As I mentioned above, "Trump and Johnson got 31,222 more votes than Hillary and Jill Stein." Johnson isn't running again, and plenty of libertarians have decided they like Trump, due to the economy, his court picks, and his defense of various freedoms.

Given that, 2020 is likely going to be a close race there, because Trump's "approval" numbers in 2016 probably weren't very good either. But what happens there will likely hinge on plenty of events that haven't happened yet and campaign ads that haven't been made or aired, and of course the Democrats still have to pick a candidate.

I think it's a bit too early to try and call the state for either side, no matter how much comfort that might bring.

I'll give you a quick reason not to pin any hopes on flipping Texas: It would be a huge financial gamble to try and make a fight there, and the Democratic party likely won't support such a large and risky investment that would drain the amount of money they would have for ads in battleground states.

In fact, a Republican strategy would be to lure the Democrats into Texas, just as Democrats would love to have Trump waste his campaign money in California or New York so that he can't spend it in Pennsylvania or Wisconsin.

If Texas flips, it flips, but Democrats already got burned once backing Beto against Cruz, which is money none of them can get back.

Hillary's deficit in Florida was only about 100,000 votes, compared to 800,000 votes in Texas, and Florida has 80% as many electoral college votes as Texas. If it cost some constant amount to flip a voter, regardless of location, it would make sense to saturate Florida with enough money to ensure a win there before spending a dime in Texas.

While I'm on this theme of strategic spending, I'll mention that in 2016 Trump spent heavily on ads in Minnesota because he knew that a huge swath of Wisconsin watches Minnesota TV stations. Hillary's folks didn't understand his strategy and thus didn't respond in Wisconsin, thinking he was the one blowing his money on an unwinnable state. And the kicker is that Trump and Johnson got 31,222 more votes than Hillary and Jill Stein - in Minnesota!

So spending money trying to flip Texas while putting Minnesota in the "safe Democrat" column would be a huge mistake, on par with ignoring Wisconsin in 2016.

I only recall seeing one story on it, which was about how Minnesota was pretty evenly split on impeachment until it actually started. I gather that the polls you are seeing reflect that, (40 to 43 for and 53 to 55 against), where as maybe they had been 50-50 or slightly in favor of "investigating".

Of course those earlier numbers may have been questionable because I'm not sure that anyone was really focused on accurately polling the question when it didn't seem that pressing, and the reporter may have been taking another poll question as a proxy for early impeachment support so that he'd have an angle for the story, which was that impeachment wasn't playing well in the heartland.

Combining that with a story about how the folks in Minnesota's mining regions are flipping to Trump, which were much like the early stories about the Rust Belt folks changing their loyalties during Obama's second term and the 2016 campaign season, and it points to a possible shift from "safe Democrat" to "leans Democrat" or perhaps even to "toss up".

As the primaries come around we should get fresh poll data because they'll have to ask a lot of match up questions. Perhaps the ground has shifted, or perhaps nothing has really changed.

What caught my eye is that impeachment is polling badly in Minnesota, and showed a big shift against it (I think by 5 to 10 points as things got rolling in the House), and those polls are more recent than the presidential polls from October. If opposition to impeachment hardens into Trump support, as some articles on it suggested from street interviews (which are notoriously unreliable) then the state's next presidential poll might alarm some people.

But when you're saying the polls show that you'll easily beat Trump, you're doing exactly the same thing you did last time. Why bother to vote when he's going to lose in a landslide?

And, since we don't elect the President via a national vote, wouldn't the national polls be rather meaningless? Yet we had state-by-state polling data, and that gave Democratic pollsters, pundits, and journalists the confidence to book hotel rooms for the Hillary Clinton victory celebration and inauguration parties. The looks on their faces on election night was priceless. I still watch those videos. ^_^

Obviously none of them, based on their obsessive poll watching, thought Trump had a prayer.

I think the pollster who came closest to the result was the one who, instead of asking people how they were going to vote, asked them how they thought their neighbor was going to vote. The question is whether they were really talking about themselves, or were taking the question seriously and talking smack about their deplorable neighbor.

