Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: The Undecideds

 

To me, the remarkable aspect of this poll is not that Biden is leading. It’s that it shows 7% of the electorate is undecided. Really? Undecided? This late in the game? And with these two politicians? One who has been fed into our consciousness in every aspect of our lives over the past five years and is currently the president and the other who was vice president and has been in the public sphere for nearly five decades? Who in the hell are this 7% who can’t make up their minds?

And then it hit me: They aren’t undecided, they lean Trump, but they are waiting to make that final commitment. Something is stopping them. Something relatively intangible. It’s the “tone” thing. They are down with his policies and achievements, but they just don’t like the guy’s attitude. They prefer the “presidential” thing. – Larry O’Connor

O’Connor’s conclusion is that through his performance at the third debate Trump gave that class of undecided what they needed to vote for him. He was presidential enough. Read the whole thing.

There are other straws in the wind indicating a Trump victory. Not just a Trump victory, but a substantial Trump victory. These are factors based on hard numbers.

The Gallup poll that showed Biden up by 12 not only oversampled Democrats, but had a curious result among Republicans polled: only 72% said they were voting for Trump. The last time an incumbent Republican President got less than 80% of Republicans voting for him was in 1992 – and H. Ross Perot was running against George H.W. Bush, siphoning off nearly 20% of the Republicans. Where is this year’s Perot?

Trump got 94 percent of the Presidential votes cast in the primaries this year. Which means for the Gallup numbers to be credible one out of five Republicans that cast a vote for Trump in the primaries has changed their minds and will vote for Biden in the general election. Does that sound credible?

Trump also got more votes cast for him during the primary season than did Biden. The numbers of voters that turned out to vote for Trump in the primary broke records. Normally when an incumbent President is running in a largely uncontested Presidential primary that candidate gets fewer votes than he did during the primary season in which he was first nominated to run for President. Instead, Trump received significantly more.

How much more? He matched the total number of primary votes cast for Biden and exceeded them by over 30%. No incumbent President who received more primary votes than his November election ever lost a Presidential election.

But wait! There’s more!

Trump’s approval among Black, Latino, and Asian voters is significantly higher than it was four years ago. (I suspect the gain in Asians, which is small, is largely anchored in the Vietnamese community, who have become wildly enthusiastic about Trump. When I visited Vietnam two years ago everyone there liked Trump.) A Biden victory requires over 90% of Blacks and Hispanics to vote for Biden. Any erosion in minority support will prove fatal to Biden’s chances.

Additionally, Trump has a 52% approval rating and 56% of the public believes they are better off than they were four years ago. No incumbent President lost with approval ratings above 50% and over half of the country believing they are better off than four years ago (and several have won reelection with approval ratings below 50%).

Finally, there is the fact that Trump won four years ago, and the coalition that put him over the top is still behind him. Can you name anyone you know personally who voted Trump four years ago who plans on voting for Biden this year? I am not talking about long-time Republicans who did not vote for him in 2016 – the Kasichs, Flakes, and Romneys of the party. I mean anyone who went into the voting booth in 2016 and marked the ballot for Trump? Can you name one? Me neither.

But what about vote fraud? Ballot box stuffing? Won’t that matter? Only if it is close. Bogus ballots can only shift an election by a maximum of 1%. It is most effective when the difference is razor-thin, such as the election that got Al Franken his Senate seat. Check all the California elections won by ballot harvesting last time. In all of them, the difference between victor and loser was less than one percent.

I don’t think it will be that close. And with Mr. Biden saying he is going to close down the oil industry and make us dependent on foreign kleptocracies for our energy, the trend towards Trump will only increase.

I am not predicting a Reagan landslide, but I do think it will be a sold Trump victory, perhaps similar to “W’s” re-election.

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  1. Dr. Bastiat Member

    All that makes sense.

    I really hope you’re right.

    • #1
    • October 24, 2020, at 8:28 AM PDT
    • 12 likes
  2. JoelB Member

    The comparison of the primary votes seems questionable to me since in 2016 Trump was running against a large field as was Biden in 2020. Otherwise I concur. I have never heard anyone say that he voted for Trump in 2016 and was so disappointed that he would abstain or vote against him in 2020. Even slight gains in typically Democrat minority groups seems likely to put him over the top.

    • #2
    • October 24, 2020, at 9:20 AM PDT
    • Like
  3. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. StephensJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Hope so. Don’t belive it.

