There are a tremendous number of factors to consider as we head to the end of the 2020 Election. It has been the most unusual year to say the least. I could cover the obvious which is the economy and the coronavirus, but I want to dig much deeper and stipulate that both of those factors weigh heavily on voters, but will they be enough to remove a sitting President?
Here is my take:
Hispanic Voters Moving for Trump
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No matter who you ask, President Trump has dramatically improved his support in the Hispanic community from Hispanics in the biggest swing state of them all, Florida. A Univision poll says the President’s support in the Latino community is more modest at 37%.
Either way that is a dramatic jump from the 21% of the Hispanic vote Trump won against Hillary Clinton in 2016 according to Latino Decisions that did extensive research after Election Day.
In Miami-Dade County Hillary Clinton won the Hispanic vote by 30 points the last time around. Now the very best polls for Biden show him leading Trump by 21 points. Others have him up by only 17 points. That would move 100,000 to The President in a state he won by just over 112,000 votes in 2016. It is critical and may well determine who claims the 29 Electoral Votes from the Sunshine State.
Another indication that the Democrats know the Hispanic vote is not going their way, Joe Biden has not appeared in Florida in days and has no plans of being there before Election Day. It looks like Biden has given up on the idea of winning there.
According to new polling from several sources President Trump has also moved the needle dramatically with black voters too. The Democracy Institute says Trump is earning 19% of the African American vote. A sizeable jump from the 8% he received in 2016.
The Hidden Trump Vote
Some people call them shy Trump voters, others call them the silent majority and some people don’t believe these unseen voters exist at all, but I am here to tell you they do. In fact, there is plenty of reason to believe there are more hidden Trump voters in 2020 than there were just 4 years ago.
Democrats keep trying to convince anyone that will listen that there is no such thing as a shy Trump voter. If that’s true, then let them explain how The President outperformed the polling average in almost every key swing state. In some of those states the winning margin was far beyond the so-called margin of error.
The President beat the Real Clear Politics average in Florida by 1%, North Carolina by 2.7%, Pennsylvania by 2.8%, Michigan by 3.9%, Ohio by 5.9%, Iowa by 6.5% and Wisconsin by 7.2%. President Trump almost claimed Minnesota where he outperformed the polling average by an incredible 9.5%.
If not for people not telling pollsters who they are intending to vote for how do you explain The President beating the polls in one critical state after another?
The reason I believe there are more shy Trump voters in 2020 is simple. First, I have talked to people who are Trump supporters but will not talk about it, will not put up yard signs or make their intentions known to anyone. Four years ago, people didn’t want to get made fun of or argue about supporting Trump. This year they are worried their car will get keyed or their house will get vandalized. Sure, there are plenty of people with signs, flags and red hats but millions just keep quiet about backing The President.
The Undervote Voters of 2016
In the last Presidential Election 1.7 million voters in 33 states didn’t choose a Presidential candidate. In some states it represented the difference in who won and who lost.
In Michigan for example, more than 75,000 voters did not choose a candidate for President even though they filled out the rest of their ballots. By now you have heard too many times to remember that President Trump carried Michigan by 10,704 votes. That means the 75,000 people that chose not to make a choice could have changed the outcome of the race for The White House.
This year the Republican ground game decided to play offense and go after those 75,000 voters. I have heard from a number of people that did not vote for President in 2016 that they did not like Hillary Clinton and did not trust Donald Trump. This year however, they say Donald Trump has earned their vote and will not be sitting this one out.
One of the largest groups of these folks are blue collar and union workers in places like the auto industry. People that once trashed talked Trump and may not like him still, have figured out they like his policies and the results he has delivered. Simply put, money in their pocket.
Republicans Are Winning the Ground Game
In critical swing states like Michigan, North Carolina, Florida and Pennsylvania Republicans set their sights on getting new voters registered and delivered to the polls. Voter registration is an area once dominated by Democrats but that has changed over the last four years.
In Florida in 2008 when Barack Obama won the state, Democrats had an advantage of almost 700,000 votes. In 2016 the Democrat advantage was cut to about 330,000 and President Trump won by just over 112,000 votes. Republicans have since narrowed the gap to well under 200,000 and that bodes well for The President.
In Pennsylvania, Republicans have netted almost 150,000 new voters over Democrats in the state many believe will decide the outcome of the election.
The ground game goes well beyond that too. For the past several weeks Republicans have made more than 10 million phone calls to targeted voters to solicit their support. They have been hitting the streets and knocking on millions of doors too. The Biden campaign meanwhile has decided to conduct almost all of its outreach through virtual contact. Only in the past few days have they decided to see people in person.
Of course, this is true for the candidate as well. Joe Biden goes almost nowhere, and President Trump is doing 3 and 4 rally’s every day.
