US Election 2020- What the Polls Say

Results may not be available on November 3

Validating and counting of ballots may delay the results

By Ven Parameswaran

US Election 2020 is being described as an unusual election dominated by a disruptive  COVID-19 . The raging pandemic made the traditional campaigning in the form of huge public meetings nearly impossible. Novel ways to reach out to the voters were discovered, adding them to the list of radio, television and  print media. Pandemic, notwithstanding, it is believed this election may have the highest percentage of voting in a hundred years- a record. It surely speaks of the enthusiasm and involvement of the American people in what appears to be “mother of all elections”.

The Indian Panorama has been during the last couple of weeks, bringing to the readers opinions of well informed and scholarly analysts of US election. They kept readers informed about  the various trends and turns in the fortune of both the Republicans and the Democrats. Four days to the  final day of polling now, and we decided to bring to the readers the wisdom of pollsters. Let readers form their own impression of what the end result could be. -EDITOR

Major Polls predict Biden Win. However, Trafalgar Poll predicts Trump will be re-elected

Gallup Poll reported that it asked the question “Are you better off today than four years ago?” and 56% answered “YES”.

 

The Trafalgar Group Poll of Georgia claims that  it is the only poll that correctly predicted that Trump would win 2016 against Hillary Clinton.   It was able to do it by closely polling the battleground States of Michigan and Wisconsin.  It is again predicting that Trump will be reelected defeating Joe Biden, former Vice President.

                                          BIDEN               TRUMP

National                              49.4                   49.6

Nevada                                49.4                   47.1

Florida                                 46.9                   49.6

Michigan                             46.6                    49.1

Minnesota                          48.0                     44.8

Wisconsin                            47.5                     47.1

Pennsylvania                       48.4                      47.6

I am giving below the statistics of all other major polls to enable the readers to predict the election.

Biden                Trump             Advantage

REAL CLEAR POLITICS AVERAGE

51.3                    43.5               Biden +7.8

CNN

 54                      42                   Biden+12

NYT/Siena

 50                      41                   Biden+9

NBC/WSJ    

 53                       42                 Biden+11

ABC/Wash Post  

 55                       43                   Biden+12

Fox News

53                       43                   Biden+10

IBD/TIPP (Raghavan Mayur)   

 51                       44                    Biden+7

Reuters/Ipsos

 52                        42                   Biden+10

USA Today/Suffolk

 52                        44                   Biden+8

The margin of error for all these polls range from 2 to 3.6%.     RCP Average mentioned above is  based on 30 different polls.    I have given the statistics of major polls only.

RAGHAVAN MAYUR, DIRECTOR, INVESTORS BUSINESS DAILY (IBD) claims he also predicted that Trump would be the winner. For reasons not known to me, the mainstream media failed to inform the public about IBD or Trafalgar Polls.   Raghavan Mayur has the potential to become most successful and outstanding in market research and polling.

GALLUP POLL:

The Gallup Poll is a very independent poll not affiliated with any major print or TV medium.  Although the Gallup did not predict the 2016 election correctly, it has had a better batting record than all other polls.  The Gallup poll asked the voters in a survey : ARE YOU BETTER OFF TODAY THAN FOUR YEARS AGO ? (this question was asked by President Reagan during his debate)   56% of  AMERICANS SAID THEY ARE BETTER OFF.     If so, even though President’s job approval is in mid 40’s, Gallup survey could have an impact on the voters.

2020 U.S. Presidential Election is the most important historically speaking.  Because of Coronavirus the Mail-In Voting was allowed.  As of October 29, 2020   82 million have already voted.  On an average, because of early physical voting and mail in voting, 10 million a day vote.  At this rate by the election day on Tuesday, November 3rd, 120 million would have voted.   In 2016, I think 130 million voted.    The turnout has been heaviest so far.  On the election day next week one would expect massive turnout to vote physically and I estimate at least another 50 million.  Thus, it is possible in all 170 million eligible voters would have voted.  I have been in the USA for the past 66 years and have not seen such a heavy turnout.

It is mentioned in the media that the Republicans generally prefer to vote physically.   If so, majority of voters on the Election Day would be Republicans.

