Take a poll: Who will win in November?

Walking to work (ducks require feeding every day), and pondering Donald Trump’s divisive and unhinged Fourth Of July speech yesterday, I had a soupçon of satisfaction pondering the probability—in my mind a strong one—that Trump will lose in November. Nearly every poll on RealClear Politics, for instance, shows Biden winning, often by a substantial margin.

Let’s have a bit of fun and prognosticate here. Yes, it’s early days, but Biden’s playing it canny and cool, limiting his appearances and appearing compos mentis in his ads and sound bites. Meanwhile, Trump, sensing defeat, is becoming increasingly desperate and unhinged (we’ll see a few ads from never-Trump Republicans later today), and his approval rating is just above 40% and his disapproval rating about 56%. Here are the data from FiveThirtyEight:

 

Earlier this year, when I’d already bet a few hundred bucks that Trump would lose, many readers still thought Trump might pull it off. Let’s see how strong that sentiment  still is. Please vote below, and then, especially if you think Trump can still win in November:

164 Comments

  1. David
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    The only way Trump wins is if Democrats stay home out of fear of the inevitable increase in COVID during the fall. Trump voters are less likely to be scared away because, you know, it’s all a hoax and is really just the common cold anyway.

    • Mark R.
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

      Recent elections during Covid haven’t dampened turnout for either side, but there are more democrats, and they’ve shown up, which equals WIN! I can’t see the anger and frustration ebbing in anyway come November- if anything it will grow.

  2. Nicolaas Stempels
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    His approval rating is just over 40%, not 50% (typo?)
    In fact, Mr Trump’s approval rating as POTUS never ever reached 50%

  3. Claudia Heilke
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    Approval is at 40.7% not a little over 50%.

  4. lesliefish
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    No, I think Trump will win in November because… What’s the alternative? The Democrats are backing Biden, who becomes less coherent by the day. They’ve also kowtowed to the BLM rioters, boasted of defunding or even disbanding police while rioters tear up the streets and tear down statues, and make it physically dangerous to wear a MAGA hat in public. Voters don’t necessarily talk to pollsters under those conditions.

    • GBJames
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      “…Biden, who becomes less coherent by the day…”

      Your evidence for this?

      • C.
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 9:51 am | Permalink

        I think the incoherence was in reference to the far (and not so far) left democrats, not Biden himself and his slide into absurdity is something PCC(E) has been noting for a few years now. That it has escaped the campus and infected a wider democratic populace is not surprising it it is disconcerting. Even many of my family, not just the younger set, have succumbed.

        As for Joe himself, there was an interesting article a few weeks ago by a man who had a quite pronounced stutter who pointed to Biden’s own childhood speech impediment as a probable cause for his gaffs. I’m sorry I’ve forgotten where I read it now, but it was an intriguing suggestion. Biden’s gaffs have been almost a trademark of his political life, so I’d be reluctant to blame them on age as many have attempted to do. My apologies for not being able to link to the article.

        • GBJames
          Posted July 4, 2020 at 10:11 am | Permalink

          That’s not what Leslie said though.

    • Dragon
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      Beyond evidence for ‘less coherent’ as already requested…
      Your choice of words demonstrate a clear bias. Do you have evidence of kowtowing to ‘the BLM rioters’ as opposed ‘the BLM protesters’? They are not the same thing and the latter vastly outnumber the former. Which few Democrats actually ‘boasted of defunding or even disbanding’? Evidence for it being ‘physically dangerous to wear a MAGA hat’? Can you explain why voters contacted by phone, which is the vastly usual method, would fail to talk to pollsters?
      How is the weather in St. Petersburg today?

      • Historian
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 10:49 am | Permalink

        As any good Trump supporter would do, Leslie is trying to stoke white racial fears. Hence, truth will not stand in his or her way. Leslie is parroting what appears to be Trump’s election strategy: get out the white grievance vote for one last chance at victory. As I discuss in comment #17, the rapidly changing demographics of the nation has the white identitarians in panic mode.

        • EdwardM
          Posted July 4, 2020 at 11:38 am | Permalink

          yes, it is clear the strategy for Trump will be to stoke racial fears and hatred.

          It could work though; the Democrats are likely to help him in his efforts. But I think even the Demos best efforts at losing this election will not work; too many people feel much too strongly now about Trump that maybe enough eligible voters will bother this year. That is our hope. Who knows, we might even get 60% of voters to show up. If that’s the case, it will be a loss for Trump of truly epic proportions.

          • Mark R.
            Posted July 4, 2020 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

            “yes, it is clear the strategy for Trump will be to stoke racial fears and hatred.”

            It worked in 2016, but not since. He’s been using his same bag of tricks in every election since and he’s met with staggering losses. He doesn’t have a clue what’s going on with the populace, and hate/division is the only strategy he knows; he’s toast.

    • enl
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 10:46 am | Permalink

      “make it physically dangerous to wear a MAGA hat in public.”

      Where? Not even the right wing outlets have shown any evidence of this.

      Certainly not in my area (a little right leaning, but in the middle of decidedly left leaning).

      Not in Newark, NJ (I had to go up for work last week. MAGA hats were quite in evidence. First time in over three months I have been further than walking distance from my house)

      Nor in Trenton (again, had to go for work last week)

      I would say it is significantly more dangerous to go to chipotle while not white, to tell the truth.

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      Leslie, I listened to some interviews with Mr Biden recently, and compared to Mr Trump he is the paragon of coherence, honesty, empathy, eloquence and knowledge. Nothing like the gibberish, hate and fear Mr Trump is spouting.
      Mr Biden specifically opposed ‘defunding’ of the police, what are you talking about?
      Physically dangerous to wear a MAGA hat? Any links?
      It appears to me that you are brainwashed by Breitbart, or possibly some Russian outfit.

    • Posted July 5, 2020 at 4:14 am | Permalink

      57,000 people infected with COVID19 yesterday. Children in cages. Extortion of foreign heads of state. Inaction on foreign powers putting bounties on the heads of US soldiers.

      A blob of jelly would be a better alternative to Trump right now.

  5. GBJames
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    Biden is the obvious choice in this poll.

    I think a more interesting, and challenging bet is to pick the date at which tRump drops out of the race whether for health or other excuse. I don’t think he wants to be president, he can’t stand losing. Now that Don Jr’s lady friend has Covid, it almost seems just a matter of time before Don Sr. gets it. I think I would put a (small) bet on the final ballot in November carrying the ticket “Pence/Haley” or such on it.

    • Dragon
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

      My bet has to be on Trump going to election day. I am certain William Barr had to explain it many times, but by now Trump knows as soon as he is no longer in office, the criminal indictments begin to appear.
      He will fight election results until the Secret Service drags him out of 1600 Penn.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

        Mark my words: Donald Trump will try to pardon himself after losing the election, but before leaving office.

        An attempted pardon won’t prevent the Manhattan DA’s office, or the New York state attorney general’s office, from potentially pursuing charges against him once Trump is out of office. But, even if unsuccessful, an attempted pardon would likely tie up any potential federal prosecution of Trump in the court system until Donald Trump’s dying day.

        • Posted July 5, 2020 at 4:18 am | Permalink

          Here’s my scenario.

