NRL News

President announces he is leaving the hospital. With 29 days to go until November 3rd, what do we know?

by | Oct 5, 2020

By Dave Andrusko

One thing we know for sure. It’s doubtful we will ever have a President whose energy and sheer drive and determination compares with Donald James Trump’s. 

Hospitalized last Friday when he and his wife tested positive for Covid-19, President Trump sent out photos of himself working at Walter Reed Hospital and then drove the media/his enemies crazy (into “Hyperbolic paroxysms,” to quote Mark Finkelstein) by taking a brief ride Sunday outside the hospital to greet and thank well-wishers.

Then, at 2:37 this afternoon, President Trump tweeted he was leaving the hospital tonight at 6:30. 


This morning, President Trump was already busy tweeting at a furious pace including

What do we know 29 days out from the November 3rd General Election? For obvious reasons, the landscape remains hugely unsettled, particularly since we don’t know how the public will response to the abbreviated hospital stay. Moreover, I strongly suspect, we still don’t really know how the first debate changed the dynamics—or if it really did at all. 

Worth remembering is that four years ago, NBC News had Hillary Clinton winning the first debate 52% to a pitiful 21% for Trump! In any event, if anyone tells you the 2020 election is even close to being decided, they are not being, to be polite, candid.

#1. Again (stop me if you’re heard this before). Joe Biden is being told, it’s all over and come November 4, it’ll be safe for him to come out of hiding. It’s sort of a variation on Punxsutawney Phil. Only rather than telling us that we’ll have an early spring, the media consensus is announcing an early victory for Biden and an end to his self-imposed hibernation.

#2. Let’s compare and contrast polls. On Sunday The NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showed “a six-point gain for Biden following the debates.” Supposedly Biden now leads President Trump 53% to 39% in national polling. 

Referring to The NBC News/Wall Street Journal, Ellie Bufkin writes

The President, who was hospitalized before the poll was launched, leads among fellow Republicans (94%-6%), voters 50-64 (53%-45%) and those over 65 (50%-47%). As of now, Mr. Trump is capturing a slight majority of Catholic voters (51%-46%), Evangelicals (68%-32%), Conservatives (78%-18%), and Very Conservative voters (92%-8%). He also is ahead among Whites (56%-40%) and parents of children under 17 living at home (54%-40%).

However, as always, it’s the “Battleground States” that will decide the election. Real Clear Politics announced this morning that “Trump running ahead of 2016 polls in key states”—Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Florida, North Carolina, and Arizona.

Other polls are far more optimistic about the President’s chances.

As we discussed Friday, in an IBD/TIPP Poll released that day, Biden has a three point lead over Trump in the national popular vote. But, as noted above, that’s not the important number.

Other findings are far more significant (remember IBD/TIPP was one of the two most accurate 2016 polls). While respondents found Biden more “likeable,” according to Michael Patrick Leahy, 

Still, voters gave Trump an edge in debating the Supreme Court (45%-40%) and the economy (47%-44%). …

Biden was seen as looking more presidential (51%-37%) and having a better command of the issues (46%-43%). But Trump was seen as mentally sharper (47%-42%).

Note this in particular:

After the debate, 19% of registered voters who watched said they switched their vote, with 11% backing Trump and 8% shifting to Biden. Nearly everyone who said they switched to Trump had voted for him in 2016. Half those who switched to Biden had voted for Clinton in 2016. The others included Trump voters, nonvoters and third-party voters.

On Saturday, a Zogby Poll showed Biden with a two point lead over Trump in the national popular vote but did not ask who’d won the debate. John Zogby, director of the Zogby Poll, concluded

Contrary to my own observations, it looks like the President has not been hurt by his debate performance nor his hospitalization. His 47% performance is actually one point higher than his vote percentage in 2016.

For now, he appears to have consolidated his base of Whites, parents, conservatives, men, and his own party’s voters.

Joe Biden looks as if he is on his way to doing the same with his base. His numbers among Hispanics are respectable but not quite at the 66%-67% he really needs. The same with Blacks. His 86% is better than our last poll but he needs to hit 90%, especially in those key battleground states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina, and Georgia. His 60%-35% lead among young voters is about where he needs to be.

If you think the last six months have been astounding, I’m thinking we haven’t seen anything yet!

Categories: Politics