ever entertain the notion that Donald J. Trump could have won this election.”

    You see, all right-thinking people knew, just knew with every fiber of their being that Trump was not only a laughing stock of a candidate, but the election was going to go off as planned, with Hillary Clinton becoming the first woman president. And the post went into great detail to show this. But, what it really showed was hubris. See, all the predictors and prognosticators in the land, including OT’s official stats guy, Sam Wang, were so convinced that they had that in the bag. Because they were among the right-thinking. And that was the problem. As the day of the election wore on, the post went from being scheduled to being crossed out while still being scheduled, to being deleted. Because the unthinkable had happened. Trump had won.

    What I am seeing all across the net is a version of that. But the polls! you say? Well, we have seen this sort of failure before. The shy Tories, Israel’s parliament, and so on. So, in other words, there is only one poll that matters, and that is the election.

    And I am going to go out on a limb for a second, and say that the hubris shown by the right-thinking folks, that is a good chunk of why Trump won.Report

    • Avatar Swami
      Ignored
      says:

      Not sure I would take a bet on Trump, but everyone that I know who supports him except one is reluctant to even admit that they support him in public. Too risky. Oddly this seems to make them support him even more. It is like some kind of weird forbidden/hidden romance.

      Btw, I would vote for a syphilitic monkey over Trump, and I am not just saying that. I find the man detestable in a way which is truly rare among humanity.Report

      • Avatar Aaron David
        Ignored
        says:

        I think that fear of admitting support for him is a huge part of the reason people are going to vote for him, win or lose. It is a sign of the intolerance coming from the left, that one cannot show support for various positions that are mainstream in the country.Report

        • Avatar Philip H
          Ignored
          says:

          I don’t know who these fearful Trump supporters are or where they live, but down here in Mississippi if you trip in Walmart you will land on a dozen people wearing MAGA or Trump paraphernalia and the Trump flags on cars in the parking lots outnumber the football flags about two to one. There are Biden/Harris signs around – I have one on a reasonably major street (not yet stolen) and there are about a dozen in a mile radius of me.

          My point is if these are the people the pollsters are calling I would be gobsmacked if they are unwilling to declare open support for Trump.Report

      • Avatar George Turner
        Ignored
        says:

        This brings up a possible source for polling errors. Suppose a pollster calls five of your friends, each of which is a reluctant-to-admit-it Trump supporter. Each of them is sitting in their living room with the spouse and three college-age kids (who are home because Covid), and one of them is a woke, easily-triggered Biden supporter, while the other four in each family quietly back Trump.

        Their actual votes are going to go 20 to 5 for Trump, which is 80-20. But the poll is going to show 5-0 Biden, 100-0, because none of them want a fight at the dinner table. The same thing would apply to people being polled at work. Who the heck is going to risk getting fired for telling the truth in the middle of cubicle land?

        How big is this potential effect? Nobody knows.Report

  12. Avatar Jesse
    Ignored
    says:

    The actual reason why people on this website don’t “feel” the Biden lead is pretty simple – this website is overwhelmingly white, middle to upper middle class Gen X dudes – that’s the exact profile of ta median Trump voter (since Trump’s strongest numbers continue to be in the 45-64) age bracket.

    So, yes, people on this website are far more likely to feel like Trump is more popular than the polls show is…because they’re likely in a social circle where Trump support is much, much higher than normal.

    Even if you’re personally center-left or centrist or whatever, a 40-50-something white dude who lives in suburbia and largely hangd out w/ other 40-50 year old white dudes in suburbia will not actually have their pulse on every other group that is voting.Report

    • Avatar Chip Daniels
      Ignored
      says:

      Its also why so many online political commenters enjoy the horserace/ barstool aspect of it.

      For most of us, politics takes on the air of a parlor game or dorm room bull session, where it is detached from our real lives and becomes something we experience vicariously.Report

    • Avatar Philip H
      Ignored
      says:

      Speak for yourself. Us proud lefties have a very different pulse. Some of us even rely on the outcomes of these races for our livelihoods. And i happen to live in Mississippi where I am indeed surrounded by your target demographic.

      You want to know why the left doesn’t feel the lead? because we don’t trust he Democrats as a political party NOT to blow a sure thing. Look at North Carolina – Thom Tillis’s democratic opponent got caught sexting a campaign strategist. In centerist North Carolina. which may have handed a likely flipped seat back to the Republicans. Hell, for two election cycles now the left has told Democrats to stop being Republicans Lite (at least in terms of economic policy) and we’ve been told to piss off. So we very much don’t trust them.Report

      • Avatar Jesse
        Ignored
        says:

        I was unaware the Left has never had a sex scandal about one of their candidates. I guess the DSA must all be monks.

