, 10.16.2020 06:33 PM

My latest: working for Joe Biden and the Dems

None of us.

There is a simple reason why no one really wants to say Donald Trump is going to lose in 2020.

Because no one really got it right in 2016.

This writer is one of the many who got it wrong. Never saw it coming. And I was close enough to the action to know better.

Full disclosure: I’ve helped out the Democrats for years, and I was again proudly working for Hillary Clinton in 2016.  As a foreign national, I couldn’t donate to her campaign, or get paid.  But I could volunteer for her, and I did – in Maine, in New Hampshire, and at her Brooklyn headquarters.

We had more money.  We had better people.  We had organization. We had ideas galore. We had experienced campaign managers.  And we had the best candidate, too: a former Secretary of State, a former Senator, a former First Lady and accomplished lawyer.  We had it all.

Our opponent was a joke. Donald Trump been caught on tape, proclaiming that he “grabbed [women] by the pussy.”  He refused to release his taxes – because, we suspected (correctly), he hadn’t paid his fair share.  He was an unapologetic racist, calling Mexicans drug dealers and rapists, and pledging to bar Muslims from entering the United States. 

And he had denigrated captured war heroes like John McCain – who was being tortured in Vietnam right around the time Trump was dodging the draft and chasing escorts around New York City.

We couldn’t lose – or so we thought.  For months, every national poll had shown us far ahead of Trump. The politics and the punditocracy, too: all were convinced we’d win.

We didn’t.  

Even though Hillary got three million more votes than Trump, the United States’ byzantine electoral college system produced a perverse, and shocking, result: the narrowest of victories for Donald Trump.  Because slightly more than 70,000 votes went the wrong way in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, Trump bested Clinton in the electoral college.

Could it happen again?

It could.  It might.  A characteristic of Trump’s core vote, those of us on Clinton’s team later learned, is that they are older and tend to hide from pollsters in the lead-up to voting day – and then they come out to vote, en masse.

Trump was assisted, too, by Bernie Sanders in 2016.  Sanders had repeatedly demonized Hillary as corrupt and a captive of Wall Street – thereby suppressing our youth vote.  The clueless, witless FBI director also helped to kill Hillary’s momentum when it hurt the most, with a bogus and needless probe of some emails.  And, finally, white suburban women – who we had thought would be repulsed by Trump – voted against their self-interest, and for a “man” who bragged about sexual assault.

Four years later, and with three weeks to go until voting day, none of that applies anymore.  For Donald Trump, the political landscape is radically different.

The coronavirus has sickened or killed Trump’s most loyal supporters – white retired seniors.  Poll after poll now show that older Americans have abandoned Trump because they have been appalled by his mismanagement of the pandemic, which has killed 215,000 Americans.  Seniors are now mostly lining up behind the Democrats’ Joe Biden.

Bernie Sanders, meanwhile, has a far better relationship with Biden than he did with Clinton.  As a result, Sanders has urged his youthful supporters to rally behind Biden – and they have.

This time around, there is no manufactured scandal swirling around the Democratic presidential nominee.  Trump tried to get one going in Ukraine against Biden and his son, of course.  But that only resulted in Trump’s impeachment – and Biden winning the Democratic nomination in a walk.

Finally, white suburban women long ago abandoned Trump, fed up with his sexism and misogyny and payoffs to porn stars.  Biden’s massive national polling lead has been fuelled, for the most part, by female voters.

But that’s the polls.  Is Joe Biden winning on the ground, where it counts? 

This time around, I am doing phone banking – calling up registered voters, to I.D. the vote, to get out the vote.  I’ve called hundreds of residents of New England states so far, asking how they’ve marked their absentee ballots. And this is how many have told me they’ve voted for Donald Trump:

None of them.