          1 Trump loses.

          2 Trump resigns the next day so as to avoid going through the humiliation of handing over to Biden.

          3 Pence takes over for the rest of the lame duck period.

          Then we have either

          4a Pence pardons Trump a la Ford/Nixon

          or

          4b Trump asks Pence to pardon him. Pence laughs in his face and sends him to jail.

          • rickflick
            Posted July 5, 2020 at 7:41 am | Permalink

            4b sounds right. Pence will negotiate a quid pro quo for the favor, though. I read somewhere Melania has already negotiated extra support for her son. True?

            • Ken Kukec
              Posted July 5, 2020 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

              The reporting has been that while Melania remained in New York after Trump’s inauguration (at great expense to taxpayers), ostensibly so Barron could finish out the school year there, she was actually renegotiating her prenup.

              No way Trump would leave office early without first pardoning himself pursuant to an agreement that Pence will ratify the pardon upon assuming the duties of the presidency.

              Trump is anything but a trust-the-other-fellow type of guy.

  6. Posted July 4, 2020 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    80% probability for Biden, IMO. >90% if nothing major changes between now and then, but there’s a strong possibility something will. Of course, changes could also make Trump’s chances even worse.

  7. Posted July 4, 2020 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    The only real concern is how much of an effort it will be to get Trump out of the White House in January. I predict dozens, if not hundreds of lawsuits citing voter fraud, voting fraud, and related tactics.

    Unless Joe wins by a massive margin, it will be a long, painful process.

    Even then, I predict hundreds of pardons.

    • phoffman56
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      Is there another ‘western’ country where the then democratically (put dubiousness quotes around that for US) defeated former head of state (named X say, and for some stupid reason to be referred to as President X until, or even after, his death–but that’s only psychologically related to my point) can continue in power, in charge of the military, able in this case to continue with a wrecking crew science-ignoramous administration, for whatever time period it is, around 2 months it seems, to wreak havoc on the human species? (Pardon the long sentence!)

      Many USians probably think this period is something their god dictated to the founders, perhaps when taking a break from dictating the bible.

      Talk about banana republic. Let’s hope the US military top people have some plan to effectively refuse some orders from Mass Murderer donald (AKA Generalissimo Drumpfranco) starting in early November. I wouldn’t count on the US airforce anyway, which seems to be polluted with evangelical idiots, even perhaps endtimes strangeloves.

      I won’t vote, not a USian, but the above scenario indirectly makes clear my own (optimistic) prediction.

  8. jezgrove
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    I certainly hope that Biden wins, but it is too soon to call right now. After all, Clinton was doing OK in 2016 and then 11 days before the election James Comey reopened the email controversy. Who knows what could happen between now and November?

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

      Hillary didn’t have as large a lead at this stage in 2016 as Biden has now. Plus, in 2016 Trump didn’t have a record of abject failure to run against either. Also, Hillary was under criminal investigation at this stage in 2016, and James Comey held a televised press conference in mid-July 2016 taking a yard of skin off her tuchas (an investigation, as you reference, that was reopened just 11 days before voters went to the polls, likely costing her the electoral college — she still won the popular vote by near to 3 million ballots).

      Plus, Joe Biden doesn’t have the albatross of Bill Clinton’s personal peccadilloes yoked around his neck keeping him from attacking Trump on character issues.

      • rickflick
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

        I’m also struck by the fact that Biden’s time with Obama was a time with virtually no corruption. The contrast is so extreme, one wonders why tRump would have any support left (except for the insanity of his core).
        Put the shoe on the other hand. If there was a corrupt and morally bankrupt Democratic candidate (in the mold of a DT) running against a Republican near-saint (who? Ike?). I’m sure most of our noble camp would quickly vote for the GOP. I would. But, the current social divide is a perversion. A historic twist that will be written about for a very long time.

        • Posted July 4, 2020 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

          I doubt many of Trump’s supporters would agree. As far as they are concerned, Obama was corrupt right from birth, having been born in the wrong country and with the wrong color skin. Then there were the accusations that Obama ruled like a king with all of his Executive Orders. I think Trump has had many more but never mind that.

          • rickflick
            Posted July 4, 2020 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

            The tRump supporters who do not agree are not sane. Why worry about the screwed-up? Oh, wait. They can vote. 😒

  9. rickflick
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    As they say, it’s a long time ’till November. Anything could happen. War? Biden has a heart attack? Trump has a heart attack and Pence takes over? But, I’ve been predicting a Biden landslide for a long time now. I’m not going to retreat from that.

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      There have been murmurs about Trump dropping out of the race. People ridiculed the idea but if it became clear that he was almost certainly going to lose I reckon he’d immediately drop out. He’s the kind of guy who’d dump his girlfriend if he thought she was thinking of doing it to him. Or resign a few seconds before his boss fires him.

      And once he’s lost(fingers crossed) he’ll go on a tour of the media claiming he ‘never wanted a second term anyway’.

      99% of Trump’s actions can be deduced simply by imagining what a thirteen year old boy with raging hormones would do in the same situation.

      • rickflick
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 10:33 am | Permalink

        That kind of talk causes deep seated changes in Pence. It won’t show on his facial expression, but he’ll feel the need of a cold shower.

        • Saul Sorrell-Till
          Posted July 4, 2020 at 10:54 am | Permalink

          The reason Pence is so protective of Trump is he hears all the talk of whether the POTUS will make it through a final term and thinks of him as a foetus.

          • Posted July 4, 2020 at 11:04 am | Permalink

            There may be an interesting battle brewing there. Trump may want to get rid of Pence before November because he blames everything around him for his own failure. On the other hand, the GOP leaders are perhaps going to back Pence as their only option with Trump going down in flames. If Trump drops out, I see no chance the GOP can be successful with Pence but they may try anyway. I know this is all wishful thinking.

            • Saul Sorrell-Till
              Posted July 4, 2020 at 11:43 am | Permalink

              I agree about Pence’s chances: I think Trump has stained him so thoroughly that he’s politically radioactive.

              It’s sort of the lesson with Trumpism: the only person who can make it work is Trump. Once Trump’s gone all you’re left with is pure hatred and bitterness, now devoid of the only things that made any of that vaguely palatable in the first place: emperor coronavirus’ dubious brand of charisma and reality-defying super-ignorance.

              • Posted July 4, 2020 at 11:58 am | Permalink

                Yes, I agree. If you can imagine any of Trump’s sycophant’s post-Trump, it is hard to see them as winners. There’s just nowhere to pivot to. If Trump loses in November, and I think he will, any attempted resurrections afterwards will be met with immediate derision. Anyone who runs in 2022 or 2024 on a Trumpist platform will be shouted down. Any non-Trumpist Republicans will have trouble convincing the remnants of Trump’s base. At least that’s my hope.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

        I’ve been predicting he will quit for a while. So far I’m wrong but I think he may try it as losing would be too painful for him.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted July 4, 2020 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

          I had Trump at even money to drop out of the race over the weekend in October 2016 after the Access Hollywood hot-mic tape was released — and many Republicans at the time thought (and hoped) the odds were worse for him than that.

          I don’t see Trump dropping out before this year’s election unless he can somehow claim it as a “victory” — and I don’t see any way he can claim that. If he does drop out and waits until after the Republican National Convention (in whatever form it eventually takes) to do it, he puts the GOP in a hell of a fix (not that any of that would matter to Trump).

          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted July 4, 2020 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

            Yeah. Bummer.

