The 2020 Cake Is (Almost) Baked


Category:  News & Politics

Via:  john-russell  •  one month ago  •  20 comments

By:    httpstwitter. comjvlast (The Bulwark)

The 2020 Cake Is (Almost) Baked
Biden has the biggest, most durable lead of any presidential challenger ever. He's more personally popular than Trump. The wrong-track number is at -38. And there are only 20 weekends left before Election Day.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T

Biden has the biggest, most durable lead of any presidential challenger ever. He's more personally popular than Trump. The wrong-track number is at -38. And there are only 20 weekends left before Election Day. by Jonathan V. Last June 8, 2020 5:13 ambluedawgs-2-1024x717.jpg (Art Hannah Yoest, photo Getty Images) Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via emailPrint


Axios reports that Trump's 2020 campaign team met last week to figure out, well, everything. Jonathan Swan's scoop is really something:

President Trump's top political advisers, in a private meeting last week, said their boss needs to add more hopeful, optimistic and unifying messages to balance his harsh law-and-order rhetoric.

Why it matters: They're deeply concerned about "brutal" internal polling for the president in the aftermath of his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and George Floyd's killing.

Behind the scenes: During a meeting of top political advisers at campaign headquarters on Thursday afternoon, the president's 2016 campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, raised a question that many close to the campaign have been asking themselves recently: "What's our message?"

When an incumbent president is trying to figure out his message in June, that's not a sign of strength.

It's the electoral equivalent of the birds and other wildlife all suddenly rushing inland while the Republican Senate frolics on the beach.

In just about every story written about the campaign you'll find the phrase "a long time away." The idea being that there's still plenty of time left between now and November 3 and just about anything could happen.

Neither of those two propositions is really true.

First: There's not a ton of time left. That weekend we just had? There are only 20 of them left between now and Election Day. That's it. It is much, much later than you think.

Second: This race has been remarkably stable. Sure, it's possible that "anything" could happen. Joe Biden could drop dead; Trump could resign; Kang and Kodos could show up. But take a look at how small the variation has been:


In the dozens and dozens of polls taken over the last year, Donald Trump has led Joe Biden in exactly four of them.

Donald Trump is the most well-known and polarizing figure in the country. Everyone knows him and most people know what they think of him.

Joe Biden is the most famous living Democratic politician who is not a former president. He has been a national figure for 40 years. He is the last Democratic vice president. Most people know what they think of him, too.

More than any presidential election in our lifetimes, this cake started out pre-baked. And the natural level of the race is roughly Biden +6.

Is there time left? Sure. But what are voters really going to learn about these two candidates that isn't already priced into the equation?

Not much.

The 2016 election results surprised lots of people because they didn't believe the polls. During the Republican primaries, Trump kept leading and people kept assuming that the polls were wrong or that they would suddenly change.

They didn't.

Going into the general election, the polls showed Hillary Clinton had a real but narrow lead over Trump nationally. The national result was a Clinton popular vote win within the margin of error of where the polling was. The only polling which turned out to be wonky were the final state-level polls in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan, where Trump performed slightly better than the margin of error.

As a result, there's been a weird reality-distortion field around Trump's re-elect odds, where people look at the objective numbers and then throw them out the window on the assumption that, Hey, it's Trump! Anything can happen!

If you came down from Mars and were looking at the 2020 race for the first time and trying to get a purely data-driven sense of what's happening, here are the numbers you'd look at:

  • Trump's job approval rating has been significantly underwater with his total approval number rarely getting to 43 percent, even. These figures, too, have been remarkably stable.
  • The country's right track/wrong track numbers have been consistently brutal, with the spread never getting closer than -10 and currently sitting at -38:


  • On the generic congressional ballot, Democrats have held a substantial lead since early 2019—and that lead has been slowly widening for the last 17 weeks. It now stands at 9 points.


  • Trump's personal favorable/unfavorable number—not his job approval—has been net negative throughout his administration, with an average spread of about -15. He's currently a net -13.
  • Biden's personal favorable/unfavorable number is close to neutral, having trended a little bit negative since Trump starting spending ads against him. He's currently a net -1.4.
  • Biden's polling lead over Trump is the biggest and most durable advantage any challenger has ever held over an incumbent president since the advent of modern polling.
  • As an incumbent president, Trump's support number has been hovering around 42 percent.
  • As a challenger, Biden has been near the 50 percent mark.

So ask yourself this: If you remove the emotional influence of 2016 and just go by the numbers, what sort of odds would you have to get at this point in order to lure you into putting $100 on Trump?

The entire idea of a Trump comeback is predicated on the assumption that over the next 20 weeks, there can be so much good news that voters will flock to support Trump in even greater numbers than they were back in the pre-pandemic days of early January.

But even during those relatively good times, Biden held a strong lead. (On January 1, Biden was . . . +6.)

Looking out at the horizon, it's hard to see where good news for Trump is going to come from.

