Admittedly it is subtle — but it is there. The “it” is the slip in numbers for the former vice president who has dominated the polls since COVID-19 struck. Presidential poll numbers — even big ones — can radically change in a New York minute.
Just ask Michael Dukakis.
More on Mr. Mike later, but first a moment to assess the current situation. A couple of months ago, the so-called basket of deplorables (BOD) fell back on the old “Well, the polls got it wrong last time, didn’t they?” But the negative numbers for President Donald Trump have been so widespread and persistent, even the faithful are beginning to get the jitters.
Without a doubt, it will be a rocky road to Nov. 3, but, just like the ice cream, it’s more than likely to melt as summer turns to fall. Until then, the BOD will need to buck up, hang on, and hold tight. For while the journey may be strewn with obstacles, victory is assured for the man in the Oval Office.
You heard that right: Victory is assured. And how, pray tell, can this be said with such certitude? Let us count the ways:
The Pendulum Effect: The double sucker punch of COVID-19 and civil unrest ginned up by the Marxists leading the Black Lives Matter charge has walloped the president. But Mr. Trump is nothing if not resilient, much like the U.S. economy. Both are bound to bounce back despite multiple attempts by the Democrats to do everything in their power to frighten the American people. From falsely spiking the COVID numbers to giving free rein to anarchists, the truth has a way of emerging despite the scare tactics.
Biden has taken up residence with the hard left, and this will be his Waterloo. Americans are stereotypically fiercely independent and tend to be a moderate lot. These stereotypes exist for a reason. In a Fox News piece, Liz Peek opined:
“Most persuasive, though, is a new Monmouth poll showing that a great number of Americans, though supportive of police reform and conscious of our racial divide, have declining sympathy with the Black Lives Matter movement and the notion that racial prejudice is a major problem for the United States.”
She concludes: “Americans are fed up, and they are angry. Increasingly, they will push back; polling shows Democrat candidate Joe Biden’s lead over Trump is shrinking as a result.” The former vice president has swung so far left in this chaos, the pendulum has swayed past the American people. Among Biden’s recent comments — which he will have to defend to the mainstream voters — are that he is “absolutely” fine with purloining money from police forces nationwide and that he’s in favor of “transforming the nation.” In essence, Biden has used this time to remove himself entirely from the moderate wing of his party, and this will not serve him well as the election draws nigh.
The Silent Majority Effect: If you thought there was a backlash of the silent majority in 2016, just hang on to your hat. “Speak up at your own risk” may be the order of the day, but this, too, has a way of rubbing Americans raw. It makes for a sore that festers and will eventually ooze out at the voting booth. While most Americans don’t want to engage in confrontation, they are not likely to let that stop them from exercising their franchise on Election Day. The crazies running rampant in the streets only serve to firm up the resolve of this silent majority. Then there’s the probability that there are more deplorables lurking now than went to the polls in 2016.
Liberty Nation’s Mark Angelides put his finger on this pulse when he wrote, “The non-voter boost in 2016 was enough to hand Trump the presidency, but many folks may have stayed home who supported the insurgent Trump because polling suggested it was a lost cause. Will those potential voters make the same judgment this time around?”
Indeed, there are plenty in the BOD out there in the vast open spaces of America who keep their heads down and their mouths shut but who will not relinquish their vote to someone who has plans to bring the United States to its knees. In and around those “amber waves of grain” are the people who plant it, grow it, harvest it, and have had enough of the current madness. This brings us to our third, final, and perhaps most significant reason for the BOD to be confident about the election.
The Electoral College: Only the outlier poll people got it right last time, and Helmut Norpoth, a political science professor at Stony Brook University, was among them. The Primary Model, a presidential election forecast formula he developed, has been dead-on for 25 out of 27 elections, since the first primary in 1912. This time the professor predicts 362 electors for President Trump, and even LN’s Tim Donner projects 350 electoral votes for Trump. How can this be?
The large urban centers of America — home to the behemoth members of the Fourth Estate — carry the loudest microphones. So, from The New York Times to the Los Angeles Times, everyone is on the same page. Unfortunately, there’s a little territory between the proverbial sea to shining sea, and it is filled to the brim with those in the BOD.
As our heartland National Correspondent Sarah Cowgill penned:
“[S]truggling through the 2020 election year, it would appear Trump’s base has broadened. Americans do not much believe what the media reports. It is doubtful folks will take the time to scrutinize every poll conducted — that’s the media’s job. But even conservative-bashing Morning Consult admitted the news media is taking a hit for putting a biased spin on issues: ‘trend data finds Americans’ views of the fourth estate’s credibility have hit a new low.’”
The road to losing the presidency is littered with early frontrunners: Thomas Dewey in ‘48, Richard Nixon in ’60, James Earl Carter in ’80, George H.W. Bush in ’92, and John Kerry in 2004. But perhaps the starkest case of early frontrunners who lost came in 1988. At the end of July — post-convention — Dukakis had a lead of 17 points over Bush the father.
Today, most Americans under the age of 30 would ask, “Mike who?” And that, dear deplorables, is precisely the point.
Read more from Leesa K. Donner.