2020 Election: A Look At National, Virginia, Texas
Donald Trump is going to lose. However, we don’t know by what margin, and if he will take down the U.S. Senate with him.
Trump’s singular path requires him to duplicate the 2016 electoral map by breaching the Blue Wall of PA/MI/WI. This could be an impossible task due to five factors. In 2016, Trump won PA/MI/WI by less than one percent.
Hillary Clinton is not on the ballot. Democrats are not only motivated to vote for Joe Biden, but also, they are hell bent on voting against Donald Trump.
Trump has not expanded his base. Instead, he has lost ground with almost every demographic including white voters, women voters, suburban voters, senior citizen voters, Independent voters, and Republican voters. All of this adds up to an unlikely second term for the President.
Sure, that group of Trump voters devoted to the President will enthusiastically vote for him, but the other half of the Republican Party is holding their noses and wishing for this all to be over, if they are even voting for him at all. I have voted Republican my entire voting life, and I voted for Joe Biden.
I am not an outlier, and groups like the Lincoln Project and Republican Voters Against Trump have proved they are making an impact on a national level.
What will be the impact?
It’s unclear, but Trump can’t afford to lose Republicans. He has, and this loss will be measurable.
Clearly, Trump has been unable to stop the bleeding of key demographics, unable to change the COVID-19 narrative, unable to make any dirt stick to Biden, and unable to replicate the 2016 campaign model.
COVID-19, the ongoing conversation around race, and the struggling economic recovery has flipped the script, and Trump has been unable to capitalize on his favorite issues, such as immigration and low unemployment. He’s been left with oppositionism and Make America Great Again Again.
On the other hand, Biden has stayed on message (science-based response to COVID-19, decency, unity). He has run a solid and extremely well-funded campaign, he is outperforming Clinton in battleground states, and he has the advantage of momentum and enthusiasm.
Even Ted Cruz admitted to Jonathan Swan of Axios, “Democrats will crawl over broken glass to vote against Trump.” I think you nailed it, Ted.
Yes, Biden has baggage. He has evolved on the issue of racial equality, but the irreparable damage caused by the Crime Bill cannot be glossed over. For the black community, this wound cuts deep and they have not forgotten this travesty. To the chagrin of many of my Democratic friends, I expect Trump to do slightly better with African American men this election. Biden has also made a few gaffes (fracking and phasing out fossil fuels) but overall, he has run a textbook campaign.
Best case scenario: Trump duplicates the 2016 map apart from PA/MI/WI giving the President 260 electoral votes to Biden’s 278 electoral votes.
Likely scenario: Biden also wins one or a mixture of toss up states that include AZ/FL/GA/NC/IA and Nebraska’s Second Congressional District.
Nightmare scenario: Trump loses Texas, yes, Texas. It’s a longshot and Texas may not flip this cycle, but the flip is coming. Recent polls have Trump and Biden tied in the Lone Star state, and Democrats generally outperform the polls in Texas by two-four percentage points. For example, Beto O’Rourke, according to Real Clear Politics, was polling 6.8 percent behind Ted Cruz in 2018, but Beto lost by 2.6 points.
Turnout for the 2016 Presidential election was 59.39 percent compared to 53.01 percent in the 2018 midterm elections, a slim margin compared to states like Virginia that see sharper declines in off-year elections. To date, nearly one million new or first-time voters have cast their ballots, and Texas has already surpassed the percentage of registered voters who voted in both 2016 and 2018. Trump may win Texas by a slim margin, but this inertia does not bode well for the GOP in the future.
Lastly, Beto and the Texas Democrats are on a mission to flip Texas, and they are fueled by the 2018 race, recent polling, and record turnout; however, Biden continues to struggle with Latino voters. The Lincoln Project invested one million dollars in campaign ads in Texas targeting disenfranchised Republicans. Governor Abbott’ approval rating is down twenty percent due to his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Biden has invested 6 million dollars in campaign ads in Texas. Harris is visiting the Lone Star state in the final days of the campaign. Bloomberg is pouring millions of dollars into the state the final week.
Will it pay off or is Texas a Blue mirage?
Time will tell. Just remember, there is a better chance of Biden flipping Texas than Trump winning reelection – and it is 2020. It looks like Trump will be dancing the Texas Tossup in the closing few days of the campaign.
U.S. Senate: In short, the Democrats gain control of the Senate primarily due to Trump backlash: 52 Democrats – 48 Republicans. There are obviously other variables to consider, but this is my bare prediction. One only need listen to and watch the actions of Senate Republicans to understand they are expecting to be in the minority next year.
U.S. House of Representatives: Democrats gain 10-12 seats.
Cautionary Tale -Virginia’s Fifth Congressional District: The intraparty civil war. The Whiskey Rebellion declares war on QAnon. Good is out of touch and beyond his depth. Riggleman is a man unshackled by the chains of reelection and has threatened to vote for Biden, no doubt in protest to the ongoing Party lunacy. The winner? Cameron Webb. Lesson learned? I doubt it.