    • #3
    • October 24, 2020, at 9:26 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  4. Jon1979 Lincoln

    The only way the options around the country would be at odds with the final vote results is if there really is a huge group of ‘shy’ Biden voters, who don’t go to rallies, don’t post yard signs or bumper stickers and are basically not so much for the candidate as they are burning with a white-hot desire to silently cast their ballots against Donald Trump.

    It could be possible — in the battle between ‘freedom’ vs. ‘security’ in the COVID era, there is a chance Biden voters really are too scared of the virus to make public appearances out of fear of contracting the disease and possibly dying. That’s at least the spin for the claims that Biden has a significant lead among seniors, and I suppose it also could be true for the vast mob of suburban moms that are supposed to be out there itching to vote for Joe in order to return comity to the country.

    But it does go against the other political activism of the summer, where people you’d assume are going to vote for Biden have had no problem turning out en masse for demonstrations, both peaceful and violent.

     

    • #4
    • October 24, 2020, at 9:28 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  5. Eustace C. Scrubb Member

    As you say, don’t know anyone who voted for Trump last time voting against him now. (Ann Coulter?) But I know people who didn’t vote last time who are voting for him this time. Like me.

    • #5
    • October 24, 2020, at 9:47 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  6. Doctor Robert Member

    From your laptop to God’s eyes.

    Hope for the best. Expect the worst.

    • #6
    • October 24, 2020, at 9:48 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  7. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter

    JoelB (View Comment):

    The comparison of the primary votes seems questionable to me since in 2016 Trump was running against a large field as was Biden in 2020. Otherwise I concur. I have never heard anyone say that he voted for Trump in 2016 and was so disappointed that he would abstain or vote against him in 2020. Even slight gains in typically Democrat minority groups seems likely to put him over the top.

    Barrak Obama got fewer votes in the 2012 primary than he did in the 2008 primary. Both George W. Bush and Clinton got fewer votes in their incumbent primaries than in the primaries in which they won the nomination to which they won their first nomination. It is rare for a President to get more primary votes in their second term race than in their first term race, and every time they have done so they went on to win the election. Also, most of Biden’s opponents dropped out in early March leaving him a clear field for the rest of the primary season.

    • #7
    • October 24, 2020, at 10:10 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  8. Arahant Member

    I don’t know if Larry is right. I’m in the Doctor Robert camp. Hope for the best. Expect the worst.

    As for The Undecideds, I want that as a television show.


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    Or, if you’re looking to write something a bit more creative, you might try our Group Writing Project this month: It was a dark and stormy night…

    • #8
    • October 24, 2020, at 1:02 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  9. Chuck Thatcher

    Seawriter: Trump got 94 percent of the Presidential votes cast in the primaries this year. Which means for the Gallup numbers to be credible one out of five Republicans that cast a vote for Trump in the primaries has changed their minds and will vote for Biden in the general election. Does that sound credible?

    What am I missing? Did Gallup only poll those that voted in the primaries? Because all this tells me is that those Republicans who bothered with the primary didn’t vote in the primary for an alternative: Tells me nothing about the majority who don’t do Republican primaries, or those who felt they had to vote in the Dimocrat primary to have a say in local politics. 

    • #9
    • October 24, 2020, at 4:20 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  10. Giulietta Coolidge

    I wonder how many of the people who would be affected by Biden’s oil comment at the debate have already voted? There’s no way to tell, I suppose. 

     

    • #10
    • October 24, 2020, at 5:48 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  11. JustmeinAZ Member

    Giulietta (View Comment):

    I wonder how many of the people who would be affected by Biden’s oil comment at the debate have already voted? There’s no way to tell, I suppose.

     

    There is this piece on Powerline today.

    https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2020/10/why-you-shouldnt-vote-early.php

    • #11
    • October 24, 2020, at 5:56 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  12. Jon1979 Lincoln

    Giulietta (View Comment):

    I wonder how many of the people who would be affected by Biden’s oil comment at the debate have already voted? There’s no way to tell, I suppose.

     

    The tweet linked to in the Powerline blog posts notes the spike in “How to I change my vote?” queries in New Mexico. Since 50 percent of the state’s oil and gas production is on federal lands, and nearly 40 percent of the state’s budget comes from oil and gas-related income, it’s a pretty good guess that if the trend line for the query is going straight up, that’s a lot of people who likely voted for Biden prior to Thursday’s debate and now realized they may have voted themselves or their family members out of jobs. There also are blotches of queries in the Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston areas, as well as in Pennsylvania (and the northeast corridor in general), where Joe’s statement on fracking may have sparked the remorse.

