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Welcome to Hark Herald Press Sunday, June 13 2021 @ 01:46 AM UTC

EDITORIAL: Prediction for the 2020 Presidential Election

Elections and Voting
  • Saturday, September 05 2020 @ 06:11 PM UTC
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Although the opposition against President Trump is fierce, it is in no way a guarantee that he will lose the 2020 Presidential Election. We examine various factors that could, however, lead to President Trump losing, even though he is an incumbent that enjoys strong support among is base.

The first factor surrounds Hillary Clinton's catastrophic mistake of dismissing the need to spend more time campaigning in swing states. In particular, she should have spent more time playing defense in states such as Wisconsin, Michigan and Colorado and less time trying to turn North Carolina into a blue state or salvage Iowa from turning red. Trump spent much more time than Clinton did in those states, so, at minimum, it was a dumb mistake by Clinton. Biden is not making the same mistake. Although Biden has largely been staying around Delaware because of COVID-19, he has traveled to Wisconsin, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Florida during the last 60 days before the election. The result, whether direct or indirect, is that Biden is leading polls in four battleground states.

The second factor is the all the 2016 news generated by Trump and the media circus surrounding him, plus major stories like the FBIís investigation of Clinton. They had the effect of drowning out the Clinton's efforts at a gradual, coalition-building approach. Clinton's choice of offering an overall message that didnít sell to white voters without college degrees was a high-level strategic failure.

The third factor is the margin by which Trump won the 2016 election - a very slim margin. The election came down to a referendum between a lifelong politician like Clinton and a political outsider like Trump. Uneducated voters felt that for too long that Democrats ignored their economic situation, so instead of voting for the status quo, they opted for new blood. But, the problem for uneducated voters was that they didn't know Trump very well. His behavior has now come into focus, and while many of his supporters aren't bothered by Trump's un-Presidential behavior, many more feel that he is not fit to hold the office of The President. It's those "swing" voters that are repulsed by Trump that could decide the election.

The fourth factor is the COVID-19 pandemic and the Trump administration's handling of the response. According to a July, 2020 ABC News/Washington Post poll, Biden holds a distinct advantage among voters in how he would handle the pandemic:

While Trump held a slim advantage back in March, that was wiped out by a factor of almost 20 points in July. Clearly, Americans have lost faith in Trump's handling of the pandemic over the last several months.

The fifth factor to consider is the rolling average of new COVID-19 cases in states that voted for President Trump. As seen in the graph below, the number of COVID-19 cases has spiked dramatically since early June. This will translate to a high number of sick and dying people over the months leading to the November election. Given that Trump's strategy as of late is to essentially ignore the pandemic, this does not bode well for incumbent Trump.

The sixth factor is the current state of the economy. Per the bureau of Labor Statistics Unemployment reported released September 4th, 2020:

"In August, the unemployment rate declined by 1.8 percentage points to 8.4 percent, and the number of unemployed persons fell by 2.8 million to 13.6 million. Both measures have declined for 4 consecutive months but are higher than in February, by 4.9 percentage points and 7.8 million, respectively."

Although the number of unemployed is improving with each passing month, there still remains almost 14 million unemployed workers, of which millions will likely never return to work before their unemployment benefits expire. It also does not reflect the lack of government stimulus for August and the months ahead (As of Sept 5th, 2020, Congress still cannot agree on a new stimulus). As a result, the number of people struggling to pay their bills will rise dramatically in Fall of 2020. This chart explains this important metric:

As the graph plainly shows, there was a drop in those struggling to pay their bills after the first stimulus in May-June. As that money has run out, the number of those struggling to pay their bills has doubled since July to almost 50%. This metric isn't to be taken lightly, as this means there will likely be a surge in the numbers of people being evicted and/or foreclosed in the weeks and months leading to the November election.

While it is true that most incumbents enjoy an election advantage by being a mere incumbent, other factors can affect this advantage. Namely, the state of the economy. While the numbers don't appear catastrophic, recent news and statistics show an economy recovering at a snail's pace. With Congress hopelessly gridlocked over the next stimulus, Americans will continue to spiral downward economically as the November 4th election approaches. This will likely work against Trump and his administration (and the Democrats know this given their political calculation of not conceding in their stimulus bill fight).

Given that the pandemic is still worsening in terms of overall infections, and given that the daily death count in the USA is still over 1000 per day (1033 for Sept 4th), these are also factors that could work against Trump.

As such, our prediction for the winner of the United States 2020 Presidential Election is Joe Biden:


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