We are now less than one month before the 2020 Presidential election – even less than three weeks. More than fifty years of political involvement has taught me one truth at this stage of an election. For all intents and purposes, it is over. The results are baked in.
Oh, we will not know the results for several weeks – maybe even a long time after Election Day. And yes, in politics anything can happen. I mean, who expected Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to die before the inauguration of the next President? Who knew that the highly anticipated investigation of the investigators would result in nothing – no indictment and not even any regulatory discipline? Who knew that emails would turn up implicating former Vice President Biden in a whopper of a lie about his son’s dealings in Ukraine? Who could have predicted the Covid-19 Pandemic?
The vaccine card has already been played and there are no more Middle East treaties to be signed before Election Day. The Covid-19 Pandemic will slough along, and the economy will continue to perform well, but without any significant developments.
More importantly, the number of undecided voters has shrunk to a precious few. By the time you reach the last month of an election season, the vast majority of the voters (some 99 percent) will have already made up their minds. They know who they will vote for even if the pollsters still see them as undecided.
If there is any unsettled issue, it is turnout. Early voting and mail-in ballots suggest an extremely high interest in this year’s election. Often in the past, we have heard of unusually high voter interest only to be disappointed in the final numbers.
Time after time, we have heard projections of a high turnout by younger voters. So far, it has not happened. We heard the same about minority voters. It never came to pass. Trump is President of the United States because there was a low turnout among young folks and blacks in the ghettoes of Scranton and Detroit.
Though Democrats like to blame voter suppression, the interesting statistic is that blacks turned out in higher numbers in the south, where the alleged voter suppression is supposed to be taking place. But minorities in the inner cities stayed home in greater numbers – in places where Democrats have an unfettered ability to turn out the vote.
More than 12 million Americans have expressed a contempt for the campaigns by voting early. They have no interest in any new developments or any October surprises – and besides, October is half over. These folks are not going to respond to literature drops, television advertising or robocalls because they have ended their curiosity and consideration. They have voted. For them, the election is over.
Current prognostication suggests that Biden is ahead, but there is no way of knowing. We can conjecture about the outcome and engage in rude social media exchanges all we like, but it no hace diferencia. The election is essentially over – at least in the collective hearts and minds of the American people.
So, who is going to win? I have no idea. Listening to the pundits is an exercise in futility because they will make their predictions based on political biases and wishful thinking. A better indicator is the Las Vegas bettors. Unlike the talking heads on television, these gamblers are putting their money where their mouths are. The gamblers are risking real money on the outcome.
If you expect to get insight from the gamblers this year, you will be disappointed. While there is movement on a day-to-day basis, the gamblers are rating the campaign as a tossup. Despite all the constant anti-Trump news reports emanating from the Fourth Estate, the gamblers give the President a 50/50 chance of spending the next four years in the Oval Office.
This year’s election is now like the Oscars. The winners have already all been decided by the people, but we must wait for the envelope to be opened to see who those winners are. And the opening of that envelope next month is likely to be a long and controversial process – especially if the vote for President is very close.
Unless you are among those operatives who are charged with getting out the vote, you can sit back, switch to the Disney Channel and relax. The 2020 election is already decided.
So, there ‘tis.
Editor’s Note: Larry’s opinion notwithstanding, several of us at Punching Bag believe there are many surprises still in the works.
Cheers, Joe G.