What Happened Yesterday?

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              I have been a registered Democrat since 1966 when I voted for someone named Frank O’Connor who lost to Nelson Rockefeller for Governor of New York State. And even after yesterday’s results, I’ll continue to vote Democratic for the rest of my life.

              But there’s really something badly in need of fixing in the Democratic Party if we can’t win a Presidential election against a deranged asshole who says the pandemic is the result of physicians getting paid to report that people are dying from Covid-19.

              We couldn’t win Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Ohio – again?  These three states have suffered almost 20,000 coronavirus deaths and Trump wins every, single one? That’s simply not possible, except it is.

              Want to blame Trump’s victory on the Russians? Go right ahead. Want to blame his re-election on conspiracy theories floating around alt-right websites? Go right ahead. Want to invent some other reason why half of America doesn’t get offended when he says that every attempt at honest journalism is ‘fake news?’ Go right ahead.

              But here’s the bottom line. I’m almost willing to take the short odds right now that when all is said and done, the 2020 election may end up being almost an exact replica of what happened in 2016 – Joe will get a majority of the popular vote and Trump will be the President for another four years. Because unless Joe pulls out a bunch of not-yet-counted votes in Pennsylvania and Michigan, he can’t win.

              On the other hand, if Trump ends up being declared the winner in those two states plus Georgia and North Carolina – he is currently ahead in all four states – he goes back to the White House with the requisite electoral votes.

              Trump has already begun demanding that the counting of mail-in ballots be stopped because he knows those votes will probably come in for Biden and not for him. But he also knows that it ain’t over until it’s over, no matter what he says. And no judge anywhere in the United States is about to interfere in the counting of legal votes.

              That being said, in the best of all possible worlds, the votes Joe needs in Michigan will arrive and get counted, and on his third try to be President, Joe will finally snag the brass ring. The Senate looks like it will remain red; the House will be solidly blue again. As my Grandfather would say, “det’s det.”

              Either way, I still think we need to ask ourselves whether what we believe about how people think and behave is necessarily true. Because one of the basic, most fundamental tenets of liberalism is that we are all equal, no matter what. Which means that the results of the last two elections need to be understood not just as accidents, but as a reflection of the fact that maybe half of all Americans don’t agree with that idea at all.

              In which case, how does the Democratic Party develop a message and a political stance that makes the other side think twice or maybe three times before supporting another Trump-like character or worse?

              I don’t have a quick and easy answer to that question. But what I do know is that most of the time, political parties only question their basic attitudes and strategies when they lose. What I am suggesting is that even if Joe and Kammie end up as the winners this year, we need to think long and hard about how and why people develop and retain their political beliefs.

              I have watched a number of Trump supporters explain how they voted, and again and again it seems to me that what they say is simply something that popped into their heads the second they were asked to explain their vote. I hear things like, “He’s a business guy. He knows how to get things done.” Or better, “he’s authentic. What he says is what he means.” Or better yet, “You can trust him. He’s telling you the truth.”

              Now have any of these individuals ever attempted to validate their ideas through any kind of reality test?  But why bother? Four years from now they’ll vote again and spend about as much time thinking about how they are going to vote as they spent this year.

              Liberals really subscribe to the idea that words have real meanings. I’m not so sure the other side would agree.

What Do The Polls Show? Part II.

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              Recall that I said yesterday to use only the most recent polls in predicting what will happen on Election Day. So here goes.

              The most recent national polls covering more than 16,000 registered and likely voters have Joe up by 10 to 12 points. These polls were taken between October 19 and November 1. More important, these polls all set the dog-shit vote at 4%. If these polls are correct, Joe will wind up with a wider margin for the popular vote since Bush beat Dukakis in 1998.

              As for the electoral votes and the battleground states, the most recent polls have it like this:

              The poll results from the battleground states is entirely consistent with what we have seen since we first started doing this weekly report back on August 17th. Joe had a 4.5% overall lead against Trump, Joe now leads Trump 50.13% to 46.3%. I added Minnesota to the list after Trump held a rally there a month ago, and if we pull Minnesota out of the current numbers, the gap between the two camps stays just about the same.

