Tuesday, October 20, 2020


Only a dramatic and clearly understandable surprise event
or revelation could now change even a few minds about the
imminent presidential election. What could make a difference
would be something that could affect turnout. In other words,
the souffle is baked, but it is still in the oven. A shock can cause
a souffle to collapse when it is still hot.

Democrats, the establishment media, and assorted “never
Trumpers” have piled on so much invective on the president
that any new accusation about the president is likely to fall
flat. Republicans who hope that the improper business
allegations about Joe Biden and his family will have impact
are likely to be disappointed because the matter so far is too
complicated for widespread public understanding --- and the
establishment media is largely ignoring the issue.

Time has simply run out.

Donald Trump is back on the campaign rally mode, trying to
motivate his supporters to vote. Joe Biden is back in his
Delaware basement --- sitting on his presumed lead. Both
strategies are revivals of most of their respective approaches  
to this presidential campaign.

The question remains about which of these strategies is the
right one for 2020.

The answer is contained controversially in the public polls.
These polls have shown Mr. Trump trailing Mr. Biden all
summer and autumn --- some of them by double digits.
Recent polls have narrowed the difference, a few of them
have the Biden lead small enough to suggest Mr.Trump has
a chance to win the election  in the electoral college.

It is a relatively safe assumption that the Democratic
nominee will win the popular vote in 2020. But to win the
election, Joe Biden must win some of the large southern
and midwestern states Donald Trump won in 2016,
including Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio,
Michigan and Wisconsin. The president, on the other hand,
seeks to win a few states won by the Democrats in 2016,
including Minnesota, Nevada and Virginia. A few other
states might be in play, but the two campaigns are
concentrating on the ones named.

The accuracy of the polls, of course, won’t be known until
after the votes are counted. Those who doubt them contend
primarily that they are significantly undermeasuring the
Trump voters by failing to get them to respond, and/or
wrongly “weighting” the raw data they do get. Citing as
evidence, these poll critics point to “on the ground”
circumstances, e.g., rally attendance, lawn signs, boat
parades, etc. --- circumstances which in many cases also
appeared in 2016, but were ignored by most pundits.

On the other hand, the polls could be correct. Misleading
as they were in state voting in 2016, most of them got the
non-binding national popular vote more or less right.
If they are right, it would likely be a very good night
for the Democrats.

Although spokespersons and partisans for each side are
predicting victory, conventional thinking now is that Joe
Biden is going to win. That same kind of thinking had
John Kerry winning in 2004, Mitt Romney winning in 2012,
and Hillary Clinton winning in 2016. But in 2008, the
conventional expectation was that Barack Obama would
win, and he did.

It has been an idiosyncratic year, with an idiosyncratic
campaign, and, needless to say, an idiosyncratic

Anything can still happen.

Copyright (c) 2020 by Barry Casselman. All rights reserved.

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