Trump Could Still Win

This week, there are a lot of pieces considering and examining the probable errors in today’s polling and Trump’s likely reelection (NOT by a majority popular vote, of course, and relying significantly on vote suppression). For example, MarketWatch says this, “The return for the S&P 500 index SPX over the past three-month period thus far has risen by about 7% since Aug. 3. That equity-market performance measure has been the best predictor of U.S. presidential elections since 1984, proving 87% accurate since 1928, LPL chief financial market strategist Ryan Detrick notes.”

Furthermore, Robert Cahaly, whose polling firm is more often accurate than the more well-known pollsters, and who uses innovative methods that seem to make some sense, predicts a Trump reelection. You can hear his views on The Gist podcast. And Thomas Edsall, in the Times, argues that Biden is not out of the woods, and convincingly explains why. So does our colleague, Alon Preiss, in these pages.

In a relatively terrifying New Yorker piece, pollsters still predict a Biden victory, but with some disheartening (terrifying) caveats. “There’s a possibility that the problem wasn’t, in fact, that pollsters weren’t weighting by college education. That was the big, easy fix. But maybe it was something else. We don’t know what it is. The 2018 results give me some pause. I look at the polls showing Biden with twenty-per-cent-plus leads among older voters, with boomers voting roughly the same as millennials, and Gen Z, and that makes me nervous. I can tell myself a story about why that would happen, but I can also tell myself a story about conservative Trump voters hearing, “Hi, I’m from NBC/Wall Street Journal polling,” and hanging up the phone because they don’t trust the mainstream media. That makes me very nervous.” And there’s more.

Also, remember that more Americans still trust him on the economy. In the voting booth, a lot of people will decide to go with the guy who they think will be able to rebuild the economy post-covid.

If Trump still has higher approval ratings for his ability to handle and rebuild the economy post-pandemic than Biden does, then his odds of winning are much stronger than current polls would indicate. Most financial analysts believe that a Biden presidency will be better for the economy, but polls show that Americans believe the opposite. Bret Stephens, in the Times, demonstrates this phenomenon vividly.

And when you consider the great pro-Biden polling, do so in light of the fact that many of Biden’s supporters will be unable to vote. Politico, for example, warns that Dems are losing the battle over voter suppression: “Voting rights advocates warn that suppression efforts in the final weeks of the election threaten the voting blocks Democrats need most.”

All of which is to say that this is no moment for overconfidence – if everyone who wants to vote does vote, Biden will win. If everyone who TRIES to vote does vote, Biden will win. Neither of those things will happen. So everyone who wants to vote and CAN vote MUST vote, even if we live in “safe” states.

Audere Magazine