And I think the real problem is that since the left made Trump support a moral issue, polling can't work, anymore than you could validly poll people about whether they have any outstanding warrants or cheat on their spouses. It's moved polling from the realm of statistical science to just listening to people lie about themselves.

So you'd take a look at it. ^_^

That was my point. Depending on how you preface the question, every politician would say they'd take a look at it.

I'm sure you can get any politician to say they'd take a look at increasing defense spending, and then the following day get them to say they'd take a look at decreasing defense spending.

What they're doing with that response is, to echo Jeb, saying that they'll be on top of things, ready to lead, because they're a leader, who leads, because they have led. And they listen, because they're good listeners, and they will listen to the arguments and make a decision on whatever issue comes to their desk needing a decision.

Such non-answers are how they got to sit behind a big desk, ready to look at things, and ready to think about the things they'll look at. Basically it's just conversation filler, like talking about the weather, until they start to move on an issue.

As late as August 2016, Hillary was leading Trump 48 to 33. On Nov 8, 2016, Hillary was leading Trump 47 to 40 in Wisconsin, 45 to 42 in Michigan, and 46 to 44 in Pennsylvania.

Trump has been under constant attack for three years and it hasn't budged the polls. In contrast, the Democratic candidates are still "pristine", little more than generic at this point. How is Biden going to look after a couple hundred million dollars in ads about his rampant corruption and his son's Burisma dealings, his coke habit, and his stripper problem, probably backed up by Durham's report on the goings on in Ukraine in 2016?

All the 2016 Republican candidates thought they could beat Trump, too, but none survived his cutting attacks and mastery of unconventional media. He's a buzz saw. After he went to work on her, Hillary didn't even win among white women.

How is someone like Biden, who has trouble stringing sentences together, going to outperform her when the campaign gets ugly and tough?

Democrats might win, but they'd best not use rosy scenarios to mislead themselves into thinking it will be easy. They did that last time and it didn't work out well for them.

He's not lying, he's telling exactly what he might do. If Congress comes up with a serious proposal to cut entitlement spending, he might take a look at it. But that would also hold true for all past and future presidents, from Obama to anyone in the current campaign, because every President will take a look at anything important that Congress is inclined to do.

These are not particularly newsworthy statements, questions, or responses, and any reporter that is trying to make hay out of them is merely advancing an empty and partisan political attack, like saying that Biden wants to bring back school segregation because of some off-hand comment that he'd be open to listening to some local PTA's complaint about school redistricting.

Unless an idea is way outside the Overton window, the default response of any politician is that they'll look, listen, or consider, because the opposite response doesn't play well. Often it's like giving a child a very noncommittal "maybe" so they don't throw a tantrum about hearing "no."

Trump has made more resolute statements about colonizing Mars. This one sounds about 1% as alarming as things Bernie, Warren, and AOC say routinely, where they're going to take away your health insurance, your car, and bulldoze your house to save the climate.

Politicians say they'll look at things. One common defection is saying they'll set up a committee to see if there's a reason to set up another committee to consider possibly introducing legislation to urge the House to consider taking up a bill to form an independent bipartisan advisory panel to produce a report on the pressing issue. This is how they turn doing nothing into paying their friends fat salaries to do nothing.

Running a story with a fantasy about what those things might be, sometime in the future when Congress is taken over by reptile aliens, is just pointless speculation to fill newsprint. If Trump is going to do something, he'll make sure everybody knows what he's going to do because he'll preach it to the rafters at every campaign rally, like he did with the wall.

I suppose you don't recall how low Trump was polling when he crushed Hillary. If Trump is polling above 40% he's probably a shoe-in. ^_^

Also, have you considered that he might be polling poorly in Texas because he's not shooting Guatemalans as they cross the wall? You have to look at why someone is polling poorly. Nancy might be polling badly in San Francisco because she hasn't instituted full communism, but that's not going to translate to Republican votes.

And how many people who don't like Trump are still not going to pull a Bernie or Warren lever in a million years, or who wouldn't bother turning out for Biden even if their polling place was in the garage next door?

