Trump wasn’t supposed to win in 2016, making it harder for some to believe that he may lose this time. But 2020 isn’t 2016.
Unlike in 2016, Trump was the outsider who would supposedly drain the swamp. In 2020, the American people can look at the record of Trump’s unscrupulous activities over the last four years which is too lengthy to be recounted here. Trump is no longer the Teflon Donald and the American people are just tired of his scorched earth politics.
In 2016, Trump was running against a qualified but not very popular woman which he turned into an advantage for negative campaigning. In 2020, all the allegations of corruption, socialist agenda, and diminished capacity to govern by the Trump campaign against Joe Biden don’t seem to stick.
In 2016, Trump was able to breach the Blue Firewall in the upper midwest on a strategy of fear-mongering and calls for nativism ending Hillary Clinton’s presidential hopes. In 2020, seniors and white suburban women that are part of Trump’s 2016 winning coalition are deserting him en masse.
In 2016, eleven days before the election, James Comey broke the non-partisan norms of the FBI and wittingly helped in the demolition job against Trump’s opponent. In 2020, Surprise! Surprise! No October Surprise! And hopefully none until days after November third.
Here are the five reason why Donald Trump will lose and in his own words, bigly!
REASON #1. It’s still the “economy, stupid.”
It’s the rallying cry for the Bill Clinton campaign, as true today as in 1992. Most Americans of voting age care deeply about their economic well-being. The economy has a broad impact on so many facets of their lives, including their wages, their employment status, and their savings/retirement accounts. The unemployment rate at the last year of George H.W. Bush on the average is 7%, its highest in his four years in office. He lost badly to Bill Clinton the same year.
American voters oust Presidents and their parties when the economy is bad during an election year. Since 1900, only one president has won re-election with a recession occurring sometime in the last two years of their first term: William McKinley. The only other person to defy the trend was Democrat Harry Truman in 1948. But the recession that year only started in November, the same month that Americans went to the polls to vote. This is the reason why Trump is so obsessed about re-opening the economy even at the height of the pandemic to no avail and because of the deteriorating economy, I’m certain he would suffer the same fate as Taft, Hoover, Carter, and Bush.
The economy has been one of the biggest pillars of Trump’s argument for reelection. During his State of the Union address in February, he claimed the economy was “roaring” and “the best it has ever been.” But let’s look at his record: Even before the coronavirus pandemic sent the economy into a deep recession, the U.S. economy had been growing more slowly than Trump once promised. The trade deficit (Hello China, Hi Mexico!) Trump promised to reduce grew larger instead. The number of people without health insurance went up by 7.1 million, according to a government survey. Job growth slowed a bit under Trump — then collapsed as the COVID-19 crisis led to mass unemployment. The job numbers have yet to fully recover. The unemployment rate hit a high in April at 14.7% which turned backed down in October at 7.9% but still way above the 4.7% rate Trump inherited when he took office.
REASON #2. It turns out you can’t BS your way out through a crisis.
Americans habitually reject incompetence in their leaders. Trump claims he is the greatest at everything. He knows better than anyone else. That was 2016. In 2020, Americans saw all the ways Trump bungled his administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. He’s taken the position that everything’s going fine. But is it? As early as January, national security officials warned Trump of the global danger posed by the virus in daily intelligence briefings but Trump consistently played down the fledgling pandemic even calling it a Democratic hoax. In an interview in CNBC, Trump said “We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China, and we have it under control. It’s — going to be just fine.” Trump initially praised Xi Jinping but quickly pivot the blame to China as a deliberate strategy, supposedly backed up by internal Trump campaign polling and designed to obfuscate the details of the truly inadequate US response. In an interview with the legendary Bob Woodward, Donald Trump acknowledged that he knew the coronavirus was dangerous but decided to lie to the American public. Americans don’t like their leaders to lie especially if it concerns their life and death.
He could have ordered mask mandate, massive support for testing and contact tracing where needed, invoke the Defense Production Act to produce necessary medical supplies to help front-liners and more stimulus money for individuals and businesses in need. It’s actually a pretty simple formula. Yet Trump failed to do it. He even contradicted his Center for Disease Control’s own guidelines creating confusion and chaos exacerbated by his supporters who think the state governments are overreaching. In a show of utter ignorance, he even suggested injecting CoViD patients with disinfectants. Mr. Trump has also floated the idea of exposing patients to “ultraviolet or just very powerful light”. And Americans can see through this President. Trump cannot just bravado competence claiming he knows more than the experts, he actually needs to succeed but he is failing miserably in the eyes of the voting public.