  1. Ronald O'Dowd says:

    Yeah, I think we have it in the bag and handsomely so but boy do I worry about the hard-core Trumpists. Sure, his record is à la Buchanan but too many people just don’t give a shit which is beyond astounding. My dough remains on Biden — I don’t see how the polls could successively blow it big time but who the hell really knows. So, I’m quite confident but with a queasy stomach.

  2. Wes W says:

    Your candidate in 2016 was not well liked by anyone. She elected Trump.
    Biden and son are as dirty as anyone in politics. There’s a good chance he will elect Trunp, I’d say better than even chance Biden loses in November.

    • Ronald O'Dowd says:


      Maybe you should dedicate a little time to read up on how the YouKnowWhatOperation has always operated and continues to do so. That makes Biden look like an angel sent straight from heaven.

    • Gyor says:

      I think Biden will win only because Trump is running an aweful campaign. You just can’t sell Biden and Kamala as a set of socialists, its not believable and its empty on policy, at least in 2016 he had some key policies, now he has nothing, he has surrounded himself by neoliberal flunkies, when he needs to listen to Sagaar instead.

    • Max says:

      Care to lay out facts and evidence of Joe Biden, the buy on the ticket, being dirty Wes?

    • Max says:

      guy on the ticket

  3. Gyor says:

    How DARE YOU blame Bernie Sanders. He worked hard to tey and help Hillary win. Goodness for big competing politicians critize each other. Hillary lost because she made bad decisions, she made no attempt to win the rust belt, she sent Bill Clinton to campaign in states that lost massive amounts of auto jobs after NAFTA. And SHE IS CORRUPT, but so are most American politicians, its why even when Trump is going, America will still be a giant mess under Biden/Kamala.

    I’m not even a big fan of Bernie Sanders, I prefered Tulsi Gabbard.

    • Montrealaise says:

      One of Hillary’s biggest mistakes was referring to possible Trump supporters as “deplorables”. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you represent – you never, ever bring people to your side by insulting them.

      • Ronald O'Dowd says:


        She also didn’t do herself any good by bashing Bill’s women and trying to discredit their stories. In hindsight, Hillary was her own worst enemy. I imagine she realizes that NOW…and I supported Hillary last time.

        • Mark D says:

          Her inner cicle also ignored, and even shut down, a key campaign adviser who had identified her weakness with blue collar workers in the Rust Belt, and who tried to warn her campaign that Trump was taking advantage of this weakness.

          This advisor even went rogue for a week in Michigan, stumping for her and bringing up her poll numbers in it and other Midwestern states. However, her campaign ordered him shut down as soon as they clued in that he had quietly gone rogue without their approval.

          He backed down out of respect for the candidate and for his marriage to her, but he thought she and the campaign were making a big mistake. Trump’s campaign later admitted it had become nervous that one week Mr Clinton specifically targetted blue collar workers during his stump speeches in Michigan, but before they could figure out a way to counter him “he suddenly stopped.”

          • The Doctor says:

            Terrible candidate (in terms of her negative approval ratings), terrible campaign. That was also a big media fail: that term “mainstream media” gets overused to the point of cliche, but in this case, a lot of mainstream media in the US and Canada did a lousy job, in that they failed to grasp and communicate to their audiences just how deeply unpopular Hillary Clinton was with a lot of people in the US.

  4. Ronald O'Dowd says:


    With respect, get real. It was Bernie’s responsibility and that of his senior staff to get his people in line and not let roughly half of them sit on their collective ass at home when beyond crucial votes were needed to seal the deal for Hillary. And then there’s the other thing: Bernie was just fine with the Bernie Bros when they were effectively and conveniently taking down Clinton at every single opportunity before she became the nominee and also did not make sure that they were properly reigned in and sent out to vote come election day. Sure Bernie campaigned for her and was loyal once she became the nominee but Hillary lost for many reasons with the Bernie Bros being at the very top of that list along with the others that you mentioned. And the Bernie Bros were, by and large, to use polite words at the very least sexist and bullying, especially towards women.

