This Sh*t Is Not In The Bag

2020 presidential election
awesome joe biden GIF by NowThis

Hello, it is August 13, 2020, and there are 82 days until the US American presidential election of presidents.

Things have been looking cautiously optimistic, which is the best we really want to say about an election season where so far Joe Biden has been beating the fuck out of Donald Trump in every poll, sometimes by double digits. The average right now is 8.2 percent. Monmouth, Nate Silver's top-rated pollster, has Biden up by 10 and over 50 percent. Just yesterday, new swing state polls came out from CNBC and Change Research showing Biden up six points in Florida, five points in Michigan, four points in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, a point up in Arizona, and just a point down in North Carolina. Things tightening a wee bit? Maybe. But they always tend to, as we get closer to Election Day.

At the same time, there are certain things about the election that do not look good. As we've been detailing this week, the Russian attack is back, and this time they're using Republicans in Congress as willing and useful idiot assets to achieve their goals. And their chief asset sits in the White House, where he and lackeys like Attorney General Bill Barr are doing everything they can to hurl dildos in the gears of American democracy, fucking with the post office, fucking with the rule of law, fucking with whatever they can find to fuck with. And of course, Barr is planning to announce the results of his bullshit clownshow "investigation" into the origins of the Russia investigation, which, as if we needed to be reminded, was the investigation into the Russian attack that helped Trump get into office in the first fucking place.

And of course, that's not to mention all the state-level fuckery, as we contend with voting and voter suppression in the middle of a pandemic, in a climate where Republicans everywhere already don't want people voting, because of how they lose when lots of people vote.

So, cautious optimism, always on guard, no resting until they wheel the motherfucker out between two giant Big Mac buns if they have to. Don't care how he leaves, but he can't stay here.

On that note, Nate Silver has released his big election forecast for the general, and it's interesting. His headline is a much less funnier version of ours, "It's Way Too Soon To Count Trump Out." His model currently gives Trump a 29 percent chance of winning. However, he says that if he tricks his model into thinking the election is today, Biden has a 93 percent chance of winning. We did not know you could play a trick on Nate Silver's nerd math model.


Silver notes that his model is more conservative than some others. He also reminds us that he was closest to getting it right in 2016, and that his final forecast gave Trump and Hillary Clinton approximately the same chances as Trump and Biden have today, respectively.

That said, cautious optimism:

[O]ne shouldn't get too carried away with the comparisons to four years ago. In 2016, the reason Trump had a pretty decent chance in our final forecast was mostly just because the polls were fairly close (despite the media narrative to the contrary), close enough that even a modest-sized polling error in the right group of states could be enough to give Trump a victory in the Electoral College.

The uncertainty in our current 2020 forecast, conversely, stems mostly from the fact that there's still a long way to go until the election. [...] [A] Trump victory would require a much bigger polling error than what we saw in 2016.

It's true that we did endure millions of Politico Chuck Todd Masturbation Time segments about how the pollsters got it SOOOO WRONG in 2016. They really didn't. They were real darn close. Of course, a lot of polling outfits were wrapping up their polling season by the time James Comey came out 11 days before the election and announced that he had found some new Hillary emails inside his bottom, which arguably moved the final result away from the polling.

Silver explains just how big Biden's lead is, compared to what Hillary Clinton's was:

Biden is currently ahead in our polling averages in Florida, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Ohio and in the second congressional district in Nebraska — all places that Clinton lost in 2016. If he won those states (and held the other states Clinton won), that would be enough to give him 352 electoral votes. He's also within roughly 1 percentage point of Trump in Texas, Georgia, Iowa and Maine's second congressional district. If he won those, too, he'd be up to a whopping 412 electoral votes.

That's pretty big. But he cautions how much can change between now and then. The Russian attack will come on even stronger. Trump could get better — LOL — but he could also drink bleach to cure coronavirus on live TV and his numbers could go from bad to worse.

Bill Barr is an asshole, but we're not actually too worried his big investigation will move the needle, because Bill Barr is the fucking shithole untrustworthy AG servant to the lying-est president in American history. Somebody shoulda told Trump and Barr the childhood fable of the weenus authoritarian mouthbaby who cried wolf too many times.

However, as Silver notes:

The model also does not account for the possibility of extraconstitutional shenanigans by Trump or by anyone else, such as trying to prevent mail ballots from being counted.

Yeah, little things like that. And all the shit we listed above. Pretty hard to put those in a model. He also says there's about a 10 percent chance right now that Biden blows it out in the vote of the people, but loses the Electoral College.

Silver is more conservative about turnout than we'd be, just because we are big believers in Rachel Bitecofer's model of negative partisanship, which predicts that Trump turnout will be high, but anti-Trump turnout will blow your fucking mind. That theory — which has been proven in practice — says people are far more motivated these days to vote against the other party than to vote for their own. And there are just far more people in America that motherfuckin' loathe the very air Donald Trump breathes than there are who can get it up to hate Joe Biden.

For the record, Bitecofer's current model shows Biden starting out with 312 electoral votes, compared to Trump's 125. So if Bitecofer's model holds through November 3, then FUCK NATE SILVER. (And if you want extremely current Bitecofer, she did Bob Cesca's podcast yesterday, and we imagine they probably talked about politics, dunno, haven't listened yet.)

Cautiously. Optimistic.

We've said it a thousand times, and Joe Biden and Kamala Harris said it in their event yesterday, but we can't just win this time. We have to kick their fucking asses, not just to save the country, but to over-perform alllllllll the illegal ratfucking Russian-influenced shit they're going to throw our way.

Eighty-two days. Get to work, assholes.

[FiveThirtyEight]

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Evan Hurst

Evan Hurst is the senior editor of Wonkette, which means he is the boss of you, unless you are Rebecca, who is boss of him. His dog Lula is judging you right now.

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