        I’m not going to get into an argument about Biden’s actual policies, because ya’ know, you’ll just say, I don’t believe him or the other Democrat’s, despite the fact Biden’s economic program is the most left-wing since LBJ, and does does smart things supporting popular economic legislation ($15 min. wage) and not supporting unpopular economic legislation (M4A – which polls underwater once people learn they’ll lose their private insurance, which sucks, but is reality)

        I have a simple question – do you think Bernie Sanders would currently be leading by more or less than Biden’s current RCP average of about 8 points?Report

        • Avatar LeeEsq
          Ignored
          says:

          I think a lot of white progressives and leftist don’t like that African-Americans and other non-whites have more say in the Democratic Party and different politics than they do. This goes for both Sanders and Warren supporters. You need African-American support to win the Presidential primary. Neither Sanders or Warren had it.Report

          • Avatar Chip Daniels
            Ignored
            says:

            I think you are right.

            Here in California, the muscle and bone of the party apparatus is mostly female, largely Black and Latino, and the white highly online leftists are merely one faction among many.

            The press makes a big deal out of progressive college students and activists, but groups like Service Employees Union get stuff done.Report

        • Avatar Philip H
          Ignored
          says:

          There are very few identified DSA politicians either nationally or at any level. So that may make them appear to be monks.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq
        Ignored
        says:

        Murc’s Law on Aisle 7, we have a Murc’s Law on Aisle 7, calling for clean up.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird
          Ignored
          says:

          “I want the Democrats to act differently.”
          “OH SO DEMOCRATS ARE THE ONLY PARTY CAPABLE OF MAKING MORAL CHOICES, ARE THEY?!?!?”

          I think that this misreads the statement about wishing the Democrats would act differently.

          That said, I’d point out that the opportunity to choose what the future of the party looks like happened earlier in the year.

          By a landslide, the future of the party is Biden. On the surface, anyway.Report

          • Avatar LeeEsq
            Ignored
            says:

            The Democratic Party is acting fine. There is no evidence that a different approach that mainly only appeals to white liberals and leftists means it will do better. Sanders and Warren crashed hard in the Presidential primary and caucuses. The idea that there are bunch of white working class votes up for grabs that can just be gotten with the right rhetoric and policy proposals has been proven false.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater
        Ignored
        says:

        “…because we don’t trust he Democrats as a political party NOT to blow a sure thing.”

        With Pelosi and Schumer in charge, not to mention the grifter DNC hacks, blowing a lead is always a live option.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      For my part, I didn’t say that I didn’t feel a Biden lead. I said that I didn’t feel like it was Reagan/Mondale.

      I know that anything short of arguing a 51-42 defeat of Trump is not particularly fashionable but I’m trying to figure out what is, not wishcast.Report

      • Avatar Jesse
        Ignored
        says:

        This isn’t Reagan/Mondale, where Reagan dominated from the outset and never really seemed likely to lose.

        I’d argue this is more like Reagan/Carter, if Anderson hadn’t run, where a decent consistent Reagan lead would’ve likely turned into an absolute landslide (even more than his 9 point win) when the bottom fell out of Carter’s campaign near the end, since actual polling of Anderson voters, just like Perot voters 12 years later showed them basically split on their 2nd choice.

        Now, if Trump continues to self-destruct (as he seems to be doing today w/ ending stimulus negotiations out of nowhere), Reagan/Mondale is a possibility.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird
          Ignored
          says:

          It could well be a possibility in a month. If it is, I imagine that things will feel differently in, oh, 3 weeks or so.

          But things don’t feel like a Biden blowout yet. Things feel like they felt when everybody knew that Clinton was going to win. Just look at the polls.

          Edit: Well, there are a few things that feel different. Biden doesn’t have Clinton’s anti-enthusiasm field. Whatever made us say “Clinton’s just not that kind of candidate”, Biden isn’t making us say that.

          Plus there are yard signs this time.Report

          • Avatar North
            Ignored
            says:

            I mean plus we have the example of Clinton in our past now.Report

          • Avatar Marchmaine
            Ignored
            says:

            Eh, they feel like a blow-out in this part of Trump land. Defensive, none of the folks saying, well, you never know, maybe he’ll be ok… low enthusiasm… he’ll still win our county by 10 pts., but the folks coming down from the mountain to vote for the first time… nah. Folks who reluctantly pulled the lever? 50/25/25 with 25% staying home for sure and 25% on the fence. These folks won’t vote for Biden, they just won’t vote.

            And… as you know there are three categories of voters…Report

            • Avatar Jaybird
              Ignored
              says:

              Was getting 307 EVs a blowout? If so, then, sure. We’re in blowout territory.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                A poll today had Trump at +18 in West Virgninia. In 2016 WV went for Trump at +42.

                Here’s what David Wasserman (Cook Political) had to say about that:

                “It’s easy to dismiss a poll in WV as not mattering. But just as Clinton’s problems w/ white working-class voters in MI/PA/WI were foreshadowed by polls elsewhere, Trump’s underperformance in ND/WV etc. is a flashing red siren for his standing in SE OH, SW PA, etc.”

