As Election Day looms, Democratic nominee Joe Biden enjoys a strong lead in the polls, but events suggest President Donald Trump may overperform. Three days out, it seems like the 2020 presidential election will come down to the wire.
First, a note about polls. Many of my conservative friends have suggested that since the polls predicted a Hillary Clinton win in 2016, polling itself is not to be trusted. It is true that the polling averages gave Clinton a false sense of security, but even the stunning results of 2016 were largely within the margin of error.
Polls only predict so much. Most presidential election prediction models rely on factors such as the state of the economy, the issues voters care about, and the approval rating of the current president. According to the RealClearPolitics average, Trump enjoys a 45 percent approval rating, which does not suggest the Biden blowout the legacy media has predicted.
While Biden is leading in the polls, the race is narrowing in the final days. In the pivotal battlegrounds, Biden’s lead has shrunk considerably. As of Sunday morning, Biden leads by 1 point in Arizona, 1.7 points in Florida, 2.3 points in North Carolina, 4 points in Pennsylvania, 6 points in Wisconsin, and 7 points in Michigan. Meanwhile, Trump took a 7-point lead over Biden in the final Des Moines Register poll for Iowa.
Some commentators are getting a very strong feeling of deja vu. In 2016, the Des Moines Register also registered a 7-point lead for Trump in Iowa. Never-Trumper Bill Kristol recalled that episode well.
“I remember well my phone conversation with a smart Republican friend (sadly, pro-Trump) Sat. eve, Nov. 5, 2016, after the final DMR [Des Moines Register] poll of IA at Trump +7. He said, if IA is +7, then Trump has a good shot in PA/WI/MI, and could win the whole thing. I was worried. He was right,” Kristol tweeted.
Other signs should be even more distressing for Bill Kristol and others who support Biden. This past October has proven chock-full of election “surprises” that tilt the levers in Trump’s direction.
It may seem an eternity ago, but this past summer, agitators took advantage of the massive protests following the death of George Floyd to loot, vandalize, and riot in the streets of many American cities. Those riots proved the most destructive (in terms of insurance claims) in U.S. history.
While leftists repeat claims of “institutional racism,” the riots have victimized the black community. The destruction disproportionately hit black communities in Kenosha, Wisc., Minneapolis, and Chicago. The riots destroyed black lives, black livelihoods, and black monuments. At least 26 Americans have died in the riots, most of them black.
Democratic nominee Joe Biden condemned violent looting and arson, but he refused to call out antifa or Black Lives Matter agitators, instead attacking “right-wing militias” as if they were the true instigators of violence.
People living in cities facing unrest may be more likely to support Trump, especially in situations where the outrage that inspired destructive riots turns out to be misplaced. In Philadelphia, Pa., for example, agitators took to the streets after police shoot 27-year-old Walter Wallace Jr., who was rushing at the cops with a knife. The cops were arguably defending themselves, but rioters took the situation as an excuse to ransack stores and bring mayhem to the City of Brotherly Love, just days before the election. The riots have also exposed the ugly anti-Semitism on the Left.
Pennsylvania is a critical swing state, and this rioting may convince voters that America needs a law-and-order president like Trump, rather than a president who seems to support the cause of the rioters, like Biden.
Also in Pennsylvania, Trump just won a critical endorsement. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette endorsed a Republican for the first time since 1972. While the paper acknowledged Trump’s divisiveness, it praised his policies and his originalist Supreme Court justices, while faulting Biden for his radical green policies and his apparent frailty.
Trump had long made a booming economy the centerpiece of his reelection message, but the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic dealt a powerful blow to the economy. Trump worked with unscrupulous Democrats to pass relief during the crisis, but Democrats have stalled the most recent stimulus bills.
The economy received a powerful shot in the arm in the third quarter of the year, however. On Friday, the Department of Commerce reported an eye-popping 33.1 percent annualized GDP growth rate. This astounding growth means the GDP has recovered two-thirds of what it had lost in the coronavirus recession, an impressive bounce back.
This October surprise underscored Trump’s argument that his policies have unleashed the economy. This suggests the economy may be back on track.
Perhaps just as important, European countries are experiencing a second-wave of the coronavirus pandemic, suggesting that Joe Biden’s messaging about Trump’s failure is overblown. As Reason Senior Editor Robby Soave noted, “Most everyone is arriving at basically the same [COVID-19] result. Best policy intervention seems to be ‘transform your country into a tiny Pacific Island.'”
