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Presidential Election 2020

Joe Biden painted his vision of a potential scenario where Donald Trump would refuse to relinquish power after losing the 2020 presidential election in November, claiming he is certain top military figures would intervene, The Hill reported. Appearing on the Daily Show, Joe Biden said: “I am absolutely convinced they will escort him from the White House with great dispatch.”

Offering the opinion, Biden cited recent statements by former senior military officials criticising Donald Trump's response to nationwide protests sweeping the country over the death of African-American George Floyd. General Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said during a speech released on 11 June that he regretted walking with Donald Trump from the White House to St. John's Church last week after authorities dispersed protesters with tear gas and rubber bullets near the White House. "I should not have been there. My presence in that moment and in that environment created a perception of the military involved in domestic politics,” said Milley.

In his conversation with host Trevor Noah, Biden opened up on his greatest concern regarding the upcoming vote, saying he feared the incumbent president would “try to steal this election”. "It's my greatest concern, my single greatest concern: This president is going to try to steal this election," said Biden. Skirting the issue of just how exactly Trump might, in his opinion, try to “cheat”, the former Vice President cited Trump’s recent linking of mail-in ballots to potential voter fraud, and his accusations that Democrats were trying to rig the election.

Trump seemed to think he can model a re-election victory on Nixon’s, by claiming that his opponent Joe Biden will usher in a wave of socialism and anarchy, government overreach but also lawlessness, and the subjugation of the US by the Chinese Community Party. Democrats, he said on Fox & Friends at the end of March 2020, want “levels of voting that, if you ever agreed to it, you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again.”

Trump won election in 2016 by roughly 80,000 votes in three key states out of some 130 million cast nationwide. The 2020 election would be won in the scattreing of counties that flipped between backing former President Obama in 2012 to going for then-candidate Donald Trump in 2016. Howard county in Iowa, with a population of about 9,300, was won by both Obama and Trump by more than 20 points. In Michigan, a 15 January 2020 EPIC-MRA poll had Bloomberg beating Trump by the biggest margin in a head-to-head matchup. Bloomberg beat Trump by seven points, Elizabeth Warren beat Trump by three points, Pete Buttigieg by four, Bernie Sanders by five, and Joe Biden by six.

On 08 June 2020 CNN said voters it surveyed disapproved of Trump’s handling of the presidency by a 57%-38% margin, and losing to Biden by a 55%-41% edge five months ahead of Election Day. Trump’s 38% approval rating was similar to two former U.S. presidents — Jimmy Carter in 1980 and George H.W. Bush in 1992 — when they both lost bids for second terms. Those polled said they think Biden would handle race relations in the U.S. better than Trump by a 63%-31% margin. Black voters favored Biden’s handling of race relations by an overwhelming 91%-4% edge. Biden also outdistanced Trump in handling the coronavirus pandemic, 55% to 41%, while voters favored Trump in overseeing the economy by 51% to 46%.

Trump faced low approval ratings among voters at large, including educated whites who once leaned Republican. An August 2019 USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll found a majority of Americans eligible to vote would be unhappy if Trump were reelected. Of those polled, 54% said they would be unhappy, 29% happy, and 16% neither. Eight in 10 African Americans and two-thirds of Latinos said they would be unhappy with a Trump victory.

Trump was the incumbent, and incumbency is a proven advantage in presidential elections. Since Washington, incumbents are twice as likely to get re-elected as to lose. Politico reporting in 2019, with economy-based predictors, that Trump seemed “on track for a landslide.” But the link between the economy and presidential approval has weakened over time, another casualty of the rise in political polarization. Trump was consistently unpopular throughout his first three years in office. “Trump’s poll numbers are probably 20 points below where a president would typically be with consumer sentiment as high as it is now,” according to John Sides, a political scientist at George Washington University who has done work benchmarking presidential approval to economic indicators.

On 04 February 2020, the day before the Senate voted to acquit Trump, Gallup released a poll that found that 49 percent of registered voters approved of the job he is doing in the White House, the president's highest-ever since entering office. The president garnered 94 percent of support among Republicans, a 6 percent increase, while Independents gave him a 42 percent approval rating, a 5 percent increase. FiveThirtyEight’s approval tracker showed Trump near his highest level of approval since he first entered office, albeit a lower estimate of about 43.5 percent.