                Trump is going in the wrong direction very strongly right now.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Hey, as I said above. I’ve pivoted from “thinking Biden’s going to win but not being surprised if Trump does” to “thinking Biden is going to win and being surprised if Trump does”.

                But I also know that a month is a looooooong time.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                I think you’re being overly optimistic about your pessimism but I hear ya. A lot could happen.

                I’d add, that includes even *bigger* margins for Biden in the upcoming weeks. The presumption that things will move *only* in Trump’s direction seems misguided to me.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                I mean, Comey’s revelation of additional emails didn’t show up until the last week of October.Report

              • Avatar George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                538’s latest poll (Oct 2) has Trump winning WV with 65%. In 2016 he won it with 68%.Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine
                Ignored
                says:

                No, 308 is the blow-out cut-off… but my map in the prediction thread had, what, 345? Now that’s a blow-out.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Making it so that Sam Wang would not have to eat a bug = Blowout.

                (Hell, maybe I’m just twice shy after getting bit.)Report

              • Avatar North
                Ignored
                says:

                Not me, I was a Silver guy in 2016. Thank goodness too. Believing wang probably woulda killed me.Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine
                Ignored
                says:

                Ok, a bit more seriously… any scenario where Biden wins FL is probably a blow-out. Other than that… 280-300.

                …Well, unless Trump wins New York, of course.Report

              • Avatar North
                Ignored
                says:

                That is a blow-out.Report

  13. Avatar Koz
    Ignored
    says:

    I think my prior comment just got ate by the database/moderation gremlins. Can somebody go rescue it?Report

  14. Avatar Kazzy
    Ignored
    says:

    Ever find yourself rooting for the losing team in a basketball game? They’re down 10 halfway through the 3rd and you think, “If they can finish the quarter down single digits, they got a chance.” A few minutes later the deficit is 15 but your team immediately hits a 3 and you think, “Down only 12! Let’s get a stop and a hoop and cut it to 10.” The quarter ends with them trailing by 17, but a quick flurry at the start of the 4th has them holding the ball down 14. “Hey… a basket here and we’re only down 12.”

    It’s a really easy trap to fall into, because you just ignore the bigger picture. That’s what a lot of folks seem to be doing with Trump. Is he out of it? No. But folks point to an increasing margin and ever encroaching end-date as if they are somehow positives.

    “Only down 8 in October!”Report

    • Avatar Koz
      Ignored
      says:

      That’s right. It’s not like that fan or that coach is wrong even. That’s the situation you’re in, that’s the way you have to take it, and that’s the way it feels.

      That is, if you take it as a given that you are that fan, or that coach. My point is, there’s no reason for us to take that as a given. If we can see that’s the way that particular train is heading, and we should, we should refuse to invest ourselves in that situation instead of trying to make up an 11 point lead with 5 minutes to play.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy
        Ignored
        says:

        If you’re the fan? Yes.

        The coach? The players? Depends. Is this a random Thursday game in February? Live to fight another day. Game 7 of the finals? Well, you go balls out to try to win. Though even there incentives may vary based on whether they anticipate returning next season.

        I don’t begrudge anyone adopting this perspective. But pardon me if I roll my eyes when they say, “Bango! Only down 16 with 4 to go… got ‘em right where we want ‘em!”Report

        • Avatar Jaybird
          Ignored
          says:

          One of the ghosts that I am still haunted by is the knowledge that we had in early November 2016.

          It’s one thing to say that New England will NEVER be able to come back from a 3-21 halftime score.

          It’s quite another to say that when the last time they were 3-21 at halftime, they got 19 points in the 4th quarter and 6 more in OT.

          “I’ve never seen anybody do this before and I’m familiar with historical records of this sort of thing” is a pretty good reason to be skeptical of something.

          But even though I’d feel good about the chances of the team that is 21-3 at halftime (I’d feel great about their chances, honestly), I now know better than to say “there’s no way they could come back from that!”

          Even though, every single time, I’d want my team to start a game at halftime with an 18 point lead.Report

          • Avatar Kazzy
            Ignored
            says:

            Nothing is guaranteed. And some “win probability models” are too backwards facing. “How often has a team in X situation prevailed?” Just because none have done it doesn’t mean it can’t happen. Just that it’s really hard.

            My point was not about the impossibility of a Trump victory. But about his supporters deluding themselves into thinking that a bleaker outlook is in fact a positive.

            The Chiefs fell behind in all 3 playoff games last year and still won the Super Bowl. They still try to get the lead at the start of the game.Report

  15. Avatar Saul Degraw
    Ignored
    says:

    Josh Marshall at TPM theorizes that McConnell is throwing Trump an anchor re stimulus and might think retention of he Senate is a goner as well.Report

    • Avatar Philip H
      Ignored
      says:

      Considering that Lindsey Graham’s reelection has gone from Solidly Republican to Toss Up? Yeah I’d say McConnell sees the writing very clearly.Report

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