Election 2020: State of Play and Accuracy of Polls

UPDATED AT 4:00 PM CST, 11/04/20

In yesterday’s post, I forecast a 285-253 electoral-vote victory for Biden. As of this morning afternoon, according to FoxNews, Biden has locked up 264 electoral votes and is leading in three States (Michigan, Nevada, and Wisconsin) whose electoral votes would give him a total of 270 — just enough for victory. It’s possible that Biden’s total could be higher, given the number of votes still to be counted in Georgia, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania, where Trump is currently ahead. And, of course, Biden could still lose any or all of the three undecided States where he is currently ahead. And both candidates can be expected to demand recounts, and recounts of recounts, and to seek judicial intervention all the way to the Supreme Court. But, whatever the outcome, I am pleased by the accuracy of my forecast. (Though I will be most displeased by the outcome if Biden proves to be the winner.)

I based my forecast on polling conducted by Rasmussen Reports, which has been my go-to source for presidential polling for the past 12 years. Rasmussen has acquired a bum rap for being pro-Republican because its generally accurate polls aren’t biased toward Democrats as are most other polls. This year’s presidential race provides further evidence of Rasmussen’s lack of bias.

As of now, Biden has a 2 percentage-point lead over Trump in the nationwide tally of popular votes. That lead might rise a bit when all of the Left Coast votes have been counted, but it’s statistically the same as the 1-percent edge forecast in Rasmussen’s final poll. And how did Rasmussen do relative to other major polls? See for yourself:

Oh, the Shrillness!

I wrote this in the mistaken belief that Trump was a stalking horse for the Clintons. How wrong I was.

Donald Trump and his legion of followers resent Mitt Romney’s attack on Trump. Their problem, of course, is that Romney was right on target. Their predictable riposte: Romney’s a loser. Who’s he to criticize Trump?

Well, Romney won the GOP nomination, which is more than Trump has done so far. Moreover, having lost the general election to Obama doesn’t disqualify Romney as an observer of the political scene and a representative of traditional Republican values (which aren’t Trump’s values).

The shrillness emanating from Trump and his Trumpeters is unsurprising. They have, as usual, substituted emotion for facts and logic.

I’m convinced that Trump’s main objective is to discredit and destroy the Republican Party. If he doesn’t win the GOP nomination, watch him turn on the party and its nominee.

The War on Conservatism

Trump’s candidacy is transforming the Republican Party and party lines. If Trump is nominated by the GOP — and especially if he wins in November — he will have transformed the GOP from the party of (nominal) conservatism to the party of working-class-whites-seeking-their-share-of-government-bestowed-privileges.

Thus the two major parties will represent the following constituencies:

  • Affluent “progressives” from Wall Street, the media, academe, and business (especially technology companies), who “know” who’s deserving, how the world should be organized, and what sentiments should (and should not) be expressed
  • Government officials and workers, especially federal but also those of most States and municipalities, who are the direct beneficiaries of bigger and more powerful government
  • Most “persons of color” (blacks and Hispanics) who turn to government for handouts and preferences
  • Working-class whites who rely on the dole, in some form — especially those who think they’ve been short-changed by “persons of color”
  • Everyone who wants to preserve or expand the power of government to do something that they favor.

In sum: The two parties will represent the grasping, intolerant, and controlling forces of oppression. True conservatives (and libertarians) — who seek nothing from government but to be defended by it, and who understand the wisdom of long-standing social norms and the civilizing institutions of civil society — will be out in the cold.

Venting about Election 2016

The presidential candidates have been at it (name-calling) for months. It’s my turn now.

Trump’s dissing of his opponents and ideas that are disagreeable to him is refreshing, though I sample it through the filter of the written word. I am repelled by Trump’s appearance, manners, and mannerisms. His mouth often assumes a circular shape, the significance of which I leave to the dirty-minded among you.

In the spirit of equal opportunity, I can honestly say that Hillary is repulsive, too. She reminds me of a grounded parade float. And she’s so obviously honest and sincere that she’s sure to become a saint (in the church of holy baloney). It would serve Hillary right if she goes to jail for mishandling of classified material while Bill continues to roam free despite his mishandling of women.

Bernie Sanders reminds me of a former neighbor who proclaimed himself a Marxist (despite his upscale abode). He’s an ignoramus who sees the economy as a zero-sum game, when in fact it’s a cooperative enterprise that (generally) rewards people for the value of their contributions. (I’m confess that I can’t find any value in the contributions of Lady Gaga, rap singers, and most contemporary “entertainers.”) But Bernie wouldn’t know anything about that because, like Hillary, he hasn’t actually worked for a living in decades. He has a soft spot in his heart for those who feed at the public trough because he’s one of them. It’s surprising that Bernie doesn’t attract a larger share of the black vote. I guess that’s because Hillary is married to the first black president.