              Two other points to note. In August, Trump had slight leads in three states: Iowa, Georgia, and Texas. Now he has slight leads in Ohio, Iowa, and Texas. The other 10 battleground states give Joe margins between 1% and 12%.

              Here’s the most important number of all. Joe is at or above 50% in 6 battleground states; Trump hasn’t hit the 50% mark in any battleground state. Back on August 17, the overall dog-shit vote was 6.77%. It’s now down to 3.56%. If Trump were to pull out every, single undecided vote in evert, single battleground state, Joe would still grab 77 electoral votes. How many does he need? He needs 62 electoral votes.

              No wonder Trump and his gang are trying to suppress the vote. Yesterday our good friend Steve Klitzman sent around an op-ed written by an attorney, Ben Ginsburg, who co-chaired the Bipartisan Presidential Commission on Election Administration in 2013. Ginsburg spent nearly 40 years working for various GOP campaigns, and now believes that Trump is taking the GOP back to the ‘bad old days’ when they signed a consent decree to stop intimidating voters in 1981.

              There’s only one little problem with Ginsburg’s lament about how ‘his party,’ the GOP, is going back to its old-time, ‘voter suppression’ ways. The issue then and now isn’t about votes. It’s about race. The GOP has been playing the race card at lest since 1964 when Barry Goldwater ran a national campaign based on ‘state’s rights.’

              Richard Nixon redrew the national electoral map in 1968 by promising Southern segregationists that he would ‘go slow’ on civil rights. Ronald Reagan held his first 1980 campaign rally in a Mississippi town where three kids who had been registering Blacks were abducted, shot, and dumped in a ditch. George H. W. Bush won in 1988 with a TV ad that featured a Black felon who was given a furlough by Mike Dukakis, then went out and committed armed robbery and rape.

              When Trump began using the term ‘silent majority,’ I knew we were going into yet another national election that would turn on the issue of race. Because those words are nothing but code words for telling Whites that it’s okay to feel superior to Blacks as long as you keep your feelings to yourself but express them when you go to vote.

              And if anyone who reads this column wants to deny the reality of what I just said, then I suggest you contact Attorney Ginsburg and tell him that you are also concerned about efforts to ‘suppress’ the vote.

              Just remember what I said the other day. Trump’s not a racist. Trump is Klan.

The Accidental President.


              As of yesterday, the RCP national aggregate poll has Joe at 51.3% and Trump at 42.4%, a gap of 8.9 points. The 538 aggregate poll scores it 52.4% for Joe, 41.9% for Trump, a gap of 10.6 points. Take your pick. Either way, Biden is doing a lot better this time around than Clinton was doing in 2016.

              On October 17, 2016 the RCP national aggregate poll had Clinton at 46.2% and Trump at  Clinton got 48.8% of the popular vote, Trump ended up with 46.09%, the increase in Trump’s number coming largely from Libertarian voters who decided at the last moment not to waste their vote.

              Why have we put up with Trump for the last four years? Because he won the electoral votes in 3 states – Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin – which have delivered their electoral votes to the Democratic in every national election since 1992. Move those 46 electoral votes from Trump to Hillary in 2016 and guess who would be running for re-election on the blue line?

              That’s kind of depressing isn’t it? Wait a minute – it gets worse. Add up the votes cast for Hillary in those 3 states, then add up the votes for Trump and here’s what you get: 6,577,816 versus 6,655,560, a difference of 77,744 votes. What did these 77,744 Republican voters accomplish in 2016? They gave Trump 46 electoral votes without which he would have ended up 14 electoral votes short of what he needed to win.

              Want to get a little more depressed? The difference between what Trump got in those 3 states and what we got was – ready? – less than two-tenths of 1 percent of the total votes cast in those states. We have had to put up with the most vulgar, racist, divisive, insulting, stupid and reckless rhetoric ever to come out of the mouth of any President because we, that’s right – we, couldn’t figure out how to convince 77,000 voters in three states that a vote for Trump was the wrong thing to do.

This morning, our friends at The (failing) New York Times seem to have finally figured this out. They posted a story which details how and why voters who didn’t vote for Hillary in 2016 are going to vote for Joe. And in every case, what they are saying is that they simply didn’t like Hillary because she was too arrogant, too distant, too this and too that. Fine. That was a reason to vote for Trump?

