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“Then why were the polls so wrong?”
The national polls were actually really close. They predicted Clinton would win by a few million votes, and she did. Obviously, though, the popular vote doesn’t mean much. The swing state polls were a little less accurate but not much. A reading of state polls shows many of them were very close, within the margin of error.
The big thing that threw off pollsters in a few of the swing states was that they underestimated turnout in rural counties that had not turned out well in past elections. Trump inspired people to vote who hadn’t voted in a long time in these counties.
Pollsters always have to make assumptions about which voting blocks will vote – they are doing a lot of statistical analysis on a relatively small sample in each poll. If a voter is from a rural county in PA, what’s the chance he will turn out in November? Based on 2008 and 2012, only X percent…so they weigh the samples from those types of counties that way. In some states like PA, they were wrong about that.
I have no doubt that some Trump voters lied to pollsters in 2016. But there’s no evidence that it was significant in fooling pollsters in a significant way. Romney voters in 2012 probably lied to pollsters, too.
Paul: “In 2016, many Trump supporters gave fake answers to pollsters, leading to the polls being completely wrong, and of course we know the result.”
I don’t agree that the reason for the wrong predictions about the 2016 election was because “people lied to pollsters.”
I will say that I’m OK with Windows 10 these days even if I don’t use it myself. When I do, I find it much less stressful than Windows 8 was (ugh!). And they have a Linux kernel built in now!!!
I had a great experience recently porting the hard drive from a dead HP laptop into a Lenovo laptop for someone. In the old days, in the Windows 7 era, trying to boot a Windows install on other hardware usually resulted in a BSOD – maybe you could tweak it with some work but it was a PITA. This time, I was shocked that I could boot the HP W10 install on the Dell desktop(!) and then also in the Lenovo laptop, without doing anything!!! Wow, I was shocked. It even BIOS-activated automatically. Kudos to Microsoft – they have finally fixed some of my biggest annoyances with Windows.
I don’t use Windows very often – I use Ubuntu Linux on almost everything. This laptop I’m using now is stuck on Ubuntu 14.04 (no longer supported) – can’t upgrade directly, some package I installed is blocking it and I gave up trying to figure out what. As long as I can update the browsers (still can) occasionally I’m still OK with it. Other laptop has Ubuntu 20.04 on it.
I have some photo software flow stuff on the 14.04 machine I need to port over to 20.04 – once I do that I’ll finally dump this 14.04 installation, just copy over the image of 20.04 from the other laptop. I use an ancient piece of software for Windows called BreezeBrowser to view/organize photos and I have to use Wine in Linux to run it. It is picky – have to get the Wine settings just right on a new installation or it won’t work. I should probably move on to something else besides BreezeBrowser, but I have my whole flow figured out and don’t feel like starting over.
For Windows, I mostly use it in virtual machines. I have W7 in a virtual machine. This year I finally did my taxes without H&R Block for the first time in 15 years so I didn’t even need to boot up W7 in the VM. I have a W10 install on a Dell desktop a client gave me so I use that for occasional troubleshooting of Windows issues people have. But I don’t use Windows for anything myself anymore.
I’ve been tracking and analyzing the daily Oregon date for three months. It’s become clear to me that looking at it at the state level is not very meaningful – you have to look at it by county and also by population density. Sure, Multnomah county has the most new cases per week (458 last week) but also the largest population. Umatilla had 323 new cases last week but 1/10 the population of Multnomah!!!
In Oregon, Multnomah is seeing a modest but steady increase in the cases-per-week number. As of yesterday, it had increased by 21% from last week, which is worrisome. But some counties have seen much steeper increases e.g. Malheur (almost doubled the number of new cases per week in just one week). Umatilla and Morrow are not looking good; these three counties all have an infection rate of over 4,000 new cases per week per 1M people vs. only about 563 new cases per week per 1M people.
There seem to be a number of people of the opinion that “we all just need to catch the virus, and if a few people die, so be it.”
There are others who think Covid is some kind of conspiracy – from 5G towers or a media hoax or whatever.
Still others simply don’t believe in science. They are still convinced Covid is just like the flu. And it’s not the role of the Federal Government to interfere.
Unfortunately, there are plenty of such people in America, and tens of millions of them will vote for Trump in November.
Deane: “I don’t know if Trump knew about this issue or not, or even if it ever occured, but I would consider it a pretty serious situation if there is any substance to it. You can’t go by what the NYT’s prints, so we don’t really know the facts at this time.”
Can we go by what the Wall Street Journal prints?
I think it will be Harris, too. Biden has great respect for the Senate, having served there for so long. Harris ran a disappointing presidential campaign, after launching one with such high expectations. Her campaign speeches were devoid of imagination, filled with uninspiring cliches. But she also sometimes showed toughness in other situations e.g. when questioning witnesses in Senate hearings and in some of her debate performances.
Biden would be elected in a landslide if the election were held tomorrow. But it won’t be held tomorrow. Biden is much further ahead of Trump now than Clinton was at this point in 2016, but things can change a lot in a few months… just like I’ve been saying for months, when some of you guaranteed Trump would be re-elected no matter what. I make not guarantees about November, even though it’s looking pretty good for Biden right now.
It will be crucial for Democrats to hold on to the House, as the NEXT Congress ultimately decides who the next president is. It’s usually a formality, but in 2021 it may not be. If there are fights in states over electors, it may be up to Congress to decide which electors even to count. It will be a lot easier of Democrats can also re-take the Senate. If that happens, I will worry a whole lot less about Trump’s exit.
Chris, I am worried about the period between November 4 and January 20 (assuming Biden wins). I don’t see Trump going quietly. He’ll claim “fraud!” until his dying day if he doesn’t win, no matter how much of a landslide it might be. He can really make it hard for Biden to take over. He can file lawsuits in states with close elections and try to challenge the result. He can work to delegitimize Biden and will probably have help from Republicans in Congress, who will revert right back to obstructionism just like they did under Obama.
With all of the new states probably going to do mail-in voting for the first time in a general election, we may not even know the winner of the election for the first few days. So November 4 may be kind of anti-climactic.
Deane: “It probably doesn’t need to be said that a weak VP gives a Republican a better shot at being elected in 2024. A strong VP could very likely get elected President in 2024.”
I don’t agree. Sitting vice presidents don’t have a good record of getting elected to succeed the sitting president. George H. W. Bush was the first one to win, in 1988, in over a hundred years.
All depends what kind of role Biden might give to this VP and if that person is already a political entity. We already know it will be a woman, though, and I think there will be a lot of pressure again from the Democratic side to elect a woman.
Deane: “It pains me to have to vote for Biden, I just hope he doesn’t screw it up with the VP choice.”
If I were a traditional Republican, I’d be thinking about 2024. Get Trump out in 2020, know Biden is likely going to serve only one term…and maybe by 2024 Republicans will finally wake up and embrace someone like John Kasich, who is at least an an actual human being.
The President of the United States was attending the graduation at West Point. He has an advance team. Either they screwed up big-time and didn’t install an appropriate, safe ramp for him to walk down…or Trump is full of shit. Which explanation do you think is most plausible?
The K-Pop story is cute, but it’s not plausible. There was no limit to tickets available. An overflow area was setup. As many actual Trump supporters as wanted to risk infection could have attended had they wanted to.
More likely, the low attendance was a combination of Trump’s low popularity and fear of catching Covid.