Lllllllet’s Get Ready To Rrrrrummmmmble! Michael Buffer Boxing announcer
Of course, every election is different, but there are still some common sense principles that can be used as a starting point, and then apply current conditions to the “standard” principle. I want to start with the principle, and then throw in a couple of 2020 specific things that are jumping out at me.
Believe it or not, there actually is something that could be called an average Presidential election, and 2016 wasn’t far from it. Even with two or the most historically unpopular candidates, Clinton and Trump, just about 130 million people showed up to pull a handle. And that’s just about right. Obviously, in a year like 2008, with the first black Presidential candidate on the ballot, voting went through the roof. In other years, with more lackluster candidates, or where the conclusion is foregone, less interest shows up at the polls. Simple, right?
So, let’s use 130 million for our baseline vote. In a normal election year, there are a couple of things we can kind of pre compute. If say, 70 million people cast early ballots, then you can assume that election day turnout will be somewhere around 60 million votes. Likewise, if only 45 million show up early, them you’ll have about 85 million on election day.
Now, here’s where the wicket gets sticky, and my interest gets piqued. There are two cross tabs that I noticed that have numbers that stick out at me like a sore thumb, and the reason is that they each beg the exact, same question. In one tab, analysis of early voting shows that in many states, there is a range of 10-12% of African American voters who have already voted who did not vote in 2016. And in the other anomaly, analysis is showing that 7-8% of the turnout is coming from first time voters, who have never voted before.
Now, this is why this is nagging at me like picking at a scab. I am going to ask the same question, once to each set, so you can see where I’m coming from. When it comes to the African American vote, if you were a registered voter who chose to stay home in 2016, name me one thing that Donald Trump has done in the last 4 years to energize you to come out and vote for him in 2020. And now the same thing for first time voters. Whether you’re 60 years old and casting your first ballot, or just turned 18 in September, name one thing that Donald Trump has done in the last four years that motivated you to register and show up to vote?
See where I’m going with this? Unless your last name is Adelson or Koch, Trump hasn’t done a goddamn thing for you over the last four years, except to increase your chances of catching Covid-19. What has happened in the last 4 years that would cause a black voter who stayed home rather than vote for Trump in 2016, to suddenly go out and stand in a 5 hour line to vote for him this time around. And if you’re a first time voter, what has His Lowness done in the last 4 years to make you change a lifelong habit, register and go stand in line to vote?
And here’s why these two numbers fascinate me so much. MSNBC more or less embeds reporters in each campaign. There are 3 of them that regularly rotate to cover Trump on the road. And for the last few months, when they cover his rallies, they are asking as many supporters as they can catch if this is their first Trump rally? And they can’t find any. They’re all long time veterano’s of Trump rally mania. If Trump were motivating all of these African American and first time voters, don’t you think that at least some of them would show up at a rally? But they’re not.
And here’s the other thing that makes no sense when you factor in these numbers. Trump won the electoral college with 46% of the vote, losing the popular vote by more than 2 million. Trump had one magical week early in his term where he hit 48%, and immediately dropped like a stone. Since then, his ceiling has been almost rock solid at 45%, with most recent polling, both national as well as battleground states showing him bogged down at 42-44%.
In the last hour, we just kissed 80 million early votes cast, but no tongues. 90 million would be a full blown French kiss. But let’s go with 80 million. 7-8% of 80 million would be roughly 6.3-6.7 million votes. If there are that many new, first time voters out there, and it’s Trump who is flicking their Bics, why is he still mired at 42-44% nationally and in so many battleground states? That makes no sense. But if you look at the other side, you’ll see that it’s Biden who is slowly creeping up past 49, 50, and now regularly up at 51%. That appears to have a logical progression to it.
No, I’m not calling any races, and I’m making no predictions. But if you just start with a simple baseline, it is impossible to reconcile those numbers with Trump’s history and performance. Just something for you to think about. 5 days left. Pedal to the metal, and GOTV!
Follow me on Twitter at @RealMurfster35
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