, 11.02.2020 08:23 AM

My latest: why Trump should lose

They’ll tell you.

When you talk to American voters – and this writer recently has, hundreds of times, from New Hampshire to Florida to California – you’ll be told three things, a lot.

Young to old, East to West, Right to Left, three themes emerge. It’s pretty consistent.

One, they voted early.

We Democratic Party volunteers made lots of calls to lots Americans who had picked up an absentee ballot down at the town hall, or who had voted early. Many, many Americans chose to vote this way.

By the final weekend, more than 90 million Americans had voted in advance. That’s 70 per cent of the total number of all voters in 2016. And that doesn’t merely break records – it is extraordinary. It is unprecedented.

And that kind of early turnout is never, ever good for the incumbent.

In the so-called battleground states – the ones whose electoral college votes will determine who gets to be president, and which party controls Congress – more than half of the number who voted in 2016 did so early in 2020. Those states include Texas, Georgia, North Carolina, Nevada, Florida, Arizona, Colorado, Wisconsin, Maine, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and Nebraska.

States that Donald Trump dominated in last time. States he desperately needs to keep to win re-election.

Democratic Party volunteers weren’t trained to inquire why people voted early. But the subject would sometimes come up. Some would tell us they were anxious about catching the virus, and early voting seemed a lot safer.

But some would say they feared that Donald Trump would try and prevent Democrats from voting. That he’d scheme to suppress the vote.

“I already voted Democrat up and down the ticket,” one New Hampshire man said to me. “No dirty tricks. We need to get rid of Trump.”

And that points to another thing we discovered when talking to American voters: very, very few were undecided.

They had their minds made up, and long ago, too. The undecided vote – the “gettable” vote, which is really all that matters in most elections, in the United States or any other Western democracy – was smaller in 2020 than ever before.

Some political scientists call this group “volatile voters” – electors whose allegiance moves around, and who tend to be unenthusiastic about their political choices in every election. In 2016, about 20 per cent of likely voters were undecided (or volatile).

In 2020, it’s less than half that number. In some states, it’s has been as little as five per cent.

Why so small? Because these voters aren’t undecided anymore. They’ve made their mind up: a New York Times/Siena poll released this week found that 54 per cent of volatile/undecided voters had an unfavorable view of Trump. He has become the ballot question.

It’s pretty hard to win re-election in 2020 when, like Trump, you’ve lost the undecideds – the ones who overwhelmingly broke your way in 2016. Because Trump was considered the lesser of two evils last time.

Not this time. On the phone, over and over, those we contacted rarely said they were undecided. When they were prepared to say how they voted, or how they would vote, they were clear: they were going Democrat, up and down the ticket.

They were doing that, they said, because they wanted Trump out, period. Not because they were seized with a burning love for Joe Biden.

“Go get Trump, honey,” Bessie, a Florida voter, said to me. “Keep doing what you’re doing and get him out!”

And, by any objective measurement, Donald Trump should be thrown out. In poll after poll, in every electoral college analysis – in every phone call we Democratic volunteers made to every eligible voter we could find – we found highly-motivated, clearly-decided voters who want Trump gone.

That, then, is the third and final reason he should lose: Americans are sick of him. They are sick of his face.

He used Twitter to be on their devices, 24/7. He used the White House as a reality-show stage. He used the presidency as a prop. He was ubiquitous – the most-seen, most-read, most-discussed President in the history of the United States of America.

And, somewhere along the way, Americans – including lots of undecideds and not a few Republicans – just got fed up. He had exhausted them. He had been a psychodrama without end.

So, now, they want it to end. That was the third thing we learned: American voters have had their lives disrupted quite enough, thank you very much.

Economically, socially, culturally, the pandemic has disrupted everything. They don’t need a disruptor in the White House, too.

That’s the third thing, the determining factor. They want things to calm down, a bit. They want normal again. They want their lives back. They want Joe Biden is selling: peace and quiet.

Unless he figures out some way to cheat his way back into office – aided and abetted by the courts he’s stacked for four years – Donald Trump is a goner. He’s toast.

And that’s not just because the polls and the pundits say so.

That’s what Americans are saying. You just have to pick up the phone and call them.

They’ll tell you.

16 Comments

  1. Shane says:

    Polling by the Trafalgar group was among the most accurate in 2016, and they accurately predicted Trump ahead in Pennsylvania and Michigan. They were one of the few who predicted a Trump win in 2016.

