The Thinker: Rich Galen


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Mullings by Rich Galen ®
An American Cyber-Column By Rich Galen
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Early Polling

Rich Galen

Monday June 15, 2020

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  • I know what you're going to say: "The polls had Hillary winning in 2016 and look who's been sitting in the Oval for the past 3 years."

  • The national polls were just about on target with Clinton winning the popular vote by about three million, but we don't count that way so Donald Trump won enough states to win in the Electoral College.

  • OK? Now

  • The public polling has been so bad for Trump recently that the campaign had to hire a pollster to write a memo about a CNN poll which showed Trump's job approve/disapprove at an astonishing 38-57.

  • The Trump campaign thought it was astonishing as well and had its lawyers demand a retraction and apology from CNN.

  • CNN said: Nah.

  • In the head-to-head question (If the election were held today would you support ) Trump trailed Biden by 14 percentage points, 55-41.

  • The Trump campaign complained about that question including registered voters instead of likely voters which is a legit gripe. CNN responded they would switch to likely voters as election day loomed closer.

  • This poll might well be an outlier and we'll know that soon enough.

  • But, there are no polls that show Trump leading Biden either nationally or in a majority of the battleground states.

  • In a summary of recent state polls (which are held much less frequently than national polls) website says,
    "Right now, the state polls largely agree with what the national surveys show: Biden holds the lead. In fact, he has about a 2-to-8-point lead in some of the most important states in the Electoral College."

  • In the body of the analysis reminds us that:
    "All of these battleground states save Michigan are more Republican-leaning than the national average."

  • Meaning those Biden leads could melt away as the election gets closer and Trump voters come home.

  • Indeed, interviewed "more than 50 state, district and county Republican Party chairs depict a version of the electoral landscape that is no worse for Trump than six months ago - and possibly even slightly better."

  • And that photo op at the church, the walk down the ramp at West Point, the rising numbers of people dying from COVID-19, an unemployment rate that will likely be in double figures into the Fall, the Black Lives Matter movement, and all the rest?

  • The GOP county chair of Robeson County, NC said:
    "We're calling him 'Teflon Trump.' Nothing's going to stick, because if anything, it's getting more exciting than it was in 2016." This year, he said, "We're thinking landslide."

  • Trump carried North Carolina and took its 15 electoral votes in 2016 by about four percentage points, 50-46.

  • Remember when Trump supporters kept pointing to the forest of Trump yard signs in western Pennsylvania in 2016. The beltway punditry pooh-poohed it - I among them - saying that the populations on the eastern and western edges of the Commonwealth would overcome those signs and send Hillary to the White House.

  • Trump won by 44,000 votes out of about 5.9 MILLION votes cast. The only poll granular enough to tease out that difference is election day.

  • I live in Virginia which went to Hillary by a touch over five percentage points in 2016. On the one hand Senator (and former Governor) Tim Kaine was on the ticket as the VP candidate, on the other hand Virginia is now a dark blue state with the Ds having gained control of all of the statewide offices as well as control of the state house and state senate.

  • When you think about what has happened over the past four months and consider there are just about four months to election day, I can't say it any better than Bette Davis: "Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy night."

  • On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: Links to the COVID-19 data page via Reuters, to the CNN poll, to the Battleground States summary and to the piece.

    The Mullfoto is a selfie at the car wash (for the first time since February).

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