The Other McCain

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

Damn It, Iowa — No Hope Allowed!

Posted on | November 1, 2020 | Comments Off on Damn It, Iowa — No Hope Allowed!

As I have explained, maintaining my mental health during the final weeks of the campaign requires me to avoid anything that might give me hope that Donald Trump could be elected. This is actually easy, given how most polls show Joe Biden cruising to a landslide victory. The NBC/Wall Street Journal poll has Biden winning by 10 pointsTEN FREAKING POINTS! — which would have to be catastrophically wrong for Trump to have a chance. In terms of my Zen of hopelessness, this is just what I need, but some of y’all refuse to cooperate:

Republican President Donald Trump has taken over the lead in Iowa as Democratic former Vice President Joe Biden has faded, a new Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll shows just days before Election Day.
The president now leads by 7 percentage points over Biden, 48% to 41%. Three percent say they will vote for someone else, 2% aren’t sure and 5% don’t want to say for whom they will vote.
In September’s Iowa Poll, the candidates were tied at 47% to 47%.

In the span of one month, according to this poll, Biden has lost 6 points, while Trump has gained one. Recall that in February, Biden placed third in the Iowa caucus, so we can’t expect Democrats there to be too enthusiastic about “Landslide Joe.” Furthermore, in 2016, Trump won Iowa by more than 9 points, so if he wins by 7 points this time, it would actually show an erosion of his support. And when you recall how slender Trump’s margins were in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, the loss of 2 points would spell defeat. So may hopelessness remains intact, but then there’s this little data point from the Iowa poll:

Both candidates largely hold onto voters within their own parties. Ninety-three percent of Democrats support Biden, along with 4% of self-described Republicans. And 89% of Republicans support Trump, along with 2% of Democrats.
But Trump has regained an edge with those who identify as independents — a bloc key to his 2016 win in Iowa. According to National Election Pool exit polling published by CNN, independent voters favored Trump 51% to 38% over Democrat Hillary Clinton that year.
In the Register’s September Iowa Poll, Biden led with independents 50% to 38%. But today, Trump wins them back and leads 49% to 35%.

Whoa! Biden has lost 15 points with independents? This cannot be true. Nate Silver tells me there is an 89% chance Biden is winning, and yet independents have turned against Biden? How can I protect my precious sense of hopelessness against this contradictory evidence?

Well, I’ve been watching CNN all day. That should do the trick.



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