  10. Posted July 4, 2020 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    I don’t think we can call it. Trumps’ fortunes can rise again to where it gets closer, and the election not only depends on his popularity but also on the motivation for voting for the alternative. Then there is the damn electoral college putting its thumbs on the scales.

  11. Andy Lowry
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    Right now, the political betting sites average out to this:
    Biden 57.5%
    Trump 37.6%

    And, even better, the Senate going to a Democrat majority is at 61.2%.

    I’ve been enjoying watching the ups and downs at the accumulator website. It’s at electionbettingodds.com.

  12. Saul Sorrell-Till
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    I think Biden will vapourise Trump. That’s a combination of hope and belief. And I think he would’ve beaten Trump comfortably even if Covid hadn’t come along.

    The rest of the world has found the last four years very entertaining but at the same time we’re sick to death of hearing about this moral singularity every single day. He’s just a rancid little man and given the choice none of us would ever listen to a word he says. The fact that we’re put into the position of having to hear about him all the time is frustrating and depressing…and we don’t even live in America, so I can’t imagine how anti-Trump Americans must be feeling after four years of having this goon represent them. I guess the overwhelming feeling is just exhaustion.

    So yeah, as always we have our fingers crossed for you guys. I like America, I think liberal democrats have a vested interest in seeing America do well. The idea of any of the other world superpowers – Russia, China – occupying America’s preeminent role over the last half century makes me break out in a cold sweat. For all its flaws America faces outwards, and has a broadly optimistic, tolerant worldview.

    Anyway, the only slight worry I have is that PCC has put his money on a Biden win…and given what happened last time that might be the kiss of death…😁

    • Posted July 5, 2020 at 2:04 am | Permalink

      Actually if we have any global view of the whole mess-up, and many of us – particularly those here at WEIT – do…. one of our main emotions is embarrassment. Daily I think “Oh goodness, are people in other countries watching this slow motion train wreck?”

      I feel like a parent (which I’m not) in a fancy restaurant where my deranged 4 year kid is having a noisy, messy meltdown.
      It feels like that.
      I’m glad I’m childless and I worked for Hillary’s campaign b/c at least I can sleep at night and (sometimes, now) still go to restaurants. 🙂
      D.A., J.D, N.Y.C.

  13. Ken Pidcock
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    Never underestimate dolt 45’s ability to manipulate white racial anxiety.

    • Mark R.
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

      That’s all he knows how to do, and those who fall for it are already with him. There is no one else to “manipulate”. He can’t win with his basket of deplorables and that’s all he really has.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

        Yes, both Trump and Biden are well-known quantities now, and there are many fewer “undecideds” now than there were at this stage of the election cycle in 2016. Plus, unlike in 2016, the potential voters who don’t like either candidate — of which there were quite a few in 2016, given that Trump and Hillary were the two least popular candidates ever to run for the presidency — are breaking Biden’s way big-time according to all the recent polling, unlike when Trump won the vast majority of such voters.

        • Posted July 4, 2020 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

          One of the big differences between 2016 and now is the elimination of the “let’s give Trump a chance” group. I suspect most of those will vote for Biden. They didn’t vote for Trump’s racism but in spite or denial of it. They also have less invested in their earlier choice. They gave him his chance and he blew it entirely and they can no longer deny his racism.

          • Mark R.
            Posted July 5, 2020 at 1:40 am | Permalink

            Very cogent point. I was non-political for my first Presidential vote for Bill C., and I mean non-political in that I didn’t understand what it meant/ how it affected me or anyone. America SUCKS at teaching kids important truths about history and politics and current events, especially their local and city-wide truths, let alone state-wide. One of my good high school friends lived by the canard of “both parties are the same”. Damn, I’m sick of that, it reminds me of… “Evolution is just a theory”. Yet when he was 50 years of age his state put on the ballot a measure to legalize pot. He registered immediately. Trump could have got a million votes by federally decriminalizing pot. I sure hope Biden understands this low hanging fruit. One thing I’ve learned about Trump…he has no idea how to pick fruit. He just can’t do a single thing to make his chances better…or the world better for that matter. Hopefully a smarter one won’t come along.

  14. Randall Schenck
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    I did not think Trump would make it to the next election, let alone win it. He still may not make it. Based on his performance with the virus and his latest work as agent for Russia, the question is, why is he still here. Why does this country have such a government that would tolerate it? Trump has actually done this country a service as explained in a recent WP article. He has caused this awakening to our racism and inequality far better than any democrat seemed to do.

    • GBJames
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      We have a government that tolerates it solely because Republicans are craven and control the Senate.

    • Posted July 4, 2020 at 10:52 am | Permalink

      lesliefish mentioned above that some MAGAts are afraid to wear their caps in public. notsecurelyanchored mentions that he’s not seeing Biden signs in Texas. I’m from Georgia which I believe is incrementally changing from solid red to purple to blue and I’ve long been hesitant to advertise my progressive leanings on my vehicle or in my yard for fear of damage. My neighbors in our subdivision of half-million dollar homes are wonderful people until they start talking politics and then they’re just purposefully ignorant bordering on hateful … and then they’ll switch over to talking about their religion and the war on it. Sorry, but there’s no war, just a rejection of religious entitlement.

      • EdwardM
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 11:13 am | Permalink

        “My neighbors in our subdivision of half-million dollar homes are wonderful people until they start talking politics and then they’re just purposefully ignorant bordering on hateful…”

        A new WEIT game; spot the unintentional contradiction!

        Srsly though, good on you, drbob^2, for seeing good in people who act like shits. It’s a virtue I struggle with.

        • Posted July 4, 2020 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

          EdwardM: I don’t really think I’m virtuous, I just try to get along with them because they’re my neighbors. Sometimes it’s difficult. When they choose to talk about the NRA (and how gun control violates their second amendment rights), their religion, how well Trump has handled the pandemic, and their marvellous political party, I push back with vigor … and will continue to do so until they learn to quit bringing up those divisive topics when I’m in the group even if I’m the sole group member objecting to their stupidity. Wonderful, but sometimes clueless.

      • GBJames
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

        I live next door to a tRumpster. It is challenging for me. He knows me well enough to not talk politics in my presence and I reciprocate for the sake of shared neighborhood living. Not that his “thin blue line” flag doesn’t drive me (quietly) nuts.

        • Posted July 4, 2020 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

          Sounds like you need your own flag.

          • GBJames
            Posted July 4, 2020 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

            Heh. I routinely fly two. One is the US flag. The other I change. I have a large collection of flags from around the world. Keep passers-by on their toes.

            • rickflick
              Posted July 4, 2020 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

              Try the Russian flag. It’ll tweak his mustache.

              • GBJames
                Posted July 4, 2020 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

                LOL

    • Charles A Sawicki
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      I don’t think that psychologically tRump can drop out. He has a tenuous connection to reality and is never able to admit that he is wrong or a loser. Hopefully he runs and takes the Republicans down with him. The inevitable growing, huge coronavirus death toll should make it harder for some his followers to continue to deny his selfish incompetence.

  15. notsecurelyanchored
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    From my perspective on the Texas Gulf coast . . .I don’t know. This is still strong Trump country and while I see plenty of Trump 2020 signs around, I don’t see any for Biden. The young people in Austin might vote for Biden but my gun-toting neighbors haven’t changed their minds and the images of late on the TV have only reinforced their fears and suspicions of The Swamp. And I know at least one person who is betting against Jerry. I’m sorry.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      Your name fits well.

