Donald Trump is going to lose this year’s presidential election. Joe Biden will win the election and will be the next president of the United States of America---with a Democratic majority in both the House and the Senate. There, I’ve said it, with no apologies or qualifications.
If you’re a Trump-worshipper, adjust to the fact that this year isn’t 2016 and your dreams of four more years of this exhausting and destructive clown show WILL be coming to an end. If you’re a Trump opponent, it’s time to get over the “2016 PTSD” and recognize reality; believing Biden will win does NOT make it less likely. In fact, gloomy expectations are a bigger threat to Biden’s chances at victory than smugness or overconfidence.
The Obama Coalition is going to be restored---and broadened---this year. The same majority that came together in both 2008 and 2012 will reassemble in 2020.
Despite all of the warnings about the very real attempts at voter repression on the part of the Republicans, and the strong, surprisingly widespread belief in the canard that “the polls got it all wrong in 2016” and Trump’s obvious attempts to discredit any votes from any state that goes for Biden, none of that is going to ultimately make a difference.
I'm more of an optimist than most Trump opponents about this year’s election. Why? Well, first Democrats, the media and the ever-growing number of independent, centrist, conservative and Republican Trump opponents are FAR more savvy this time. It’s not 2016 and since Trump and his enablers have been announcing their game plan through a megaphone, the opposition is prepared for it. It’s much easier to stop anyone with nefarious intentions when they’re publicly broadcasting them.
And voters are paying attention---and taking definitive steps to counteract whatever Trump might be planning to stifle or delegitimize their votes. Notice the shamefully and interminably long lines for in-person voting at a polling place that have already started in Georgia and Texas, even in the midst of a deadly global pandemic that is on the rise again. It’s a voter’s way of saying that they’d rather spend hours in line waiting---and even risking a horrific disease---rather than rely on a mail-in ballot system that Trump is clearly attempting to sabotage.
Such an action demonstrates that not only will significantly more people be voting this year but that there are millions of Americans who are absolutely determined to vote---no matter the cost, or the risk---to rid our nation of this awful man who has polluted our nation for nearly four long years.
It also makes clear that there will be more than enough voters to insure that the Electoral College won't even be close. Neither will the margin of popular votes in most of the battlegrounds; Biden will win Arizona, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania by 5 to 10 points and he'll squeak by in at least two of the following: Ohio, North Carolina, Florida, Iowa, Texas and Georgia. Yes, even Texas and Georgia are now “in play” believe it or not. And Biden will also be getting one more electoral vote out of Nebraska.
The more Trump talks about "phony, stolen elections, mail ballot fraud, etc." the more it moves a few more folks to Biden. But such nonsensical blather is already getting moldy and smelly; the late breakers are going to go with Biden, clearly, and with the Dems for the Senate.
None of the plans Trump and the Republicans have laid out are working. None.
Nominating Phyllis Schlafly's younger incarnation for the Supreme Court is unpopular with a clear majority and the backlash it will provoke on both reproductive rights and the possible end of the Affordable Care Act will only hurt Trump and the rest of the GOP.
Trump’s Tax Returns are going to be a CONTINUING story, knocking Trump off message, forcing him to talk about it, and putting everything else he's ever claimed into a new light. (How can you be BOTH a “billionaire” AND have over $400 million in debt?)
Trump contracting the coronavirus is yet another blow to his dreams of a “last minute comeback.” For those of you who worried that somehow this might produce an outpouring of sympathy or support...well, it might have, especially among those who supported him to begin with; but there’s zero evidence that it’s caused anyone to move from Biden to Trump. If anything there’s some indication that some of Trump’s former supporters are now abandoning him after hearing this news. After all, if he can’t take Covid-19 seriously enough to protect himself, why should any of us feel safe?
All of these events---and more---have come close to eliminating whatever lingering chances Trump had to “draw an inside straight” and get four more years in the White House---despite losing by three million votes or more---two times in a row. Not going to happen.
In a year like no other---where conventions, norms and “regular life” have been torn asunder and where people are constantly adjusting to the latest in constant change---there has been one constant, dating back well over a year, that has barely moved; Biden consistently beats Trump, poll after poll, month after month, both nationally and in enough key battleground states for an Electoral College victory.
And that margin in Biden’s favor has only continued to increase over time.
