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10 days until November 3rd. What do we know?

by | Oct 23, 2020

By Dave Andrusko

When some of the usual suspects tell us that all Joe Biden had to do last night was “tie” (which he supposedly did), it’s a sure signal they know Thursday’s second and final presidential debate was a disaster for the pro-abortion former vice president.

I was in the middle of a three hour conference call, so I peeked in periodically and then watched a replay this morning. In my opinion, Ed Morrissey pretty much hit the nail on the head: “Late in the debate, Biden appeared to be losing interest as well as losing steam.” My only quibble would be Mr. Biden began to flag earlier than that.

By contrast, President Trump was sharp, focused, in control, and on point. I forget who it was on Fox News after the debate, but they said it was Mr. Trump’s best debate ever. I agree, and (like many of you) I’ve watched them all going back to 2016.

What follows are headlines that reveal important truths about this historic contest, followed by some additional observations.

*“The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Friday shows that 51% of Likely U.S. Voters approve of President Trump’s job performance. Forty-eight percent (48%) disapprove”—Rasmussen Reports 

*“President Trump’s approval rating has popped over 50%, considered the holy grail of reelection numbers. Presidential Tracking Poll”Paul Bedard

*“Michigan would gain increased influence and better representation for its people in the U.S. Senate by electing John James… It would also send to the Senate a natural leader who could well become one of the chamber’s most powerful members”—Detroit News editorial

*“Don’t Assume That Lots Of Early Voting Means Joe Biden Is A Lock: Democrats have shown strong enthusiasm in early voting, coming out in the millions, but Republicans can still catch up”– Caroline O’Donovan and Julia Reinstein

*“My focus group’s words to describe Trump tonight: • “Controlled” • “Reserved” • “Poised” • “Con artist” • “Surprisingly presidential” Words to describe Biden tonight: • “Vague” • “Unspecific” • “Elusive” • “Defensive” • “Grandfatherly” –Pollster  Frank Luntz [@FrankLuntz]

*“Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s lead over President Donald Trump in Minnesota has slipped to six points, according to a poll released by KSTP/SurveyUSA on Thursday”Breitbart News

*“In suburban MN today, Biden leads by 6 points, just as he does statewide. But what is significant is that 6 weeks ago, Biden led in the suburbs by 17 points”—Survey USA

Whew. Lot’s to mull over. Let’s start with a tweet sent out last night by The Hill Media reporter Joe Concha. It tells us all we need to know about most polls—and perhaps how worried pollsters might be:

“Frank Luntz says on Fox News that if pollsters get this election wrong, his profession is done.”

Combine that with what a panel of undecided voters told Luntz following the debate. They struggled for positives to say about Mr. Biden while, with one exception, all the comments about the President were very positive and upbeat.

So…What do we know? As we’ve discussed on many occasions, the “brand” of pro-abortion Democrats is on the decline. Yesterday we talked about pro-life Republican Jason Lewis who has pulled within a point of pro-abortion incumbent Minnesota Senator Tina Smith. President Trump has closed the gap and, as noted above, has sliced off two-thirds of the advantage Joe Biden enjoyed among suburban women in Minnesota.

Meanwhile, it’s a “toss up” between incumbent pro-abortion Senator Gary Peters (D-Mi.) and pro-life challenger John James. Mr. James just picked up a glowing endorsement from the very pro-Democrat Detroit News

We also know that if I bothered to collect them, we’d see that the major media are in full “it’s all over” mode. You knew this would accelerate, but even I didn’t think it would reach this stage until the middle of next week. This is, strange as it may sound, hugely encouraging. They want the President defeated in the worst way and going to DEFCON1 this early is a warning just how unsettled they are.

The quote from Caroline O’Donovan and Julia Reinstein is from a story in Buzzfeed News, anti-Trump with a passion. In the end, they assure their readers all is well but….

The combination of historic trends and 2020 complications has allowed Democrats to take a strong lead in early voting. But that doesn’t necessarily mean Democrats will end up with the most votes. …

Republicans in Texas are already closing the gap created by the Democrats’ early lead. As of Wednesday evening, voters with a Republican voting history had narrowly cast more ballots in person than the Democrats — 31.2% of early votes to their 27.5%, according to analysis by Republican consultant Derek Ryan, who runs Texas political research firm Ryan Data.

On Monday, Ryan said he expects that gap to continue to widen in favor of Republicans, because fewer of them have voted so far and many plan to do so in the coming days, as well as on Election Day itself

One last thought. There are many important metrics when trying to gauge where voters will wind up. One is the economy, and more people trust President Trump with navigating what no doubt will be turbulent economic waters, because of the pandemic, than Mr. Biden.

The other is Ronald Reagan’s famous question at the 1980 debate: Are you better off than you were four years ago?

Two weeks ago, Gallup polled on this and a whopping 56% said “yes.” In 2012, when President Obama was running for a second term, only 45%  said they were better off.

More on Monday.

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