      • Posted July 4, 2020 at 10:37 am | Permalink

        There’s no call to be insulting. The commenter reported what signs there are to be seen in the heart of the beast. Disagree without being childish.

        • phoffman56
          Posted July 4, 2020 at 10:49 am | Permalink

          Do you actually think that “notsecurelyanchored” is really the person’s name, not a hide-behind-choice?

          I wouldn’t regard myself as the least insulting or childish to kid you about “nonpersonne”, even with what seems a hair trigger detector of “insults”.

          • Posted July 4, 2020 at 11:43 am | Permalink

            Kid away. It’s actually an inside surrealist joke, as I am writing an historical novel series about the movement. I used it long before I started commenting here.
            I saw a lot of Trump signs in the rural South when I traveled there in 2015. Would anyone have believed me had I warned people then a lot of people were keeping their mouths shut or giving false replies to polls?

            • EdwardM
              Posted July 4, 2020 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

              I’m curious; do you think pollsters haven’t factored in “lying” or “no response” like they do with many other variables that go into constructing polls? Do you really think pollsters haven’t accounted for these kinds of variable in their polling algorithms?

              It is a common misunderstanding today to think that polls are inaccurate and lousy tools to gauge how an election may go. But though it may be true for individual polls, on average they are quite accurate. At least for popular races, like presidential campaigns. 538.com shows that polls for presidential races from 1998 to 2016 had a 2.8% error rate – well within the margin of error for most polls.

            • Ken Kukec
              Posted July 4, 2020 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

              Everyone expected Trump to carry the South easily in 2016. It’s the most solidly red region of the country, and has been since Richard Nixon’s “Southern Strategy” of appealing to the George Wallace voters disaffected from the Democratic Party by passage of the Civil Richts Act of 1964. As such, it’s the place where Trump’s racial dog-whistles play the best.

              That Trump is struggling to hang on to states such as Georgia and Texas this year is a sign of just how poorly he’s doing overall.

      • Posted July 4, 2020 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

        Hey, Randy, no call for incivility, please!

  16. Posted July 4, 2020 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    I assume Trump will win, as his popularity has barely fluctuated since he won the nomination (despite the headlines for the last four years proclaiming his popularity has “plummeted”). He won last time with a popularity of 42 or 43%, and that’s more or less where he is now, despite the ongoing demolition of civil society in the US. More than 40% of the population simply doesn’t care, or worse, harbours destructive urges that have barely been tapped.

    So the issue is how effective can Republicans be in suppressing or otherwise negatively affecting the vote, and they of course have control over the levers of power. They will stop at nothing and would do anything they think they can get away with.

    The only time I’d bet on Biden would be if Republicans started backing away from Trump, and that hasn’t happened (despite the occasional qualified statement about wearing a mask, and the last four years of constant headlines about “the cracks are beginning to appear”, “the walls are closing in”, “Trump is isolated” and “The Secret Resistance inside the White House will save us” etc.).

    • EdwardM
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      Yes, he had roughly the same popularity in 2016 and won. But he won because the Dems chose an intensely unlikable candidate and then didn’t get out the vote. It was ALL about turnout, as it is again this year, much to our peril.

      I have no -none, nada, zilcharino- faith that the Dems will do anything right in this election cycle either; their electoral incompetence is breathtaking. But I still think Trump is going to lose. We’ve all had just about enough of his shit. We’re sick, desperate, scared and the captain of the ship of state is malevolent and insane. Most Americans will be looking for sanity and competence in the Oval Office and by comparison, it’s Biden. But because the Democrats are who they are, I won’t bet on it; if the worst happens, I may need every penny I got.

  17. Historian
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    Trump can still win if all of the following happens: 1) through his divisive politics he gets a massive turnout of the white grievance vote; 2) there is wide scale voter suppression; and 3) he gets assistance from foreign powers.

    His cult may not understand, but this is last presidential election for them to retain power and transform America irrevocably into a banana republic. This election is their last stand. This is because America is becoming more diverse quicker than previously predicted. In an important article at the Brookings site, William H. Frey, by analyzing census data, notes:

    “The new data shows that, by 2019, the white population share declined nearly nine more percentage points, to 60.1% [from 2010]. The Latino or Hispanic and Asian American population shares showed the most marked gains, at 18.5% and nearly 6%, respectively. While these groups fluctuated over the past 40 years, either upward (for Latinos or Hispanics and Asian Americans) or downward (for whites), the Black share of the population remained relatively constant.”

    He goes on:

    “The declining white population share is pervasive across the nation. Since 2010, the white population share declined in all 50 states (though not Washington, D.C.), and in 358 of the nation’s 364 metropolitan areas and 3,012 of its 3,141 counties. Moreover, as of 2019, 27 of the 100 largest metropolitan areas have minority-white populations, including the major metropolises of New York, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and Miami—as well as Dallas, Atlanta, and Orlando, Fla., which reached this status by 2010 .”

    The article provides much more detail. This is why the cult so fears immigration from Latin America. The cult members derive their sense of identity and self-worth from racial identity. The thought of them becoming a minority, and, hence losing political and social power, is unthinkable. It is the same attitude held by the white South prior to the civil war – freeing slaves was also unthinkable.

    The cult will not take defeat lightly, if it should come. Social tensions will continue to rise under a Biden presidency. Trump’s removal is necessary, but his toxic legacy will live on in so many ways.

    https://www.brookings.edu/research/new-census-data-shows-the-nation-is-diversifying-even-faster-than-predicted/

  18. Niklas
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    I hope you are right and that tRump will be voted out of the oval office. I doubt it though. I’m afraid the mainstreaming of CRT will play right into Trumps hand, just to mention one of the reason I fear a second term.

    • Posted July 4, 2020 at 11:00 am | Permalink

      I think CRT has overplayed its hand. It has peaked and will slide downhill. Politicians who are interested in real, meaningful reform will start distancing themselves from the outrageous things the CRT folk say. It’s just a hunch though but I really, really want it to be true.

      • Posted July 4, 2020 at 11:59 am | Permalink

        I hope you’re right. A heretofore reasonable discussion on obstacles to opportunity has become very toxic and knee-jerk.

    • phoffman56
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      What’s CRT? (Perhaps at 78 I’m having the world pass by me too fast!)

      • Posted July 4, 2020 at 11:26 am | Permalink

        CRT = Critical Race Theory

      • Posted July 4, 2020 at 11:55 am | Permalink

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_race_theory
        It’s worth learning about before we talk of hair-triggers.

        • phoffman56
          Posted July 4, 2020 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

          My very finite brain capacity makes it imperative that I learn mainly about theories with some scientific heft, ones for which, if evidence in the end is supporting, will last more than the few years after which just about every theory whose name includes the word “critical” becomes dead as a doornail, and whose present supporters are rushing off to some other “postcritical, postmodern, poststructural, post-truth, post-rational, post-use-of-brain” bullshit.

          But thanks, Paul, for letting me in on a bit of pseudo-sociological university Arts Faculty jargon.

          • Posted July 4, 2020 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

            You’re welcome. Just a reminder, one can know such words and phrases without actually supporting what they mean. It sounds like you are doing your own kind of erasure. CRT is not going to go away by our just pretending not to know of its existence.

