There are only 12 days to the Presidential election on November 3, 2020. Everyone is interested in knowing who has better chances to win – President Trump or former Vice President Biden. This discussion and speculation will keep on going till the election.
All the TV networks including Fox, CBS, ABC, NBC, CNN and the mainstream media including NYT and Washington Post and the polls sponsored by them have been predicting Biden will win by a comfortable margin. How can one believe them? They predicted in 2016 that Hillary Clinton would win.But Trump defeated Clinton by 306 electoral votes, though Clinton won the popular vote by 2%.
Therefore, the decision will be made by the voters in battleground states of Florida, North Carolina, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin. In 2016, Trump’s major victory against Clinton was in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Michigan. He won with a narrow margin of 77,000 votes combined from these four states. According to my calculations Trump has good chances to win New Hampshire, Nevada, and Minnesota this year.
The upstart Trafalgar does not see 2020 the same way everyone else does. Trafalgar’s strategist Robert Cahaly was born in Georgia and got involved in politics going door-to-door as a kid. He started a political consulting firm with some others in the late 1990s. Around 2008, he says, they realized that the polling they were getting was not very good, so they started doing their own. He says they got good, accurate results in the races they were working.
In the 2016 primaries, they started putting out some of their own polls. “Our polls ended up being the best ones in South Carolina and Georgia, “ Cahaly says. “So we started studying what it was that made those so different.”
Then there was the breakthrough in the 2016 general election. “We ended up having an incredible year,” he says. “I mean, we got Pennsylvania right. We got Michigan right. We had the best poll in five of the battleground states in 2016. And I actually predicted 306 to 232 on the electoral college. And we went from doing a little bit of polling on the side to that (being) our primary business in about 24 hours. And since then, that is what we have been doing.”
As a general matter, he discounts national polls. First, because the race for the presidency is won state by state, not on the basis of the national vote. Second, because all the methodological difficulties involved in getting a balanced, representative sample in a state poll of 1,000 people are magnified in a national survey. It is easily skewable at that point, and you start making assumptions.
So how does he see the 2020 race? Fundamentally, as a motivation race, rather than a persuasion race, with perhaps 1.5 per cent, at most, of the electorate UNDECIDED in battleground states.
The likeliest Trump electoral path to victory involves winning the battlegrounds of North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Arizona, and either Michigan or Pennsylvania among the former Blue Wall states (assuming he does not lose states such as Iowa or Ohio).
THIS IS CAHALY’S BREAKDOWN: He believes Trump will win North Carolina and Florida and discount’s Biden’s chances in Georgia because the Republican-base vote is too big there (the same is true in Texas).
As for Arizona, “I think Trump has the lead,” Cahaly says. “I think Republican Senator Martha McSally has some ground to make up. I see her about 5 points behind Trump, but I think Trump will probably win the state. And win it by a couple of points or more. And if he wins it big enough, McSally has a shot.”
Trump is not there yet in Pennsylvania, according to Cahaly. “Right now, we have got him down in Pennsylvania,” he says, “I think if it were held today, the Undecides would break toward Trump and there would be some hidden vote.
In Michigan, Trafalgar has Trump ahead. “I think he will win Michigan, “ Cahaly says, citing fear of the Democratic economic agenda.
Overall, Cahaly sees another Trump win. “If it all happened right now,” he maintains, “my best guess would be an Electoral College victory in the high to 270s, low 280s.”
THERE IT IS. AMONG POLLSTERS, YOU HEARD IT FROM ROBERT CAHALY FIRST, AND PERHAPS EXCLUSIVELY—A POSITION HE HAS BEEN IN BEFORE.
I must point out that the second Presidential debate scheduled for 22nd October can have an impact.
Do not forget Trump has been most unpredictable. President Obama said Trump won’t run, won’t be nominated and cannot win against Hillary Clinton. Nobody expected Trump would defeat nine veteran governors and 5 senators in the Primaries. Trump proved everyone wrong by defeating the most popular Hillary Clinton. There are more women voters than men voters.
Trump is generating more enthusiasm than Biden. The working class of America cannot forget Trump brought the unemployment to 3.4%, a 50-year record. Four organizations have nominated Trump for Nobel Peace Prize based on foreign policy achievements, especially peace in the Middle East.
THE GALLUP POLL ASKED THE AMERICANS: Are you better off today than four years ago? 56% said they are better off. This is the most favorable poll for Trump.The question was coined by President Ronald Reagan during the Presidential debate.
(Ven Parameswaran, Chairman, Asian American Republican Committee (founded 1988), lives in Scarsdale, NY. He can be reached at [email protected])