Guns, Guns, Guns
Gun sales in America have set records all throughout 2020. The pandemic and threats of tough new gun control measures by Democrats have created ammunition shortages and sent sales of new firearms through the roof.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation indicates more than half of new gun sales to first time buyers are for women. Let that sink in for a moment. Those that are most concerned about self-protection and self-preservation are taking steps in record numbers to make sure it’s taken care of.
One of the more remarkable numbers concerning the surge in gun sales is who is buying them. The number of African Americans buying guns is up almost 60%. In a day and age when Democrats are pushing the idea of defunding and dismantling police departments, those flocking to the gun stores are those that see self-defense as a critical concern.
Most importantly however is gun owners are voters. Over the past several decades those that describe their gun ownership have shifted dramatically from hunting to self-protection. Gun owners are also far more likely to vote than non-gun-owners and with nearly 10 million first time gun buyers in America this year, do not underestimate that impact on election results.
Energy, Enthusiasm, and Momentum
The biggest number today might be 41%. The Iowa Poll reported that is the number of likely voters that are currently supporting Joe Biden in the Hawkeye State. Through September and October Biden was holding a steady lead in Iowa but it has vanished since the 2nd Presidential debate. In fact, is has collapsed and the new survey give President Trump a 7-point lead on the eve of Election Day.
While Joe Biden has rarely left home or called a lid on appearances too many days to remember in the last couple of months, President Trump has been burning up the campaign trail. Last Tuesday I witnessed the flood of people streaming in to see him in Lansing, Michigan. Tens of thousands turned out. They stood in the rain and then the snow for hours with temperatures in the 30’s and they didn’t care. They love The President so much they will do almost anything just to get a glimpse of Air Force One touching down.
It’s been the same all over the country and with Trump doing as many as 4 rallies a day, that means he is seeing and talking to up to 100,000 people every day in person.
Joe Biden set a record for attendance in Georgia a few days ago at 700 and something. He also was able to push out 3 events in one day. However, that is just one day.
Let’s be straight about this; people will go see people they like, people they want to see, and nothing is going to stop them.
Strangely enough, in recent weeks more Trump supporters are turning out to see Joe Biden in person than his own supporters. Biden has called them ‘ugly’ and ‘chumps’. I am not sure if he thinks insulting them will work in 2020 when it didn’t do the trick with ‘deplorables’ and ‘unredeemables’ in 2016. But hey, he is old school.
Looking at those standing in rain and snow just to catch a glimpse of The President says a lot about how motivated these folks are to make sure their votes are cast and counted. Most of them I’ve talked to are waiting for Election Day to do it in person.
Polling and Modeling
The biggest question of all right now is what about polling in 2020? Can the big legacy companies that make tens of millions of dollars taking the temperature of the country be trusted with what they have been reporting for weeks now?
One major poll after another keeps parroting the same theme, Joe Biden is ahead- way ahead and this election for all intents and purposes is over. The snag to that however is the same group of outliers in the polling world that predicted a major Trump upset in 2016 are all saying once again, it is President Trump that will triumph on Election Day and not Joe Biden.
According to Real Clear Politics and Nate Silvers 538, Joe Biden is coasting to victory. RCP has Biden above 7 points ahead and Nate says The President only has a 10 percent chance of pulling off his second major White House upset. Of course, Silver made a similar erroneous prediction in 2016.
However, several other polls that called a Trump upset in 2016 are doing it again and it’s the same group of outliers. Once again they are being mocked by the traditional polling companies. The Democracy Institute, USC Dornsife, Trafalgar and Susquehanna are among those saying Trump is headed to victory because of his strength in the always critical swing states.
Currently, Trafalgar has Trump winning in Michigan, Arizona, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. If that turns out to be true, then President Trump will be staying right where he is for the next 4 years.
The Democracy Institute has just issued its last poll and prediction for the 2020 Presidential race and it says The President will be reelected and it won’t even be close. Before you think this is just happy talk and the world through rose-colored Republican glasses, keep in mind they nailed it in 2016 and they also called Brexit spot-on. Democracy Institute also says the President is winning not only the key swing states but is ahead nationwide by 1 point. USC Dornsife called it for Trump four years ago and this time says it appears like he is on his way to another Electoral College victory even though he will likely come up short in the national popular vote again. They say it’s possible the popular vote could go to Biden by as much as 5 points, but it might be as little as just one.
I also cannot help but look again at the 41% support being reported by The Iowa Poll. It has long been considered the gold standard of polling and as it reported, “Republican President Donald Trump has taken over the lead in Iowa as Democratic former Vice President Joe Biden has faded…” That could be the most devastating line I have read in any polling report this year. Joe Biden has faded. Ouch!
Democrats know it too. The Hispanic vote is fading in Florida, the African American vote is fading in Philadelphia and Detroit and Joe Biden has been forced to journey to Minnesota in the waning days of the campaign to fight for a state that has not voted Republican since 1972. That right there should tell all of us a lot.