            • phoffman56
              Posted July 4, 2020 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

              No intention by me to imply me not knowing its existence (as opposed to not bothering with most nonsensical details of it).
              What I was unaware of was simply the use of the jargon CRT.
              Nor to imply that my ignoring most about it would be what would make it “go away” in your phrasing.
              Going away in my sense is people, particularly USians so not me, simply ignoring the straggling sociologists, or whatever they are, who would continue trying to flog the extreme forms of ‘race is a sociological construct’, as opposed to the fact that ‘race’ is fundamentally biologically meaningless, but without claiming there are no genetic differences caused by geographical distance between ancestors.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted July 5, 2020 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

          As the lack of awareness of it by an intelligent, informed person such as phoffman demonstrates, I don’t think CRT has registered with American voters to anywhere near the point you think it has, nonpersonne.

          They’ve got a rampaging pandemic, a tanked economy, and a corrupt president who’s selling out the best interests of the United States to foreign dictators to think about.

          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted July 5, 2020 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

            And while selling out US interests to dictators, alienating allies.

          • Posted July 5, 2020 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

            Yes, I realize not everyone has been subjected to a shrieking, hysterical set of accusations by 1) a member of the local Humanists group in response to a skit idea dealing with rapist priests (for some reason, they rejected an anti-rape skit as insensitive); 2) an HR person (a young white girl of course) who ultimately lied about “racism” and caused my husband to lose his job; 3) neighbors storming onto our property and banging on our doors due to our opposition to a housing development that would have been inappropriately shoved into a historic district.
            We, two 55+ seniors, have a rampaging pandemic (and I have a 92-year-old mother), the aforesaid corruption, AND newly-found financial crisis due to the current Maoist-style Cult Rev nonsense that stampeded into our lives from an employer and neighbors. I am truly glad others here are not going through this.

          • phoffman56
            Posted July 5, 2020 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

            Minor correction:
            unaware of the jargon ‘CRT’, not of the existence and some of the properties of Critical Race Theory–as I already mentioned elsewhere.

            However being unaware of the jargon may indicate not enough reading by me about this largely nonsensical theory. I have become almost allergic to the word ‘critical’ as it occurs in the descriptions of activities within the English, Philosophy, Sociology, etc. departments of North American universities, by those who have been badly affected by some French ‘intellectuals’ of the late 1900s.

            • Posted July 5, 2020 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

              Let me help. Here’s a handy

            • Posted July 5, 2020 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

              Let me help

            • Posted July 5, 2020 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

              Let me help with that:

              Translations from the Wokish: A Plain-Language Encyclopedia of Social Justice Terminology

              https://newdiscourses.com/translations-from-the-wokish/

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted July 5, 2020 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

                I’m going to start referring to myself as a “problematic”.

              • Posted July 5, 2020 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

                Yes, much better to be problematic than be ignored. At least you’ve got their attention.

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted July 5, 2020 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

                I’d rather be ignored but I am who I am and my thoughts don’t align with the orthodoxy so….problematic.

              • rickflick
                Posted July 5, 2020 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

                I like problematic. So diffuse.

      • Posted July 4, 2020 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

        CRT is something I will gladly let pass me by.

  19. Posted July 4, 2020 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    Biden is being smart to most stay out of the fray, delivering a few uncontroversial anti-Trump messages. The election is a referendum on Trump. This is true for all incumbents running for reelection but especially true for Trump.

    Although Trump was expected to relaunch his campaign last night, if he did it was in a failing direction, IMHO. He could have attacked Biden’s policies which might have swayed some Republican voters who fear socialism more than Trumpism. Instead, he’s counting on large numbers who are incensed by the riots and statue removals. I’m sure there are a few voters that think that way but not most. Of course, Trump has plenty of time left to bang the socialism drum.

    • Posted July 4, 2020 at 10:57 am | Permalink

      most => mostly

      Whichever candidate promises a better spell-checker gets my vote. I am pretty sure that’s how these “mistakes” get in there. Biden, are you listening?

    • Mark R.
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

      Except the socialism drum beating was for Sanders (or Warren). I don’t think Biden will pick Warren as VP, and Trump can’t turn Biden into a socialist since Biden has no words or actions that suggest he is. Not that Trump won’t try. All he has left now is piss and vinegar. But even my mother said she wasn’t going to vote for Trump this time around. That is a monumental shift (I know you don’t know my mom, but believe me, it’s huge!)

      • Posted July 4, 2020 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

        For sure Bernie, or Warren to a slightly lesser extent, would have been pummeled with the “socialism” charge. That’s why many of us didn’t want him to be the candidate. One the party conventions are here, Biden will have to start running on his platform and that will make him much more vulnerable to the socialism charge. I don’t think it will stick though. Biden’s folksiness makes it hard for people to see him as some sort of closet Communist. And people want proper healthcare regardless of what Trump calls it.

  20. Randall Schenck
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    There is probably nowhere the incompetent Trump has done worse than with the military. This article in the Times goes into it in more detail but if you have been paying attention to his actions, he has managed to lose this core part of his base.

    • Posted July 4, 2020 at 11:36 am | Permalink

      I hope that’s true but he certainly has alienated the upper echelons of the military. I wonder if many in the lower echelons like things that piss off the brass. Just as police departments contain more than their share of racists and bullies, perhaps the military does also. Trump has a good ear for what the troubled citizens like. I’m not saying he hasn’t alienated the military but worry that he has not.

      My son-in-law is in the Navy. I don’t talk to him directly very often. My wife also doesn’t like to engage him much in politics as she doesn’t want them to cloud their relationship. Still, she does try to get a hint of what the rank and file think of Trump. I don’t think he favors Trump but he does seem to buy into the idea that the MSM aren’t fair to him and/or don’t know what the troops know. For example, he thinks the recent revelations that Russia is paying bounties to the Taliban is a nothing-burger. He thinks that’s been going on for a long time and that everyone knows about it. Maybe, but even conservative ex-military and ex-intelligence brass seem to think that it’s important.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted July 5, 2020 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

        Allowing to go unchallenged Putin’s putting bounties on the heads of GIs in Afghanistan ain’t likely to endear Trump to anyone who might be called upon someday to hump a rifle into a war zone.

  21. Posted July 4, 2020 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    At one point during Nixon’s visit to China, Zhou Enlai was as asked about the impact of the French revolution. His answer was “Too soon to say”. I guess that is how I feel about the polls right now.

  22. Tim J Reichert
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    I now believe I will lose my $100 bet to Ken Kukec but only thanks to the pandemic. I was willing to bet $1000 on a Trump win after the DNC did their “never Bernie” thing and threw their base under the bus. Nothing could have been more clear than the democratic populous wanted Bernie and most definitely did not want Biden. But the DNC gets what they want in the end, as usual, and now, as usual, which ever candidate wins in November it will be the money interest candidate and the people will be screwed yet again out of the most basic right that all other civilized countries give their people and that of course is universal healthcare.

    So barring some miracle cure for covid in the coming months Trump will likely lose to Biden and nothing will change in America for poor people and the DNC will hold power for 4 or 8 years and then the Republicans will come back and the not so merry go round continues until the democratic base finally one day defeats their own elites and nominate a leader with real (not fake) left wing ideals.

    I am happy to lose the several hundred dollars I will lose in a Trump loss because I think Trump is an embarrassing disaster and I’d rather see him gone than win a few hundred bucks, but the DNC is also an embarrassing disaster as we shall soon see. Other than a less embarrassing head of state, nothing of importance changes under Biden. Climate change is will not be averted, the lives of the poor will get no better, and the republicans will eventually get the office back by claiming they will rescue the poor and on and on we go.