From unemployment numbers that are only in the mid-teens? If that's your message to voters—Trump 2020: It could be worse! . . . Well, good luck. A figure people don't like and whose job performance they don't approve of selling bad results as a "comeback" against a better-liked opponent who's been leading for a year seems unlikely to work.

And don't forget that with each passing week that Trump doesn't make up ground, the momentum pushing against him increases.

One of the truisms of politics is: Bad gets worse. Losing campaigns have their own logic and the fact of losing makes it harder to change direction. People glom onto the side that's winning as a bandwagon effect takes hold. The losing campaign gets the stench of death around it.

The most likely outcome is that Biden wins by 6 points or so. Though it is possible that the race could still move.

And if it does, I'd say that Biden +10 is about as likely as Trump +1.


jrDiscussion - desc
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1  seeder  JohnRussell    one month ago

Its time for Trump to fire someone. 

Paula Bartholomew
1.1  Paula Bartholomew  replied to  JohnRussell @1    one month ago

Yeah.  Himself.

2  badfish    one month ago

I certainly remember these posts in 2015 and 2016. What have we learned since? Evidently very little.

2.1  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  badfish @2    one month ago
What have we learned since?

A lot of people have learned that Trump is a worthless piece of shit. Although that was also obvious in 2016, many people wanted to give him a "chance".  They wont be so gullible in 2020. 

Paula Bartholomew
2.1.1  Paula Bartholomew  replied to  JohnRussell @2.1    one month ago

I don't know how much it will cost to fumigate the WH after Trump is dragged out kicking and screaming, but that is one use of my tax dollars that I would not mind.  I also hope that if BIden wins he will do to Trump what Trump has been doing to Obama, removing his name off as many things as he can.

Vic Eldred
2.2  Vic Eldred  replied to  badfish @2    one month ago
I certainly remember these posts in 2015 and 2016.

From 12 days before the 2016 election:

Hillary Clinton
 has widened her lead over  Donald Trump , polling 14 percentage points ahead nationally, according to a new  Associated Press-GfK poll , which comes 12 days before the presidential election.

Conducted after the  final presidential debate , the poll finds the Democratic nominee leads Trump among likely voters 51% to 37%, a significant lead over the Republican candidate.

According to the poll,  Clinton  has support of 90% of likely Democratic voters, as well as support from 15% of moderate  Republicans . Of the Republicans surveyed, 79% said they would vote for Trump.

user image
3      one month ago

Oh boy, all the polls are on your side. I guess we know what that means

The Magic Eight Ball
3.1  The Magic Eight Ball  replied to  @3    one month ago


3.2  loki12  replied to  @3    one month ago
all the polls are on your side. I guess we know what that means

The lazy millennials will stay home again because Grandpa is no more exciting than Grandma was.   

The Magic Eight Ball
3.2.1  The Magic Eight Ball  replied to  loki12 @3.2    one month ago

bidens ad on youtube looks like an old alcoholic begging for money.

a great ad.....  for trump.    LOL

Buzz of the Orient
3.2.2  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  loki12 @3.2    one month ago

I don't think the Bernie supporters (and there were many) will withhold their votes this time - Bernie wasn't cheated out of the race and he openly supports Biden. 

Buzz of the Orient
3.2.5  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  loki12 @3.2.4    one month ago

If they were Bernie supporters, I question their competence if they don't do whatever is necessary to prevent Trump from being reelected.  They are the biggest fools in the world. .

3.2.6  loki12  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @3.2.5    one month ago

Maybe they don't see Biden as being any different, and in many ways worse, Crime Bill that targeted African Americans, he was a big sponsor of that. The argument can be made that he is no longer in control of his faculties. And maybe they just have some integrity and won't vote for someone they can't support. I know it's a novel concept, but there are actually still some people who will chose none of the above over casting a vote for someone they feel is unworthy of their support.

Buzz of the Orient
3.2.7  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  loki12 @3.2.6    one month ago

I guess it depends on whether or not a voter is concerned about stopping a downward slide before it goes beyond an ability to recover or not.  Even if it's just a stop-gap without an upward swing, it would be worth the vote.  If they were Bernie supporters, there is no way that they could be Trump supporters, so they should put their fingers in the dike hole before it bursts. 

3.2.8  loki12  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @3.2.7    one month ago

But that is assuming Biden’s better, the man that gave the eulogy at a klan leaders funeral, the man that pushed and promoted the crime bill, the man that foreign policy experts have said has been 100% wrong on every position, you think that’s better? Well it would be better for China, not so much for the US. I am hoping neither party controls the 2 branches, I’m okay if neither side can screw with our lives.

Paula Bartholomew
3.3  Paula Bartholomew  replied to  @3    one month ago

How are you able to post without a name?

Buzz of the Orient
3.3.1  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Paula Bartholomew @3.3    one month ago

I just asked Perrie to look into that.

The Magic Eight Ball
4  The Magic Eight Ball    one month ago
The 2020 Cake Is (Almost) Baked

and the leftwing cheese has officially slid off the cracker.


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