  5. Steve Teller says:

    Good news, but New England isn’t exactly a hotbed of Trump support. If you had the same results from Texas, Georgia, Montana – or even a swing state like Ohio – I’d be more comforted.

    • Warren says:

      New Hampshire is a swing state. Don’t piss me off.

      • Ronald O'Dowd says:

        Yup, in Reagan’s time it was reliably Republican but thanks to ever changing demographics, it is, at the very least, a swing state and likely leaning Biden.

        • Mark D says:

          This is based upon annectdotal evidence from friends living in different regions of the U.S. who are politically active across the spectrum. It should NOT be mistaken for polling or objective research.

          A large portion of my Republican friends in New England states (including NH, CT, and MA) are supporting Biden this election. Most will vote Republican down ticket, but at the top they are supporting Biden while still a bit weary of Harris.

          The flip side is that a number of my Democratic friends in southern and midwestern states are switching to Trump for various reasons.

          So who really knows? Especially given that Biden is both ahead and behind where Clinton was in 2016.

          Which is why I keep going back to U.S. election analyst Nate Silver. He always assigns percentages rather than clear winners or losers. Right now his model shows Biden with a 87 percent chance of winning, but Trump still could pull off reelection with a 12 percent chance. The remaining one percent is a small–but possible–chance of an electoral college tie.

  6. Ronald O'Dowd says:

    But in the final analysis IMHO, it really comes down to this: if you vote economy, Trump is the next H.W. Bush or Carter; if you vote COVID-19, Trump is a goner; if you vote personal security and safety, Trump has an edge; if you vote for an actual vaccine, ditto.

    However, since we’re in the worst Depression in American history, Trump is already done as dinner, polls or no polls. Trump is all about funneling billions and trillions in funds to the rich and powerful, his crony-capitalist peers. Meanwhile, the destroyed middle-class and the poor get rounding error funding. THAT’s why Trump loses. (Carville is so right.)

    • Mark D says:

      “However, since we’re in the worst Depression in American history, Trump is already done as dinner, polls or no polls.”

      Not necessarily.

      I have friends on both sides and friends in the middle. Despite Biden’s commanding lead in the polls, there are still signs that his campaign must find troubling. The fact he is behind Clinton was in certain swing states in 2016. The fact Sen Harris’ performance in the vice-presidential debate greatly reassured Dem voters (who were originally somewhat reluctant to embrace her), but moderates and independents remain wary. The fact Trump recently attracted some decent crowds in swing states.

      Also, the fact Biden is running political ads in Washington State and Oregon this close to election day is not reassuring to Democratic supporters.

      On the other hand, Trump’s weaknesses are well-known.

      For me the wisest U.S. pundit remains Nate Silver. He never says “Biden has it in the bag” or “Trump is a goner”.

      Rather Mr Silver runs thousands of well-thought out computer similutions based upon historical voting patterns and the electoral college. He then compiles these based upon likelihood and tallies percentanges.

      Right now, Mr Silver has assigned the following percentages:

      Biden victory: 87 percent
      Trump victory: 12 percent
      Electoral College tie: one percent

      That is, as of today Biden is the likely winner; however, there are still realistic scenarios in which Trump could win re-election, and there is one-in-a-100 chance of an electoral college tie.

  7. the real Sean says:

    Starting the early morning of Weds. Nov. 4th the entire federal bureaucracy should start making decisions only with the approval of Biden’s transition team and just ignore the current Cabinet / WH staff. The media should also refuse to do any press conferences except with the Biden transition team.

    • Ronald O'Dowd says:


      He’s still president until January, if he loses, so he must remain relevant and in authority until his successor is sworn in. That’s how the republic works.

      But what’s extremely telling is Trump suggesting he might have to leave the United States if he loses. Geez, I wonder why he thinks that? LOL.

