27 Days to Go

This might cheer you up — here is the “chance of winning” chart from FiveThirtyEight’s presidential forecast today (blue is Biden, red is Trump).

FiveThirtyEight.com, showing presidential election chances from June 1 to October 7. Biden is blue, Trump is red. https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/2020-election-forecast/

The nerds also are forecasting that Biden will get 342 Electoral College votes to Trump’s 196. Works for me. Of course, that all depends on votes being counted.

The Hill reported yesterday that the Trump campaign canceled planned television ads in Ohio and Iowa “to instead focus funding in states where polls show the president trailing Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.” However, both the nerds (Biden 52%, Trump 48%) and the RCP average (Biden up by 0.6) are calling Ohio a tossup. The nerds have Trump slightly favored to win Iowa, but the RCP average has Biden up by 1.4. The Trump internal polls must be showing something very different, or else Trump is still running out of money. “Meanwhile, the Biden campaign will spend $1 million on ads in Ohio and $565,000 in Iowa over the next week while the president’s ads will not air,” says The Hill.

Democrats are slightly favored to win the Senate. Fingers crossed. The trajectory is encouraging.

October 7, 2020, https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/2020-election-forecast/senate/

See also the Cook Political Report, The South Carolina Senate Race Moves to Toss Up.

Dems are clearly favored to keep the House and might increase their majority. The House odds have changed very little over the past several weeks.

Republicans have expressed concern. The Hill:

Republicans are growing increasingly concerned about poll numbers that show a rising Democratic wave just four weeks before Election Day as President Trump suffers one of the most brutal two-week stretches of his first term at precisely the wrong moment.

For months, Republicans and Democrats alike have confidently predicted that former Vice President Joe Biden’s lead in national and battleground state polls would tighten.

But after a new string of jarring numbers, some Republicans are beginning to fear that voters hesitant to say they will back Trump are not coming home and that the few remaining undecided voters are breaking decidedly against him — and the Republican Party as a whole.

Aw, poor babies. Yes, everyone had expected the race to tighten after labor day. But then the New York Times got the tax returns. And then we passed 200,000 dead from the pandemic. And then Trump refused to say he would cede power if he lost the election. And then there was the debate, which increasingly is looking like a worse bomb than the time Gerald Ford misplaced Poland. And then Trump turned into a virus superspreader.

Plus, the Hill continues, “There are growing signs that Trump’s dismal polling is beginning to impact down-ballot Republican contests.” Heh. See also Sam Stein and Lachlan Markay, Republicans: Ditch Trump, Save the Senate at Daily Beast.

Trump’s move yesterday to cancel relief/stimulus negotiations was labeled “the single greatest political blunder in the history of presidential elections” by Jonathan Chait. More soberly, Nate Silver writes,

But it’s still a hard move to comprehend, especially at a time when the president’s numbers were already declining — mildly in some polls, and sharply so in others. And the way Trump went about it makes matters worse for him, politically. Up until this point, House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi had faced at least a little bit of a risk: Though the stimulus might have helped Trump, she could have been partly blamed if talks collapsed. But now, Trump’s tweets make it clear that he was the one who pulled out of the talks.

This move was stupid even by Trump standards, and with Nancy Pelosi I do wonder what the dexamethasone is doing to him. For whatever reason, a slight majority of the electorate still preferred Trump over Biden to run the economy. Nate Silver says he might have blown that one advantage yesterday.

Within hours, Trump had partly shifted, calling for a deal to rescue the airline industry. He also tweeted yesterday about another paycheck protection program and a stand-alone bill to hand out another $1,200. The chances of any of this happening before the election seem low to me. See also Trump Just Killed the Stimulus Talks. Is He Out of His Mind? by Jim Newell and Jordaon Weissmann at Slate.

Tonight is the Veep debate. Should be more watchable than that mess last week.