    • Historian
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      Can you explain how you conclude that the DNC threw Bernie under the bus in favor of Biden? Since Biden beat Bernie in the primaries, I can only think of two possible explanations to support your thesis. The first is that somehow the DNC illegally rigged the elections to favor Biden. The second is that the DNC, working on the assumption that Democratic voters are as dumb as Trump ones, convinced the electorate to vote for Biden because Bernie was dangerous somehow. I don’t accept either possibility, but perhaps you can enlighten me.

      • EdwardM
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, I’m curious too how he will explain away primary voters as those who threw Bernie under a bus. I’ve often wondered what color is the sky in a Bernie Bro world.

      • Tim J Reichert
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

        Strange I would need to explain but here goes. Billionaires own the DNC just like they own the GOP. They buy advertising for a bunch of candidates that will give them what they want after the election which is Wall St. Bailouts instead of people bailouts and the continuation of big pharma instead of universal healthcare. But when it appears that their hired crew of candidates are going to lose to a real hero of the people they have them all drop out at once and endorse Biden who was in LAST PLACE at the time.

        Now could you explain to me why Biden went from LAST PLACE to first place virtually over night? Suddenly the people all decided Biden was the best candidate?

        It’s hard to believe you don’t see what’s going on. I’m Canadian so it might be a little more visible from up here. Both of your parties are right wing. Both bought and paid for by Wall St. and corporate America. The “Bernie Bro” wing of the democratic party is the only actual left wing that exists in America. Every other civilized nation has universal healthcare.

        I weep for you when you talk about the Clinton wing (DNC wing) of the Democratic party as being the sensible compromise wing instead of the “my way or the highway” wing which you label the Bernie wing. You are so lost. Hoodwinked by propaganda paid for by billionaires.

        Best of luck with the Biden presidency. It gives me no optimism for America. Same old same old.

        Can you explain why America is the only nation in the civilized world to not have universal healthcare? Let me guess. It doesn’t scale to 300 million? Or maybe you have some other talking point paid for by billionaires as an explanation.

        • Posted July 4, 2020 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

          I totally agree there’s too much money in politics but I think you take it too far. Weren’t there a couple of candidates in the Dem primary who tried to throw money at it. Now I can’t even remember their names. Candidates still have to appeal to voters and they can only be swayed a little by money. So how do YOU explain how Biden went to first place? BTW, it was not from last place. Did someone send each of those primary voters a check? Were they befuddled by a huge influx of advertising just before the primary?

          • Posted July 4, 2020 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

            Yes, there were two bona fide billionaires, Steyer and Bloomberg, who tried to buy the nomination. Neither made a dint.

            • Posted July 4, 2020 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

              I guess it’s not the money but who you pay.

              I think where money comes into play most detrimentally is with lobbying. Whenever there’s a proposal that affects big business, they spend huge amounts of money to scare everyone away from it. It’s not so much about buying elections as using scare tactics to maintain the status quo and their uninterrupted money streams. Health care is the prime example. They love the inefficiency of our present system, even with Obamacare, as “efficient” would mean they’d get less.

        • GBJames
          Posted July 4, 2020 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

          Biden was vastly outspent until after South Carolina. It was actual voters in South Carolina, particularly Black voters, who went overwhelmingly to Biden. It was that event that created the dynamic that led to the others dropping out. Sanders stayed longer than the rest because it enhanced his influence within the party. This was not a conspiracy of DNC insiders.

          Now, things might have turned out differently if there hadn’t been so many candidates in the race for so long. It might have given one of the others a better shot. But counterfactual retrospectives don’t really offer much insight, IMO.

        • Posted July 4, 2020 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

          I do not remember Biden ever, literally, in last place. He didn’t place well in IA or NH, but he went on to win the most delegates on Super-Tuesday, which is far more important. Or do you think Super-Tuesday was rigged by billionaires and the DNC?

          • EdwardM
            Posted July 4, 2020 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

            He wasn’t last. In fact, before taking the lead after South Carolina with 62 delegates to Sander’s 60, Biden was 2nd in the field with 23 delegates behind Sander’s 45. Buittgieg was 3rd with 21, followed by Koblocher with 7 and Warren with 5. None of the other candidates had any delegates by Super Tuesday, after which most everyone dropped out because it was clear that Biden could not be caught.

            The claim by Tim is just so much sour grapes.

        • EdwardM
          Posted July 4, 2020 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

          Good grief. THIS is what you come up with?

          “Now could you explain to me why Biden went from LAST PLACE to first place virtually over night? ”

          Like Bill Clinton came out of nowhere in 1992 to win the democratic nomination – more people voted for Biden than Sanders. For Clinton it began in New Hampshire, for Biden it was North Carolina.

          You think it is bad thing that people voted for Biden? It seems you think voters are too stupid to understand what is at stake. Feh. What I think is that you simply fob off your disappointment for your candidate (who was also mine) onto the evil billionaires who secretly run us all, each of us with no agency like little marionettes dancing to their tune.

          • Posted July 4, 2020 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

            It was all those “billionaire” black voters in SC. 😂

          • Tim J Reichert
            Posted July 5, 2020 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

            “What I think is that you simply fob off your disappointment for your candidate (who was also mine) onto the evil billionaires who secretly run us all, each of us with no agency like little marionettes dancing to their tune.”

            Secretly? lol. It’s no secret, son. It’s right out in the open. Check the donors list of the candidates who were miles ahead of Biden but suddenly all at once dropped out to endorse him.

            Good luck, America.

            • GBJames
              Posted July 5, 2020 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

              Yeah. They weren’t idiots and could read the results of the South Carolina primary pretty well. No conspiracy of DNC puppeteers is required to explain it.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted July 5, 2020 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

          The pandemic should have helped Trump — indeed, it did initially give him a rally-round-the-flag bounce in the polls for a couple days before he frittered it away — because it could have made him, as he claimed, “a wartime president.”

          But, like everything else he touches, Trump fucked it up royally. I don’t think it was unforeseeable, either, since, as I’ve been saying since the day Trump took office, nearly every president to serve a full four-year term eventually gets tested by a crisis.

          I still say Trump would’ve lost easily anyway, but now we’ll never know.

          As I’m sure you recall, I offered at the time to bet you the full grand that Trump would lose the popular vote — an offer that’s still open, if you’re interested. 🙂

      • Posted July 4, 2020 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

        The argument that he was thrown under the bus by the DNC ignores simple math: fewer voters turned out for him the second time; his base shrank. Bernie lost because he under-performed his 2016 turnout.

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

      “Nothing could have been more clear than the democratic populous wanted Bernie and most definitely did not want Biden.”

      How did you come up with that idea?

      I can never understand why people on the far-left can’t learn the art of persuasion. You talk like every issue is settled and compromise is anathema – like only doom and misery will result if your electoral choice isn’t nominated.

      I liked Bernie too. But you’ve got to persuade people, rather than just tell them they’re shills if they have any doubts about him.
      Until you learn the art of persuasion, the art of appealing to people you might not like, until you stop treating even the slightest compromise as a form of original sin, you’ll keep putting up candidates who lose when electorally tested.