      • the real Sean says:

        RO’D: “still president until January”

        I know but it doesn’t matter in practical terms. Elected political leaders can easily be ignored / placated by the bureaucracy and it happens more often than you might know. Trump and his staff / cabinet don’t deserve the dignity of being allowed to give any kind of direction in the final ceremonial 10 weeks of his disgraced / lame duck term. On Nov 4th Republicans should shut the hell up and crawl down a deep hole until the 2022 mid terms. Biden’s team should and probably will be allowed to make decisions immediately. If not, impeachment should be back on the table.

  8. Gilbert says:

    Joe Biden is not an impressive candidate. I don’t like his criticism of Poland and Hungary, and I oppose the New Green Deal.

    According to polls, President Trump is in trouble. He hasn’t started any wars, has peace deals in the Middle East and has been a strong supporter of Taiwan. However, I admit he underestimated the coronavirus. He’s far from perfect.

    Will Bernie Sanders’s supporters vote for Joe Biden? Will Joe Biden win in states like Michigan? Who will win the final debate? The answers to those questions will help to determine the winner.

    • Max says:

      Ah, no Gilbert. Wrong again. And just like your MAGA demographic, your desperation is showing. Does Trump have a “Green” plan. Heck no. He doesn’t even have a health plan. Although he once threatened to buy Greenland. So there’s that. And we all know who doesn’t believe in climate change (another “hoax” Gilbert?)

      And “will Sanders supporters vote for Biden”? Well Gilbert, Trump has been bleeding prominent Republicans everyday for the past several months. You should be more concerned about which Republicans have publicly declared they are voting for Biden. The Republican’s projecting the Democrats would be divided by AOC, Bernie, etc etc has not materialized. Democrats are united behind Biden.

      You know it too Gilbert, despite your pinning your hopes on a final debate days before the election. Yep, gotta find every last one of those “undecideds” in a market that’s been saturated with campaign politics 24/7 for the past 12 months. Face it, the rats are deserting the smoking hulk of the remains of the Republic Party. Sasse, Collins, Gardner, Graham. Say, anyone seen Bill Barr?

    • Ronald O'Dowd says:


      I think you should recognize that we’re closer now than ever before to a hot war with China. Guess who’s responsible for that? That poor excuse for a president has hurt Taiwan not helped it. The odds of a Chinese invasion have gone up exponentially because of that genius’ tariffs on China. And remember that Taiwan is no match for China — even with sophisticated self-defense weapons already sent by Trump. That’s means if all hell breaks loose, the United States is immediately at war with China. Watch the nukes fly when that happens. However, it will be rather fitting to watch all the Trump suckers hooting and hollering in approval just before they get blown away by Chinese nukes…

      • Quo Vadis says:

        Yes, the US should model its dealings with China after our Canadian Liberals. Hmmm

      • Ron Benn says:

        China has long held a policy of continuity of purpose. Their national objectives seldom change with the leadership.

        With that in mind, I think China will likely wait until after the 2022 Winter Olympics before becoming more aggressive with Taiwan. They don’t want to suffer the same multi-nation boycott embarrassment that Russia did at the 1976 Olympics for their invasion of Afghanistan. Remember, “face” is important to China’s leadership, and hosting a successful Olympics is a matter of national pride to the current leader.

        Another 18 months is nothing in the context of a seven plus decade objective of reigning in what they consider to be a renegade province.

    • Robert White says:

      Trump’s administration vetoed the 2014 Cambridge Working Group moratorium on Gain-of-Function USA manufacture of deadly man made Biosecurity Level Four Pandemic Pathogens in 2017 so that the National Institute of Health USA could continue funding for Dual Use bioweapons.

      Hot war was indeed launched via the Trump admin. And Trump’s reiteration of the Depression era Smoot-Hawley Act trade war II 2019 is yet another war he launched in ignorance of macroeconomics, and sovereign business best practices.

      China and Xi will gladly force regime change to get rid of Trump and his swamp creatures from Hell.

      Trump has a two year business college diploma, and no attention span capable of reading a book let alone the American voter, or American taxpayer.

      Trump is burnt toast.