One of the problems with recent polling, which showed up in a big way in 2016, is that Trump supporters wouldn't admit that they support Trump because the left had made supporting him a moral issue. Once people lie about their preferences so they don't get judged, polling becomes worthless. The same thing happened regarding Brexit, and you can see how that went.

That's the same paper that spent two years saying that evidence was about to break that would prove Trump colluded with Russia. As their whole impeachment train crashes into the ravine, I expect them to cook up all kinds of new nonsense. It's what they do.

I think he'll win Minnesota. The state's mining region has apparently had shift similar to West Virginia, with the folks who've been voting Democrat for generations, and who voted for Hillary, deciding to switch parties because they see Trump as their champion. Their numbers may not be that large, but it could be significant. Many others, more urban, said they're switching in disgust about Omar and the rest of the squad, and their very negative perceptions about what's happened to Minneapolis. They just can't get on board with the "death to Israel" type rhetoric.

I also think he has a good chance of winning Virginia due to Northram's anti-gun and pro-blackface policy, which will drive voter turnout in heavily red areas to record levels.

Overall I think he'll pick up a whole lot of votes from the fantastic economic performance and record low unemployment, especially among minorities, while Democrats will likely see low turnout because they don't have any candidate that's remotely compelling or inspirational, except perhaps to college activists and the perpetually outraged brigades.

Well, you seem to have faith in the polls. Hillary did too.

If you go check Real Clear Politics polling data, you can see that the national polls are garbage. In the same week, Trump beats Biden by 7, Sanders by 10, and Warren by 14, but then loses to Bloomberg by 6, Buttigieg by 2, and then loses to Biden by 7. What good is a poll when they keep producing scattershot answers that indicate the error margin might be as high as plus or minus 10?

Polling is broken, both in the US and in Europe, and I haven't seen good evidence that anybody has figured out the underlying causes and fixed them.

Thus, it might be more important to pay close attention to other metrics like crowd attendance, debate viewership, and the economy.

Quite a few metrics predict that Trump will do far better in the electoral college this time around.

Among the many problems plaguing Democrats is the way the far left took over much of academia and started churning out students who reflexively hate white Americans and, on the world stage, hate America. They're quite loud and proud about it, and it convinces many normal folks that Democrats do not have our best interests at heart because they despise us and seem to want us dead. This creates the obvious election problem, like running for mayor of some large city while constantly going on radio and TV and denouncing the city's major sports teams, and pointedly deriding the local fan base as a bunch of morons. Sure, there may be a slice of the community that hates the owner, the coach, and the team, but if they were a majority the team probably wouldn't still be there.

Why should they have to beat Trump when they were going to remove him by impeachment? That effort quickly turned into such a sham and an abysmal face plant that today, during the opening day of only the third Senate trial of a President in US history, I skipped it and watched a documentary on the making of Galaxy Quest - and I'm a political junkie.

Thankfully no Democrat would ever make fun of Trump's "small hands". Never.

You realize that if the reporter was a Fox News regular, Democrats on CNN would be gleefully mocking his disability and flapping their little flippers at him all day long, don't you?

These are the same people who called Condi Rice a "House N*****" without a hint of shame. The New York Times cartoonist even drew Condi with big lips sucking on aluminum tubes.

They're only outraged when the wrong people get mocked. Then they try to incite a moral panic about it.

That reminds me of a tale of two UK basketball coaches. Coach Billy Gillespie, who lasted all of two horrible years, often lost embarrassingly. But in the post-game press conferences he would say he thought our team played pretty darn well. He was always positive, always upbeat - and lost to tiny college in the first round of the NIT. Coach Calipari, in contrast, even after a tremendous victory, will spend his post-game conference talking about what isn't working, which players aren't gelling, which need to step up, and what changes he'll have to make to improve things. Winning isn't enough because there's always weakness that can be addressed and mistakes that can eliminated.

Similarly, the Democrats lost 2016 badly, with what they thought was a shoe-in, and still blame their defeat on bad luck and imaginary Russian interference. Hillary's list of lame excuses became almost legendary, but to this day her party is still blaming the Russians.