Put Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio in a blender and you might get one formidable candidate, someone with brains and likability. As it is, Cruz and Rubio seem destined to finish second and third to Trump in most of the primary races, which means that Trump may lock up the GOP nomination before the convention.

It seems that election 2016 won’t come down to a choice between the lesser of two evils — not with Trump and Hillary as the choices. Not that it really matters to me. I live in Texas, where almost any Republican (even Trump) is bound to win. So I look forward to election day, when it’s likely to be warm and sunny in my part of Texas (the central part). I’ll probably spend the day outside, doing something useful like cutting brush.

Name That Politician

[T[he most dangerous major candidate for president in memory. He pairs terrible ideas with an alarming temperament; he’s a racist … and a demagogue, but he’s also a narcissist, a bully, and a dilettante. He lies so constantly and so fluently that it’s hard to know if he even realizes he’s lying. He delights in schoolyard taunts and luxuriates in backlash.

Ezra Klein, Vox

With the omission of one word, indicated by ellipsis dots, that’s a spot-on description of Obama. The omitted word is “sexist,” on which I’m agnostic because Obama’s cynical appointment of women (and blacks) to high positions could mask contempt for them as a group.

Anyway, Klein means to describe Trump. But Obama fits the shoes nicely.

Election 2016: Does It Matter?

If a Democrat is elected president, he or she can’t do any more damage to liberty and the economy than Obama has already done. (But … see below.)

If a Republican is elected president, he or she is unlikely to undo the damage to liberty and the economy that Obama has already done. (But … see below.) Republican presidents have a poor track record of walking back the bad things done by Democrats. They just don’t want to be “mean,” I guess.*

Here’s the “but”: The president gets to nominate justices of the U.S. Supreme Court. Democrat nominees are reliable leftists; Republican nominees aren’t reliable constitutionalists (e.g., Warren, Brennan, Blackmun, Stevens, O’Connor, Kennedy, Souter, and Roberts) . But I’d much rather take my chances with a GOP-appointed justice than with a Democrat-appointed one.

If it weren’t for the power of appointment, I’d probably stay home on election day.

* Cruz may be “mean” enough, though possibly not electable because of his “mean” image. I’d love to have the chance to vote for Cruz, but I think Rubio would be a more appealing GOP candidate.

The Meaning of Iowa

According to Wikipedia, it means “asleep.”

Oh, that’s not what you were expecting on the day after the Iowa caucuses, in which Cruz bested Trump, and Sanders came within a liver-spot of beating Clinton. (Perhaps “beating Clinton” isn’t the right phrase. The feminazi brigade would accuse me of harboring a suppressed desire to enslave women.)

How bodes Iowa for the presidential race? I haven’t the foggiest, and anyone who opines otherwise is blowing smoke. Sure, there are some obvious losers, but they were obvious losers before Iowa. The leading contenders — Cruz, Trump, Rubio, Sanders, Clinton — are still the leading contenders.

I will say that Trump doesn’t stand a wig’s chance in a windstorm of winning the GOP nomination. The only question is which Cuban-American will get it — the Canadian or the Floridian.

And I can only hope that Hillary’s close call presages an outright defeat in New Hampshire. That’s to be expected, anyway, because Bernie is from a neighboring state, which is evidently an important qualification for the presidency. It enabled Jimmy Carter to win the South (and the presidency) in 1976.

Clinton (the misogynist one) even took Louisiana twice on the strength of his upbringing in neighboring Arkansas. I must admit, however, that Clinton’s appeal to Louisianans may have been due to his reputation for womanizing. Louisianans love “colorful” politicians (i.e., crooks and womanizers).

If the November election is between Cruz/Rubio and Sanders, the contrast between candidates will be as stark as it has been since 1964, when there was a choice between Goldwater and Johnson (JFK’s VP, not Abe Lincoln’s). Come to think of it, LBJ was a womanizer, as were predecessors JFK and FDR — also Democrats. Throw Clinton into the mix and you have a formula for electoral success: Democrat womanizer.

That would seem to rule out Hillary. Oh, wait, it doesn’t.

The Bern and I

There are two big differences between Bernie Sanders and me.

First, I’m not a socialist. Quite the opposite. To quote Marie what’s-her-name, “Let them eat pizza.”

Second, I’m a crosspatch — just like Bernie — but a cheerful one. I would have called this blog The Cheerful Curmudgeon, but that’s an overused title.

How cheerful am I? Well, it makes my day when I see a flattened squirrel on the road.

To give you an idea of my curmudgeonliness, I was tempted to write “flattened bicyclist” instead of “flattened squirrel.”

That’s enough idle chit-chat for now. I’ll return tomorrow with a post-mortem of the presidential candidates who were flattened in Iowa tonight.