Here is my weekly update on the 2020 elections, based on State rather than national polling in the past 30 days, since that directly reflects what is likely to happen in the Electoral College.
At only 9 days from Election Day, the polls, while actually nowcasts rather than forecasts, are probably less than 1.75% off the final result. All of the fundamentals of the election are already “baked into the cake,” and it appears Trump’s attempt at an “October surprise” has fizzled. I’ve been suggesting for several months that some GOP voters would likely “come home” in the closing days of the election, and that appears to be developing, with national polls generally tightening slightly.
Also, to reiterate what I wrote last week, unlike 2016, Biden’s lead been at very least steady for over 4 full months:
Not only that but as of yesterday almost 42% of the total number of ballots compared with 2016 have already been cast this year:
New York has just started early voting. This number should easily top 50% by Election Day. For these voters, the race is already over. Those votes are going to stay put. Finally, the Senate elections show very little variation from Presidential polling in the affected States. Only in tight Presidential swing States does it look like the Senate results might turn out differently.
So here is this week’s penultimate update.
Trump has continued to have a bad October, as in the past 2+ weeks since the first debate and his own diagnosis of COVID-19, his approval rating has declined. It dropped by another -0.2% this week to 42.6, although his disapproval rate also declined -0.6% to 53.6%. This is still within the normal range of approval going back over 3.5 years:
Here is this week’s updated map through October 17 for the Presidential election. To refresh, here is how it works:
– States where the race is closer than 3% are shown as toss-ups.
– States where the range is between 3% to 5% are light colors.
– States where the range is between 5% and 10% are medium colors.
– States where the candidate is leading by 10% plus are dark colors.
A reminder: next week I will also include a map that includes any State with a 1%+ differential to the “lean Democrat/GOP” category.
The only change of note this week was that Nevada fell just barely into the “lean Biden” category so that Biden’s “solid” plus “likely” Electoral College votes declined by 6 to 273, meaning that Biden still doesn’t need Florida or Arizona in order to win. Three Trump States, Alaska, Nebraska, and Utah, tightened to “lean” and “likely” Trump, respectively, while Kansas moved from “likely” to “solid” Trump.
Biden’s support improved to or remained at 50%+ in Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Florida and North Carolina were 49%+. Only Arizona declined below 49%. This makes it extremely hard for Trump to mount a successful comeback in those States.
Here is Florida, showing some tightening. Arizona is similar:
But perhaps more importantly, here is Pennsylvania. Although I won’t post the graphs, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan are similar:
Biden’s lead in these States has been durable, and he has an actual majority. In short, even though we are still 9 days away from the actual “Election Day,” I will boldly State that most observers – probably traumatized by 2016 – have been too cautious this year. The “blue wall” is extremely likely to hold. And if it does, Trump’s chances of victory are foreclosed.
Turning to the Senate, there were 6 changes this week, 4 favoring Democrats and 2 favoring the GOP. Alaska and Georgia’s special election both moved back from lean GOP to a toss-up. Colorado moved from likely to solid Democrat. Kentucky moved from solid to likely GOP. On the other hand, Iowa moved from lean Democrat to toss-up and Kansas moved from toss-up to lean GOP:
At current polling, if Democrats win all those seats in which they are favored, they will have 50 Senate seats, down from 51 last week. The number of races now rated “toss-up” increased to 7. It remains likely that the Democrats wind up with a majority in the next Senate, although my inbox is filling up with pleas that Mitch McConnell’s super PAC has begun to deploy nuclear levels of spending in the tightest races.
In sum, I am increasingly confident of a Biden victory, perhaps a decisive one, while the Senate makes me very nervous. It is at this level where I think we will see a number of surprises, perhaps in both directions.
“…confident of a Biden victory, perhaps a decisive one, while the Senate makes me very nervous…”
[THANKS and my sentiments exactly.]
Money is speech; there is no racism in the US; corporations are people; and we need to know results by Election Day.
If this one flys, I wonder what the country will do.
“But the real main course came from Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who, as we know, likes beer. A number of legal-beagles already have pointed this out, but Kavanaugh’s concurrence is completely bizarre.