      Biden will be the next President of the USA.


      • Max says:

        The sad part in all this chaos and divisiveness is that Biden will spend the first 3 years digging out from under the rubble. Uncle Joe’s got one term. Against all odds, he’ll set the table for Kamala. From falling hands, I pass the torch for yea to hold it high. We know not when the hour we are called. For Joe, it was 47 years. He’s embracing it. The least we can do is get behind him.

        • Mark D says:

          “Uncle Joe’s got one term. Against all odds, he’ll set the table for Kamala.”

          As you point out, he’s embracing it. He himself has stated that he’s a one-term president who intends to pass the torch to the next generation of Democratic Party leader come 2024.

          Good on him for being upfront about this.

  9. Des says:


    Warren, you may block this link, but this is how I feel. In 2016 if I had a vote in the American election as a Canadian, I would have written in Ted Cruz (I’m a conservative). I had the perception then that Trump attracted 30000 people in an airport hangar but Hillary couldn’t get 300 people into a high school gym which is why I thought that would win. The swing states show that they’re much closer now in 2020 than Hillary in 2016. I actually think Trump may win by a larger margin. The general election numbers don’t matter. I saw a poll that you retweeted today that Biden was up 18 points. None of that matters. I think Ohio and Florida is in the bag for Trump. Your job is to convince PA voters (I think Biden will take this state), WI voters, and MI voters what you think. I think your best chance is with MI. Wisconsin may be out of play.

    • If you look at the snake chart at https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/2020-election-forecast/ you’ll see that Biden doesn’t need Florida or Ohio to win.

      They have Biden leading in WI by 7% and MI by 8%.

      • Robert White says:

        Thanks for that link, Darwin. Very informative and great for newbies like moi, frankly.


      • Des says:

        I like Nate Silver and his website but I’m looking at RCP (Real Clear Politics) rolling averages and the leads are lower for Biden than they are for Clinton at the exact same point as 2016. By quite a bit actually. Also, Ohio is basically the most swing of the swing states as historically every presidential winner has won OH and I have it in the bag for Trump. MI, PA, and NV are where both Biden and Trump need to be in the coming weeks.

        Side note: I have a friend from California who spent a week in AZ a couple of weeks ago. She said she never saw a single Biden/Harris sign in the entire week. She said there were Trump/Pence signs an almost every other lawn. If Trump goes to visit AZ before election day, bank on it being an event for Martha McSally because she is behind in her senate race.

  10. Terence says:

    Hilary didn’t lose. She got over three million more votes than Trump. She won by a bigger margin than Kennedy beat Nixon. but the US, Like Canada, Like Britain has a phony electoral system. The electoral college is a sham. As is first past the post. No new country setting up a democracy for the first time would ever pick electoral systems like these.

  11. Daryl Gordon says:


    Interesting tidbit in this post. Obama/Dem admin had all the Hunter dirt well before Trump entered the picture.
    Quote: ” appearance of conflict of interest ” Of course everything was buried and forgotten in the runup to the expected Clinton coronation.

    Now if Biden emerges from his basement and actually shows up for the debate, it’s guaranteed that the moderator won’t bring this pesky subject up. It’s also guaranteed that Trump will, microphone on or otherwise……………….

  12. Daryl Gordon says:


    Interesting tidbit in this article. Obama/Dem admin had all the Hunter Biden dirt long before Trump entered the picture. Described as ” serious appearance of conflict of interest”. Of course this all was buried in the runup to the expected Clinton coronation.

    If Biden emerges from the basement and actually shows up at the debate, I guarantee the moderator won’t bring up this pesky Hunter business, but working microphone or not, I guarantee Trump most certainly will.

  13. Tod Cowen says:

    I come to the comments section of this site for interesting takes from folks who know stuff from their experience in campaigns and governing. DG’s crap doesn’t qualify.

  14. Gilbert says:

    Where’s Hunter Biden? Is he hunting for votes?

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