A New Way to Run for President
Two competing narratives are being promoted regarding the 2020 election.
One says Joe Biden is far ahead, people hate Trump, and the public polls are accurate. National polls show Biden in the lead, and in many the lead is double digits. If the polls giving Biden the biggest leads are even close to accurate, he is headed for the largest victory of a Democratic candidate in our lifetimes.
A second narrative holds essentially that the polls are wrong, you can’t trust them, and a lot of people who support the President are “secret” or shy voters who will never tell you they’re going to vote for Trump.
Let’s look at two options.
One, the polls are generally right even if they may be overstating the lead. There is good reason to doubt some of the polls that show huge, double-digit leads. For example, the recent CNN and NBC polls both oversampled Democrats by huge margins. Computer people used to teach “garbage in, garbage out.” If the data itself isn’t solid, the conclusions you reach by interpreting it won’t be either. And you can get the result you want by manipulating the sample.
The President’s approval numbers have never been stellar. But, they have been fairly close to what Obama’s were at the same general points in his first term. As you know, Obama was comfortably reelected. In addition, if you look at polls that survey likely voters, rather than registered voters, and look further at those that came closest to getting it right in 2016, you get a picture of a much closer race.
Still, if you had to be in Biden’s position today, or in the President’s, the smart money would say take Biden’s. All national polling organizations have shown fairly consistent leads for Biden for several months now. And the average in Real Clear Politics is around 6 points.
The second option is that the polls are way off, Trump is headed for another upset win, and there is plenty of anecdotal information to support the point. Yes, sometimes the polls are wrong, as they largely were in 2016. “No one” expected Trump to win. Guys like Nate Silver said Clinton had a 97.43947649 % chance of winning. Etc.
Back in the days of Republican campaign schools, we taught that it is hard to beat somebody with nobody. A concurrent theme was that being against something isn’t sufficient. Voters may not remember the specific issues you discuss, but they will remember you were informed, well-meaning, and how you made them feel.
It is strange that Biden has not set out an issues agenda. Their platform is a host of extremist far left positions, most of whom were taken directly from Socialist candidate Bernie Sanders. Most of the 110 page Democratic Platform is taken directly from the joint agreement between Biden and Sanders. So that is his agenda.
But Biden doesn’t talk much about those issues because they are political losers. There are very few specifics in the Platform that poll well with voters. More to the point, what does he stand for as a person with 47 years in public service? There is a rumor he joined a bipartisan coalition to support National Peach Month a couple of decades back. And Biden brags about his close relationships with segregationists and with former KKK Exalted Cyclops Robert Byrd. (It would be a drag to be a non-exalted cyclops.)
What are the three major achievements you most closely associate with Biden? O K. How about one? We’ll wait.
Biden’s main message is that Trump sucks and Biden hates him more than you do. That’s it. Orange man bad.
I assume the Democratic campaign is not being run by a bunch of rabid opossums, so you have to believe they have data that keeps them from taking stands and keeps them off the trail. Yet the lack of an agenda hurts them with some voters. As it should.
When a reporter today said the people have a right to know how he feels about packing the court Biden actually said no, they didn't. Bien's arrogance and condescension makes Trump look like a calmer version of Mr. Rogers.
Another reason to doubt the big Biden lead is that the Biden campaign has no “ground game.” The Trump campaign is knocking on a million doors a week. The equivalent number for Biden: zero.
For years – and I once ran the training and education programs for the RNC – it was accepted doctrine that you had to actually have real live humans working in the precincts to identify your supporters and make sure they voted. It made compelling sense for years, and still does.
The Biden campaign is taking a new path toward election day. Until the last few weeks, Biden wasn’t campaigning at all. More than half of the days in the past month they just took off. Didn't bother to campaign.
Kamala Harris has been harder to find than Bigfoot. It was thought that Harris might be the one out front, campaigning visibly, and doing lots of press availabilities. Those who expected that could not have been more wrong.
Harris has not held a news conference. Comments from an anonymous Biden campaign insider this week made this simple point: Harris isn’t very likable. The more people learn about her, the thought goes, the less they like her.
Trump takes questions from reporters every day. And they are more often than not pointed and hostile. Biden has done some virtual events, where he is aided in answering questions by his staff and a teleprompter. But he hasn’t done a single large, no holds barred, come one, come all, event with the media. Not one. Same number of times Jerry Nadler has won a triathlon. In the MSNBC townhall this week, the pre-arranged questioners included at least two they said were undecided and then, after the event, were revealed as committed Biden supporters.
The few questions Biden takes from the media are restricted to things like “Do you agree Trump is terrible?” or “Can you possibly undo all the evil things Trump has done?” That is not much of an exaggeration.
Most of the polls show a huge difference in how people intend to vote based on whether they plan to vote in person or some other way. People voting in person overwhelmingly support Trump. By double-digits. If that is the case, it puts extreme pressure on those voting by other means to do so. If it is hard for someone to make it to the polls, how certain are you that you will go to the trouble to open, read, and fill out a mail ballot, make sure it is done so correctly, and get it in the mail on time? If voting in person is a challenge – where all you have to do is show up – it may be a challenge to vote other ways as well.
There are more confounding factors we'll look at in the next few days.
Meanwhile, not one major news organization has made an effort to ask Biden the tough questions. China, Russia, and the Ukraine own him internationally, and the far left owns him here. The media are, in effect, the Biden campaign. And there is much he should be held accountable for. We'll be watching to see if anyone steps up to the plate and tries to save the reputation of American journalism. Stay tuned. More shortly.