The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Joe Biden Is Not Barack Obama (and Other Truths the Media Elite Can’t See)

Posted on | October 26, 2020 | Comments Off on Joe Biden Is Not Barack Obama (and Other Truths the Media Elite Can’t See)

In 2016, Donald Trump got 62.9 million votes, or about 2 million more votes than Mitt Romney got in 2012. Who were those voters? Hillary Clinton sneered at them as “deplorables,” and media elites have spent the past four years trying to pretend those voters don’t matter. You see evidence of that kind of make-believe thinking everywhere, including the fervent hope that Joe Biden can “flip” states like North Carolina, Georgia and even Texas. These delusional beliefs are not merely symptoms of Trump Derangement Syndrome, but also a failure to understand what made Barack Obama so successful. It wasn’t just that he was “the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy,” to quote Biden himself. Obama also had an excellent speaking voice, a fact I noted in a 2009 column:

Even his harshest critics will credit Barack Obama for being a tremendous orator. Put him in front of a TelePrompter with a good text, and the man’s sonorous baritone works wonders. For this power, his speechwriters can claim no credit. He could read the ingredients from the side panel of a box of pancake batter (“…dextrose, partially hydrogenated soybean oil with mono- and diglycerides…“) and inspire standing ovations from an audience of adoring Democrats.

Hillary Clinton didn’t have that, and neither does Joe Biden. Whatever else may happen in this election, Biden will not get Obama-level support — from black voters or anyone else — for the simple fact that Biden is not Obama. When you see polls that predict, for example, Biden winning North Carolina with a 4-point margin, you have to realize that the survey sample has been “weighted” according to the pollster’s speculative estimate of the electorate, an estimate that includes (among other things) a guess about how many black voters will turn out. A lot of smart-guy pundits would have you believe that Biden can win North Carolina because he’ll get Obama-level support from black voters there.

To such a proposition, I can only reply, we’ll see.

Count me skeptical about “Landslide Joe.” The Trump-hating media elite are projecting their own biases onto the electorate, assuming that their disdain for the president is shared by “swing state” voters whom they’ve never actually met. Maybe they’re right. I certainly cannot rule out the possibility that Biden will win, and if that happens, I’ll be going over vote tallies and exit-poll data like everybody else trying to figure out in hindsight what happened and why. Maybe in such a scenario, attention will focus on the accusations of financial mismanagement by Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale, which allegedly drained millions of dollars that Trump could have used for advertising in the final weeks of the campaign. But such hindsight recriminations on the Republican side won’t happen unless Biden wins, and I am not the only experienced campaign-watcher who is deeply skeptical about Biden’s chances.

Byron York covered a massive pro-Trump caravan in Washington, Pennsylvania, that attracted more than 2,000 vehicles, and the thing is (a) this is spontaneous grassroots activism not sponsored by the official campaign, and (b) this got next-to-zero coverage in the regular media. Meanwhile, what about the polls? Once you look past the topline numbers, you find all kinds of anomalous indications that “Landslide Joe” isn’t nearly the commanding front-runner his media fanboys seem to believe he is. Polls in Pennsylvania show Biden below the level of support in Philadelphia that Hillary Clinton had four years ago. If Joe is slipping in Philly, while rural Pennsylvanians are so fired up they’re organizing their own rallies, are we really supposed to believe Trump is down by five points there? And then there’s Ohio:

Brilliant yellow maple trees surround my mother-in-law’s home in rural Ohio, and the roads in her part of the state are lined not only with the colorful foliage of late October but also with signs expressing support for President Trump’s election. Anyone can look at the results from 2016 and see that Trump racked up majorities of 2 to 1 or more in this part of Ohio — 72 percent in Morrow County, 71 percent in Crawford County, 67 percent in Knox County, 66 percent in Richland County, 64 percent in Marion County. In fact, Trump won 80 of Ohio’s 88 counties four years ago, defeating Hillary Clinton by an eight-point margin statewide.
If you believe the polls, Joe Biden is neck-and-neck with Trump in Ohio. Three recent polls (New York Times, Quinnipiac, Rasmussen) showed Biden with a one-point lead, and the current RealClearPolitics average of Ohio polls has Trump ahead with a margin of less than 1 percentage point. But nobody believes the polls, especially when the numbers are starkly contradicted by on-the-ground evidence like the proliferation of roadside Trump signs. . . .

Read the rest of my latest column at The American Spectator.



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