We covered this subject at this space not long ago, and based on the traffic that column received I thought it might be a good idea to revisit the dichotomy between the media-driven, poll-based narrative that Joe Biden is the overwhelming favorite to win Tuesday’s election and the reality on the ground.
That reality does not reflect 17-point Biden leads in Wisconsin. Or anything remotely like it.
It turns out that all this early voting does have one upside, which is that we can get a premature gauge on what the results might look like in a few places already. In Florida, they’re updating the early voting count essentially in real time, and the numbers for Team Biden are … not good.
Democrats have a lead in the early voting in Florida, if you measure the results by how many D’s have turned out versus how many R’s have. The problem is they were always going to have an early-voting lead. What’s needed is a big enough early-voting lead to offset the tsunami of Election Day votes the Republicans are going to turn out.
As of Thursday afternoon, it ain’t happening.
When I checked the numbers around 5:00 p.m. Central time on Thursday, there were just under 165,000 more Democrats in Florida who had voted early either by mail or in person than there were Republicans. That’s about half the margin Team Biden needed, and they and their allies blew through some $200 million in the Sunshine State to date, mostly for the expressed purpose of building that early-vote lead.
Meanwhile, there were some 494,000 “4/4” Florida Republicans (Republicans who have voted in each of the last four major elections) who have yet to vote, a number that makes for a huge spread against the corresponding Democrat number of 271,000. That 223,000-vote difference is larger than the early-voting spread. It’s also larger than the 160,000 Independent “4/4’s” who haven’t voted, which wouldn’t help Team Biden a whole lot. Florida independents typically split right down the middle, though they did break 52-48 for Hillary Clinton over Trump in 2016.
So the new narrative is that the independents who will all vote for Biden are the magic bullet. The increasingly ridiculous Nate Silver:
I’m not sure that some of these early-voting comparisons to 2016 make a ton of sense given that much of Biden’s edge is thought to come from independents breaking his way, and early voting statistics won’t capture that.
If Team Biden really didn’t need to win Florida in order to carry the election, why waste the $200 million?
CNBC’s Jake Novak did an excellent job of explaining this problem on Monday in a video podcast well worth watching. The key point he makes: nobody really thinks Biden can win Ohio, and the early voting numbers show he can’t win Florida, and it’s really never happened that somebody has won a presidential election by losing both states. So exactly how is Biden going to win this election, again?
Never mind. That would constitute a “question” to Joe Biden’s campaign. They’ve made it clear that “questions” won’t be tolerated.
Silver’s contention that Biden will romance all the independents as though they were Chinese billionaires or Kazakh autocrats is what’s known as “wishful thinking,” and he wouldn’t be bothering with such clownish wishcasting were it not for the unassailable fact that Trump’s supporters are so massively more interested in voting for him than Biden’s people are as to insure the president’s turnout will swamp that of Biden.
Forget the polls that give Trump a sizable lead in voter intensity. Just turn on cable news. When the networks put their cameras on the relative campaign events of the two, it’s unmistakable.
Trump is pulling 15,000 people here, 20,000 there, 35,000 in some other place. Trump’s kids are on the road drawing 2,000, 3,000, and even 5,000.
And Biden? Two dozen people sitting in spray-painted circles on the ground listening to him mumble and slur his words. Either that or 30 cars in a parking lot someplace, with an occasional car horn blast punctuating a prophecy of COVID doom. He got 870 people a couple days ago, and had Bon Jovi open for him to do it. The fact Biden wants to kill the oil and gas industry while he’s holding “drive-in” campaign events is one of the more stupid ironies of recent American political history, but that’s a campaign incapable of recognizing its own ironies.
Presidential elections are no longer really about angling to the middle. It used to be that way, but it isn’t any longer. That stopped being a thing in 2008, when the GOP tried to make a dash to the middle by running John McCain, a man the party’s base despised almost as much as McCain hated us, and McCain was a modern-day Barry Goldwater running against the most hard-Left presidential candidate put forth by a major party in American history.
Barack Obama’s victory proved that presidential elections are base elections. They’re battles over who can turn out more of his voters.
Is there any doubt that’s where Trump’s strength lies?
Here we could talk about the 33.1 percent annualized GDP growth figure for the third quarter, which was released on Thursday, completely shattering all existing American economic records. Or we could talk about the huge COVID spikes in Europe, which make dog food out of Biden’s campaign blathering over how terrible Trump’s management of the virus has been. Or we could get into the Hunter Biden laptop catastrophe, to which this space has given a bit of run. Or, related to that, we could cover the public’s increasing recognition of the complete descent into rank corruption and partisanship of our supposedly objective legacy media or, more frighteningly, the totalitarian censorship of Big Tech, which will all weigh on (particularly centrist) voters and likely not in a way suggestive of a vote for Biden.
Instead, let’s just look at Pennsylvania. Because if somehow they can sell you on the idea that Biden can win the election without Ohio or Florida, you’re probably not going to be quite as likely to believe them if they concede the Keystone State as well.
And there are polls showing Biden up by double figures in Pennsylvania. Some of those same people tried to sell you on the idea Biden was up by double figures in Florida, too, but we’ll leave that aside.
Perhaps to test just how far ahead he really is in Pennsylvania, Biden declared war on oil and gas and then profusely lied about whether he’d ban fracking, blowing both his credibility on energy and his economic plausibility to every voter in that state west of Harrisburg.