Because more than 50% have already voted, there is no need to poll the LIKELY VOTERS.  In the past, the poll on LIKELY VOTERS would give some kind  of indication for  whom they are going to vote.  In as much as majority has already voted, it is possible to find out who voted for whom.  It is, therefore, possible that we may be able to know who has won even before the date of the election, November 3rd.  I am sure on the election day, the pollsters and the TV networks will conduct Exit poll as usual. If the majority of voters on the Election Day is Republicans, the Exit polls will be misleading.

BATTLEGROUND STATES WILL ULTIMATELY DECIDE WHO HAS WON THE ELECTION:

No Republican has won the Presidency without winning Ohio and Florida.   Based on the polling available today it is possible Trump could win these states.  He won Ohio by 8 points in 2016 and has been leading in the polls.   The Latinos are the largest minority, not the Blacks.  There is a large Latino population in Florida, Texas and Arizona.   It has been reported that there is a big turnout of Latinos in Florida and Arizona.   If so, Trump is most likely to win these States.

Michael Moore(Democrat),  movie director from Hollywood living in Detroit, Michigan, predicted that Trump would win in 2016.  This morning, he is again predicting Trump would be winning Michigan and the election.   Third quarter GDP grew by 33%.  Auto companies in Michigan have been working three shifts  manufacturing cars, trucks, and other vehicles to capacity.  The economists have pointed out that this contributed significantly to the phenomenal GDP growth.   The media mentioned that majority of Michigan autoworkers were likely to vote for Trump.

Trump is most likely to win Pennsylvania because Biden’s position on oil and gas industry announced during the second Presidential debate has disappointed the voters.  Oil and gas industry is a major source of employment in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Ohio, Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico.   It is mentioned that Trump would gain because jobs are more important than party loyalties.   It is therefore possible and probable that Trump would carry Pennsylvania by a razor thin margin as in 2016 (he gained by 44000 votes).

If Trump wins Florida, Georgia and North Carolina, and Ohio, he needs to win only Michigan or Pennsylvania or Wisconsin to capture 270 electoral votes, assuming he wins Arizona.  In 2016 he won by 306 electoral votes.

 

IMPOSSIBLE TO PREDICT THIS ELECTION

I must conclude by saying that it is impossible to predict this election because as in 2016, it is going to be very close in the battleground states of FL, NC, MI, WI, MN, PA, AZ.   Just because Trafalgar was right in 2016, we cannot go by that.   But, I have more faith in what the Americans answered to the Gallup poll: “WE ARE BETTER OFF TODAY THAN FOUR YEARS AGO.”    I am also awaiting the latest poll from Gallup before the election.  The Gallup poll has been the most reliable indicator of Presidential election for several years.

VALIDATING AND COUNTING THE BALLOTS:

This is going to be laborious in spite of modern technology.   One has to verify the Signatures from the Mail-in and Absentee ballots.  Many states require that the mails containing the ballots must be date stamped by the post office as of  Nov.3 or before.   But some states are allowing one week’s time to receive the ballots.  If so, there is scope to change the ballots after the election creating room for fraud.  President Trump has already raised this issue.

Republicans have majority in the legislatures of Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, though their governors are Democrats.  If there are discrepancies, the final arbiter is the Legislature.   The legislature has the authority to decide the outcome of the election.    In 2000, the Supreme Court decided George W Bush won the election against Al Gore in Florida by a margin of a very small number of votes.

Hillary Clinton has stated publicly that Vice President Joe Biden should never concede to Trump under any circumstances.  If so, the matter may go finally to the Supreme Court if either party challenges.   Therefore, more important than the election is the validating and counting of the ballots.    Normally, American voters know who has won on the election night.  I do not think it is going to be possible this year because the election in battleground states will be very close and razor thin.    Usually, the Associated Press takes the lead in announcing the results.  What can they do this year if they have no information as to who has won.

Let us all pray that Americans will demonstrate respect for law and refrain from holding  demonstrations and riots on the streets.

(Ven Parameswaran immigrated to the USA in 1954.  He is Chairman, Asian American Republican Committee (founded 1988).  Lives in Scarsdale, NY. Email: [email protected])

 

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