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Who Will Win the 2020 US Presidential Election?
Everyone has an opinion about this election. Some even back up their “absolutely guaranteed” predictions for who will win the presidency by betting on the election result using online sportsbooks.
Others avidly watch the polls, forgetting that polls—while providing pre-election interest and entertainment—have been known to be utterly, completely wrong in their predictions at various points in the past.
Who will win the 2020 presidential election? It’s still so hard to tell. But here’s a look at the case for each candidate, where they currently stand in the race, and a final wrap-up with a prediction.
The Case for Trump Winning the Election
There are a number of reasons that Donald Trump may end up taking the victory, despite current poll numbers.
Here are a few.
When one of the candidates is already in office, he gains a natural advantage. As president, he is already seen by many to be a powerful figure.
In debates, whereas the other candidate is referred to as Mr. or Mrs., the incumbent is referred to as Mr. President. (Hopefully soon, that will not be so gender-specific. But we have yet to refer to any incumbent by anything other than “Mr. President.”)
Furthermore, voting for the incumbent preserves the status quo. And as much as young and energetic voters want to foment change, there are a great many US citizens of voting age who are simply uncomfortable with change, and who will vote to keep things “as they are.”
Strong Ability to Leverage Emotion
There are people who will refuse to vote for Trump for a number of intellectually-derived reasons: shakier foreign policy than we’ve had in decades, inappropriate response to climate-change based tragedies, and speeches that fail every fact-checking attempt.
However, intellect will always be bested by human emotion.
You can know all the reasons in the world that you should have a fruit salad as opposed to a banana split. You know if you choose the latter, the rest of your day will be ruined because you will feel bad physically and also feel ashamed of your choices.
But that is all “in the future.” In the now is the hot fudge and peanuts and strawberry ice cream and that cherry. And with it, the possibility of eating your ice cream in front of Netflix.
No broccoli in the world can compete with that kind of a siren call.
Thus, even if an undecided voter believes that we may have a stronger fiscal future with Biden, or a better chance to beat the virus with anyone but Trump, this undecided voter may still opt to cast a ballot for the loudest, brashest, most chaotic/interesting candidate.
Why? Because humans do not want to be bored. We do not want to be lectured to. We want to be told that things are “being handled,” that all is well, and that our nation is thriving.
Thus, the power of promises, even when we know they are empty, can overcome the rational understanding that no one could clean up the virus in less than another two years, we are on the edge of a domestic treasury meltdown, and that no one can save us except for ourselves.
A vote for Trump can feel like a marriage proposal; we may be warned that the glossy, romantic promises are baseless, but we hope so desperately that “this one will be different,” that some voters will fall off the same cliff time and again, like Wile E. Coyote. (Mixed metaphor, I know. Wile E. Coyote never proposed to the Roadrunner. Because he never got the chance.)
Poll Numbers May Not Be Accurate
He did it four years ago.
Back when all the polls showed Hillary Clinton leading in the polls by numbers of up to 85-90%, Trump still managed to secure the victory.
This tells us that the polls are not always accurate. Sometimes they have zero bearing on what ends up occurring on election day.
The Case for Biden Winning the Election
Not every Democrat likes Biden. For all of his intelligence, he lacks the charisma of a Bill Clinton or a Barack Obama.
But the same is true on the other side of the aisle: not every Republican will cast a vote for Trump. In fact, there are moderate Republicans who believe that Trump is more of a threat to their party than any Democratic Party candidate.
Any Democrat who is not a fan of Biden is still very unlikely to turn around and vote for Trump, simply because President Trump’s stated ideals are so critically harmful to the Civil Rights-based Democratic Platform.
In other words, disenchanted Democrats may still vote for Biden because of the lack of other viable options.
However—and here is where Biden stands to gain significant power–the Republicans who do not care for Trump will turn around and vote for Biden.
Members of high-profile Republican families, such as the McCains, have announced that they will vote on the Democratic ticket this election.
Some have admitted it will send a strong message to their own party to “get a reasonable candidate in here!”
Colin Powell, former secretary of state under President George W. Bush, has announced that he will be voting for Joe Biden.
That’s a straight-up military slap in the face.
Some moderate Republicans are actively campaigning against a Trump re-election. The Lincoln Project is currently the most visible group that are loudly anti-Trump.
The Lincoln Project is a Republican-led movement to bring their party back into the realm of constitutional loyalty and reasonable behavior. As such, they denounce Trump, his nepotism, and his “light touch” approach to behaving in a constitutionally appropriate manner.
The Lincoln Project is comprised of Republicans, but they have endorsed Joe Biden in the 2020 US presidential election. Ouch!
Traditional Democratic Voters
There are Democrats who automatically vote for whomever the party recommends. The same is true for Republicans, members of the Green Party, and some Libertarians.
Because Biden does not antagonize Democrats to the same degree that Trump irritates many Republicans, it is likely that many traditional Democrats will simply check Biden’s name on the ticket because of his party affiliation.
The Swing States and All Their Power
Candidates know which states they can count on. (Usually, at least. The current weakening of the Republican vote in Texas has come as a bit of a shock to many.
Currently, Oklahoma is more red than its huge, southern neighbor. Feels like times are a-changin’.)
Thus, the candidates turn their focus upon the swing states, the battleground states, the regions that could go either way on election day.
My Final Say
It is not what I am pushing for, and this is not the answer that the pundits will give you if you ask for their predictions today.
But I suspect Trump has another chance to shock North America and the world by garnering just enough votes from fanatical electors to win the election.
I know, I know! But you didn’t open this article wanting to know who I, personally, want to be the next president of the United States. (If you care, I would love to see a ticket with Colin Powell and Tintin offering new hope for the future.)
You came here wanting to hear who I suspect has a good chance of winning.
And given that Donald Trump snagged the last election, has managed to utterly terrify the US Attorney General into being his personal caddy, and still has Republican senators nervously nodding “yes” to his legislative ideas (as they dab at their foreheads with cotton hankies), I have to admit he has a better chance of winning re-election that many are willing to admit.
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