And then, just to add a cherry on top, there are now race riots in Philadelphia over a police shooting that Team Trump literally could not have scripted better as an example of its closing argument for law and order. It seems a 27-year-old career violent criminal named Walter Wallace Jr. had a history of kinetic entanglements with the police and whose own family had called the cops on him as he was having a “mental health crisis.” That crisis involved Wallace brandishing a knife as he charged a pair of police officers, which led to his unsurprising, if tragic, demise in a hail of gunfire.
Despite Wallace’s family begging and pleading with the street trash of Philadelphia not to riot in honor of their departed relative, riots there have been. Down went Walmart and down went Foot Locker, as fires were started and spoils were taken from retailers who had just restocked from previous looting episodes this year. The cops finally did something about it when a van full of explosives was found.
The word was that suburban women in places like Bucks County had become fed up with Trump’s tweets and crass Queens manner and were warming to Biden. Well, how’s about a fresh round of rioting and looting, to which Slow Joe promptly added his imprimatur? Think those tweets are so terrible now?
The National Guard was to descend on Philadelphia by this weekend to put a stop to the street piracy and savagery there. One might say the electoral damage might not be so easily controlled.
Have you seen Biden lately? Have you compared him side-by-side with Trump?
I’m not talking about the two debates the two have done. I’m talking about their efforts on the stump. Not just the volume of those appearances; Biden calls a lid on his campaign every other morning while Trump is maintaining a frenetic schedule with three massive events a day.
Of course, the lid is coming off and Biden is now scheduling events in places those polls say he’s got in the bag. One wonders if the exchange in which Biden accused Trump of “waving a white flag” on COVID and got a bit of chin music in return when Trump said, “No, he has. He’s waving a white flag on life and hiding in his basement,” had something to do with drawing him out.
But the quality of those appearances is what I’m getting at.
Trump is as on-message and sharp as he’s ever been. By any metric he is absolutely killing it on the stump. He’s hilariously funny, he’s an unpredictable mix of old-school oratory and Catskill-comedian off-the-cuff jokes. He’ll go on for an hour, whipping his crowds into a delighted frenzy, wearing out Democrats with fiery rhetoric and boldly touting his accomplishments.
And Biden? Yikes.
Not only is he a word-slurring, babbling, gaffe-tastic mess. Listen to what he’s saying, for crying out loud. It’s the most dire, dour, negative rhetoric anybody running for president has ever offered.
A “dark winter”? More economic shutdowns, when the country and the world are waking up to the fact those simply don’t work? Promising to increase taxes, kill industries, destroy the private health insurance market?
Trump is out there talking about “winning, winning, winning.” He’s doing back flips over that 33.1 percent GDP figure. What’s Biden saying, when he says anything at all?
Ask him about anything, and either you get your head bitten off or he devolves into a mumbling mess, splurting out meaningless word salads from which one can’t discern any message at all. He thinks at times he’s running against George Bush. He brags about his extensive voter fraud operation. He loses his train of thought. He’s yelling for no reason.
If you hadn’t seen any presidential polls, which one of these guys would you say is the favorite?
On Thursday, rapper Lil Wayne announced his endorsement of Trump.
“Just had a great meeting with @realdonaldtrump @potus,” he tweeted. “Besides what he’s done so far with criminal reform, the platinum plan is going to give the community real ownership. He listened to what we had to say today and assured he will and can get it done.”
Is that an earth-shattering political development? Not exactly, but Lil Wayne’s pledge comes following similar statements from others in the industry like Ice Cube and 50 Cent, though the latter buckled to pressure and walked back his pledge.
There is unquestionably something happening in the black community, and particularly with black men, that these seemingly out-of-nowhere celebrity endorsements are symptomatic of. Rasmussen has consistently polled Trump in the high 20s with black voters, with a very sizable gender gap showing that the movers within the black community are very particularly black men. That number ballooned to 31 percent in Rasmussen’s Thursday poll release.
That same trend popped up out of nowhere in a poll the University of New Orleans conducted in Louisiana last week, which found Trump at 28 percent in the black community and actually beating Biden 43-42 with black men. Nobody here takes the results of that poll too seriously, but UNO got those numbers from somewhere in the field, and it’s quite apparent Trump is going to score a whole lot higher with the black vote than any Republican presidential nominee has done in a half-century or more. A poll in Michigan had him knocking on the door of 14 percent with black voters there, and yesterday Maurice Davis, a black Democrat city council member in Flint, came out for Trump with a fiery statement bashing the Democrat Party as “full of hate.” Another poll, in Pennsylvania, has Trump getting 19 percent of the black vote.
Then there’s the Hispanic vote. Biden finds himself up by just five points with Hispanics in Florida. This relates to the early-voting numbers in the Sunshine State; the GOP is outperforming 2016 numbers in heavily Hispanic counties there at Biden’s expense. Hillary Clinton won Florida Hispanics by 27 four years ago. And the latest IBD/TIPP poll, which you probably didn’t hear a word about since Trump is only down two points nationally in it, shows Trump with 36 percent of the Latino vote, up from the 28 percent he pulled four years ago.
Trump gets 36 percent of the Latino vote and 14 percent of the black vote and I’m not sure what non–deep blue states Biden can win.
All you’ve heard about is how suburban women don’t like Trump and that somehow that means he can’t win, when the “soccer mom vote” has never particularly been part of the GOP base. But everywhere you look, there is evidence Biden’s base is eroding.