Category Archives: politics

Election Bulletin – New Polls

Good news for Biden supporters – from NYT

A New York Times/Siena College poll this week found Joe Biden closing the gap on President Trump in three states that voted decisively for Mr. Trump in 2016: Iowa, Georgia and Texas. Mr. Biden was up by three percentage points among likely voters in Iowa, tied with Mr. Trump in Georgia and down by three in Texas. (All of those spreads were within the margin of error.)

What’s the scoop?

The results in all three states reflected Mr. Biden’s lopsided advantage among women, who chose him over Mr. Trump by anywhere from eight to 13 points.

Onward to the debate!

Joe is Getting Spunky! And that is Good!

I can understand the Biden Campaign strategy to let Donald Trump self-destruct. That is what Hillary tried to do as well.

But there is a problem with this approach. Trump will say and do lots of stupid stuff, but that may not energize people to vote Biden. Joe has to show that he is the man for the job, not just that Trump is not the man for the job.

And he is starting to do that  … I think,

Consider this exchange

when asked about his mental fitness by a reporter in North Carolina, Biden turned it around by reciting a list of some of Trump’s most infamous mental gaffes and lapses.

“Look at him,” Biden told WRAL’s Cullen Browder earlier this week. “I’m not the guy who by the way said the problem with the Revolutionary War is we didn’t have enough airports. I’m not the guy who said the attack that took down the trade towers was on 7-Eleven.”

And, Biden added, he’s not the guy who advised injecting bleach to treat the coronavirus.

“I do know the difference between truth and lies, between good and bad, between hope and fear,” he said. “So just watch me and make your decision.”

It’s called showing a bit of “fire in the belly”. Getting people revved up with you. And me thinks that Joe needs to do more of this.

A Peek at Donald Trump’s Campaign Rallies

Donald Trump likes giving speeches at campaign rallies. And so, whether doing this during a pandemic is a good idea or not, he is giving speeches at campaign rallies.

So what is he talking about?  Vox offers a peek. Here is their summary.

Those tuning in to Trump’s rallies will see a power-hungry president who is increasingly turning up the race-baiting and attacks on the free press. His base loves it, but it should worry everyone else.

Worry? I think the word “worry” is too mild. I am appalled .

Election Update: What News from Michigan?

From NYT

Bottom line: Hilary ignored Michigan and paid the price when democratic voters stayed home and Tumpsters voted. Still, it was very, very close. This time, things may be very different.

What is different?

  • The national trend – College-educated voters and women voted overwhelmingly Democratic in the 2018 midterm elections, flipping the House blue. This year, the president’s inability to contain the coronavirus has added to many voters’ frustration with him, and he has struggled to find a message that can draw back Americans at the political center. With voter enthusiasm surging, political observers say this could be the highest-turnout election in the country’s history, despite the pandemic.
  • In Michigan – A poll released Friday by The Detroit Free Press showed Joseph R. Biden Jr. leading Mr. Trump by eight percentage points in the state, roughly in line with his advantage in other polls — powered by the same anti-Trump sentiment that helped Democrats flip two suburban House districts in 2018.

But there are lots o passionate republican party supporters in Michigan.

  • This year, however, conscious that their ballots could again help decide the election, Michiganders of all political persuasions report being heavily motivated to vote. That’s a bad sign for Mr. Trump,
  • Consider this – Mr. Czuba gathers public opinion data each election year to calculate the average level of voter motivation, as reported by respondents using a 10-point scale. This month, a Glengariff poll for the television station WDIV and The Detroit News found that motivation levels in Michigan were nearly off the charts: Both Democrats and Republicans were averaging around 9.8, with independents not far behind at 9.2. In October 2016, the average for all voters hovered around 6.
  • Voters that year who leaned Democratic but weren’t strongly partisan averaged only 4.7 on the 10-point motivation scale, contributing to weak turnout for Mrs. Clinton in areas where she had expected to rack up votes. Together with some James Comey-driven defections, the result was a polling failure that still reverberates today.

Not just that, there are demographic shifts that favor the dems. And of course, Trump’s complete bungling of coronavirus, and his poor relationship with a very popular female governor.

