TUESDAY, JUNE 16, 2020
The same could be asked about us: Could a two-fisted drinker like Donald J. Trump win re-election this fall?
Yes, he actually could! Consider Ed Kilgore's report at New York magazine. But mainly, consider the polling figures at FiveThirtyEight to which Kilgore links.
In 2016, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by almost three million votes. Still, her Electoral College miseries were such that she would have had to win three additional states—Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin—to have pulled out a win.
This coming November, the simplest way for Candidate Biden to win would be to win those three states. So how's he doing in those battleground states? According to 538, Biden's running ahead in Pennsylvania and Michigan, but in Wisconsin, he and Donald J. Trump are stone-cold neck and neck.
If Trump hangs on to just one of those states, Biden would have to flip some other state to win. Certainly, he could do that—but at 538, there is no other battleground/swing state where a Biden win seems certain.
To many blue voters, these facts may seem counterintuitive. We keep hearing that Biden has a large lead in the national polls. But even as our tribal sachems pleasure us with this news, they keep forgetting to remind us of the Democratic Party's growing Electoral College disadvantage.
Candidate Clinton lost the Electoral College 304-227 despite winning the popular vote by 2.1 percentage points. Because of the growing number of "wasted votes" in blow-out blue states like California and New York, it has been said by people who aren't nuts that Biden could lose the Electoral College this year while piling up a substantially larger win in the popular vote.
Under this scenario, Candidate Biden could win the popular vote by (let's say) as many as six percentage points and still lose the election. On cable, our corporate con men are constantly pleasuring us with the good news in the national polls without warning us about this major problem.
The irony here involves Kilgore himself. We were linked to the polling data at 538 by Kilgore's report. To our eye, what we saw at 538 was anything but encouraging.
We were struck by the way the polls from those battleground states give Trump a way to win. We were also struck by the way the happy talk on liberal cable ignores this potential disaster.
Are blue voters whistling in the dark? Ironically, the Kilgore piece is built upon the premise that Trump's voters are acting like fools!
How can Trump voters think Trump will win? This was Kilgore's eye-rolling premise. It seems to us that the very same question can be directed at us.
We hopeless liberals behaved this way all through Campaign 2016. There was no way Trump could possibly win, we kept saying, even though it was always clear that he actually could.
We're now pushing that line once again! We seem to be playing that same crazy game. Was our team born to lose?
Yes, Virginia! Donald J. Trump could win re-election—if we have an election, that is!