At the present time, most Republicans I know are supremely confident that Trump will win the election. In fact, a recent Gallup found that 90% of Trump’s followers believe that he will prevail. In contrast, most Democrats I know are nervous about the outcome in light of the nasty surprise we all received in 2016. I’m confident but taking nothing for granted.
I’m confident because the fundamentals favor Joe Biden and the Democrats. What’s more, Democrats have never been more motivated to vote.
The first fundamental that favors Biden and the Democrats is that simply the country is not better now off than it was four years ago. Trump and the Republicans have bad facts. At the present time, the corona virus pandemic is out of control due to Trump’s negligence. His own Administration has openly admitted that they have given up on their efforts to suppress the pandemic.
The economic situation is equally poor for the country. Since Trump has been in office, the unemployment rate has increased from 4.6% to 7.9%, 12 million Americans have lost insurance, 8 million Americans have fallen into poverty and the annual deficit has increased from $585 billion to $3.1 trillion.
The next fundamental is that Biden is simply running a better campaign. The former Vice President has stuck with a good and consistent theme since he announced for president last year. Biden has run on an effective national unity theme and has said the election is about the character and soul of the county. In contrast, Trump can’t stay on message and his numerous lies and smears don’t resonate outside of his base of die hard followers.
Another hallmark of Biden’s effective campaign is that he is currently outspending the Republicans by a margin of anywhere from 2–1 or even 4–1 in the battleground states. This is due to his superior fundraising and the gross ineptitude of the Trump campaign. The former TV reality star’s campaign has blown $1 billion with little to show for it.
An important fundamental that favors Biden is that 54% of the voters in 2016 voted for somebody other than Donald Trump. It is extremely unlikely that any of the 48% of voters who supported Hillary Clinton in 2016 will vote for Trump. Moreover, many people who voted for Trump or a third party candidate will vote for Biden in 2020. Clinton’s 3 million vote win in the popular vote gives Biden a head start.
As we all know, the polls have shown a consistent Biden lead outside of the margin of error since he announced for president in 2019. That’s why Trump tried to pressure Ukraine to manufacture a phony scandal about the former vice president.
One of the main factors that have led to Republican over confidence and Democratic anxiety are the alleged polling errors of 2016. The final Real Clear Politics (RCP) average in 2016 predicted that Hillary Clinton would win the popular vote by 3.3%. Seven of the nine final polls projected a Clinton victory in the popular vote by anywhere from 2 and 4 percentage points. As it turned out, Clinton ultimately won the popular vote by 2.1%.
Similarly, the final RCP electoral college projections in 2016 were essentially accurate and forecast a very close election. Clinton had a safe lead in states that added up to 203 electoral votes and Trump led in states that added up to 164 electoral votes. Fourteen states with 171 electoral votes were considered to be too close to call. Florida, Michigan and Pennsylvania were all in that category. (Wisconsin was leaning to Clinton.) As it turned out, Trump drew to an inside straight in the electoral college and took just about all of the states that were in the too close to call category.
The reality about 2016 is that the polls were largely accurate. The people who got it wrong in 2016 were the pundits — they misread the polls. The NY Times gave Clinton a 90% chance of winning. The most cautious forecast came from Nate Silver. The 538 election guru was criticized in the run up to the 2016 election for giving Clinton a 70% chance of winning. Silver even wrote a piece that contended that Clinton’s battleground firewall wasn’t as strong as Obama’s. Apparently, the pundits (like most Americans) simply couldn’t believe that a buffoon like Trump could get elected.
As a result of the 2016 outcome, there was some skepticism about the polls in the run up to the subsequent 2018 mid-term elections. However, once again, the polls turned out to be largely accurate. The final RCP average predicted that the Democrats would win the House national popular vote by 7.3%. Eight out of the last eleven polls forecast a Democrat margin of between 7 and 9 percentage points. Once all of the 2018 votes were counted, it turned out that the Democrats had their best showing since 1974 and won by 8.4%.
The Democrats’ big win in 2018 is consistent with the results of the elections in 2017 and 2019. In both of those cycles, the Democrats did very well. For example, in 2019, a Democratic challenger in deep red Kentucky ousted an incumbent GOP governor who modeled his policies and personality after Trump.
We are now in the closing days of the campaign. If you haven’t already voted, please drop your ballot in a drop box as soon as possible. No matter where you live, if your mail in ballot arrives after Nov 3rd, assume it won’t be counted. Moreover, you always have the option to vote in person if it’s safe for you to do so.
Don’t let Trump and the GOP steal your vote, steal the election or steal your future. Let’s sprint to the finish line! Let’s run through the tape! On to victory on November 3!