People are correct when they say that Trump's Hardcore Base will NEVER abandon him; but we're not talking about those people when we talk about Trump’s “slippage” with the electorate. We're talking about those who voted for Trump in 2016 for any number of reasons but never fully bought what he was selling. Or those who DID have high expectations for Trump and fully believed his narrative---that was reflexively echoed by the media---about him being a “billionaire businessman” who was among the most savvy dealmakers alive who could bring “solid business principles” to the running of our country.
Trump’s slippage is with those more marginal former supporters and with the remaining few voters who haven't yet made up their minds. And this slippage---despite everything we’ve learned about Trump---is still modest. But the modest number of former Trump supporters that have walked away is a major reason why Biden’s margin in key states has been steadily moving into a safer zone; a 6 percent lead is always better than a 4 percent lead just as an 8 point margin means victory is more likely than one that is only 5 points.
So when you combine the recent revelations about Trump’s taxes with his abysmal handling of Covid-19 and the related economic collapse, "Soldiers and Veterans are losers", and his ever more extreme "Dime Store Mussolini" antics and I just don't see how any of this GAINS him any new adherents; Trump secured the “True Believers”, the confused and the badly informed a long while back. Now he has to get some "normal" voters to go with him and I don't see why any of them who haven't ALREADY slurped down the Kook-Aid are going to suddenly do so now.
Indeed, Trump seems to be going out of his way to ensure that he has his base---and only his base---voting for him.
And even though there are only three weeks left as of this writing, we can only imagine what's ahead for Trump. He’s NOT boring and he’s often very hard to predict. Does anyone truly think that we’ve heard ALL of the outrageous things we're going to hear about Donald Trump before 11/3/2020?
What happens if MORE women come forward with their rape/assault stories? Or a classic "October swoon" or even CRASH on Wall Street---the most ominous month of the year for the stock market, historically. Or more business closures and more outbreaks---particularly in Florida where cases are likely going to skyrocket again. (Doesn't Trump and his "Little Me" DeSantis realize that lots of OLDER people live in Florida?)
Too many of us have this fatalistic belief about Trump---still solidified in our minds after the trauma of 2016 despite what all indicators are saying today. To hear many tell it Trump is some sort of “unstoppable force” who simply cannot be defeated, no matter what! I understand that after he succeeded in the unthinkable and actually gained the presidency in 2016, some people are convinced of his supernatural powers. But it’s not true and we only add to the myth of his being some sort of omnipotent being when we insist that “he’ll STILL find a way to win again, by any means possible. No, he won’t.
Look, Trump is NOT Lex Luthor or Darth Vader. He’s not even Pinochet, nor Kim Jong-un---his admitted “love interest” with whom he’s exchanged 27 personal letters. He’s more like the little man loudly spewing ignorance at the local tavern than a comic book villain come to life. Despite all of his bluster and claims of absolute support from the armed forces, police and even motorcycle gangs, Trump WON'T have even the most roguish elements of such groups on his side when "push comes to shove." The Powers That Be in both parties---not the MAGA Morons at his "Super Spreader Rallies"--will take full control. There won’t be any sort of rebellion---armed or otherwise---once it’s clear that the reign of King Donald has ended.
You see, once he LOSES it all changes. This “transactional president” will no longer have anything to transact with. Once all the votes are counted Trump will find himself with nothing anyone will want or value any longer.
After the election results are official---and widely accepted by all but his most devoted QAnon followers---the now obsequious Republican senators will begin to follow the Romney lead...and show the first signs of backbone. Why: Because Trump will have nothing to bribe or scare most of them with after November 3rd when he'll look, act and quack like the exceedingly LAME Duck he'll inevitably be.
Don't get me wrong; I'm very glad that there IS so much being written about the possibility of Trump following through on his threats to ignore any election results he doesn’t like. In fact it’s absolutely essential that the public is kept constantly aware about this very real possibility.
All of this good journalism and opinion and public dialogue is THE reason I don't think Trump and RoyCohnBarr will succeed here. But I think one month from now it'll be settled; NO ONE but those "Base Bozos" will be with Trump at that point. Expect the "Walk Away" to begin with that very self-righteous, handsome, wholesome "religious guy" from Nebraska named Ben...followed probably by one or more of the recently defeated GOP incumbents and then the ones who have been constantly biting their tongues and holding back, silently seething for years like his rivals he publicly mocked and humiliated like Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and maybe even Rand Paul will finally be Free At Last to say what they’ve been wanting to say for a very long time. By then, it might even be time for Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy to follow in the footsteps of Barry Goldwater and Hugh Scott in '74, waltzing into the Oval Office to tell "The Prez" that's "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue!"
