On 5 May 2016, I wrote my prediction paper: 15 Reasons Why Trump Wins in November. On 9 November 2016 I followed up with My Successful May Predictions About the 2016 Election, in which I described how I was correct in 13 out of my 15 predictions (or 87%). I also detailed on Facebook right after the election how I got 46 of 50 states right in the electoral college, and was just seven electoral votes off of the final result. This was a 93% success rate.
This was more accurate prognostication than virtually all of the paid political pundits and pollsters and consultants. So perhaps my prophesying this year might garner a little more attention than one would think is warranted for an apologist and sociology major (albeit also a political junkie for forty years). The proof’s in the pudding, and as the famous 1930s baseball pitcher Dizzy Dean opined: “it ain’t braggin‘ if you can do it!” Here goes nothing (roughly in order of decreasing importance)!:
1) In 2016, probably my biggest reason why I thought President Trump would prevail was that “Almost always after eight years of one party, it flips to the other party.” Similarly, this year, the factor perhaps more important and predictive than any other is another highly likely trend: the incumbent almost always wins. Professor of economics Randall G. Holcombe noted:
Let’s consider presidential reelection rates back to the beginning of the twentieth century. I’ll argue that setting aside special circumstances, incumbent presidents have failed to be reelected only twice over that time period. . . . The first George Bush lost his reelection bid, but I’m calling that a special circumstance because third-party candidate Ross Perot got 19% of the popular vote, . . . Ford was not elected (he became president when Nixon resigned) and lost popularity because he pardoned Nixon. So I’m counting Ford as a special case too. . . . So there’s my count. Only two incumbents — Hoover and Carter — failed to win reelection. . . . Two cases in a century and two decades. Incumbents almost always win.
2) President Trump created the best economy in American history, accomplishing things like the lowest African-American and Hispanic percentage of unemployment ever (5.5% and 3.9% as of October 2019). Even The New York Times admitted in April 2019 that “American manufacturers have added jobs for 19 straight months”. Even after the downturn, the Real Clear Politics compilation of polls on how Trump is handing the economy has him polling higher for approval than disapproval, on the economy. Of course, the counter is that the economy crashed due to the coronavirus: but that’s just it. It was a “freak of nature” and had nothing directly to do with Donald Trump. I believe that Americans will understand that and that this will still help him get re-elected.
3) Joe Biden’s alarming cognitive breakdown and possible senility. This seems to almost be the “elephant in the room” / “the emperor is naked” factor of this election. It hardly favors the Democrats. This is not simply some sort of low-class attack or ad hominem blitz. It’s a real issue; and personally — all politics aside — , I think it’s a disgrace and an outrage that the Democrats nominated a man so obviously deficient, through no fault of his own. Rasmussen Reports, the reputable pollster, published an article on 6-29-20, entitled, “38% of Voters Think Biden Has Dementia”:
Most voters, including just over half of Democrats, feel it is important for the likely Democratic presidential nominee to publicly address the issue. . . . Twenty percent (20%) of voters in his own party think Biden has dementia. But that compares to 66% of Republicans and 30% of voters not affiliated with either major party.
I think where this will really come to the fore is in scheduled debates. If Biden participates, he has little to no chance of victory (either substantively or in a PR sense). If he declines, that doesn’t help him, either, as it simply highlights and “proves” his incompetence and weakness. Every election year since 1976 has featured presidential debates, and the visual / impression element of them is highly important. Most observers feel that it was decisive in helping Kennedy win his debates with Nixon in 1960, and that election. It is certain that this issue has Democrat operative anxiously sweating buckets.
4) Rioting and Mayhem This will not turn out well for the Democrats or Biden. The American public does not like this now, anymore than they did in the late 60s, when Nixon won the 1968 election. Any number of analyses indicate this, but I submit the liberal New York Intelligencer and its article by Jonathan Chait: “New Study Shows Riots Make America Conservative.” It was published on 21 May 2015, before Trump was even elected and before anyone ever heard of “coronavirus” (with my bracketed interjections):
Wasow finds that nonviolent civil-rights protests did not trigger a national backlash, but that violent protests and looting did. The physical damage inflicted upon poor urban neighborhoods by rioting does not have the compensating virtue of easing the way for more progressive [i.e., of course, Democrat] policies; instead, it compounds the damage by promoting a regressive backlash.
The Nixonian law and order backlash drove a wave of repressive criminal-justice policies [i.e., sensible, successful Republican ones] that carried through for decades with such force that even Democrats like Bill Clinton felt the need to endorse them in order to win elections.
The American people are itching to make their opinions known about all that has gone on. I believe they will speak very loudly in November, and that it’ll favor Trump and Republicans.