In contrast, Trump won in 2016 yet seems determined not to repeat the mistakes he thinks he made in that campaign. He is notorious for ruthlessly culling his team, or for having them quit in frustration, whereas the Democrats let people fail upward. Last season's winner is working even harder to run the perfect race, but the losers, convinced that their victories are inevitable (or perhaps content as long as they're still drawing crowds and paying staffers), won't even analyze why they lost last time.

You've got one team coming off a bad defeat that seems to think victory is theirs by right, no matter how many mistakes they make or what kind of performance they put in. They're up against a perfectionist who seems focused on not just campaigning well, but running the perfect race.

Or, for a racing analogy from Ford vs Ferrari, Christian Bale's character said he could see the perfect race in his mind, where ever turn is perfect, every shift point is perfect, every lap is perfect, and his goal was to run that perfect race. Every week Trump goes out to vast arenas across this country and works on honing his stage performance. Every night he's on Twitter trying to send out the perfect insult. He will try to run the perfect race.

The Democrats seem to think they can let grandpa Biden just drive around the track a bunch of times and they'll get the checkered flag, as long as that Russian driver doesn't cut them off again. I don't think that's going to work out for them.

The mindset they need is one that strives for unobtainable perfection, putting together the perfect campaign team, finding the perfect candidate (I suggest Tom Hanks), and running the perfect race, where everything he says sinks in, everything he does resonates, every smile melts hearts, and every message is on point. But in this reality we have Sanders barking at the moon, Warren giving her screechy diatribes, and Biden trying to string coherent sentences together.

Historians have long noted how aristocracies get lazy, where members of the ruling class assume they're in charge by right and don't need to put in a performance that would win enough people over to keep their privileges and status. They think just showing up is good enough, and then one day it isn't because their opposition is tough, determined, and capable, easily seeing off a creaky aristocracy defended by generals who have a wall full of participation trophies and nothing to back those up.

Some have blamed the Democrats' current woes on their Congressional seniority system, where they have to put in long decades of service to get any seniority. Perhaps an unintended consequence of that system is that the leadership is made up of the long-term survivors, who would tend to come from the safest districts that vote Democrat even during Republican tsunamis That indirectly selects for the Democrats who've faced the fewest tough races, where even poorly supported positions and sloppy campaigning was good enough. But the skilled performers are the junior members who've managed to pull off a few miraculous victories against entrenched Republican incumbents, and who have done so recently. That is where the necessary skill set lies, yet those are typically the most ignored members at the bottom of the party hierarchy. Perhaps changing that would be a good first step toward turning around a long-term trend that's making the leadership resemble the octogenarians in old Soviet Politburo

I wonder if a culture of virtue signalling has led to their lack of compromise, and the apparent unwillingness to reach broad agreement on a candidate (ie The Times editorial board).

A large swath of politically active Twitter users and college kids have made almost every position on anything a moral issue about their virtue. They've been taught to support X because "all good people support X". Thus, they can't switch to "Y" because that would obviously mean they were a bad person. If you support person X because you're a good person, and have convinced yourself that the pick reflects your morality, then you're stuck with X for as long as X remains an option.

This is in stark contrast to the way people put together their fantasy sports team, where they'll happily field a team of dog-abusing criminal rapists if their stats look good.
The goal of the game is winning, not virtue signalling, so few would've picked a declining Kaerpernick to show they are a "good person" because it's not about being good, it's about getting to the post season.

So in that vein, the first group is screaming that Trump is a Nazi and they'd never ever support him because they are all "good people". The second group notes that even if Trump is a horrible person, he gets the ball in the end zone like nobody else, so they're sticking with him. The two groups are not using the same logic to pick a team. One set keeps screaming that the other is a bunch of horrible people for picking Trump, and the Trump people just keep gleefully shouting "Touchdown!!!"

Maybe the second group will get tired of winning, but I doubt it. At present, the first group can't form a consensus on whether "good people" would pick a running back who is extra LBGT friendly or one who is more into saving whales. Stats like yards per carry aren't even on their radar, and they can't even seem to abandon their individual pet candidate issues because then they'd be bad people. And of course the Trump supporters are staring aghast at the kind of players the first group is even thinking about fielding, and thinking about what the next season would look like if any of those clowns got their hands on the football.