      • Posted July 4, 2020 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

        You are right, as usual. Maybe they should start the “My Way or the Highway” party.

      • Tim J Reichert
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

        See above.

      • Tim Harris
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

        The far-left in the UK are behaving in precisely the same way to Keir Starmer’s becoming the new leader of the Labour Party. In their moral anguish and absolutism, some of them declare that they will not vote Labour in the next election (or, I suppose, at all, since the LibDems can hardly provide a possible choice for such people). One person I had an argument with (on the internet, since I live in Japan)talked about his ‘principles’& declared that his conscience would not allow him to vote for a Labour Party under Starmer. I told him that if he wanted to retire into a hermitage and nurse his conscience there was not much anyone could do about it, but why could he not think of others and of the common weal? He replied by talking again about his conscience and his principles.

        • Saul Sorrell-Till
          Posted July 5, 2020 at 7:10 am | Permalink

          These are the leftover Corbynites. They’ve been waiting, just waiting, for Starmer to do something, anything, that would mean they could justify flouncing off. They knew that they couldn’t justify opposing him from the start because his track record is impeccable(a genuine social justice warrior). So they latched onto the first thing he did and used that as an excuse. But they were never going to support him anyway.

          And when they start going on about their principles it’s infuriating. The universe doesn’t care about your principles. No-one does, except you.
          …That doesn’t make you a lone hero holding out against corruption. It just means you’re sufficiently entitled that you can afford to take the punches served out by the current government.
          Plenty of people can’t afford to do so, and they tend to talk less in terms of principles and more in terms of what can actually be done, pragmatically, effectively, to change things for the better.

      • Tim J Reichert
        Posted July 5, 2020 at 11:40 am | Permalink

        “like only doom and misery will result if your electoral choice isn’t nominated.”

        Last time I talked like this Hilary got nominated instead of Bernie and Trump got elected. I consider that result doom and misery. Good luck, America.

        BTW under 8 year of Obama/Biden inequality got much worse in America. Rich got richer and the poor got poorer.

        Parting advice. Watch Yang. He will save you from yourselves if you actually let him.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted July 5, 2020 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

          How do you think a President Yang would fare with a Republican-controlled House of Representatives (as Obama had for six of his eight years in office) or with Mitch McConnell as senate majority leader (as Obama had after the 2014 midterms)?

          Obama managed to push through the Affordable Care Act — grossly insufficient, sure, but still the most progressive healthcare legislation in a generation — during his first session of congress, the only one where he had a Democratic majority in both houses, all without a vote from a single Republican congresscreature.

          If Democrats can win control of the senate this election, we will see progressive legislation enacted during the Biden administration. If they cannot, no Democratic president would be able to get anything of substance through congress.

  23. John Dmytrenko
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    Trump can definitely still win in November. It is obscene that this is a possibility, but he did win before. I admit I did not think he had a chance the first time. It is true he has handled covid terribly, but there are many conservatives that feel Fauci and Cuomo did a terrible job. Outside of my brother the relatives that I regularly spend time with are Republicans. We live in New York and let me tell you they do not blame Trump for the virus. I think the intense division in the country increases the tendency for Trump to have a shot as well. It is possible that Trump’s wretched racism will be enough to unite center left and further left voters to go Biden, but I think there are a lot of Bernie bros that are never Biden’s. It is also possible that some center voters that went Trump last time will be so disgusted that they will flop to Biden. I voted no prognostication.

    • Posted July 4, 2020 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

      Trump’s racism hasn’t changed but the excuses his voters used to justify voting for him in 2016 are not available in 2020. It is hard to recall but, back then, many suggested that Trump wasn’t really racist. I don’t think we hear that much any more. We also had people thinking that Trump is a good businessman and that’s what we need in the White House. That’s a hard argument to make now. I just don’t see how Trump gains voters going from 2016 to 2020. Not unless there are racist voters that just weren’t sure about Trump back in 2016 but can now be confident in his position. Nah.

  24. rickflick
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    I’ll propose one possible scenario for DT’s defeat. Remembering his reality show past, he may well be sketching out a plot where he holds up in the White House for a few hours until the MPs come for him. He broadcasts from the Oval Office complaining about a rigged election, Hillary, the media, the Dems, etc. When he’s escorted out the door to a waiting limo, he’s still yelling profanities, and announces that he will start a new reality show starring him.

    “It’ll get the best ratings. More than Biden.”

    He now sees himself as a “winner”, even after losing.

  25. Eller Maize
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    Unfortunately the question of who will “win” the election is essentially meaningless; the real question is who will assume the presidency. And that will likely be Donald Trump, regardless of whether or not he legitimately “wins” the popular or electoral vote either nationally or within given states.

    For a good look at just how far divorced the issue of who will assume the presidency is from who legitimately won the election (under whatever definition of “winning” we might want to consider), see this article:

    https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2020/06/can-a-group-of-policy-experts-prevent-an-election-catastrophe-in-2020/

    • Posted July 4, 2020 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

      Sorry, but the question is not meaningless (try to be a bit more civil, okay?) UNLESS you think that even if Trump loses the electoral college vote, he’ll refuse to relinquish the Presidency. And in that case he’d be removed by the courts or, better yet, the constabulary.

      Would you like to bet me $50 that Trump will still be President in February? Put your money where your mouth is if you’re so certain.

  26. Steve Gerrard
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    Trump has the classic problem of an incumbent: he can’t point to problems and say he will fix them, because he has been president for the last 3.5 years – if he can fix them, they should be fixed by now. What’s he going to do about BLM next year, and why isn’t he doing that right now? He is stuck campaigning on his record and results.

    • Posted July 4, 2020 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

      He also has the classic advantages of an incumbent. A big microphone, fawning donors, and the ability to manufacture a convenient crisis just prior to the election.

      • Posted July 4, 2020 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

        Biden has beaten Trump in fund raising the last two months so there’s hope in that aspect at least. Trump’s presidential megaphone is not like that of past incumbents. It seems as likely to turn more people off. He’s also turned his back on the biggest issue of his election, the coronavirus response. Although he didn’t manufacture it, he had it handed to him for free. If he could have generated a reasonable federal response, he could have owned that issue and probably have won. Some of his advisors seemed to have convinced him of that judging by his declaring himself a wartime president. It lasted perhaps two weeks. He tried it on but it didn’t fit. He still owns the issue but not in a good way for him.

      • Steve Gerrard
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

        Trump does have some advantages, but I don’t think he knows how to use them. He has only run for office one time. He campaigned against Obama last time; to do the same thing this time he would have to campaign against himself.

        By various accounts, his speech at Mt. Rushmore was like that – a laundry list of things that are wrong about the country. But he is the president now, and what is wrong is his fault, not some other guy’s fault, and he has no idea how to work with that.

    • Posted July 4, 2020 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

      He will campaign on his record and results using the same tactic that he always uses – lying; he has saved hundreds of thousands of lives in the COVID hoax; the economic recovery is the biggest and best ever; he’s done more for minorities than anyone; ad nausuem.

    • Posted July 4, 2020 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

      The stable genius will also dazzle his cult with brilliant justification for another term, like his answer to Hannity: “Well, one of the things that will be really great,” Trump replied. “You know, the word ‘experience’ is still good. I always say talent is more important than experience. I’ve always said that. But the word ‘experience’ is a very important word. It’s an — a very important meaning.