It’s not as if Trump made any attempt back in 2016 to hide who he was. He couldn’t wait to jump off the escalator at Trump Tower to announce his campaign by making sure that everyone knew he was going to pander to the lowest emotional and intellectual human denominators . And four years later, he’s still trying to wrap a campaign around the idea of ‘locking them up.’

So here’s the bottom line. Trump was and is an accidental President. For all the post-election talk about a new, populist wave, a disinformation Russian campaign, a this and a that, Trump won because we let him win, and it better not happen again.

Because if it does, in 2024 God willing, this yellow-dog Democrat since 1968 will vote for the GOP.

What Are The Polls Saying Today?

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I don’t really blame Trump for saying that the virus is ‘disappearing.’ What’s he supposed to say? That things are getting worse?   I also don’t really blame him for pretending that he’s completely recovered from the virus. Again ,what should he say? That he feels lousy as hell and can’t draw a deep breath?

Trump has one, simple problem. And the problem is this: He’s going into the last three weeks of a campaign to get re-elected as President and it turns out that a majority of American just don’t like him very much.

This is a guy who went over the 50% disapproval mark in March, 2017 and has never dipped underneath that level again. He was at 56% disapprove versus 40% approve in January, 2019, got it down to 50% disapprove versus 46% approve on March 1st, 2020, went back up to 56% negative and 40% positive on July 1st of this year, and right now the numbers sit at 53% negative versus 43% positive. Here’s how it look since mid-year 2016:

A week before his re-election campaign ended in 2012, Obama’s approve-disapprove numbers were evenly split – 49.8% approved, 47.6% went the other way. At no time during Obama’s eight-year run did his negatives outpoll his positives by more than 8%. Other than a three-day period this past March, the gap between disapproval and approval of Trump has never been less than 8%.

Trump was a novelty in 2016. His brash rhetorical style, the plain talk, the insults, the curse words, the nicknames, the rallies with the hats and the chants – it was very new and very different from what had come before. And the fact that his opponent not only entered the contest with high negatives but disappeared from the campaign trail for the last several month, didn’t hurt him at all.

I can just imagine how Rudy Giuliani felt this past Saturday when his campaign cavalcade showed up in Kingston, PA to be greeted by a crowd that maybe numbered 50 people, maybe less.  This is the reception that waited for him in front of county GOP headquarters in a county (Luzerne) where Trump got 60% of the 2016 vote. Frankly, I think I’m being charitable by saying that there were 50 people standing around:

Anyway, back to the polls. As of today, Joe leads Trump in the national polls by 52.3% to 41.9%, a gap of 10.4%.  Less than 6% of the voters are now dog-shit, which means that everyone has more or less made up their minds on how they are going to vote.

Who did the Trump campaign trot out this weekend to explain why the polls are all wrong? None other than Corey ‘retread’ Lewandowski, who appeared on Fox and gave the same spiel about ‘hidden voter enthusiasm’ that he’s been delivering since he published a piece back in July which claimed that, ”President Trump continues to draw huge ratings and massive enthusiasm, while Democratic presumptive nominee and 44-year career politician Joe Biden remains hidden away in his basement.” Back in July, Joe had a 9.5% lead. Now it’s 10.4%.

As for the battleground states, here’s how they look today:

Joe is now at or above 50% in the five states (MI, MN, NH, PA, WI) that get him over the finish line. But he is also now slightly ahead in every battleground state except Texas, where according to Ted Cruz, the race is ‘incredibly volatile.’ The word ‘volatile’ means your guy isn’t winning, okay?

On September 1st, Trump was ahead in 4 of 13 battleground states. Biden’s overall average in the 13 states was 48.15%, Trump was at 45.08%. Today, Biden’s average in the battleground states is 49.43%, Trump’s at 44.67%. Get it? Joe’s gone up; what’s-his-name’s gone down. And by the way, the dog-shit number in September was 7%, now it’s under 6%.

What Michael Moore said in 2016, that many Trump votes were ‘fuck you’ votes, was true then but sure isn’t true now. Because once you’re the man in charge, no matter how you pretend to somehow be everyone’s good friend, the ‘fuck you’ votes will be aimed at you.

