By Dave Andrusko
Just when you think the stakes in next Tuesday’s election couldn’t be higher, here’s what Tristan Justice of The Federalist wrote this morning:
MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough proposed nominating 73-year-old former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the Supreme Court next year should Democrats take the White House in next week’s election.
Going forward, the likes of another Amy Coney Barrett filling the next Supreme Court vacancy, or a woman whose connections to the Abortion Industry are life-long and whose hatred for “deplorables” is boundless? To borrow from Samuel Johnson, that prospect concentrates the mind.
Today’s potpourri of headlines is filled with encouraging news. Objectively good news—the Biden advantage continues to shrink in key battleground states—and subjectively good news—the usual media blowhards are beginning to wonder aloud, “What in the World if Trump Wins?” As I’ve said repeatedly, you can almost smell the panic.
*”The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Tuesday shows that 51% of Likely U.S. Voters approve of President Trump’s job performance. Forty-eight percent (48%) disapprove”—Rasmussen Reports
*”Our new @trafalgar_group #2020Election #BattlegroundState #PApoll conducted Oct 24-25 shows undecided shrinking and a narrow Trump lead for the first time: 48.4% @realDonaldTrump, 47.6% @JoeBiden”—Robert C. Cahaly
*”Are these experimental polling questions pointing to a Trump victory?”—Jim Key
*”As we enter the final days of this presidential campaign, the Democratic Party is bursting with electoral energy. But very little of that energy seems to be coming from Joe Biden. Instead, his advisers seem to hope that voters will just think of him as a generic Democrat — a broadly acceptable alternative to President Trump. Mr. Biden spent most of the day today out of public view, not making any waves”—Lisa Lerer
*”Media Ushered Away As Biden Trails Off In Answering Question On Court-Packing:”—Hotair
*”Saving Private Biden; The press standard for 2020: No tough questions for the former vice president”—William McGurn
*”Biden Vs. Trump Poll: Joe Biden Lead Shrinks As Donald Trump Tops 2016 Vote Share, IBD/TIPP Shows”—Jed Graham
The irony is the same media that at Biden’s press conferences “sometimes become a contest between reporters and the candidate to see who can hate Mr. Trump most” (as William McGurn has written) will savage him unmercifully if he loses. As Lisa Lerer of the New York Times put it “And if he loses? Well, the wave of Democratic fury that Mr. Biden will face will make the angry second-guessing that followed Hillary Clinton’s decision not to campaign in Wisconsin seem cordial.”
Meanwhile, they will apologize unceasingly for his invisible campaign.
But what about the numbers in the all important “battleground states”? Several things can be said.
The Trafalgar Group, which does really interesting polling, told us yesterday that President Trump was ahead in North Carolina, today he’s ahead a point in Pennsylvania. (The Insider Advantage has him up 3 points.) Mr. Trump’s job approval remains above 50% in the Rasmussen Reports poll, and he is campaigning everywhere in key states.
Read between the lines, and the overwhelmingly pro-Biden media is terrified that the electorate will compare Biden’s sluggish, wait-it-the-game approach with President Trump’s virtually non-stop campaigning and go with President Trump. By the way, my strong suspicion is that on election day, when reporters ask people how they voted, far more people than we are told now will, in fact, have either decided at the last minute or switched at the eleventh hour.
But the most interesting development is not a survey number but a study reported Monday by the USC Dornsife Daybreak Poll. Whether pollsters acknowledge it or not, most of them are playing catch up with the Trafalgar Report which has an uncanny ability (as it showed in 2016) the “silent” or “shy” Trump voter.
The USC Dornsife Daybreak Poll tells us that two new questions added to their poll and “reported separately from the main results.”What do they suggest? According to Jim Key, they “predict that the national popular vote for president could be much closer than most polls are predicting. They also suggest Trump will once again win the election in the Electoral College.” [My emphasis.]
Trafalgar gets at shy Trump voters by asking how they think their neighbors would vote. Some would say the Daybreak Poll is a blatant ripoff.
In this year’s Daybreak Poll, researchers are asking participants two additional questions that are intended to, as they say, “harvest the wisdom of crowds” to predict the election outcome.
This “social-circle question” also
asks respondents to report the percentage of their social contacts they expect to vote for each of the candidates. The other one, known as the “state winner question” asks participants who they think will win the election in their state.
In their own Q&A they ask if this line of questioning successfully predicted the outcome of other elections.
Yes, in all five of the elections in which we tested this question, the social circle question predicted election outcomes better than traditional questions about voters’ own intentions. These five elections were the 2016 U.S. Presidential election, the 2017 French Presidential election, the 2017 Dutch Parliamentary election, the 2018 Swedish Parliamentary election, and the 2018 U.S. election for House of Representatives.
That’s all well and good but what about the outcome of the 2020 presidential election? [The “own-intention” question refers to simply asking whom the respondent is going to vote for.]
When we calculate how many electoral votes each candidate could get based on state level averages of the own-intention and social-circle questions, it’s looking like an Electoral College loss for Biden. We should note that our poll was not designed for state-level predictions, and in some states we have very few participants. Even so, in 2016 it predicted that Trump would win the electoral vote.
As always there is much more we could talk about. Again, read between the lines of Lisa Lerer’s New York Times piece and it’s obvious (no matter what is said) that lots and lots of Democrats—including those writing for the New York Times—are desperately afraid campaigning from his basement could well cost pro-abortion Joe Biden the election.
Guess what? For that reason and others, they are right.