Even last month, after months of coronavirus, most Americans (56 percent) told Gallup that they believe they are better off than when Trump won in 2016.
Yet these positive signs pale in comparison to three massive events that underscored Trump’s 2016 message.
First, the coronavirus pandemic emerged out of China and the Chinese Communist Party lied to the world about the pandemic, manipulating the World Health Organization to spread misinformation. China’s lies helped spread the virus. China’s malfeasance drew attention to Beijing’s racism. The pandemic also drew attention to America’s economic reliance on the Middle Kingdom, especially for vital health supplies.
All of this confirmed one of Trump’s central messages in 2016: China represents a threat to America and it has been taking advantage of the U.S. for decades. Trump clamped down on China, securing more favorable trade deals. Ironically, he had just succeeded in inking a trade deal when the pandemic hit.
Coronavirus proved the wisdom of Trump’s warnings on China, and it undercut Joe Biden’s repeated insistence that China would not “eat our lunch.”
Yet Biden’s record on China is even worse than that. While Biden was the Obama administration’s point person on China, America went soft on Beijing and Hunter Biden raked in cash inking lucrative deals with Chinese Communist Party-owned businesses. In fact, Hunter Biden’s Chinese business deals arguably empowered China at America’s expense.
Hunter Biden is also at the center of the biggest October surprise — a trove of emails tying Joe Biden directly to Hunter Biden’s nefarious business deals, backed up by the blockbuster testimony of former Hunter Biden business partner Tony Bobulinski. Bobulinski has claimed that Joe Biden was personally involved in Hunter’s trading on the family name for lucrative deals in China, Ukraine, and elsewhere, and Bobulinski has presented evidence to back up this claim.
Furthermore, various sources have confirmed that the Hunter Biden emails and Bobulinski’s evidence are legitimate. Yet Facebook and Twitter took the unprecedented step of suppressing a New York Post article on the bombshells — even before it could be fact-checked. Twitter locked the Post‘s account for 16 days and also locked the accounts of the Trump campaign and White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany when they dared to post the story.
As the evidence behind the Post and Bobulinski bombshells mounted, the legacy media refused to cover the story. In fact, journalists shamed one another for sharing the link to the Post story, farcically claiming it was “Russian disinformation.” This scandal has proved a reckoning for the legacy media, and it has confirmed Trump’s hyperbolic accusations of media bias.
If it is the media’s job to cover anything, it is the media’s job to cover a verified story of corruption involving a presidential candidate just a few weeks out from Election Day. Yet the legacy media bent over backward to ignore the story and cover for Joe Biden.
The Biden campaign appears to be relying on this media interference. Team Biden has not even tried to claim the documents in the scandal are false, rather insisting that the scandal is a distraction. We in conservative media are working overtime to draw attention to this story, so please share our work on it.
Finally, France witnessed its third terror attack in two months on Thursday. This past week, a Tunisian Muslim man and three others were arrested after allegedly beheading a 70-year-old woman and killing two others in a church in Nice.
The Associated Press responded to this news by claiming that France “incites” Islamic terror — before softening the claim somewhat, accusing France of merely “sparking” it. Why? Because France pursues its secular policies against Muslims as well as Christians and supports the free speech of artists who dare mock the Prophet Mohammed.
While Joe Biden condemned the gruesome attack, he refused to mention radical Islam or Islamism. Meanwhile, President Trump has fought against — and is not afraid to name — radical Islamist terror.
The recent attacks, and some of the media’s reaction to them, underscores the importance of having a president who will denounce radical Islam by name and whose administration will be able to effectively counter the destructive ideology behind such terrorism.
The riots, the terrorist attacks, and the Joe Biden scandal are tragic and disgusting, but they illustrate the truth of Trump’s basic message and America’s need for his reelection.
Meanwhile, President Trump is campaigning circles around Joe Biden. Biden spent many of the critical days leading up to the election in his basement. Only recently did he start attending rallies, and these have proven to be socially-distanced affairs with far less enthusiasm than the humongous crowds for Trump. Trump has jetted across the country, holding between 3 and 5 rallies per day — shortly after he recovered from COVID-19.
Presidential elections often hinge on the events of the days leading up to the voting. This suggests Trump’s position is far stronger than the polls would predict.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.