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A brief overview of the presidential election on the day the Democrats open their national convention

by | Aug 17, 2020

By Dave Andrusko

We will be on vacation from Tuesday, August 18, through Monday, August 24. For those five editions of NRL News Today, we will be re-posting stories that remain particularly relevant or our readers found particularly interesting. In addition, we will add one to three new stories, as time permits.

Here’s a quick overview of the political situation as of August 17. 

The Democrats start their convention today; it ends on Thursday, August 20. 

Republicans begin their convention next Monday, August 24; the GOP convention ends on Thursday, August 27.

Some things to keep in mind over the next ten days.

*The media frenzy to anoint the pro-abortion team of Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris winners in advance will make the lead-up hate fest seem mild by comparison. Of all the objectives the likes of the New York Times and the Washington Post have on their to-do list, none is more important than persuading the wider public—and Trump supporters in particular—that President Trump will serve only one term.

Don’t be bamboozled. This election will tighten as surely as day follows night.

*National polls mean very little. What does matter are “battleground states”—states that are competitive.

*When you look at the very helpful accumulation of polls compiled by Real Clear Politics, do not look at the “spread” which is the result of averaging all the polls. One poll can radically distort the numbers.

For example, if you looked at the “spread” on battleground states as of Sunday,  Biden was ahead in Wisconsin by 6.5 points. But the latest poll had him up by 4.

Likewise, the “spread” in Minnesota is 7 points. But in the latest poll, Biden was up by only 3.

To be sure, in some other states, the spread (again, the average of all the polls) is close to the results of the latest poll. But remember, it’s the trend that counts.

*You never know—and certainly not this year in the middle of a pandemic—how the public will react to the convention. Honestly, I can’t wait to see Mr. Biden deliver his speech. The substance well be in conformity with his own (and his party’s] abortion on demand, paid for by the public position, the delivery will be…well, who knows?

*As we’ve discussed many times in this space, for all the obvious reasons (he’s ahead in the polls and his very infrequent public appearances have been shaky), Mr. Biden has adopted a bunker strategy. Mr. Trump, by contrast, has been much more aggressive and visible.

Here’s what my home town paper—the [Minneapolis] Star-Tribune—wrote in its lead paragraph in a story that ran Sunday:

One of Joe Biden’s latest presidential campaign events in Minnesota was a Friday afternoon Zoom call with an invisible audience of unspecified size.

Intriguingly, Patrick Condon’s story ends

During Saturday’s event with [Minnesota Sen. Amy] Klobuchar, the tactic also showed its limits. As the roundtable was wrapping up, a participant tried to take questions from listeners. A disembodied voice piped up: “We aren’t able to do questions now because of technical difficulties.”

Then there is the Trump campaign. Four paragraphs into the story, Condon wrote 

While Biden and his surrogates chase votes via Zoom gatherings, text messages and phone calls, the re-election campaign of President Donald Trump in Minnesota has moved back to the kind of in-person campaign events that were a hallmark of pre-pandemic electioneering.

The opening of a new Trump field office in Anoka on Saturday was billed as part of a “seamless transition” to in-person campaigning.

It’s important to remember that the Trump campaign already has what the New Yorker called a “Facebook juggernaut,” and, overall, an incredible social media “footprint.”

We’ll keep you updated.

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