Aaaaand ... They're Off!
Thursday August 29, 2019
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- Labor Day has been the traditional kick off of the Fall political season since Labor Day has been the holiday marking the end of Summer.
Labor Day became an official holiday then President Grover Cleveland signed the appropriate legislation in June, 1894.
- Of course, we used to think that it was the traditional kick off of the Fall campaign for the election that was going to be held in November of the same year. Now, it's the traditional kick off of the campaign for the election that is going to be held 14 months later.
- Given that, what's the state of play?
- First, remember that Donald Trump won Pennsylvania's 20 electoral votes by 44,292 votes out of about 5.9 million votes cast. He won Michigan's 18 EVs by 10,704 votes out of about 4.5 million cast. And, Trump collected Wisconsin's 10 electoral votes by a popular vote margin of 22,748 votes.
- According to the Washington Examiner these three states' "48 electoral were awarded to Trump by about 77,000 votes out of than 136 million ballots cast" nationwide.
"If Clinton had won all three states, she would have won the Electoral College 278 to 260."
- Next time you hear someone say that the pollsters got it all wrong in 2016, remind them there is no poll so granular that it can detect a difference of .05 percent.
- Ok, let me rephrase.
- The ONLY poll granular enough to detect a difference of five hundredths of one percent is election day.
- But, that was enough. It produced President Donald Trump.
- So, now we're well and truly into the 2020 Presidential election campaign.
- On the Republican side, unless Trump shaves his head, shows up in the Oval naked while singing showtunes, he is going to be the GOP nominee.
- On the Democratic side, it looks like you should put your money on former Vice President Joe Biden and/or Senators Bernie Sanders and/or Elizabeth Warren.
- I would weight my bet toward Biden and we'll focus on him today.
- As of Monday night, as I am writing this, in the RealClearPolitics.com average of polls, Biden is at 28.9 percent which is a double-digit lead of just under 12 percentage points ahead Bernie Sanders (17.1) and just over 12 percentage points over Elizabeth Warren (16.5).
- Those averages include a Monmouth poll that had the three essentially tied at about 20 percent, but most polls have Biden leading by double digits.
- Can he maintain that lead moving into the post-Labor Day period?
- Biden has been complaining about how the press has been leaping on every misstatement (every gaffe), no matter how minor, because Biden's presidential campaign history has been one of crashing and burning due to exactly those kinds of mistakes.
- Last week's edition was the discovery that a story Biden has been telling for some time about how, as VP, he went to Afghanistan and pinned a Silver Star on a Navy Captain who had tried to rescue a fellow servicemember during a heated firefight.
- According to the Washington Post,
"In the space of three minutes, Biden got the time period, the location, the heroic act, the type of medal, the military branch and the rank of the recipient wrong, as well as his own role in the ceremony."
- It was a big deal in Our Nation's Capital, but I'm not sure it broke through in Michigan, Wisconsin, or Pennsylvania.
- Biden was not claiming any bravery for himself. He was making the point that the servircemember didn't want a medal because the person he was trying to rescue died.
- In real life the man was an Army Specialist, Kyle J. White, not a Navy Captain, and he did not receive a Silver Star from Joe Biden for his heroic attempt.
- He received the Medal of Honor presented by President Barack Obama.
- The whisper campaign, probably fertilized by his opponents' campaigns, is that those kinds of mistakes show that Biden, at 76 is too old. Trump, by the way, is 73. Sanders is 77. Warren is the kid in the group at 70.
- Think about this: The aggregate age of the four people who have, as we wave goodbye to Labor Day, the best shot at being sworn in as President on January 20, 2021 is … 296.
- On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: Links to the history of Labor Day; to a peek at the 2016 results from Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan; to the WashPost look at the Biden gaffe, and to the Real Clear Politics poll tracking page.
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