    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2018/11/10/pollster_who_got_it_right_in_2016_does_it_again_138621.html

    They have Trump ahead in many key battlegrounds again. I hope they are wrong, and the majority of pollsters are more accurate this time around. A repeat of 2016 would not be good.

    https://www.thetrafalgargroup.org

    • The Doctor says:

      I’ve read a fair bit about Cahaly and Trafalgar Group. A few things:

      1. If the polls at large miss this one, it will be the biggest polling miss since Dewey Beats Truman in 1948. A much bigger miss than 2016.

      2. Cahaly’s “social desirability bias” theory has no proven basis in scientific fact. However, what his methods may well have caught in 2016 that other pollsters missed was the white, non-college-educated male voter surge for Trump. The thing is, this time around, other top-rated pollsters have adjusted for that mistake that they made in 2016. Or at least they claim to have done so.

      3. The other thing about his “social desirability bias” theory is: doesn’t it work both ways? There are plenty of regions in the US where it’s extremely socially undesirable to come out in support of Joe Biden. Related to that point, all of those Trump supporters doing boat parades, blocking bridges, attending Trump rallies and swarming Biden campaign buses don’t exactly seem shy about expressing their support for Trump.

      But I guess we’ll see if he’s some sort of Nostradamus tonight.

      • Shane says:

        I guess we will see. I remember reading that in 2016 the overall polling bias was was 2.2% in favour of Clinton. Hopefully the posters learned from 2016, and have improved since then. We’ll know soon enough! LOL!

      • the real Sean says:

        Re. social desirability and Trump voters…. I think a similar thing has been going on with Biden voters who voted early. They aren’t captured because they hang up the phone the moment they realize its a pollster. They’ve had enough already. So I suspect the Biden voters are also under reported.

  2. david says:

    If the Trump thugs are so willing to sacrifice health care workers to herd immunity should they not have to wait as long for critical health care (heart attack/stroke) as it took their fellow citizens to wait in line to vote.
    12 hours seems about right.
    Just a thought.

  3. david says:

    Sorry Warren.

    If life were fair
    Dems would grow a pair.
    It isn’t.
    And they won’t.

  4. the real Sean says:

    I lost my mind the other night and did my own Electoral College predictions on an Excel sheet. I couldn’t find a way to place Biden below 280, based on state by state polls. If everything goes wrong for him etc., I’ve still got Biden around 280 minimum.

    Other predictions:

    Around midnight on Tuesday, Trump will declare the election a fraud in a televised address from the White House.

    Biden will be cautious and deliver an address urging both sides to settle down. He won’t concede or claim victory for a few days.

    Weds morning and continuing into the weekend, mayhem will ensue with both sides taking to the streets. Looting, fires, people will be shot, people will die, it will be recorded on cell phones and broadcast on the 6:00 news.

    Many people will claim that they knew all along what was going to happen, but the credit belongs to people like Warren who slugged it out in the trenches.

  5. Miles Lunn says:

    Fully agree and while still nervous after the heartbreak in 2016, data is clear, Trump is in big trouble. My real hope is less about him losing, which I feel is almost a guarantee now (don’t quote me if wrong, but data says he is done, but I always worry about shy Trump voters), its that he gets crushed. A narrow Biden victory will just mean a brief reprieve of Trumpism not end of it. We need Trump to get beaten so badly that GOP has no choice but to purge Trumpism.

    Its not conservatism, its a narcissistic, science denying, homophobic, misogynistic, lying, racist, conspiracy theory, malicious ideology. Most ideologies have good and bad points and one can debate them. Never mind most ideologies even ones I disagree with still offer some good ideas thus need to be heard. That is not the case with Trumpism. There is not one iota of good about the ideology. Conservatism, liberalism, libertarianism, socialism, centrist, progressivism, social democracy, traditionalism, and green politics all have valid points and are important to exist in a healthy democracy even if I disagree with some points. We are better when their voices are heard. Trumpism offers nothing and world will be a better place when its banished to its well deserved political grave.

  6. jen says:

    Buckle up everyone, because it will be a bumpy night on election day.

    Trump is gonna win this in a complete landslide. States that some predict as safe such a Colorado may be in jeopardy. Trump will also surprise many with his share of the latino and black vote.

    So the polls don’t predict this? It depends which ones you examine. The state polls done by pollsters unaffiliated by the legacy media show Trump ahead. They were more accurate the last time.

  7. Gilbert says:

    I have two simple questions for supporters of Joe Biden:

    1) What is Joe Biden’s greatest political accomplishment?
    2) Where is Hunter Biden?

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