Fear & Loathing 2020: Four Months Out

(NOTE:  Image is from the delightful widget out at 270towin.com — You should go out there and play around with it.  I find it soothing.  -Editor)

Yes, there’s still an election coming.  Yes, I know you’re tired of hearing about it.  How do I know?  Funny you should ask…

Recent polling strongly indicates that America was enthusiastically following the presidential primary last July through Iowa and New Hampshire.  Once Uncle Joe was anointed, however, that excitement faltered more than a little.  The raw numbers say a lot of people stopped paying attention, and basic analysis tells us that number would be a lot bigger if people didn’t lie to pollsters.  Voters just don’t care right now.

And, really, who can blame them?  If we have a presidential debate at all — which I doubt — it’ll be the most inarticulate bit of televised oratory since they added sound.  Earlier, I predicted a battle between two angry Furbys locked in a closet; given Biden’s ads and Trump’s rally performance, it appears I may have set the bar too high.

The reason I doubt it is, despite Uncle Joe’s near-legendary lack of appeal, the election is his to lose.  Somehow the mere fact of his candidacy managed to put Florida back in play; anyone else running would have guaranteed it swung Republican.  Electorally, if Republicans lose Florida, it’s all over.

Much though I’d love to explore Biden’s mysterious Floridian fascination (Is it just because he’s old too?  Or is it that he’s more Republican than any candidate since Reagan?), the whithertos and whyfores of it are moot at this point.  Florida is leaning Democrat.  If the election were held tomorrow, Joe Biden would win in an electoral landslide.  All he apparently needs to do at this point is avoid missteps.  Like… appearing in public.  Choosing the “wrong” V.P. candidate.  Showing up to debates only to gibber nonsensically.  Releasing more semi-vocal campaign statements.

Having said that:  If any party can rob themselves of a guaranteed victory, it’s the Democrats.  They have a tried-and-true record of suicidal electoral tactics, ranging from the Eagleton nomination in ’68 through Gore, Kerry — and don’t get me started on 2016’s collective insanity.

For example:  National polling reveals that the Mayor of Atlanta, Keisha Lance Bottoms, would be a popular pick.  Look at just Georgia, however, and she’s one of the few people guaranteed to cost him the state, in part thanks to her inability to end the unrest in her own city.  Only Stacey Abrams does worse.  Picking Warren could cost him Florida; Rice only delivers D.C. (as if that would go Republican); Harris carries with her the stigma of being an ex-prosecutor — and any Senator is one that ipso facto won’t be in the Senate, which he can ill afford to gamble.  There are too many potential missteps here, and it’s worth noting that this is one choice that rests solely with Mr. Biden.  The Party cannot make it for him.

There are several other potential wildcards in play, however.  There is, after all, no guarantee that Mr. Trump will agree to run again; we won’t know for sure until the Convention.  Alternately, major domestic or foreign policy successes between now and Election Day could shift the dynamic drastically.

One more note:  The polling I mentioned above places Biden at 40%, Trump at 32%, Third Party at 6%, and Undecided at 9%.  One in eight said that they would not vote for president in 2020.  That’s a high number, folks — and it could change.

Time to start paying attention again, America.  This could get interesting.

TANSTAAFL: There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.

There’s a reason your news is biased:  It’s because you want it to be.

I know this because people still read the Times despite the paywall but the number of people willing to buy even one coffee on this site is pretty small. The number that share links is even smaller. We get what we pay for, people.

If you don’t like the CoffeeLink below, you might consider PayPal instead.  Slightly more bang for your buck.

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