The Iowa caucus debacle that elevated Bernie Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist whom Trump denounced as a Communist, and Pete Buttigieg, a politically inexperienced small town mayor who is openly gay [though this fact is not often stressed], Bloomberg’s electability was quickly being recognized.

Donald Trump filed for reelection the day he took office, an unusual move that has allowed him to begin campaigning long before the November 2020 election. Historically, incumbent presidents have waited two years, until after the midterm elections, to file formally. Trump had his eye on the 2020 election, but after a month in office the White House was widely viewed as being in chaos. His staffing was not going as smoothly as the president would like. His relationship with the media was extremely confrontational, with White House officials calling the media “the opposition party.” Unlike his predecessors, Trump still had not released his tax returns that would make public the details of his business holdings, which many critics say likely violate the Constitution. The president was dogged by questions about his relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russia’s involvement in the presidential election. Trump reacted strongly against nearly any criticism or joke, taking to Twitter to retaliate against perceived attackers.

Moody’s Analytics presidential election models predict whether the incumbent presidential candidate will win the popular vote in each state and the District of Columbia. In 2016, these models failed to correctly predict the Electoral College vote for the first time. Although there were certainly some unique factors at play in 2016, back-testing and other post-mortem analysis showed that there were model versions that could have correctly predicted the outcome. Unexpected turnout patterns were one of the factors that contributed to the model’s first incorrect election prediction. Voters who had not traditionally come out to the polls, particularly in the industrial Midwest and more rural counties, showed up in larger than expected numbers to support Trump.

Though Trump’s approval rating had been lower than average during his first term, it changed only modestly. Since FDR, the average president has seen their approval rating fluctuate as much as 40 percentage points over the course of their presidency. In contrast, Trump’s approval rating has, at most, oscillated not much more than 10 percentage points.

Under the pocketbook model, which places heavy emphasis on gas prices, housing prices and real personal income, Trump is predicted to win with 351 electoral votes. Using the stock market model, which leans heavily on, well, the stock market, Trump wins far more narrowly, with 289 electoral votes. The unemployment model, which mixes real personal income with state-by-state unemployment rates, projects a Trump victory with 332 electoral votes. The average the three Moody's models is Trump with 332 electoral votes, and the Democratic nominee with 206 electoral votes. Under the average of the three models, Trump would hold on to key industrial Midwest states and pick up New Hampshire, Virginia and Minnesota, assuming historical average non-incumbent turnout.

If turnout of nonincumbent voters in 2020 matches the historical high across states, then Democrats would win a squeaker with 279 electoral votes to the president’s 259. Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Minnesota and New Hampshire would all flip from Trump’s column versus the average turnout baseline.

The Democrats' focused on identity politics, not rural America and rural states. The most progressive Democratice nominees in recent memory - Michael Dukakis in 1988, Walter Mondale in 1984 and George McGovern in 1972 - all suffered landslide defeats. Our Revolution, a group that rose from the ashes of Sanders' presidential campaign, led a protest in August 2017 outside the DNC, demanding a more liberal platform.

A Hill.TV American Barometer poll of 680 Democratic and independent voters conducted around the US midterm elections found that Americans would pick “none of the above” over a number of prominent names discussed as potential Democratic presidential hopefuls in 2020. Thirty percent of respondents to the poll, which was run on November 5 and 6 (the latter being 2018 Election Day), said they would choose "none of the above" over a list of Democrats widely suspected to be preparing to throw their hats into the gauntlet that is to be the 2020 opposition party's primary race, after which the winner will face off with the Republican candidate, presumably President Donald Trump.

Polling at a close second with 25 percent was former Vice President Joe Biden. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, California Senator Kamala Harris, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (the eighth wealthiest man in America) and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were also included as options in the poll. Clinton, who faced off with Sanders in the 2016 Democratic primaries in a race that many have condemned as rigged, polled at just 12 percent. Sanders, who enjoyed the title of the most popular active politician in the United States for a time after the presidential election concluded, managed to pick up 18 percent of poll respondents' votes for the top pick.