‘For important reasons, most States, including Wisconsin, require absentee ballots to be received by election day, not just mailed by election day. Those States want to avoid the chaos and suspicions of impropriety that can ensue if thousands of absentee ballots flow in after election day and potentially flip the results of an election. And those States also want to be able to definitively announce the results of the election on election night, or as soon as possible thereafter. Moreover, particularly in a Presidential election, counting all the votes quickly can help the State promptly resolve any disputes, address any need for recounts, and begin the process of canvassing and certifying the election results in an expeditious manner.”
The problem is not when the ballots come in; it is when the state can start counting them. If every ballot received by Election Day was counted on Election Day, it would be a simple matter to calculate the number of potential outstanding mail in ballots and only in the closest races—Florida 2000–would there be any likelihood of results changing. In fact, while the Dems brought the suit I suspect it is likely to hurt the GOP as much as the Dems in Wisconsin because the MIC has been touting November 3 in person voting and more GOP voters are going to get cold feet at the last minute—there is a raging pandemic—than Dems who have been voting by mail and early voting all along. The problem is that Wisconsin can not count the votes until Election Day and that is going to take several days.
” Trump has openly admitted that he wanted Barrett confirmed before the
election so that she could provide the decisive vote for him in any post-election dispute over the counting of mail ballots, in a repeat of Bush v. Gore. The opinion by Kavanaugh, who may now be the swing justice on a court with a 6-3 conservative majority, makes such a doomsday scenario far more likely.
Indeed, Kavanaugh cited Bush v. Gore in his opinion, in particular a controversial section by then-Chief Justice William Rehnquist joined by only two other justices saying that the authority of state legislatures should supersede the rulings of state courts. (Kavanaugh, Roberts, and Barrett all worked on the Florida 2000 recount for George W. Bush.) This matters greatly because last week, the Supreme Court deadlocked 4-4 on whether to overturn a Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling giving voters until the Friday after the election to return their ballots as long as they were sent by Election Day.
Pennsylvania Republicans have asked the US Supreme Court to reconsider the case before the election with Barrett seated. Even if the court declines to rehear the case before the election, Trump could try to challenge the legality of late-arriving ballots after the election and ask the court to throw them out. That could make the difference in a close election. Kavanaugh’s ruling is a green light for Trump to contest the results of the election and sends a disturbing signal about the willingness of a conservative-dominated Supreme Court to once again install a GOP president.”
So, if they manage to steal the election what will people do? Certainly protests will be off the charts. Hopefully violence will be off the table. I saw that several unions have threatened a general strike. But I have another thought.
How about a nationwide tax strike? Change your W-4 at the start of the new year. Increase your exemptions, lie if you have to. Make up deductions. Do anything you can to have as little taken out of your paycheck as you can. If you are self employed or receive a 1099, stop all quarterly payments. And then refuse to file your federal taxes.
Just send in your 1040 with your personal info and write in big bold letters.
“Taxation without representation is tyranny.”
Democrats probably need four seats to win the Senate. Can they do it?
via @BostonGlobe – October 27
… Democrats need to keep all the other seats they currently hold, plus win four more to reach a 50-50 split with Republicans. If Biden wins the White House, that would give Democrats control because Kamala Harris, as vice president, would cast tie-breaking votes in the Senate.
So how do Democrats get there?
Analysts say Democrats are on pace to win Colorado and Arizona, victories that would give them two of the four seats they need.
In Colorado, part of the challenge for GOP incumbent Cory Gardner is the shifting demographics of the state, which leaves a minority of voters inclined to support Republicans and young voters energized to vote by the killing of George Floyd and by climate change, said David Flaherty, a pollster in Colorado for the Republican-leaning Magellan Strategies.
“Can Cory Gardner pull an upset? . . . What we’ve seen right now, we think that’s unlikely,” he said.
In Arizona, former astronaut Mark Kelly, who is married to former Representative Gabby Giffords, who resigned after being shot at a constituent event in 2011, has outpaced Republican Martha McSally. She was appointed after the death of Senator John McCain.