So, at the moment of Trump’s inevitable demise...his power draining from him and soon to run out altogether...when enough of the "adults in the room" who've privately found him repulsive will turn their backs in silence if they don't have it in them to say something publicly. And his most zombified followers, still reeling from the absolutely astonishing SHOCK of his loss, will now be moving into ANGER...and some of it at Trump himself for "fooling me!!!" into really believing that he was invincible. Even if they won't say so out loud, it’s true: America HATES "losers" more than anything. And now Trump won't be The Shining Dear Leader And SURPRISE WINNER they were all assuming he’d be.
And while many MAGA Morons will insist until the day they die that this election was "STOLEN" the others will just go back to reality TV and feel ashamed, confused and a bit tricked for believing so fervently in the “inevitability” of Trump’s second term. Some may withdraw from their short-lived interest in “politics” or, more accurately, Trump Fandom and move on to other things---kinda like your cousin who tried Amway for a few months and annoyed and worried her entire family and circle of friends with her behavior...and then came back down to earth, tellingly almost never DENOUNCING Amway, but just never bringing it up again and hoping that no one else did either.
Trump's staff will start heading for the exits, taking time to "rest up and catch up on sleep" after all that hard campaigning with many announcing some sort of "family vacation" while they start looking for recruiters and resume experts.
Why am I so certain that some version of the above will occur after November 3rd? For all of the reasons I’ve already brought up and for the simple fact that not MOST but ALL of the data, from ALL sources are showing a slightly different version of the same story; Biden is leading by a margin bigger than Clinton’s at this same point in virtually every one of the ten key battleground states won by Trump last time. And while Trump needs virtually every single one of those states to remain in his column, Biden only needs 2 to 4 of them to go his way for him to be the next president. But most important is this: When ALL OF US vote...WE WIN! And more Americans are more determined to vote this year than ever before. It’s clear that we WILL reassemble the "Obama Coalition"---it didn't die, ya know---and win in similar fashion, usually by anywhere from 1 to 6 percentage points in virtually all of the battleground states. If anything, those states are now blacker, browner, and more diverse than they were just 48 months ago. And most of those Ten Key States are increasingly being populated with young well-educated suburbanites---both transplants and home-grown. They’re often different from the traditional residents of earlier decades and they will be a net positive for Joe Biden, our next president.
Despite all the bluster, threats, temper tantrums, preadolescent name calling, delusional ramblings and intentionally deceptive BS that Trump spews on a daily basis regarding the fairness and accuracy of this election---and almost everything else---it WON'T WORK. Not this time. We The People know this man; and the majority of us have been disgusted and appalled with him for over five years since he referred to Mexicans as rapists and officially started running.
It's time to get over our collective PTSD from four years ago. The year is 2020---not 2016---and we’re more realistic, more savvy and more prepared to keep this from happening a second time.
In some ways 2008---not 2016---is the past election we should be paying more attention to for clues about what to expect this time. With the first black nominee ever chosen by a major political party many of us worried about a national version of the so-called "Bradley Effect" that would emerge out of the shadows---as it did in California 26 years earlier, when Tom Bradley, the black mayor of Los Angeles, ran for governor. Polls before the election consistently had Bradley ahead and favored to win. But it didn't happen.
Bradley lost to his GOP opponent and the surprise result led many who analyzed it afterwards to believe that many white poll respondents were reluctant to appear racist and so they claimed to be voting for Bradley even though they ultimately didn’t. Similar to this year, I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to convince Obama voters that the polls showing him ahead of McCain were accurate. So many Obama supporters I spoke with were very uncertain and some were rejecting the polls altogether, with many citing the “Bradley Effect” as something real we still had to contend with. “Remember, 1982 wasn’t really all that long ago---and we all know that it might happen again. But it didn’t. Not only did we officially know that Obama had won by 11 PM on Election Night, he even ended up taking North Carolina and Indiana for good measure! The Bradley Effect no longer existed in the year 2008. And the coalition that elected Barack Obama that year is even bigger in 2020. We’re going to win this election. And the dream we’ve all had for almost four years WILL come true; Donald Trump will no longer be a noxious stain on our nation. He’s finally going to be out of power.
So while the ride could get a bit turbulent or even downright rocky along the way...we're going to arrive at our destination safely and right on time...for a Biden-Harris victory in November; one that no one will be able to take from us, by litigation, by force, or by any other means.
BUT...remember, NONE of this will happen unless we all get out to vote! If we stay home...or "let it slide" then I’ll have to take back almost everything I wrote above. VOTE! And the rest will take care of itself!