US 2020: The Rustbelt Dogfight

Pollsters Suffer Another Blow in Trump’s Expectedly Unexpected Electoral Performance

Once again, the professional pollsters have fluffed it. Whether or not Trump goes onto win or not this is a disaster for professional political modellers. Yesterday, the pollsters, even more so than in 2016, lived in a state of harmony. They all agreed that Joe Biden was going to breeze through this election and boy were they wrong.

Following the conventional media coverage does give a good indicator of why the pollsters, the media types and the highly educated have previously and continue to fail in predicting the emotions of their fellow citizens. They simply do not have the appetite to understand the political leanings of people that do not belong to their domain. An arrogance about the voting patterns of definable sub-groups – determined by race, gender, income and nine million other characteristics – stifles any hope of predicting election outcomes in the modern era.

The left’s answer to the election phenomena? ‘Trump manipulated uneducated people’. I have already heard this line three times as the states of Ohio, Florida and Texas stuck with Trump.

In Ohio the pollsters predicted Trump on a 1% lead – he’s likely to wind up with an eight-point lead. In Florida they put Trump down (-) 2.5% - he’s on track to be three and a half points up. A different picture is painted when you look at states like Colorado, where pollsters predicted Biden on a fourteen-point lead where this result is around one point out – far more trivial and not particularly consequential. Pollsters have done far better at predicting the votes of Biden’s won states.

What do these prediction differentials suggest about America? To me, it illustrates the fear of judgement over one’s political opinion. A situation where healthy discourse cannot be facilitated. Divisions are being sewn deeper than those reconcilable differences over policy issues that every nation faces. The result will only be self-defeating conflict outside of the conventional channels of politics.

Pennsylvania Is The Keystone State Too Short

While it is clear which groups have lost this election, it is not clear which Presidential candidate has won this election – it is a dogfight on the margins.

This election is not over. The absentee ballots effect on the net leads in the key rustbelt states (all depicted as ‘Toss-Up’ states in the table above) will determine who the next President is.

Pennsylvania is important, very important, but the state that may be determinant is Wisconsin. It’s close, very close. Trump is (as of 12:00PM GMT) running around 7500 votes behind with some key counties yet to be counted in the aggregate stats. These areas were behind Trump in 2016 will they be in 2020?

The implication of absentee ballots really cannot be understated. Of the votes recorded, Pennsylvania has seen an estimated 78% of absentee ballots backing Joe Biden, in Michigan it is around 70%. If these patterns continue Biden will be on track to secure both of those rustbelt states and go on to win the election.

The early securing of Ohio may be a good omen to Trump – a president has not won without Ohio since JFK in 1960. It also captures the rustbelt demographic that Trump has sought to win over in neighbouring states.

For now, it is too early to make predictions based upon data but I have felt and continue to feel that Trump will clinch it. The Democrats have fielded a weak candidate with no clear policy platform, or desire to fight (whether than be clean or otherwise). I do not feel that it is helpful that Trump prematurely declared victory or that he threatened going to the Supreme Court with charges of voter fraud, however, these things (while I morally object to them) are indicative of a man who wants it more and is willing to fight to retain the keys to the White House.

By Brandon Lakin

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