A January 2019 Washington Post ABC poll, conducted by telephone Jan. 21-24, 2019, among a random national sample of 1,001 adults, asked "If Donald Trump wins the Republican nomination for president would you definitely vote for him in the general election for president in 2020, would you consider voting for him or would you definitely not vote for him?" to which 56% responded "Definitely would NOT vote for" Trump. The share of voters who said they would “definitely” oppose Trump is much higher than it ever was for Obama. In fact, the average share of voters who said they would “definitely” oppose Trump is roughly 10 points higher than it was for Obama. The percentage who said they definitely wouldn’t vote for Obama was never higher than 42 percent in a single poll.

The US presidential election proved to be an exceptionally tight race. There is some un-surprising news from the White House, where President Donald Trump announced hours after the polls closed that that he will mount a legal challenge to the election. "So we'll be going to the US Supreme Court. We want all voting to stop. We don't want them to find any ballots at 4 o'clock in the morning and add them to list," Trump said. He provided no further explanation of his intentions, but claimed he has won and alleged election fraud -- without providing any evidence.

Trump: "Frankly, we did win this election. So our goal now is to ensure the integrity for the good of this nation. This is a very big moment. This is a major fraud in our nation. We want the law to be used in a proper manner. So we'll be going to the U.S. Supreme Court. We want all voting to stop." Trump told reporters that "a very sad group of people is trying to disenfranchise" the people who voted for him. On social media, he posted, "We are up BIG, but they are trying to STEAL the Election. We will never let them do it. Votes cannot be cast after the Polls are closed!"

Biden told supporters in Delaware that the results look good. Biden said, "We believe we're on track to win this election. We knew because of the unprecedented early vote... It's going to take a while. We're going to have to be patient." Despite these claims, it was still unclear who will take the presidency.

That half of the US – the 63 million who voted for Trump in 2016 – stunned the world again in 2020, after months of polling and analysis suggested not only a resounding defeat for Trump, but also for Republicans in the US Senate and House. The Democratic “blue wave” or Biden sweep that pollsters and pundits forecast in the lead-up to the November 3 vote did not materialise. The tight race and long results period ridden with legal challenges and threats underscores how well the Republicans read the national tea leaves in a teacup Trump himself stirred. Biden’s message of unity and tolerance failed to sway the overwhelming majority of American voters as the pollsters predicted.

The election morning-after was a bitter pill to swallow. “So, Biden squeaks to a win but the Republicans keep control of the Senate and increase their seats in the House. The Supreme Court stays tilted to the extreme right, plus federal judges. Trump supporters are convinced Biden won through fraud. A grim four years ahead,” noted Mira Kamdar, an author and former New York Times editorial board member.

The Biden team calculated the coronavirus pandemic was the most important campaign issue for reasons that have been obvious to much of the world. Covid-19 has killed more than 232,000 Americans, with the US leading the world in infections and death rates per capita. The shambolic US response to the pandemic has exposed the healthcare failures of a superpower in decline, a tortuous process watched in dismay by America’s allies and with glee by its competitors, such as China.

But early exit poll surveys showed the economy, not the health crisis, was the single-biggest factor influencing votes in the 2020 US election. An Edison Research exit poll conducted for major US TV networks found only two out of 10 voters picked the pandemic as the most important issue. The economy rated as the most important issue for one-third of voters polled, including six out of 10 Trump supporters.

Racial equality came next in the list of voter concerns, with 21 percent of surveyed voters marking it as their top concern. Covid-19 ranked third, with 18 percent of respondents saying the health crisis mattered most in their voting decision.

The much-anticipated “blue wave” did not wash across the electorate because, among other reasons, it was based on “the idea of a very, very large mobilisation of anti-Trump sentiment, not so much an adhesion to Joe Biden,” explained Philip Golub, political science professor at the American University of Paris. “Joe Biden was a weak candidate, he was not present," Golub explained. "He maintained a low profile, since the assumption the Democrats made was that this would make Trump’s faults stand out. But it made Biden appear invisible. When he did go to the public, he didn’t have a charismatic personality or platform. Even if he wins the election, it will be by a much smaller margin than expected.”