      “I never did this before,” he continued. “I never slept over in Washington. I was in Washington, I think, 17 times. All of a sudden I’m president of the United States. You know the story of riding down Pennsylvania Avenue with our first lady and I say, ‘This is great,’ ” he continued, “but I didn’t know very many people in Washington. It wasn’t my thing. I was from Manhattan, from New York.

      “Now I know everybody,” he said. “And I have great people in the administration. You make some mistakes like, you know, an idiot like [former national security adviser John] Bolton; all he wanted to do is drop bombs on everybody. You have to drop bombs on everybody. You don’t have to kill people.”

  27. Admin
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    What was Trump’s approval rating when he won in 2016?

    • Mark R.
      Posted July 5, 2020 at 1:56 am | Permalink

      If it was 100% it wouldn’t matter…what’s your point? Now and then are generations of drift.

      • Admin
        Posted July 5, 2020 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps.

        My point is that he’s at 41.9% approval now, if the polls are accurate. He was elected with only 36% viewing him favorably.

    • Posted July 6, 2020 at 6:36 am | Permalink

      The 538 graph in Jerry’s post shows that on inauguration he had 45.5% approval against 41.3% disapproval. This morning the figures were 40.7% approval vs 55.9& disapproval. that’s a turnaround of about 19 percentage points.

      • Posted July 6, 2020 at 6:37 am | Permalink

        55.9%!

      • Admin
        Posted July 13, 2020 at 11:36 am | Permalink

        True, but every president is more popular after he’s elected.

        The point is, Trump polled at 36% approval when he was elected, on election day. That his numbers went up to 44% by inauguration day (two and a half months later) is irrelevant.

  28. Posted July 4, 2020 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    If the people who voted for independents had voted for Clinton last time, Trump would now be a footnote in history as the man who lost to the first female POTUS, even after the EC had decided the result.

  29. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    Two campaign meetings with 6-7 thousand “trumpets”.

    He is obviously a failure even to many in his fan base.

  30. ladyatheist
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    I actually think Trump could be killed by Covid-19 by then, and Biden would be running against either pence or Romney. He would win against them, too.

  31. Posted July 4, 2020 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    I certainly hope that I am wrong, but I was one of those who polled for Trump.
    1. He has the white racist/bigot/grievance vote locked up.
    2. He has a lock on the uber-evangelical Christian vote. Although there is significant overlap of the group and 1., there are a lot of non-white people in this group.
    3. He has a near lock on the wealthy who have benefited greatly from his tax policies and from business and environmental deregulation.
    4. He will once again benefit significantly from foreign and domestic dis-information campaigns.
    5. He has a lock on voters who don’t have a discerning neuron in their noggins.

    Perhaps most importantly, all politicians are liars and most often, the best liar wins.

    • rickflick
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

      That’s a bit too cynical, even for me.

    • Mark R.
      Posted July 5, 2020 at 2:12 am | Permalink

      1. Not enough of them.
      2. Not enough of them plus overlap as you mentioned. (plus probably dying more from Covid sarc/)
      3. 1-3% again, not enough of them.
      4. Yes, but probably no worse than 2016. There are many more eyes on this as well, even with Barr’s malfeasance…too little too late for him.
      5. Repeat of all your previous points, so adds nil.

      No, not all politicians are liars. You think Barack Obama was a liar? And if so, are you trying to compare him with ANY republican, president or not? Love to see the citations. And if Obama is a liar, you might as well say all people are liars. That’s probably more to the point. You’re cynical. Pretty simple to see. Cool. Just don’t vote for any Republicans, ever. That’s the best advice available right now. And I give it to you for free. But realize, I’m a liar. You are too.

      • Posted July 5, 2020 at 8:17 am | Permalink

        Yes, I was being quite cynical, and yes, all people are liars, but Trump is in a league of his own. My fear is that even though Trump will lose the popular vote big time, the Trump cult I refer to will tip the electoral college in his favor. Much of my cynicism is based on observing my relatives most of whom fit my descriptors. I also should say that those if us who live in states where Trump will be defeated must concentrate on ridding Congress of his enablers. Here Senator Gardner has to be sent packing.

        • rickflick
          Posted July 5, 2020 at 8:31 am | Permalink

          Yes, we are all influenced by what our relatives think. Unfortunately my extended family is bizarrely divided between complete fools and rational human beings. That can lead to anxiety and depression. How to account for the idiots you thought you knew? There’s a Twilight Zone quality to the political landscape.

          • Saul Sorrell-Till
            Posted July 6, 2020 at 6:53 am | Permalink

            “Unfortunately my extended family is bizarrely divided between complete fools and rational human beings.”

            Late to this thread I know, but really Rick that’s not bizarre at all. Everyone’s family’s a complete freakshow if you scratch the surface. Mine is divided between urbane English middle-class depressives and manic Czech crypto-fascists. Every few months my mother texts me some alarming piece of info about a distant cousin I’ve never heard of before – eg. ‘your cousin Petr has just visited Hitler’s holiday home in Bavaria’ – and it becomes more and more clear that everyone in my family is mad, myself included. I guarantee your family is no more bizarrely divided than anyone else’s.

            • rickflick
              Posted July 6, 2020 at 9:57 am | Permalink

              Thanks for the perspective. I think.

          • Posted July 7, 2020 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

            Sounds all too familiar; in my family, the crazies are the vast majority 🙂

            • rickflick
              Posted July 7, 2020 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

              Mine are roughly even, with a slight advantage tot he sane among them.

        • Mark R.
          Posted July 5, 2020 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

          I always repeat what Ken Kukec writes…Trump won the EC by 70k votes in WI, PA and MI. A veneer of a “win”. All three of those states voted out their (R) politicians in the last 3 years and none of them are polling in Trump’s favor…even during Covid, WI got rid of a right wing Supreme court judge and pushed the state to the left (not really yet). BUT, this after their high court risked citizens’ lives by forcing in-person voting. The reckoning is coming, as deaths rise, the GOP is fanning the flames of their own decisive defeat.

          • Posted July 6, 2020 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

            I certainly hope you are right. My bias is that the Prediction Market [betting] is often more informative than the polling data – but that bias is partially because our son runs a prediction market website 🙂 https://electoralmap.net/2020/

  32. Posted July 5, 2020 at 4:24 am | Permalink

    Biden’s playing it canny and cool, limiting his appearances and appearing compos mentis in his ads and sound bites.

    That tells us everything we need to know about modern politics, especially in the USA. If the bar to winning public office is so low that the the challenger only has to demonstrate normal brain function in order to win, it’s pretty bad.

    • Posted July 5, 2020 at 6:19 am | Permalink

      Yes, but the man being challenged has not only a brain function lower than Biden, but is also mentally ill.

      • Posted July 5, 2020 at 6:52 am | Permalink

        I think my comment was a bit ambiguous. When I say “it’s pretty bad”, I mean the state of politics is pretty bad, not that it is pretty bad that Biden will win because he can demonstrate normal adult brain function.

        My mother – an ex teacher who has ben around children most of her working life – watches Donal Trump on the telly and says “that man has the vocabulary of a ten year old child and he talks like one too”.

        Biden beating Trump will be a good thing. I’m sure Biden has got far more to offer than just appearing compos mentis and I’m sure we’ll see that in the coming campaign, but he has a ten point lead over his opponent now even though all he’s done is show he is a normal human being with some capacity for empathy and rational thought.


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