But let’s not forget one very important thing. We don’t need to win. We need to kick what’s-his-name’s ass so bad that any attempt he makes to invalidate the results because it’s nothing more than another ‘scam,’ can be quickly and decisively put to bed.

I voted yesterday by mail. You better vote too.

High 5 to Paula Schapp for the Giuliani pic.

Where Do We Stand With 6 Weeks To Go?

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              All of a sudden, there’s only 6 weeks left before the big deal. And while the Supreme Court issue provides a bit of a diversion, I’m also convinced that everyone’s sick and tired of the campaign.  Unfortunately, the latest polls show that the campaign is just getting serious, and that whatever happens between now and November 3rd, the brass ring is still up for grabs.

              Here’s the good news. The national aggregate poll from Nate has Biden at 50.4%, Trump at 43.6%. On September 18, Joe was down to 50.1%, the uptick over the last several days is a good sign. The better news is that the Sedaris dog-shit number is now 6%, the smallest amount of dog-shit recorded since the campaign began. If every, single piece of dog-shit voted for Trump, the Biden-Harris ticket would still win the national, popular vote.

              That’s the good news. Now here’s the not-so-good news.  Overall, Joe continues to run ahead of Trump in the average of all 12 swing states – 47.87% to 45.11%. But on September 1st, he led overall 47.93% to 45.13%. So Trump has lost 2/10ths of a percent, but Joe has lost 6/10ths of a percent in the overall percentage of the 12 swing states.

              Here’s how it looked on September 1st:

              Now you may want to think that I’m just trying to get everyone hot and bothered so that they’ll continue to read my daily posts. But remember this: We have been living through a God-awful pandemic which has now killed more than 200,000 Americans because Trump flipped 3 states by a total of 7/10ths of one(!) percent in the votes cast in those three states.

              There’s a reason why Trump is doing two public rallies today in Ohio, okay? Now these events don’t draw anywhere near the number of people who came out to see him in 2016. And his campaign is indulging in a bit of wishful thinking by calling itself the ‘Great American Comeback’ campaign. With the exception of Wisconsin, where Trump is right now far behind, every other swing state has a mortality rate from the virus which ranks it in the top half of all 50 states.

              But things can always change in the last 6 weeks of any Presidential race. Trump could figure out a way to take credit for a vaccine that might actually start being injected into human beings at the local pharmacy before November 3rd. Or maybe he’ll dig up yet another phony scandal involving Joe or his son. Or maybe the North Koreans will suddenly send a battalion across the demilitarized zone. Who the hell knows?

              Truthfully, I don’t think there’s much, if any chance that any of those events will come to pass. What worries me is one thing and one thing only, namely, that the dog-shit vote appears to be slightly higher in the swing states than in the country as a whole. And worse, it has grown slightly larger from two weeks ago.

While I can’t imagine how any living adult, other than someone who is unconscious and hooked up to a life-support machine could still be undecided about how they are going to vote, I just hope that Joe and Kammie can figure out a way to get some of those swing states back over 50%.

Trump’s Numbers Are Going From Bad To Worse.

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Back in 1937 they held a special election in the 10th Congressional District of Texas which at that time covered Austin and much of the hill country that covers the South-Central part of the state. The Hill Country includes Gillespie County, and smack dab in the middle of the county is a town called Stonewall, which right now has around 500 residents, which has always been more or less the population of that place.

              One of the families that lived in Stonewall was the Johnson family. They had a boy named Lyndon who was a high school teacher, then borrowed some money from his wife’s family and got himself into the 10th CD race. The seat was open because the long-time Congressman, ‘Bucky’ Buchannon, had dropped dead in February. In those days, the only way that a Texas Congressman lost his seat in the House of Representatives was if he dropped dead.

              So here was ol’ Lyndon trying for the first time to get himself out of the dust of the Hill Country and make a name for hisself. There was only one problem. A week before the election, ‘ol Lyndon got together behind the Presbyterian Church with his buddies who were helping him out. And one of the assembled group had no choice but to deliver the bad news.

              “Lyndon,” he said to ol’ Lyndon, “you losin’ an’ you losin’ bad. If we don’ figure out sumpin’ that will get you ahead of that feller who’s beatin’ you, y’all goin’ t’be back teachin’ school agin.”

