We have been witnessing a campaign in which the optics and data in every metric possible except polls suggest one outcome, and polls point to another. And this is still true even though President Trump had a pretty good polling week. His approval nationally is between 47 and 51 depending on the pollster, and at the state level, he has had some positive news. But overall, for every good poll for the president, two bad ones pop up. Gee, you might even think it was coordinated.
But fear not! There are powerful numbers coming in that suggest that the only “red mirage” that is out there will be the embarrassing blush on pollsters’ faced on November 4 if, in fact, any of them are even capable of embarrassment.
Let’s begin with the good news for Trump in Florida, where, in a recent Marist Poll had Trump and Biden tied among likely voters. But Trump led among Hispanics by four points. This is staggeringly bad news for Biden. Hillary Clinton won Latinos in Florida by 27, for a shocking 31-point turnaround. It was even worse for Biden in the blue-dominated Miami-Dade County, where he is running a full 17 points behind Clinton.
Of course, to any of my readers this would not be surprising. I have alerted you for two years that Trump was making big inroads in the Hispanic community everywhere, and particularly with Venezuelans and other recent Central/South American immigrants who have seen socialism up close. Big Data pollster Richard Baris told me over a year ago his polling was picking up significant changes in these groups, and that the Florida GOP was prepared: “They had voter registration teams ready to meet them,” he said. (This preparation—and lack of it on Biden’s part—is a point I shall return to in a moment).
In the key state of Pennsylvania, whereby one poll, Trump was down two, the data again begs to differ. On 11/08/2016 there were 4,217,456 registered Democrats in Pennsylvania and 3,301,182 Republicans for a Democrat edge of just under a million. But as of August 31, 2020, the Democrats have lost 96,000 (4,121,353) while the Republicans have gained 61,317 (3,362,499) for a total shift of 157,000. Given that Donald Trump won the Keystone State by around 65,000 votes, this would nearly triple Trump’s margin.
Then there is North Carolina, where the polls have it close. Except it probably isn’t. In September 2012, Democrats had 2,765,678 registered voters in the state, while the GOP only had 2,001,345. But as of September 2020, Democrats had lost 124,280 off their total, while Republicans had gained 105,133 to theirs, for a shift of 229,000 in four years. A poster on www.freerepublic.com named “Ravi” sent me this information on Nash County, which seems a good barometer for the Tar Heel State. It was a county that barely went for John McCain in 2008, barely went to Barack Obama in 2012, and barely went to Trump in 2016. So indeed, it is a bellwether. From September 2016 to September 2020, Democrats there have lost 2,432 while Republicans have gained 685 for a net shift of over 3,000. Such a change suggests the county will go for Trump solidly this time, which seems to be reflected in the overall voter registrations.
While we’re on North Carolina, Democrat statistician John Couvillon would not have been pleased to note that of the early vote returned in North Carolina so far, almost one quarter were “spoiled. Every single absentee ballot from Craven, Lincoln, and New Hanover counties was deemed spoiled, along with 50% of those in Moore County.
NORTH CAROLINA RETURNED VOTES (9/9):
9/8: 112 returned ballots, 80 accepted, 27 spoiled, 5 duplicate.
9/9: 1373 returned ballots, 1287 accepted, 62 spoiled, 5 duplicate, 2 pending, 17 have incomplete witness information
— John Couvillon (@WinWithJMC) September 9, 2020
On the issue of vote by mail (VBM), President Trump has been emphatic in his opposition. “I have to tell you, that if you go with this universal mail-in […] tens of millions of ballots being sent to everybody and their dogs, dogs are getting them, OK? People that have been dead for 25 years are getting them, you have to see what’s happening. Then you’re never going to have a fair election,” Trump told Fox News.
I am starting to wonder if he hasn’t been a little too emphatic. So far, in addition to the North Carolina “spoiled” ballots, we are seeing reports of fraud everywhere. Candace Owens reported that New Jersey, Michigan, California, Minnesota, and Florida have all arrested people for mail-in voter fraud. For example, in Georgia’s primary, up to 1,000 people double-voted and may face up to 10 years in prison.
— Candace Owens (@CandaceOwensUSA) September 8, 2020
I find this strangely encouraging. It would seem if the fraud is really working it wouldn’t be discovered anywhere, and people would not be going to jail. To me the outstanding fact of all these cases is that they are being revealed, and not always in “Republican” states. In Paterson, New Jersey last June four residents were accused of multiple vote-fraud crimes.
When you combine the ballots being tossed—and another report said that primary mail-in ballots from Democrats were thrown out at a 2:1 ratio over Republican ballots—and the fact that so many states are actually catching people, along with the fact that so far none of the five states that have used exclusively mail-in ballots have had any significant fraud issues . . .
Well, it suggests that possibly Trump is goading the Democrats into using a medium that is in fact quite disadvantageous. It appears that, for example, Republicans did very well in the WI7 special election earlier this year. I have heard the same (but do not have evidence) happening in one of the Texas elections. So, it may be that Trump has once again set up the Democrats to go all-out in their defense of a process that will result in a Trump victory, earning their pre-endorsement. We will see.
Finally, there are two profound recent developments. The first is, it appears that Kamala Harris is such a bad candidate that the Democrats feel they need to hide her. Realize the original plan was for her to be handling the heavy lifting of campaigning while they hid the mentally challenged Joe Biden. Now that seems impossible: Harris is so bad, so unlikable, and commits so many gaffes that they must give her the hook and put Biden back in the spotlight . . . right where the Trump campaign wants him.
The other development today is that President Trump ordered the withdrawal of “thousands” of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. This came on the heels of the hoax story from the Atlantic about Trump making disparaging comments about troops at a French cemetery, and also a “poll” from Stars & Stripes that said Trump was losing support among the military. Yet today, Democrats are screaming that Trump is pulling the forces back in time for . . . the election.
Wait, what? I thought the troops hated Trump? (Paul Sperry reported in the wake of the Atlantic article that it was designed to stem the flow of Trump-friendly absentee ballots from our armed forces abroad). In other words, this all has a very Lincolnesque flavor to it—and nothing to do with the Benjamin Lincoln Project named after a Revolutionary War loser general. Abraham Lincoln furloughed as many soldiers as he could in the election of 1864 because he thought he needed their vote. Interesting that in that election, Lincoln’s opponent was one of the “Pentagon generals” that Trump refers to, George McClellan, who while popular early with his men was exposed as someone who could not envision victory and was replaced. By bringing more soldiers home, Trump will pad his vote totals because he knows they appreciate him. Lincolnesque indeed.
Larry Schweikart is the co-author with Michael Allen of the New York Times #1 bestseller, A Patriot’s History of the United States, author of Reagan: The American President, and founder of the Wild World of History, a history curriculum website featuring complete U.S. and World History courses for grades 9-12 that include teachers’ guides, student workbooks, maps/images/graphs, tests/answers, and video lessons (www.wildworldofhistory.com).