The next most likely Democratic pickup, experts say, is in Maine, where GOP Senator Susan Collins is waging the fight of her political life. Her Democratic challenger, Sara Gideon, the speaker of Maine’s House of Representatives, has raised tens of millions more campaign cash than the four-term incumbent, and has narrowly led Collins in polls for months. …
Either North Carolina or Iowa could be the next best chance for Democrats to flip a seat, and either one could be the “tipping point” that provides Democrats the 50th seat needed to win the majority if Biden takes the White House. …
Iowa has emerged as something of a surprise opportunity for a Democratic pickup. The race between incumbent Senator Joni Ernst and her Democratic challenger, businesswoman Theresa Greenfield, appears to be a dead heat, according to polls.
Beyond those five races, Democrats face much longer odds in securing victories, despite having waged competitive races in up to seven states that analysts didn’t expect them to have any shot in winning earlier in the cycle.
These include the astoundingly tight race in deep-red South Carolina, where Democrat Jamie Harrison appears to be within striking distance of ousting Republican incumbent Lindsey Graham, who has resorted to asking for campaign donations in TV interviews, so robust has his challenger’s fund-raising been. Harrison pulled in an eye-popping $57 million in the third quarter of this year, setting a new record for a Senate candidate in one three-month period.
Other stretch races for Democrats include Montana, Kansas, Texas, Alaska, and in Georgia — where there are not one but two Senate races underway, both tight, all while polling suggests the presidential race in the once-reliably Republican state is deadlocked.
Amid all these tough races for Republicans, Democrats have found themselves playing defense on one blue seat held by incumbent Senator Gary Peters of Michigan. Republicans have directed resources to the race, seeing it as their best pickup opportunity, aside from Alabama, powered by a strong candidate, 39-year-old John James, who is a Black Iraq war veteran with punchy TV ads.
But even some Republican operatives acknowledge that Trump most likely needs to improve his own poll numbers in Michigan for James to win, even though he has outperformed the president in polls. …
Michigan: John James advertisements are outright lies about Peters.
It’s looking like we won’t know who controls the Senate until 2021
via @BostonGlobe – October 26
With a week until the general election, Americans are being told that it is almost assured that, unlike most previous election years, we will not know who won the presidential race on election night.
With some version of mail-in balloting legal in every state, and turnout expected to shatter all records, there is a lot of vote counting to be done. It’s likely that neither President Trump nor his Democratic challenger, former vice president Joe Biden, will have a clear mathematical projection to the needed 270 Electoral College votes by the time anyone wakes up on Wednesday morning.
And once the numbers do become clear, the lawsuits are sure to begin.
But figuring out who will control the US Senate could take even longer.
It could take at least another week for all the mail-in ballots to be submitted in Alaska’s newly interesting contest, two weeks for all the ballots to be counted in Arizona’s hot race, it will take time for ballots to be reprocessed for ranked-choice voting in Maine to determine a winner, and there could be a crazy post-November campaign in Georgia.
A post-November campaign? Yes, you read that right. Georgia is home to two US Senate races this year, and if recent polls are to be believed, both races are headed to a run-off contest on Jan. 5, 2021. That could mean millions of dollars pouring into the state as the Senate majority hangs in the balance.
To be sure, the battle for US Senate majority control is the most competitive thing to watch in American politics right now. Democrats are expected to add to their majority in the US House. …
how many states are going to be close enough that Trump can challenge them and have the results of their vote determined by the Supreme Court?
“how many states are going to be close enough that Trump can challenge them and have the results of their vote determined by the Supreme Court?”
[I really cannot see the robed ones recounting votes themselves. All it takes is close to get a recount. No singing by the Supremes is required. My spell checker underlined “Supremes” when I typed it. Guess the younger generation ain’t got no soul, fell out of their pockets with all that hip-hopping around.
Last night just before bedtime Joe’s ringer ad all wrapped in the flag and narrated by Sam Eliot was aired, first time I have heard it. Trump is toast, burnt toast at that. OTOH, Joe is going to be stuck trying to unscrew the pooch that Trump screwed which does not sound like fun to me.
BTW, you are up early. Do you live in the US? Which time zone? Guess you could just be up late. Commenting online before coffee comes with a certain risk. ]
I do not believe that Chad can save Trump like he saved W in 2000.