Biden won because of Covid

I believe that the election outcome confirms two claims for which I was heavily criticized:

1. The Dems should nominate Biden. (I was told that Biden’s a weak candidate, a loser.)

2. Trump would have won if not for Covid. (Polls suggested otherwise.)

We now know that the polls were very misleading. Even with the huge lead in the polls, Biden probably only won by about 0.6% in the tipping point state.

Back in February, the economy was booming and the polls were considerably closer. In retrospect, Biden did not have even close to a big enough lead to overcome both the EC bias and the shy Trump voter bias. So as for all you commenters who pointed to the fact that Biden did have a lead in the polls even before Covid, your argument doesn’t show what you thought it showed.

Way back in March of 2019, Tyler Cowen had this to say about Biden’s chances:

As the information trickles out that the Mueller report probably will not end the Trump administration, it is worth thinking about how the broader landscape has changed, and who might be the winners and losers.

Politically, the biggest loser is probably Joe Biden.  The belief that he can run as the “safest,” most vetted Democrat against an ailing, politically destroyed Trump all of a sudden seems less relevant.  It now seems more important that Biden has run for president several times before, and never done extremely well, in part because he has not been an entirely convincing campaigner.  He’s never come close to winning the nomination.  He is a candidate of the past, for better or worse, but the dominant mood may not be one of restoration.  The Mueller report makes it clear that we really are in a post-Obama era, and that even Trump critics need to be thinking about what comes next rather than looking to the past.

That claim might look dubious today, but I suspect Tyler was partly right. The Dems were on track to lose the election if not for Covid. In a sense, Covid created the “ailing, politically destroyed Trump” that Mueller failed to produce. That made Biden the safe choice to run as “brand X” against a president who would basically be the only real issue in the campaign. Someone more dynamic but controversial might have lost.

Tyler continues:

Which candidates then are helped the most?  Most likely that would be the dynamic or potentially dynamic, relatively centrist Democrats, and that includes Beto O’Rourke, Pete Buttigieg (dynamic in a Mister Rogers sort of way), and Kamala Harris. 

Harris might have turned off men for the same reason that Hillary did. I like Buttigieg, but is the country ready for a gay president? I hope so, but I’m not sure. Biden was the safe choice. On the other hand, perhaps without Covid a candidate like Buttigieg might have been what it took. You take risks if you are behind, which was probably Tyler’s tacit assumption in 2019.

A month later Tyler had this to say:

Donald Trump ascended to the presidency because he mastered both worlds, namely he commands idiomatic American cultural expressions and attitudes, and also he has been brilliant in his political uses of Twitter.  AOC has mastered social media only, and it remains to be seen whether Kamala Harris and Joe Biden have mastered either, but probably not.

I think we need to be careful here. A political style can be successful in one dimension and unsuccessful in another. Trump’s wacky demagogic tweets during Covid-19 may have both firmed up support in his base and also cost him support among swing voters. It’s not either/or, both can happen at once.

Let’s not forget that this is one of the worst losses by an incumbent since 1932 (in the sense that his opponent will get over 51%). And unlike the first Bush and Carter (who also failed to be re-elected), voters gave Trump high marks for the economy. For an incumbent to lose by 7 or 8 million votes while simultaneously get high marks for the economy . . . well, has that ever happened before? I suspect the “Trump is a brilliant communicator” bubble has burst. He’s definitely brilliant at getting intense support for 42% of the population—and that’s a skill very few people have, to his credit—but even with the pro-GOP bias in the Electoral College, that’s not enough.



37 Responses to “Biden won because of Covid”

  1. Gravatar of sty.silver sty.silver
    7. November 2020 at 11:42

    Sounds right.

    … except that I don’t think shy Trump voters are a thing. (Maybe you’ve responded to this before? I don’t recall.) Several people on the 538 team, including Nate Silver, said that there is no evidence for shy Trump voters anywhere in the voting data. I think your post on econlog about problems with polls was on the mark. You don’t need ‘people don’t want to admit that they’re voting for Trump’ to explain the polling errors. ‘Entire demographics aren’t being polled’ is a much better story.

    Maybe you mean ‘shy’ to include ‘doesn’t talk to pollsters’, but if so, that’s a very confusing way to use the term, because afaik most people mean something else.

  2. Gravatar of Mark Z Mark Z
    7. November 2020 at 11:59

    Even absent covid, Biden still would’ve been ‘the worse candidate… except for all the others.’ Even the candidates Tyler mentions were well to Biden’s left on economic issues, and thus would’ve done well with a booming economy. It’s worth repeating: Harris is not a moderate; GovTrack ranked her as the furthest to the left member of the senate (she’s moved up to 4th I think); who cares that she used to be a prosecutor. “Leftist who likes to put people in jail” =/= centrist. Tyler’s right that a more dynamic moderate might have been necessary, but for some reason that party has an unhealthy seniority fetish, so young, dynamic politicians always get sidelined. Someone like Cory Booker (who was used to be one of the most moderate members of the senate) I think might’ve outperformed Biden, especially by shoring up minority votes. The Democratic nomination, much like the Oscars, has become a sort of lifetime achievement award though.

  3. Gravatar of Mark Z Mark Z
    7. November 2020 at 12:01

    *wouldn’t’ve (not would’ve) done well with a booming economy.

  4. Gravatar of Michael Sandifer Michael Sandifer
    7. November 2020 at 12:07

    I definitely have to admit that it’s overwhelmingly likely I was very, very wrong, because I was pretty confident Biden would win before the pandemic. I even thought it was likely Biden would win Florida, pre-pandemic. I thought the pandemic just offered the opportunity for a big electoral college win, and that perhaps even states like Iowa and Texas were more than outside possibilities.

