Although the polls give former Vice President Joe Biden a good chance of winning the presidential election, early returns show surprising strength for President Donald Trump. Three days before the election, early voting reports suggest Trump is on course to win Florida. He is in such good shape in Minnesota that Biden has found it necessary to campaign in a state that no Republican has won since 1972. Weird results are brewing in many states, and under the right circumstances, Trump could emerge from the election with a blowout victory.
Shy Trump Voters
In 2016, the polls dramatically underestimated the so-called “shy Trump voters” – people that were either not polled or were not honest with pollsters. In the 2020 election, some data indicate that the shy vote is even more extensive and that the polls are missing them.
For instance, multiple polls have shown a Biden lead in Texas. As of October 30, 94.7% of the 2016 ballots have been returned, with 38.8% of those votes cast by Democrats and 51.4% by Republicans, according to TargetEarly2020. Even if all unaffiliated voters go for Biden, Trump could still win Texas easily.
Since many Republicans prefer to vote on Election Day, Trump may end up surpassing his result in the race against Hillary Clinton. Texas proves that something is amiss with the polls.
Democrats only lead by 105,000 votes three days before the election, which is far too few to win against the Republicans expected to come out on Election Day. Republicans have 183,000 more “super-voters” than Democrats that have not yet voted. These alone will secure a victory for Trump in Florida.
A super-voter is someone who has consistently voted for one party in the last four elections. The Democratic lead is shrinking with every hour, and the remaining Republican super-voter advantage is increasing. It means that the voters who are currently voting early for Trump are less reliable voters, which is a good sign for the president. By now, the Biden campaign must know that it could probably lose Florida.
In 2016, Clinton won Nevada with a comfortable 2.4% margin. This cycle, early voting suggests the state will turn red. Four days before the election, 84.4% of the 2016 ballots have been cast, and the race is a dead heat, with 46% of the votes cast by Democrats and 45.4% by Republicans. That amounts to a red swing of 10.2% compared to 2016. Again, since Republicans prefer to vote on Election Day, Trump may well flip Nevada red.
Early voting results are ambiguous. On the surface, it looks like a definite win for Biden, but this time, unaffiliated voters have increased by 5.5% to 22.7%. Where will all these votes go? Studies have shown that counties and their neighbors that had experienced race riots in the late 1960s gave a significant boost to the law and order candidate Nixon.
Minnesota is ground zero for the George Floyd protests that turned into violence and looting. In Minneapolis, Democrats do well, but they have experienced a drop of between 10 and 30% in most counties. Many of these have become “unaffiliated” instead. Thus, there appears to be a massive hidden Trump vote in the early ballots.
Amazingly, the same pattern can be seen in Oregon. Portland has been under siege for months by violent mobs of Antifa and Black Lives Matter activists. Like Minnesota, the city of Portland is a Democratic stronghold, but the party is taking a nosedive in the rest of the state.
Biden is likely to win Oregon, one of the bluest states in the union, but many people could be surprised by how close Trump will come.
The Rust Belt
In 2016, Trump won Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. Early results are ambiguous due to a high number of unaffiliated voters. Michigan is the most clear-cut case, where Republicans are only 3.7% behind the Democrats with half the number of 2016 votes cast.
In Wisconsin, the Democrat vote is down, and although many Republicans have switched to unaffiliated, possibly for security reasons, this bodes well for Trump.
The Black Vote
One pattern almost no-one has talked about is the lackluster turnout among blacks. Nationally, 8% fewer blacks have voted so far compared to 2016. These are likely disgruntled Democrats who stay home and thereby effectively give half a vote to Trump. By comparison, Trump only garnered 8% support from blacks in 2016. This number will undoubtedly rise this year and will conservatively end at 12% but, given recent approval ratings, could be as high as 20%.
The Trump Democrats
Finally, early voting needs to be counted, and many of the people who are registered as Democrats or voted Democrat in 2016 may switch to Trump. Brandon Straka’s Walkaway movement is campaigning in Democrat strongholds and is reporting tremendous interest among voters who are leaving the Democratic Party.
If just 5% more Democrats than Republicans switch sides, the political landscape shifts dramatically in favor of Trump.
If all these factors come together in favor of Trump, he could end up matching President Barack Obama’s victory in 2008 with 365 electoral college votes or more. That’s not the most likely outcome, but if this happens, it may drain out most of the current energy for revolution and insurrection in the country.
Read more from Onar Åm.
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