And there is this

  • In contrast to (Hilary Clinton’s) campaign, Mr. Biden’s team has made a point of spending time in Michigan and is working to drive up enthusiasm from voters in the Democratic stronghold of southeastern Michigan, particularly African-Americans in Detroit and Flint.



election Update – A Peep at Some Polls

From NYT

  • The key idea .- Biden is running a low profile campaign

Polling data from Nate Cohn

  • Did anyone get an enduring bounce from the party conventions in August?
    • About now is the time when convention bounces start to fade. President Trump did appear to get a small one in the days following the Republican National Convention, but right now it’s too soon to say whether his bounce will fade or endure. Our polling averages have Mr. Trump making a very slight gain in the last week; we think he trails by about six percentage points nationally.
  • Have the battleground states tightened?
    • We have seen races tightening somewhat in Florida, a race crucial to Mr. Trump’s re-election hopes. But Mr. Biden seems to be holding firm or even making gains in battlegrounds in the Upper Midwest in particular. Several high-quality polls show Mr. Biden with a lead of five points or more in Wisconsin in recent weeks, including one today from ABC News/Washington Post. That’s about as clear of a picture as you’re going to get in a battleground state so far from an election. (That same poll showed Mr. Biden up 16 points in Minnesota, an incredibly strong result for him there.)
  • Is the virus still the top issue for voters, or has that shifted amid Trump’s “law and order” push?
    • The Times’s own polls of Minnesota and Wisconsin found that the president’s focus on law and order has succeeded at refocusing the election away from issues he’s weaker on, to an extent, but that has not yet persuaded voters to prefer him. In those states, voters who said they thought law and order was just as important as the coronavirus believed that Mr. Biden supported defunding police (he doesn’t), and said that Mr. Biden had not gone far enough to condemn protesters. Yet Mr. Trump still didn’t hold a clear edge on who would handle law and order or violent crime; voters said that they thought Mr. Trump encouraged violence and that Mr. Biden would do a better job handling protests and unifying the county.

Election Update: The Ad Wars

With the pandemic,  this election cycle in the US is more than ever a battle on the airwaves. NYT offers an interesting profile of how the Trump campaign is  spending its ad dollars

  • The Trump campaign made some notable changes to its advertising budget this week, going dark in Nevada, Ohio and Iowa while expanding its buys in Arizona, Florida, Maine, North Carolina and Nebraska. In Arizona, the campaign added $926,000 to the airwaves for this week alone, bringing its total in the state through Election Day to $8.1 million.
  • The Trump campaign has put back on air an ad in Arizona and other states that uses selective editing to make the case that Mr. Biden “tried to cut Social Security and Medicare for decades.” The ad shows a clip of Mr. Biden when he was a senator giving a speech in favor of freezing Social Security.
  • Then, in a message that hews closely to Mr. Trump’s nationalist campaign themes, the ad suggests without evidence that, as president, Mr. Biden would take away Social Security from Americans and provide it to undocumented immigrants, as the screen shows grainy footage of men emerging from a hole in the ground beneath a wall.

Bottom line: The Trump campaign has struggled to maintain the president’s support among older voters nationwide, and this ad is a clear attempt to win them back.

Meanwhile, the Biden campaign is flush with cash, and spending lots of it on TV ads – especially in Florida. The Biden ads in Florida reflect his campaign’s focus points

  • The most common message in Mr. Biden’s advertising in Florida is a familiar one for Democrats: health care. He spent about $600,000 on one ad over the past week that retells the emotional tragedy of losing his wife and daughter in a car accident as he was sworn into the Senate, and how critical health insurance was to the care of his two sons. Two other ads, each supported by about $300,000 over the past week in Florida, link Mr. Biden’s health care proposals to helping bring the country out of the pandemic.
  • The Biden campaign is also clearly concerned about maintaining its lead over Mr. Trump among Latino voters. Though the campaign has spent $4 million on Spanish language ads in Florida since June, $1.1 million of that has come in the past two weeks, according to Advertising Analytics.
  • A pair of Spanish language ads by the Biden campaign currently on air in Florida directly rebut attacks by Mr. Trump — evidence of a concern about the effectiveness of the president’s accusations — and even embrace some of Mr. Biden’s more progressive policies, such as raising taxes on the wealthy. “Trump talks a lot, but he’s done little,” both ads claim.


A Roadmap to Fix American Democracy

We have known for a long, long time, that the American voting system is out of date and broken. The election of Donald Trump via the electoral college has made this a higher profile problem, but once again, it is not a new problem.

What do to? Vox offers 11 steps that would help get things back on track. I hope we will see at least some of this stuff if the dems win the White House and senate in2020.

We will see NONE of it if the dems do not.

Get the hint?

Trumpster Dumpster: Nevada may be in Play

Biden is up by 4 points in the polls, within the margin of error. Trump is pulling in support form white rural voters. But he is pulling his ads out of the state – most  likely the campaign is short of cash.

Meanwhile NYT has this headline

Even as he bore witness firsthand to the devastation caused by wildfires during a visit to California yesterday, President Trump continued to defiantly ignore the science of climate change.

Trump thinks the weather will cool off.