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193 days until the elections. A few cautionary thoughts

by | Apr 23, 2020

By Dave Andrusko

Just a quick but important reminder. It is April 23, not October 23. There are 193 days—almost exactly six-and one-half months—before the November 3 elections. Why do I mention that today? Three reasons.

#1. There is a discernible rhythm to the media onslaught against pro-life President Trump. No, I do not mean the customary 7 days a week, 24 hours a day wave of hostility which they do not even pretend to hide.

I mean by that whenever a poll or set of polls pop up that prop up the electoral chances of pro-abortion Joe Biden, we are told that the President is in big trouble. Of course, what they do not provide is what contemporary journalism customarily avoids: context. 

Polls are ephemeral or conflicting or both. Today I read one story that had President Trump ahead in several key states, another poll had former vice president Biden in the lead in several states. 

Either way, it’s April 23.

#2. It is impossible to predict how the COVID-19 pandemic will affect the elections this far out. We simply don’t know what the death toll will be, how much the economy will have recovered, or how much credit, or blame, President Trump will receive. 

I found it immensely revealing that NBC News ran a story today under the headline that “Swing state hit hard by coronavirus [Pennsylvania] could flip on Trump in 2020.” The reporter began his account with someone who said he voted for Trump in 2016 but wouldn’t in 2020.  While the reporter could barely conceal his joy, anyone who follows Pennsylvania politics would take that with a pound of salt.  

And it’s April 23.

#3. There are some fundamentals that are unlikely to change. On the negative side for President Trump, his job approval numbers remain in the mid-40s. But bear in mind, President Obama’s job approval in April 2012 was 48%–this with the non-stop support of a compliant, even adoring media corps.

On the plus side for President, it would be difficult to exaggerate how dreadful a presidential candidate Joe Biden has been. The eagerness with which Biden glommed onto the prospect floated of Michelle Obama as his running mate tells you how much Biden desperately needs massive and overwhelming support from the African-American community.

Moreover, as we have pointed out several times, President Trump enjoys an enormous financial advantage. Reuters enthused today about how much more money Biden raised in March than Trump did only to concede a number of paragraphs later

Biden ended March with $26.4 million in the bank, an increase from February but well below Trump’s $98.5 million.

“Well below”? You could say that.

More important, each election we hear about the “gender gap,” but rarely about the enthusiasm gap. President Trump’s supporters are not only very loyal, they are far, far more enthusiastic about him than Democrats are about Joe Biden.

As Lisa Lerer of the New York Times (of all publications) reported three weeks ago, “Simply put, Republicans are more excited to vote for Mr. Trump than Democrats are for Joe Biden, their likely nominee.”

According to the Post/ABC survey, 55 percent of registered voters who back Mr. Trump say they are very enthusiastic about supporting him, and 32 percent say they are somewhat enthusiastic. Among Mr. Biden’s supporters, just 28 percent say they are very enthusiastic, while 46 percent are somewhat enthusiastic.

Overall, there’s a 12-point enthusiasm gap between Mr. Trump and Mr. Biden. Among the most excited voters, it’s an even bigger 27-point gap.

Did I mention it’s April 23?

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