              There was silence. Nobody knew what to do. That is until ol’ Lyndon raised his head, smiled and said, “I got it! We’ll spread the rumor that he f**ks pigs!”

              “Awww Lyndon,” said one of his friends, “you know he don’t do that.”

              “Yea.” replied Lyndon, smiling and nodding his head up and down, “but we’ll get him to deny it.”

              As promised, here are the weekly stats on how Biden and Trump match up in the crucial swing states. And if the numbers continue to change the way they have changed in the last week, the only thing that Trump can do to reverse his disappearing campaign is to spread some kind of ‘he f**ks pigs’ around about ol’ Joe.

              What the Hell, it worked for ol’ Lyndon back in ’37 (that story was often retold by LBJ himself) so maybe it’ll work again. They’ve tried just about everything else, including that Joe’s demented, that he made corrupt deals for his son Hunter in China and the Ukraine. Why not spread the rumor that he f**ks pigs?

              That being said, here are the swing-state numbers as of today:

Note that Joe is now at or almost at the magic 50-mark in three states: Michigan, Pennsylvania and Florida. Last week he hadn’t yet hit any state at the 50-point mark. Note that Trump is slightly ahead in Iowa and they are basically tied in Texas. Last week, Trump was ahead in Georgia, Iowa and Arkansas. Note that Joe has pulled slightly ahead in Ohio. In other words, Joe has improved his numbers in just about every swing state and he’s ahead in 9 out of 12 swing states. Last week he was ahead in 6 out of 12 swing states.

But here’s the more important news. There is not one single swing state which still has a dog-shit (undecided) number above 9, and in North Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Arizona, the dog-shit number is down to 6. If the dog-shit vote were to split evenly and nothing else were to change, joe would wind up with 135 additional electoral votes, which would give him 332 EV’s on election day.

Today Trump goes to Dallas for a meeting with some Black church and community leaders to talk about improving relations between the cops and the local folks. The discussion is being called (by the White House) “Transition to Greatness: Restoring, Rebuilding and Renewing.” Neither the DA, the sheriff or the police chief are planning to attend.

Hey, wait a minute. I thought we already were great. I thought that all we needed to do now was keep ourselves great. Frankly, I think Trump stands a better chance of reversing his political collapse if he spends less time talking about being great or becoming great and concentrates instead on whether or not Joe f**ks pigs.

Toss-Up Senate Races As Of July 24th.

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As promised, here are the polls covering the Senate races that are rated as being ‘in play’ and if the Democrats can win five, plus hold their own current seats, the Senate joins the House as a blue chamber beginning in 2021.

The good news is that every race has at least one current, statewide poll so that we can begin to form some idea about how things might change on November 3rd. That’s the good news.

The bad news is that the races have slightly tightened in favor of the red team over the last week, and in only one race – Colorado – has our candidate gone past the coveted 50 mark. Added to that issue is the fact that the dog-shit (a.k.a., undecided) vote is still substantial in every race. For what it’s worth, here is how the Senate ‘in-play’ races now look:

There’s one other piece of good news, by the way. It’s the degree to which the Trump campaign seems to be slowly but surely fading away. Yesterday he announced that the big convention event in Jacksonville has been scrapped, claiming, of course, that it’s just because he wants everyone to be ‘safe.’

The truth is that the cops in Jacksonville told Trump that they couldn’t guarantee security which meant that the same federal goof-balls who gassed the mayor of Portland would have had to show up in Jacksonville to keep the President safe. Maybe we would have seen a replay of the assault made by federal agents against a group of demonstrators back in early June when Trump pretended he was going to visit St. John’s Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C.

Trump’s daily ‘briefing’ on the virus has turned into a dismal, boring rant in which he repeats the same nonsense every day, then takes a few questions from a small group of media people and usually responds to most questions with nothing more than his usual version of the ‘facts.’ When asked whether the worsening diplomatic situation with China might jeopardize China’s agreement to purchase more farm goods, the President shrugged. Well at least he didn’t say something that was wrong.

One last point. I live in Massachusetts and last week received an application to vote this year by mail. If you live in any other state and haven’t received such an application, please contact the Clerk of the jurisdiction in which you live and ask what is going on. We need to make sure we get every vote counted this year.

Remember. 2020 genug.

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