    • #12
    • October 24, 2020, at 6:23 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  13. Giulietta Coolidge

    Jon1979 (View Comment):

    Giulietta (View Comment):

    I wonder how many of the people who would be affected by Biden’s oil comment at the debate have already voted? There’s no way to tell, I suppose.

     

    The tweet linked to in the Powerline blog posts notes the spike in “How to I change my vote?” queries in New Mexico. Since 50 percent of the state’s oil and gas production is on federal lands, and nearly 40 percent of the state’s budget comes from oil and gas-related income, it’s a pretty good guess that if the trend line for the query is going straight up, that’s a lot of people who likely voted for Biden prior to Thursday’s debate and now realized they may have voted themselves or their family members out of jobs. There also are blotches of queries in the Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston areas, as well as in Pennsylvania (and the northeast corridor in general), where Joe’s statement on fracking may have sparked the remorse.

    That’s really interesting. I can’t tell if I want to scream or weep loudly.

    • #13
    • October 24, 2020, at 6:45 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  14. Jon1979 Lincoln

    Giulietta (View Comment):

    Jon1979 (View Comment):

    Giulietta (View Comment):

    I wonder how many of the people who would be affected by Biden’s oil comment at the debate have already voted? There’s no way to tell, I suppose.

     

    The tweet linked to in the Powerline blog posts notes the spike in “How to I change my vote?” queries in New Mexico. Since 50 percent of the state’s oil and gas production is on federal lands, and nearly 40 percent of the state’s budget comes from oil and gas-related income, it’s a pretty good guess that if the trend line for the query is going straight up, that’s a lot of people who likely voted for Biden prior to Thursday’s debate and now realized they may have voted themselves or their family members out of jobs. There also are blotches of queries in the Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston areas, as well as in Pennsylvania (and the northeast corridor in general), where Joe’s statement on fracking may have sparked the remorse.

    That’s really interesting. I can’t tell if I want to scream or weep loudly.

    On a mitigating circumstances note, the areas on the map shaded blue in New Mexico that are providing the Google queries for vote changing seem to be in the western part of the state, where NM basically trends from Republican the further southeast you go to Democrat the further northwest you are. Which means the oilfield areas that voted for Trump in 2016 aren’t having voter remorse, and will vote for him again this year. It’s the Hillary areas, where some people aren’t directly affected by oilfield jobs, but would be majorly impacted by a 40 percent plunge in state revenues, that seem to be asking if they can change their vote (the map also seems to show a large section of eastern Arizona also has been asking about changing votes. Not sure if that would tie into what Biden said on fracking at Thursday’s debate or if it’s something else).

    • #14
    • October 24, 2020, at 7:33 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  15. TBA Coolidge

    I am trying to hope appropriately. I don’t want to end up as another kneel-scream meme. 

    • #15
    • October 24, 2020, at 8:03 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  16. MISTER BITCOIN Member

    If I were a betting man, which I am, I would bet 90% of undecides will vote for Trump.

    I have one friend who is ‘undecided’: he knows Trump is the right pick because Biden is senile and unfit for office but his personal animus toward Trump is affecting his judgement

     

    • #16
    • October 25, 2020, at 12:19 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  17. MISTER BITCOIN Member

    JustmeinAZ (View Comment):

    Giulietta (View Comment):

    I wonder how many of the people who would be affected by Biden’s oil comment at the debate have already voted? There’s no way to tell, I suppose.

     

    There is this piece on Powerline today.

    https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2020/10/why-you-shouldnt-vote-early.php

    The day after the debate one of the popular searches on google was ‘how do I change my vote” especially in PA

     

    • #17
    • October 25, 2020, at 12:20 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  18. MISTER BITCOIN Member

    JustmeinAZ (View Comment):

    Giulietta (View Comment):

    I wonder how many of the people who would be affected by Biden’s oil comment at the debate have already voted? There’s no way to tell, I suppose.

     

    There is this piece on Powerline today.

    https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2020/10/why-you-shouldnt-vote-early.php

    https://www.toptradeguru.com/news/change-my-vote-search-phrase-trending-off-the-charts-in-pa-fl-nc-mi-ga-tx-wi-more/

    The search phrase hit peak searches right after the debates–hitting the MAX limit of the Google search trends chart–and continued strong into the next day:

     

    • #18
    • October 25, 2020, at 12:23 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  19. Jules PA Member

    Is there comparison data for undecided in past years for this point in the cycle?

    7% this year

    Additionally, I am saddened by people so willing to vote early, before debates, when so much can happen.