As I explained earlier in this article; President Trump outperformed the polls in 2016 from Pennsylvania to Florida and with a likely bigger hidden vote for The President, he may improve on those numbers this week. Record numbers of people have already voted and for Democrats the big leads that had been planning on, in fact counting on, have not materialized. Maybe Democrats will reverse decades of precedent and out-perform Republican turnout on Election Day, but I would not count on that.
A Word About the US Senate
The other thing we are being told is the United States Senate is about to get flipped blue. Of course we were told that in 2016 and told the same in 2018. And yet the Republican majority actually expanded.
Remember how I explained President Trump outperformed the polling averages and predictions in just about every swing state? Well guess what? Republican Senate candidates have done the same thing for 3 cycles in a row.
In 2014, Joni Ernst beat the Real Clear Politics average by 6.2% in Iowa, Susan Collins by 7.8% in Maine, Thom Tillis by 2.9% in North Carolina and Sonny Perdue by 5.1% in Georgia.
The same thing happened in 2016 when Senators Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, Richard Burr of North Carolina and Marco Rubio of Florida all out paced the predictions anywhere from 3.6% to 6.1%.
The pattern continued in 2018 when Missouri Senator Josh Hawley along with Mike Braun of Indiana, Kevin Cramer of North Dakota and Rick Scott of Florida all defied to the odds by as much as 7.2%.
Does it seem odd to you that Republicans have been out pacing the pollsters by significant amounts in one election cycle after another, but they still jump up and down demanding they know what they are talking about when no one else does? It sure seems strange to me.
A Couple Other Things
There are a couple other things that may play into the final outcome of Tuesdays election. Major colleges and universities are sitting empty as kids are going to school virtually and not in person. For Democrats college campuses were a place they would round up kids to vote every election day and run up the score. Well, those kids aren’t there. Maybe they are still voting but maybe they are among the millions who failed to return ballots across the nation.
There is also complacency on the part of Democrats who think once again this is in the bag and they really don’t have to worry about it. The Republican ground game is far stronger by all accounts and that too could reflect a point or two difference in critical races.
The Bottom Line
I do not believe the polling numbers are accurate overall. There is just too much energy on the ground to believe that President Trump’s coalition has fallen apart and his voters have fled, even in the wake of the global pandemic.
The indications of strong moves toward The President by Hispanics, African Americans and non-college educated white voters should make up much of the gap of white women in the suburbs who pollsters tell us have turned against him. I do not believe you will find that to be the case on Election Day either.
I do think there is a hidden vote for President Trump. I believe it is more significant than it was in 2016. People are afraid of being physically accosted if they tell the truth. I know I have talked to many who have told me this. I have spoken to people who did not vote for President Trump in 2016 but plan to this year. I have met people that voted for Hillary Clinton but will be casting their ballots for The President this time around.
I have not met a single person that voted for President Trump in 2016 that says they are changing to Joe Biden this year. Not one.
Rioting and looting in major cities in pivotal swing states like Minnesota, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania will also play a role in moving some voters into the Presidents column even if they don’t like him personally. I mean who is going to vote in support of the destruction in Kenosha, Minneapolis or Philly?
Joe Biden may be a likeable individual but his abilities to handle the job of President are certainly suspect and even Democrats have asked out loud if he is up for the job because of his apparent cognitive issues. He has also moved so far to the left that many lifelong Democrats are not even sure what the party is anymore.
I will join the outliers just as I did in the summer of 2016 and predict an upset victory for President Donald Trump in The Electoral College. I will even point out that two important swing states are allowing ballots to be counted that arrive well after Election Day; Pennsylvania and North Carolina. However, even if those states went blue again and the President holds the other states, he won in 2016 he gets to 271 Electoral Votes. I say that because Michigan and Wisconsin are trending toward The President just like Iowa.
I believe he is poised to do better. I think Pennsylvania and North Carolina stay red and I believe that for the first time since 1972, Minnesota will wake up on November 4th to learn they have flipped red.
I also believe Republicans will hold on to the hotly contested Senate seats in North Carolina, Iowa, Montana and Georgia. They will add the seat in Alabama and Michigan as well. Minnesota has also moved into toss up territory and if President Trump wins there as I expect, Republicans might get a big red bonus.
That leaves Maine, Arizona and Colorado. At this point holding those would just be a bow on top of everything else. We will have to wait and see.
I look forward to the ‘major’ polling companies getting crushed again when they realize in a couple of days it wasn’t just in Iowa where Joe Biden was fading in the waning days of the 2020 Election but rather in key districts and states all over America as we reject the socialist agenda of far-left activist Democrats.
That is where I see it. Now let’s see what happens on Tuesday.