All You Need to Know #2
The 2020 US Presidential Election
Previously: All You Need to Know #1
So! It was a huge week. And not just because of the good headlines. When you dig beneath the headlines, it’s the nuance that makes me even more optimistic. Let’s start with The Supreme Court determining that DACA (also known as the Dreamers Program), won’t be canceled. That’s a big deal, but it’s the details that make it an even bigger story.
Detail number one is the 5–4 vote. It’s widely believed that 5 of the justices are right wing, including the Chief Justice, and 4 are left wing. The fear for the left is that any wedge issue that goes to the Supreme Court — whether DACA, gay and transgender rights, sanctuary cities, guns, public healthcare, marijuana, euthanasia, abortion, women’s rights, black lives matter, you name it — the fear is these issues will will all come down to a 5–4 ruling in favour of the conservatives. And yet, that’s just not what’s happening. At all.
Yes, the DACA ruling passed 5–4, but it was in favour of the liberal side. Even more shocking was that the tiebreaking vote came from the conservative Chief Justice John Roberts. But it wasn’t just DACA. Earlier this week, he did the same with gay and transgender rights. This week also saw him disagree with the Trump White House on topics like whether churches could defy social distancing measures, sanctuary cities, and even gun control. And this is the same guy who single-handedly saved Obamacare a few years ago, again siding with the liberals to cast a tie-breaking vote and shocking conservatives that thought he was a reliable vote for their camp.
So that’s the first reason this isn’t merely good news. It’s a sign of a continuing trend, and that trend doesn’t look good for Trump. The court may actually be turning more moderate than is commonly believed. Because this wasn’t one case, or even two. It’s been a week of multiple cases where the court seems to be thinking for itself instead of voting in lockstep with the administration. If anything, they seem to voting in lockstep to disagree with this administration. The Trump administration has lost over 90% of its cases with the Roberts Supreme court. The average rate for other presidents has been about 30%.
Ok, so what’s going on here? Why does the Trump administration keep losing at a historic rate? From what I’ve read, it’s because they’re sloppy and arrogant, which leads to them making unforced errors while attempting to enacting their policies. In short, they’re hearing from John Roberts “your rationale stinks, you didn’t follow legal protocol, and we don’t really believe you’re arguing in good faith.” They said as much when they struck down a census question, and we’re seeing the same Trump fatigue from his own military leaders, everyday Americans, evangelicals, and even registered Republicans. No one’s really buying that Trump is arguing in good faith, which is dragging every one of his polls down.
Speaking of his poll numbers, let’s take a look at The Only Six States That Matter. Biden increased his lead in all six this week. Here are the stats. In Florida, Biden’s average went from 3.4% to 4.6%. Pennsylvania, 3.3% up to 5.6%. North Carolina went from a 0.3% Trump lead to a perfect tie. Michigan managed to take a 7.3% Biden lead last week and get even worse. Now the gap is up to 8.6%. Arizona went from 3.4% up to 4.0%, and Wisconsin went from 4.0% to 5.4%. Now, that’s a lot of numbers to soak up all at once, so let me demonstrate what that all means in another light.
Let’s say the polls are under-counting Trump’s numbers by 4.5%. The way the data currently stands, Biden would still win the election. Again, I’m saying even if the polls are off by 4.5%, Trump still loses. That’s how overwhelming Biden’s lead currently is. On the other hand, if the polls are under-counting Biden by even 2%, Biden would win by the greatest electoral landslide since 1988, because deep red Texas would flip blue.
So let’s talk about polls, and whether or not we can trust them. Can we? Yes and no. Like people, some polls have good track records, and some don’t. So the best thing you can do is find reliable polls based on their historical accuracy, average them out, and they do a really good job. Yeah, even in 2016.
When you go back four years and read the polls, here’s what they say. They showed a big Hillary Clinton lead right up until three days to go until the election. And that was the day a big story hit the pages of major newspapers around the country that made Hillary Clinton look bad. Those last three days of polling accurately predicted the very thing that doomed Hillary on election day: so-called “double haters,” meaning people who hated both Trump and Clinton in equal measure, rushed away from Clinton that weekend on masse, which is how Trump won. The polls actually did predict it, if it hadn’t been for that New York Times story, the “double haters” would have split more evenly, and Hillary Clinton would have been president.
So, you might be wondering: what’s the “double hater” situation this year? Well, pollsters are estimating the “double haters” to be about 3–5% of the voting population, which is a lot of people. And so far 60% of them are supporting Biden, while only 10% support Trump.
And that is very good news. See you next week!