5) The Anti-Police / Defund the Police Movement This is a total loser for Democrats, because the American public is overwhelmingly against it. FiveThirtyEight, the reputable and respected [non-conservative] polling website noted that in an average of four major polls, taken between June 10-16, 2020, Americans oppose defunding the police by a rate of 58-31%. They (including myself) are more open to police reform measures, and weeding out bad cops, but the defunding and reducing of police forces is a political non-starter. Thus if the Democrats don’t dissociate themselves from it, it’ll be a millstone around their necks come November. Democrat consultant Doug Schoen wrote on 7-14-20:
Given the clear progressive insurgency within the Democratic Party across the country, there will also likely be greater pressure on the party to embrace left-leaning policies, such as defunding the police, which are unpopular with the general electorate. Doing so could cost the Democrats the presidency, the Senate, and even their current House majority.
. . . while there have been select Democratic primaries in which voters have coalesced around moderate, center-left candidates, overall primary results thus far reveal the ascendancy of the progressive movement within the party.
Ultimately, this will pose challenges for Democrats in November. This is especially true given the success of Trump’s endorsements, which also potentially signal that the presidential race is much closer than it appears to be, despite the fact that Trump had a horrible month in June politically.
6) Obamagate / Russian Hoax, etc. More and more things continue to come out about how the FBI and other intelligence agencies waged an illegal and outrageous “silent coup” to try to get Trump removed from office. In a world of objective reporting (ha ha!), this story would be ten times bigger than Watergate was. It will never be that, but among fair-minded people who respect the rule of law and the old American value of fair play, more news on this (from non-liberal sources, since liberal outlets mostly ignore it) may help Republicans: particularly if President Obama himself becomes directly implicated: which continues to become more likely, the more we learn.
7) Turnout / Enthusiasm It was thought by many that the advantage in this area was to the Democrats, due to the extraordinary hatred of Trump that outpaces even the liberal hatred of Nixon and Reagan by a considerable margin. But lo and behold, Huffpost published an article on 5-5-20 entitled, “Democratic Voters Lag In Enthusiasm About The 2020 Election.” Here are some of the internals of recent polling:
In a newly released HuffPost/YouGov poll, Republican and Republican-leaning voters are 14 percentage points likelier than Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters to say they’re very enthusiastic about voting. Republicans have a smaller edge on two other metrics: they’re currently 10 points likelier to say they’re very motivated to vote, and 8 points likelier to say they definitely plan on voting. . . .
Several other surveys also have shown Democrats lagging on enthusiasm, although the findings have not been entirely consistent. CNN’s polling last month found Democrats’ enthusiasm decreasing, while among Republicans it remained stable, giving Trump supporters a sizable advantage on the metric. Biden also saw lagging numbers in a late March Washington Post/ABC survey, which found strong enthusiasm among Democrats for their party’s presidential pick at a 20-year low.
I think recent events and illegal, radical, fascist-/Marxist-/anarchist-type activities that the public mostly rejects (see #4-5, 8-9) only help Republicans and conservatives all the more in this regard, and will motivate voters to tend in their direction. I have a sense that lots of people want to send a strong message in the voting booth, and can’t wait till November to do it.
8) Iconoclasm / Statue-Toppling This is another loser proposition for the Democrats, who are associated far more with the radical activists doing this sort of thing, than the Republicans. A Morning Consult/Politico poll (6-7-20) revealed:
44% of voters say statues of Confederate leaders should remain standing, down from 52% in 2017.
32% now say those statues should be removed, compared with 26% in 2017.
53% of Democrats say the statues should come down; 71% of Republicans say they should remain standing.
This could change, but I think as we see more and more mindless destruction, including now efforts to go after churches and statues of Mary and saints (even Jesus), that there will be a big public backlash of “enough is enough!” and “this is madness!” The public as a whole — especially outside of urban areas and the east and west coasts — is vastly different from these tiny number of far-left / brain-dead radical and violent thugs.
9) Anti-Americanism / Disrespecting the Flag The public also takes notice of these wacko protesters stomping on the American flag or burning it, and now the latest talk about not kneeling for the national anthem in the NFL. A Yahoo poll from 10 June 2020 shows 52% support for “NFL players to kneel during the national anthem to protest police killings of African Americans?” [which I consider a thoroughly skewed and unfair question, because few would disagree with the latter, but many disagree with disrespecting the anthem and flag]. So it’s a majority. But it’s also 34-37% opposed, and those opposed feel as strongly about it as those in favor, and can and will boycott the league, as they did in the past when this was made an issue. A Forbes article (10-5-16) noted:
“Shock poll: A third of NFL TV viewers boycotting games because of Colin Kaepernick-led protests.”