Less than a week before the election and there are 228,000 deaths and almost 9 million cases of CoViD. Most Americans (62%) say the U.S. response to the coronavirus outbreak has been less effective than that of other wealthy nations. Tinimbang sya, ngunit kulang. He failed, he got CoViD, and he will suffer on the ballot just like all other one-term Presidents before him.
REASON #3. Sleepy Joe ain’t crooked Hillary.
Hillary Clinton’s notorious remark that she “could have stayed at home and baked cookies” offended plenty of women from both the left and the right at the onset of Bill Clinton’s win as one of the youngest Governor of the country but ever since then she has been vilified and caricatured as crooked Hillary which may be summed up in three catchphrases: Whitewater, Benghazi, the email server. Her vilification could be because she’s an “ambitious woman” and the right’s obsession with the Clintons which the harsh mainstream media obligingly followed. And this is why it was easy for Trump to depress Democrat voters in 2016 and sneak his way into victory. For context, Trump lost to Clinton the popular vote by 2.87 million votes. Trump won Pennsylvania by 44 thousand votes, Michigan with 10,000 votes, and Wisconsin with 22 thousand votes. All with just a fraction of a percentage. These three states delivered the electoral college vote to Trump. Trump was able to depress Democratic voters to vote for Hillary but they are voting in droves now against him.
Joe Biden ain’t Hillary Clinton. he is likeable and popular. Even during the primaries, Joe Biden was perceived to be the most electable Democratic candidate in a general election against President Trump. In the face of relentless attacks from the Trump campaign, Biden hasn’t dipped in the polls; in fact, he’s actually become better liked and has built a formidable favorability advantage over Trump. One possible reason Biden has a popularity edge to general election voters is the perception that Biden is relatively moderate, and historically, more moderate presidential candidates generally do better in general elections. All the accusations of Biden being too far left, senile and a baby-eating candidate didn’t stick to the voters apparently.
It also helped that the Democratic primary ended early and Biden was able to unify all the factions of the Party something Hillary Clinton struggled to do in 2016. The Democratic enthusiasm for Biden can be seen in his fundraising records. Despite struggling with online donations in the primary, Biden is now raising 1,000 times as much online per day as he was last year. Even young voters who pundits say would only vote for Bernie are turning out in the polls in large numbers.
Democrats are heavily investing in people of color designed to prevent a repeat of 2016 when disillusionment among some Black male voters kept them from voting for Hillary Clinton or going to the polls at all. Biden also leads with the fastest-growing electoral constituency, the Asian Americans. It is with the Latino that Biden is having difficulty garnering support compared to Hillary Clinton’s campaign in 2016 but still Biden holds a small lead over Trump with Latino voters in pivotal Florida; lead grows in other battlegrounds like Arizona, Texas, and Nevada.
REASON #4. Donald Trump is his own worst enemy.
Mr. Trump ran the most unconventional of political campaigns, all of his decisions were roundly ridiculed in “knowledgeable” circles. But it turned out he knew better than all the experts in 2016, he had the last laugh. But is his instinct still right this time o nakatsamba lang sya nuon?
Trump trails Biden by 32 points (!!!) on who has the right presidential temperament according to NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. This speaks a lot considering Trump is already President.
One of the biggest upsets in American political history was built on a coalition of white voters unlike that of any other previous Republican candidate. Trump’s core constituency then that is running away from him now are seniors, suburban white women, college-educated whites in the midwest, and white voters who had once flocked to President Obama’s promise of hope and change.
If polls hold, Joe Biden will be the first Democratic presidential nominee in 20 years to win a majority of senior citizens. Retirees want stability and they are concerned about the pandemic and the economy. Trump botched the pandemic response, but they remember Biden’s role in saving the economy in the great recession of 2008. Seniors could help Biden flip Florida and Arizona, two states with a large population of retirees.
