By Washington Osiro
Okay folks, this will be my last post about the 2020 US General Elections. Please hold your applause until November 4th, 2020😉
The fact is the proverbial cake has already been baked and the voters claiming that they “need to hear more from the candidates” or claiming that they are “Undecided” are not being honest. They have HEARD more than enough from Donald Trump and Joe Biden. They also KNOW who they will be voting for on November 3rd – if they haven’t done so already since early voting is in progress across the country.
The other fact is that the American electorate has become even more polarized and intransigent – especially since 2016. You either support what they believe or don’t. To quote George W. Bush, you are either with them or against them.
Notwithstanding, nearly every “reputable” poll shows Donald Trump losing to Joe Biden and were that to happen, Trump will become only the eleventh American president to fail to win re-election for a second term. In modern presidential history, Trump will join Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush who failed in their re-election bid.
Real Clear Politics “Poll of Polls” has the incumbent trailing the challenger by an average of 10+ percentage points. The more important state-by-state polling which is directly tied to the Electoral College votes also mirror the national poll – away from Donald Trump towards Joe Biden. This is particularly true in the battleground states where the election will be won/lost.
Similarly, Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight site has Donald Trump trailing Joe Biden by double-digits and Stan Cook’s Cook Political Report has Joe Biden over the two hundred and seventy (270) Electoral College vote threshold that garners the presidency. The meaningless popular vote is a foregone conclusion – again in favor of Joe Biden.
The foregoing aside, let me repeat two mainstays of American politics even though one of them is a rarity:
1) The elections are about three weeks away. This is a lifetime in politics. The polls and race WILL tighten as November 3rd approaches.
2) Even more important than the time left for Donald Trump to change his waning fortunes are memories of what happened in 2016. Most polls predicted a Hillary Clinton victory. I went to bed as soon as the media outlets (FOX, CNN, ABC, NBC, & CBS) started calling Ohio for Donald Trump. Given this notoriety of polling predictions gone horribly wrong, I will not cash my President Joe Biden cheque yet. I am THAT nervous.
Aside from the preceding mainstays of US politics, I will be watching for the following exit polling signs come Election Day – and frankly, little has changed from previous posts:
> How the pandemic affects voter turnout – especially in the battleground states. I have to say that this cycle’s “October Surprise” was the announcement that the President, First Lady, and their son ALL tested positive for COVID-19! Along with the virus’ impact on turnout is how voters think it has been handled by the Trump Admin.
> How the so-called “Undecided” and “Independents” voters break. If they break for Trump, then we could see a repeat of 2016. If they break in numbers commensurate with the current polls, then Trump is in trouble.
> How Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan trend. The boldened states along with their forty-six (46) Electoral College votes flipped from Barrack Obama (2012) to Donald Trump (2016) and won him the presidency. They are also enough to give Biden the presidency – assuming he holds the states Hillary won.
> Whether the increasing cash advantage the Democrats have over the GOP translate into actual votes come November 3rd.
> All polls indicate that Trump has a heavier lift to his re-election than Biden has to his maiden trip to the WH. Mr. Trump must retain the seven (7) states that switched their votes in 2016 WHILE defending others that he carried but have been unhappy with the last four years of a Trump Administration. Included in this bucket are Arizona, North Carolina, Texas, Florida, and Georgia. Of these five states, I will pay close attention to Arizona, North Carolina, and Florida. The former has a fired-up LatinX population that has registered more new voters than their Black counterparts. North Carolina continues to trend bluish-purple and its proximity to Virginia only helps. I doubt that Texas and Georgia will vote against Donald Trump this election cycle.
> How Florida’s reliable senior voters will respond to Trump’s handling of the COVID-19 – a virus that disproportionately affects them.
> Women! Women! Women!
Aside from Black women who were instrumental in the Democratic Party’s Mid-term Election in 2018 and are all in for a ticket that has one of their own, November 3rd will confirm how sincere white women are about some of the values they overlooked back in 2016 when a surprisingly high number of them voted for someone whose conduct remains demonstrably antithetical to near-everything they teach their children about.
How these factors play out will determine whether Donald Trump is re-elected.