The Sporting News article says “Nearly one-third (32 percent) of adults say they’re less likely to watch NFL game telecasts because of the Kaepernick-led player protests against racial injustice, according to Rasmussen’s telephone/online survey of 1,000 American adults conducted Oct. 2-3 .
Elections are won and lost almost always as a result of how the independents and swing voters and “undecideds” in any given year vote. Just a few percentage points (especially in a few key states) can change things quite a bit. Therefore, I say that more instances of disrespect for the flag and the country and its hallowed traditions by rioters and other extreme-left radicals help Trump and the Republicans. The influences of images can go either way, politically. And patriotism may be under severe attack, but it’s far from dead.
10) Extreme Pro-Abortion Policies All the original Democrat candidates were in favor of abortion up till birth, and even after as well in some cases (babies from botched abortions left to die after being delivered). Only Tulsi Gabbard took a position with any deviation at all from this extremist, brutal, heartless position (opposition to third trimester childkilling), and she had no chance anyway. A Real Clear Politics article of 3-19-20 critiques Democrat pro-abort extremism:
Biden’s dramatic race to the left on abortion is a symptom of the extremism that ails the Democratic Party generally, like a plague infecting its leadership. The fact is that no daylight exists between Biden and the socialist Sanders when it comes to abortion policy. Out of an initial crowd of more than 20 contenders who all backed taxpayer-funded abortion, late-term abortion, and even infanticide, the eventual nominee was guaranteed to be more radical than over 90% of Americans, including many rank-and-file Democrats. Moderation has been canceled.
To those of us who long to see the Democratic Party return to its pro-life roots, but who’ve watched its leadership systematically drive away its natural base over decades, the prognosis is bleak.
Fortunately, pro-life voters abandoned by the Democrats do have an alternative this year. In stark contrast to all his opponents, President Trump has governed as the most pro-life president in history.
Sadly, people often vote very inconsistently when it comes to the issue, and it seems to hardly be a voting issue at all, but with polling that far tilted towards at least more limitations on abortion, it can only help Trump: especially if he highlights the stark differences and educates Americans who have no idea that full-term abortions or infanticides even take place. Trump has shown that he has the guts and willingness to talk about it, and it will help him win if he does.
Pro-life is my own #1 issue and has been since the 1984 election. To the extent that voters are concerned about the continuing status of the Supreme Court, it will be of the utmost importance to re-elect President Trump. His two appointees (Gorsuch and Kavanaugh) voted in a pro-life fashion in the recent case.
11) Growing Black and Hispanic Vote for Trump This is something the liberals and Democrats seem to be utterly blind to. The help that President Trump has provided both communities (low unemployment, prison reform, economic opportunities, etc.) has not gone unnoticed. And so the polls reflect it. Newsday published on 12-3-19 an article entitled, “New polls show black support for Trump surging”:
The new Emerson poll puts Trump at 35 percent with black voters and 38 percent with Hispanics. “If you add in Asian voters at 28 percent approval,” notes Emerson’s director of polling Spencer Kimball, “our number is very close to the new Marist poll,” which finds Trump’s approval at 33 percent among non-white voters. A recent RasmussenReports poll has Trump support among black voters at 34 percent, and even the new CNN poll has Trump’s approval among non-white voters at 26 percent.
Why is losing black voters by a two-to-one margin something to shout about? Because if Donald Trump came anywhere close to those numbers on Election Day, he’d likely win a 50-state sweep. Minority voters — and black voters in particular — are an absolutely vital part of the Democratic base. And they don’t vote for Republicans, particularly for president.
Over the past 40 years, black voter support for Republican presidential candidates has consistently registered somewhere between “embarrassingly low” and “nonexistent.” Running for re-election with a red-hot economy, President Reagan got just 9 percent of the African-American vote in 1984. That’s the same 9 percent GOP presidential candidates averaged ever since, according to data from the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research.
12) Increasing Fascism / “Woke” and “Cancel” Culture Trump can win on this issue as well if he is willing to aggressively take it on. Just the News published the article, “Poll: Voters reject ‘cancel culture’ by better than 3-1 . . .” (updated on 7-15-20). It reported:
Just the News Daily Poll respondents were asked “The phrase “cancel culture” refers to a form of public shaming used to silence people whose views are deemed unacceptable. Is cancel culture a good thing because it prevents inappropriate ideas from spreading? Or is it a bad thing because it bullies people and restricts the free exchange of information and ideas?” They responded as below:
- 17% It is a good thing
- 56% It is a bad thing
- 27% Not Sure
The national survey of 1,200 registered voters was conducted July 9-11, 2020 by Rasmussen, a polling veteran. Margin of sampling error: +/- 2.8% for full sample.