“The fact is, Biden’s message of healing America, of working across the aisle, does not work when the other side wants war – not an armed war, a political war,” said Golub. “Obama tried to work with the Republicans, the Republicans tried to bite and cut his hand off. The idea of reconciliation doesn’t work when the country is so fractured, these are just words that do not have any purchase on social reality."

House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn (S.C.) warned that Democrats lose electoral momentum when they are associated with issues such as socialized medicine and defunding police departments. Calls to defund the police, he argues, have the possibility of “doing to the Black Lives Matter movement and current movements across the country what ‘Burn, baby, burn’ did to us back in 1960s. We lost that movement over that slogan.”

Donald Trump Jr. fired off a tweet, saying the best thing for America would be for the president to wage "total war over the election." Twitter flagged the tweet as disputed or misleading.

Donald Trump challenged election results that showed Democratic candidate Joe Biden gaining ground. In his first public appearance since Election Night, Trump said the vote was rigged -- but did not provide any evidence. Trump strongly criticized the vote counting process and condemned major media outlets for interfering in the results. "If you count the legal votes, I easily win... We were winning in all the key locations by a lot actually, and then our numbers started miraculously getting whittled away in secret," Trump said. State and federal officials have not reported any cases of widespread election fraud. Trump said, "A lot of litigation because we have so much evidence, so much proof, and it's going to end up perhaps at the highest court in the land."

Trump immediately accused Biden of “rushing to falsely pose as the winner”. In comments published by the president’s campaign 06 November 2020, he said “this is no longer about any single election.” Trump said it was “about the integrity of our entire election process,” again suggesting “illegal ballots should not be counted.” Trump said “We will pursue this process through every aspect of the law to guarantee that the American people have confidence in our government. I will never give up fighting for you and our nation”.

The Democratic Mayor of Philadelphia, Jim Kenney, said Trump and his team had not produced “one iota of evidence” in their repeated, and baseless, claims of fraud. “So while some, including the president, continue to spew baseless claims of fraud, claims for which his team has not produced one iota of evidence, what we have seen here in Philadelphia is democracy, pure and simple,” Kenney said. He called on Trump to “put on his big boy pants” and acknowledge “the fact that he lost” like previous presidents Jimmy Carter and George HW Bush and former Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore.

Joe Biden’s United States presidential campaign warned that Donald Trump could be escorted from the White House if he refuses to admit defeat. “As we said on July 19th, the American people will decide this election. And the United States government is perfectly capable of escorting trespassers out of the White House,” Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates said. Trump’s term ends at noon EST [17:GMT] on January 20, 2021, whether he is reelected or not.

After multiple news organizations announced Biden as the election winner after four days of counting in several swing states. Following the news, 70 percent of Republicans said they don’t believe the 2020 election was free and fair, a stark rise from the 35 percent of GOP voters who held similar beliefs before the election.

US Democrats won two Senate elections in the US state of Georgia on 05 January 2020. A pastor who spent the past 15 years leading the Atlanta church where Martin Luther King Jr. preached, Raphael Warnock, defeated Republican incumbent Kelly Loeffler. The race between Republican David Perdue and Democrat Jon Ossoff also saw the Democraft claim victory. The results of the neck-and-neck races determined which party controlled the US Senate, having a major impact on the course of Joe Biden's presidency and his ability to pass legislation through the US Congress. Democrats already control the House of Representatives.

2016 ResultNYT/Siena
June 2020
Aug 2020
Aug 2020
Oct 2020
Michigan< 1 Trump +11 Biden
+3 Biden+5 Trump+10 Biden
+1 Biden+3 Biden
Wisconsin< 1 Trump+11 Biden
+5 Biden+5 Trump+9 Biden
+1 Biden+1 Biden
Pennsylvania< 1 Trump+10 Biden
+4 Biden+5 Trump+4 Biden
+4 Biden +1 Biden
Arizona+4 Trump+7 Biden
+2 Biden..+10 Biden
tied+1 Biden
North Carolina+4 Trump+9 Biden
+2 Trump+2 Biden
+1 Biden+1 Trump
Florida+1 Trump+6 Biden
+3 Biden+1 Biden+2 Biden
+1 Biden+3 Trump

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Page last modified: 08-01-2021 21:50:55 ZULU