Trump organized a grassroots army of suburban women against him. In mid-October, Trump stood onstage in Johnstown, Pennsylvania — about 65 miles away from Pittsburgh — and practically begged suburban women to vote for him. But they’re not coming back. Trump revels in being rude, macho, and chaotic — all things many women voters despise. They don’t like that he does not acknowledge climate change, that he is trying to repeal their Health Care, that he does not disavow white nationalists. They hate him when he tweets at 3 am. They hate when he lies, which is every time. The 2018 midterms, where the GOP lost the House of Representatives, were the first real wake-up call for the Republicans that the suburbs, and white suburban women, were moving away from them. Another major factor driving the suburban revolt against the Trump-led GOP is the fact that American suburbs are simply a lot more diverse than they used to be.
Unless Trump can reverse his backslide with college-educated whites, suburban women and seniors, the demographic math will heavily favor Biden winning the White House.
REASON #5. It’s all about the map.
Yes. It’s all about the map and it’s not favorable to Trump.
In 2016, fivethirtyeight forecast said Trump had a 29 percent chance, and that came through; right now they give him a 12 percent chance to win in November. It shows his path to 270 electoral votes is tighter now even with the advantage of incumbency.
As I pointed earlier, Trump was able to win, less than a fraction of 1%, by flipping three rustbelt states from the Democrats: Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. The easiest path for Donald Trump is to retain all the states he won in 2016 and just keep Pennsylvania. The keystone state is a must-win for him. But look at the latest polls by FiveThirtyEight and Real Clear Politics of all possible battleground states:
|Arizona (11)||30 in 100||70 in 100||Tie||Tie|
|Colorado (9)||3 in 100||97 in 100||+9.5|
|Florida (29)||34 in 100||66 in 100||+1.2||Flip to Blue|
|Georgia (16)||42 in 100||58 in 100||+0.8||Flip to Blue|
|Iowa (6)||55 in 100||45 in 100||+1.2|
|Maine (4)||10 in 100||90 in 100||+10|
|Michigan (16)||4 in 100||96 in 100||+6.5||Flip to Blue|
|Minnesota (10)||6 in 100||94 in 100||+4.7|
|Nevada (6)||11 in 100||89 in 100||+4.0|
|New Hampshire (4)||11 in 100||89 in 100||+8|
|New Mexico (5)||3 in 100||97 in 100||+14|
|North Carolina (15)||33 in 100||67 in 100||+1.2||Flip to Blue|
|Ohio (18)||54 in 100||46 in 100||Tie||Tie|
|Pennsylvania (20)||14 in 100||86 in 100||+3.6||Flip to Blue|
|Texas (38)||66 in 100||34 in 100||+2.3|
|Virginia (13)||1 in 100||99 in 100||+12|
|Wisconsin (3)||6 in 100||94 in 100||+6.4||Flip to Blue|
In the table above, both polling aggregators FiveThirtyEight and Real clear Politics agree that Biden could flip at least six states Donald Trump won in 2016 giving Biden a total of 321 electoral votes, way past the needed 270 electoral votes. I believe Biden has a clear shot of taking Arizona, Iowa, Ohio, and one electoral vote in Nebraska or a total of 375 electoral college votes, by modern standards of high partisanship that would be a blowout.
I am hoping the high turnout of early voting in Texas is a good sign for Biden but the polls aren’t showing it. If Biden wins Texas, it will forever change the electoral map of the Democrats.
But Polls are wrong in 2016, they could still be wrong today, right? True, polls often miss 2-3 percentage points. It happened in 2016 because there are high undecided voters (13-14%) that swing in favor of Trump in the final days of voting. Today it’s just 6%. Trump could win every undecided voter in these polls and he would still narrowly lose the Electoral College according to Nate Silver. Biden’s lead (5%) is bigger compared to Hillary’s 2-3% in tipping point State. A 5-point polling error of FiveThirtyEight (88 out of 100 chance of winning) in Biden’s favor means he still wins by 13 or 14 points. That would be the largest margin of defeat for an incumbent since Hoover.
Does this mean that Trump will lose for sure?
Lightning could strike twice. You could be hit by an asteroid. The earth could stop rotating. FiveThirtyEight gave Trump a 12 percent chance to win in this election. 12% is 12 thousand times better than zero chance. He will lose the popular vote, which is a certainty to me. He could lose the electoral college vote and still be President by January 20 next year.
Of course, Trump could still win the election. But is it highly probable? Let’s wait for a black swan event until Tuesday. Check the article written by Emil Samaniego on why Trump may still win the election.
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