People are tired of being told how to think, and being bullied if they dare defend tradition or conservatism or Christianity or pro-life, or (horror of horrors!) wear a MAGA cap. And rest assured that they will express their anger and frustration at being treated in this way in the voting booth in November.
13) Skewed and Biased Polls Apart from the polls as I write (7-16-20) being very early (e.g., President Truman in 1948 was way behind in summer, as was elder Bush in 1988 and Trump now), there is a question of blatant bias being present in them: both in their sampling and how they ask their questions. The Pew Research Center put out an article called, “Assessing the Risks to Online Polls From Bogus Respondents” (2-18-20). Journal of the American Statistical Association published a very in-depth analysis, “Disentangling Bias and Variance in Election Polls” in 2018. It commented near the end:
The 2016 U.S. presidential election offers a timely example of how correlated poll errors can lead to spurious predictions. Up through the final stretch of the campaign, nearly all pollsters declared Hillary Clinton the overwhelming favorite to win the election. The New York Times, for example, placed the probability of a Clinton win at 85% on the day before the election. Donald Trump ultimately lost the popular vote, but beat forecasts by about 2 percentage points. He ended up carrying nearly all the key swing states, including Florida, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin, resulting in an electoral college win and the presidency. Because of shared poll bias—both for multiple polls forecasting the same state-level race, and also for polls in different states—even modest errors significantly impact win estimates.
There is also something to the charge that many polls simply poll Democrats or liberals disproportionately, so that the result doesn’t reflect the public breakdown of opinion. Pew research Center tackles this issue in its article, “Why public opinion polls don’t include the same number of Republicans and Democrats” (10-25-19). It basically denies that it is a bias problem and explains why; yet it still concludes:
Among registered voters, the Democratic advantage in party affiliation is typically about 3 percentage points smaller than it is among the general public in our surveys. . . .
Among likely voters – those registered voters deemed to have the greatest propensity to turn out in an election – or actual voters in recent elections, the share of Republicans is usually, but not always, higher than it is among registered voters, largely for the same reasons that registered voters are more likely to be Republican than those who are not registered. . . .
All of this is to say that there is no single “correct” ratio of Democrats to Republicans for all U.S. public opinion polls.
Just a few percentage points can make a huge difference, and the public is forming its perceptions by these polls. Given the massive errors in 2016, I think the pollsters are being very cautious.
14) The illegal immigration issue has been off the front pages for some time now, with all else that is going on, but I think it’s still significant enough to have some impact on this election, too (it was after all, just about the most important issue last time, according to voters). For example, a July 2019 CNN poll on whether illegal immigrants should receive government healthcare revealed that 58% of Americans were against that, and 38% in favor. Yet all ten Democrat candidates then in the race said they supported such healthcare.
15) Over-Strict Regulations Regarding Shutdowns and Quarantine, etc. There is significant resistance to government measures which are thought by many to be too strict. It seems to largely break down by party lines. How the independents and swing voters fall will be decisive with regard to this issue. I think by November (and assuming a continuing decline in deaths from coronavirus) a significant-enough portion of the public may be that much more fed up with the restrictions (including, notably, on the schools) and thus be inclined to vote Republican: the party that generally favors less restrictions. In other words, too many perceived restrictions may backfire on the Democrats, who favor them much more so.
I don’t think most reasonable, fair-minded folks will blame President Trump for the 136,940 US deaths (as of today) from this tragic epidemic (arguably, Democrats Governor Cuomo of New York and Mayor DeBlasio of New York City bear far more personal responsibility for preventable deaths), so this will not be an adverse factor, as many think. At the moment, he’s underwater in polling on this issue, but if the economy rebounds (because a failing economy is so tied to the measures taken against the virus), that could quickly change. IN any event, I consider this the weakest argument of my fifteen, because it could go either way.
Honorable Mention) Obama Did It; Why Not Also Trump? Lastly, I note that according to the Rasmussen running daily tracking poll of likely voters, President Trump had, on 7-15-20, a 48% approval rating and 50% disapproval. In the same exact poll at the same time in his presidency (7-15-12), President Obama polled at a 48% approval, but 51% disapproval, giving Trump a slight edge in comparison. Obama went on to win 51% to 47%, so he basically switched the two figures. I think Trump will do something similar, though he may actually lose the popular vote again.
Presidents are elected in the final analysis by the electoral college. And that means — exactly as in 2016 — that it is the statewide polls in swing states that are far more important to watch than national polls. It’s all about ten or so swing states: Ohio, Florida, and Pennsylvania probably being the most important, with Wisconsin and Michigan close behind.
I may be wrong, of course, but these are my reasons for why I think President Trump will win the election, and I’m stickin’ to ’em!