    And even more saddened that state governments support foolishness of changing early voting. 

    That’s just adding more chaos and opportunity for fraud and error to the process.

    Oh wait, maybe that’s the point.

    • #19
    • October 25, 2020, at 4:52 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  20. I Walton Member

    The undecided only 1%? Based on what? What do we actually know about what is being planned by Democrats? By Republicans?

    • #20
    • October 25, 2020, at 5:28 AM PDT
    • Like
  21. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter

    Chuck (View Comment):
    What am I missing? Did Gallup only poll those that voted in the primaries? Because all this tells me is that those Republicans who bothered with the primary didn’t vote in the primary for an alternative: Tells me nothing about the majority who don’t do Republican primaries, or those who felt they had to vote in the Dimocrat primary to have a say in local politics.

    Over 19 million Republicans voted in the 2020 primaries. Of those nearly 19 out of every 20 voted for Trump. Gallup took a sample of perhaps 5000 people for its poll. If we want to be really generous give them 20,000. Of those sampled something like 28% claimed to be Republican. (1400 out of 5000 or 5600 of 20,000). Of that sample only 3 out of every 4 (or 15 out of ever 20) said they were voting for Trump.

    Any way you look at it that is a significant skew. 19 out of 20 people who actually voted in the Republican primary (and therefore identified themselves as Republican) voted for Trump. Of a much smaller sample set, only 15 out of 20 people who called themselves Republican when contacted said they were voting for Trump. 19+ million hard, actual data points versus maybe 5600 soft data points.

    I worked with statistics and data for nearly 30 years as a Shuttle navigator. (Space navigation is all doing best fit on sets of remote observations.) The biggest part of the job – the reason humans were involved – was determining when data received was bad. For me, this kind of skew between actual and reported position would ring all kinds of alarm bells. A statistically accurate sample (which is what those 1400 or 5600) were should track close to actual results (18.2 millon of 19 million votes actually cast for Trump). Remember the larger the sample set, the more reliable it is.

    What explains the almost 20 percent difference between the large data set and the much smaller sample? I can think of a number of explanations. The most obvious one is that there were a large number of Democrats who claimed to be Republicans when polled. (That could explain the change in party affiliation in polling results, but not the large swing seen in actual voter registration.) But there are other possiblities. These include the 94% of Republicans willing to vote for Trump being less willing to be polled while the 6% willing to vote for Biden being more likely to answer polls or the polling sample being taken disproportionately from area where Republican are less willing to vote for Trump (upper-middle-class suburbs and college towns rather than rural districts).

    Since historically – except for the 1992 Presidential election with Ross Perot siphoning Republican votes from GHW Bush, at least 90 percent of Republicans vote for the incumbent candidate, your polling results should either match that 0r have a really, really solid explanation of why there is such a big difference. Especially since the primary results match historic performance.

    If the Gallup poll were a radar unit, the results of which I was dependent upon to put my spacecraft on the runway, I would be checking its calibration before the deorbit burn. Because with that big an error you are not going to have enough energy to deadstick it to your runway. You are going to end up in the eastern Gulf of Mexico instead of Kennedy Space Center.

    That is the significance of the primary results.

    • #21
    • October 25, 2020, at 5:43 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  22. Percival Thatcher
    PercivalJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    MISTER BITCOIN (View Comment):
    If I were a betting man, which I am, I would bet 90% of undecides will vote for Trump.

    Only the ones who are still alive.

    • #22
    • October 25, 2020, at 7:06 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  23. Jon1979 Lincoln

    Percival (View Comment):

    MISTER BITCOIN (View Comment):
    If I were a betting man, which I am, I would bet 90% of undecides will vote for Trump.

    Only the ones who are still alive.

    I’m expecting a new round of “You’re all going to die of COVID” stories to glut the media this week, in hopes of convincing swing voters they won’t be alive very long if Trump wins.

    • #23
    • October 25, 2020, at 7:13 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  24. TBA Coolidge

    “Who will you be voting for, sir?” 

    Internal dialogue: Do I want to lie, or risk being doxxed and fired?  

    “Um, Truuuundecided. I just can’t decide at this moment.” 

    • #24
    • October 25, 2020, at 1:01 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  25. Jules PA Member

    Yup. I’m undecided until the voting booth. And I don’t talk about my vote. 

    • #25
    • October 27, 2020, at 7:37 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  26. Jules PA Member

    And no exit polls for me either. 

    • #26
    • October 27, 2020, at 7:37 PM PDT
    • 4 likes