Anything to Avoid Real Work

September 10, 2020 |

I am late (again) on delivering an historical essay on Panic/Depression of 1837-1842 to an electronic publisher so what better way to prevaricate than offer further political handicapping and personal confession.  First, the confession.  I have been utterly wrong in thinking that election prediction samples had to weight the survey data by Party ID.  That only corrupts the data and obscures the actual information.  If you weight voter file data by race, gender, education, income and age, your sample automatically and accurately calculates what the partisan split will be.
The grumps have become a persistent minority in samples.  The most reliable likely voter sample I have found on the question of "Who Do You Expect to Win?" shows Trump - 45%, Biden - 41% and 14% - "Undecided/Will Not Say".  1 out of 7 people who can be expected to vote do not want to offer an opinion about who they think will win - not who they want to win or who their neighbor wants to win but simply, who will win a 2-person race.  
These grumps are the loyalists to the newest political party - the voice of "unfavorable" opinion.  They don't like anyone - ever; and their opinion is entirely like Fred Silverman's  (who died this year - I put the link to his wikipedia entry at the bottom) brilliant analysis of programming - the winner is the show that sucks less.
The issues - and events - decide what the criterion will be for sucking.  Two months ago, it was Covid-19; and former Vice-President Biden received almost all the "unfavorables" votes.  Last month the issue was the economy; and Trump still sucked more but not quite so much.  This month the issue is "law and order"; and Biden is in trouble.  
The race is turning into a repeat of 2012.  You have an incumbent President with average "approval" ratings who is wildly popular with his base and hated by all the partisans of the opposing party.  Among black  and white liberal likely voters President Obama had near unanimous approval; and his voters turned out.  Trump gets 90% of his "base" of conservative/Republican/Republican-leaning voters.  Like Obama in 2012 Trump has all the money he needs and he has a thoroughly professional campaign organization that has had 4 years to prepare for getting out his vote.  (The black male turnout in 2012 is a record that will probably never be broken; mothers and grandmothers literally dragged their sons and grandsons to the polls to vote to re-elect their race's first President.)  For the people Mrs. Clinton named deplorables, this is one more time to make all those superior college and graduate school-educated voters reach for their hankies.  Those deplorables have made the educated Republicans wonder if they should join the rest of the credentialed and become Democrats, and some have; but their numbers have been replaced by middle-aged and older black men and Hispanic men and women who have no fear of people of their same age who wear MAGA hats.   What is proving decisive is the Democrats' loss of less than graduate-level educated suburban women; the promise of BLM rioters to bring violence to their neighborhoods has been devastating to Democrats' otherwise very good chances of picking up these voters.  It has certainly not helped with these women, most of whom work and have children, for Biden to mumble about keeping kids out of school and continuing the shut-down.  For every formerly respectable Republican family living in "good" half-acre plus zoned neighborhoods who hnow has a Black Lives Matter sign in their front yard, the Democrats have lost two middle-income less than full college households.  The exception has been government employment.  If the people in the household are school teachers/civil servants - i.e. the people still getting paid for not working, BLM is just another word for worker equality and social justice.  The problem for the Democrats is that too many of these people live and get paid in states whose electoral college votes the Trump campaign wrote off from the first day he was inaugurated.
Prediction:  Trump - 319 EV, Biden - 219 EV
Trump wins popular vote by 1-2 million votes.
One or both of two possible events could defeat those likely results:
1.  By October 15 the media succeeds in convincing Americans that there has been a "second wave" of Covid-19 deaths and the country faces a lethal pandemic that Trump has failed to deal with
2.  Trump's arrogance comes through in the debates and allows Joe Biden to be seen as a sympathetic person of adequate capacity to become President  - translation: "He is much less of an asshole"
If I am right, Trump will win the popular vote because balloting by mail will be much less feared/predicted.  Thanks to the shutdowns of colleges and universities, the student vote is likely to drop by 1 million.  A great deal of Hillary Clinton's popular vote victory came from literally running up the score in New York, Illinois and California; in those states, among women, Clinton had enormous popular enthusiasm.  Biden shows no comparable excitement this time; his margin of victory will be significantly less.


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