    I’m extraordinarily relieved that Biden won, but very concerned about the future, as this was far short of a strong repudiation of Trumpism.

  5. Gravatar of LB LB
    7. November 2020 at 12:28

    The BS should end.

    Biden didn’t campaign he sat in his basement eating banana pudding. His job was to stay out of the public eye as much as possible and say as little as possible. Let the Socialist Democrats assume that he will sign whatever they get through Congress. Don’t let him say anything in public that might anger moderates.

    Trump ran a bad campaign. He ran based on his gut and his intuition. What he said on the campaign trail was what he believed, what his views were, unfiltered by the media experts. He rarely stuck to the teleprompter. Biden was a carefully crafted robot in comparison.

    On the Green New Deal, Biden supports it but wants to call it something else. His views on fracking are that he doesn’t want to end it today but real soon. Depend on what is, is. His views on health insurance are that he wants to expand Obamacare with changes. i.e. A poison pill for private insurance and de facto national health insurance just call it something else. His views on stacking the court, from the Senator who chaired the Judiciary Committee, is he didn’t have a view and will study it later. C’mon man. The press didn’t ask him to clarify, they ran interference for him.

    Why was he able to campaign this way? Because the mainstream media thrashed Trump 24 hours a day. The news started to take on an Orwellian spin. Mostly peaceful riots etc. Trump said they have positive results on a vaccine, they say he wants to kill people. The press never had tough questions for Biden, never asked him anything beyond his name. It wasn’t Trump and that was good enough for them.

    Why has Trump been called a racist by the press and Democrats? Not because it has much impact on the minority vote but because white suburban voters, especially females, are terrified to be called racist. Even if they grab their purses and lock their doors at the sight of a Black man they don’t want to be seen as racist. Repeat a lie often enough …..

    The mainstream media thrashed Trump 24 hours a day giving Biden billions in free support. Beyond that Biden outspent Trump by a wide margin with donations from Wall Street, Hollywood, and Tech. (Some $14 billion was spent on the election this year.) The Biden ads were masterfully crafted to hit on hot button issues even if they were often at odds with the Biden record. Books should be written about how the experts from Silicon Valley were able to use data to craft a campaign while keeping the candidate on mute except for finely crafted speeches on a teleprompter. They had the perfect candidate for their approach of algorithms over substance. Reduce complex problems into slogans people want to hear.
    Even before Trump entered office the press was working with the Obama people to spread a false story about Russian collusion. The Obama administration knew the story was false, a Hillary concoction, yet spread it through a press that never required facts, just an administration official to lie on air. Comey briefed Trump on the Steele dossier when he knew it was false, then leaked to Tapper at CNN that he had briefed the President. CNN then justified telling the story on-air, a story they couldn’t confirm because the President was briefed by the FBI about the dossier existing. Just leaving out the fact that it was created by the Hillary campaign as a dirty trick. The swamp working as it does best.
    The drumbeat never ended for four years. Comey, the master bureaucratic infighter, later leaked to get the Mueller investigation. Which knew from the start they had nothing but the hope to get some low-level people to turn. Except they had nothing negative on Trump about. Of course, that didn’t matter, they dirtied Trump up. After all the allegations and mud where does a person go to get their clean name back? The press and the Democrats knew it never all comes off. When the truthful story about Hunter Biden was released, they just threw more mud at Trump.

    Without Covid and the hype it received; Trump would have easily won reelection. Mainly because most people would have ignored the mainstream press. Instead, everything Trump said was twisted and distorted. CNN ran with a new “scandal” every week.
    What would Biden have done different? More pudding time in the basement.

    I wish Sumners would write what the Biden plan is that he agrees with. Should he worth some giggles.

  6. Gravatar of David S David S
    7. November 2020 at 12:36

    About 9 months back, Scott Sumner wrote “It only matters that the Democrats have a candidate who can persuade a few thousand voters in Pennsylvania and other parts of the Midwest….” Or something to that effect.

    Trump did better than he “should” have, but that’s just because I’m a grumpy liberal annoyed at candidates like Cunningham and others.

    I feel like Trump’s crummy rally in Oklahoma was the tipping point.

  7. Gravatar of foosion foosion
    7. November 2020 at 12:41

    Trump won a very narrow electoral college victory in 2016 and lost the popular vote by a lot.

    As president he changed his position on many issues, including healthcare which led to the Democratic victories in 2018. He ran as a populist and governed as a pro-plutocratic Republican (tax cuts for corporations and the best off is not a popular position, whatever you think of its merits).

    A big issue was China, yet the trade deficit expanded.

    Sucking up to dictators and insulting our allies.

    He never cracked 50% in approval polls or expanded his base. He energized massive opposition.

    He had lots of attacks against Clinton which were amplified by the media (but her emails!), but nothing stuck against Biden.

    Constant lies and hating everyone who doesn’t support him may not have been an ideal strategy.

    It will be nice to have an adult in charge – a president with at least a semblance of normality and sanity.

  8. Gravatar of ChrisA ChrisA
    7. November 2020 at 13:13

    Personally I am just glad it is finally over and people can talk about something else instead. We vastly over emphasise politics in terms of real impact to our lives.

  9. Gravatar of Christian List Christian List
    7. November 2020 at 13:13


    Great analysis. Pretty much sums it up.

    For an incumbent to lose by 7 or 8 million votes while simultaneously get high marks for the economy . . . well, has that ever happened before?

    Didn’t you mention the exceptional reason for this? Covid-19? Carter and Bush did not have Covid-19.

    Don’t get me wrong, Covid-19 is no excuse for Trump. He could have used Covid-19 for himself if he had any governing skills. Other heads of government thrive under Covid-19 in the polls, for them it’s like Easter and Christmas together.

    It is just a de facto description: without Covid-19 he would have won the election, and probably even quite clearly.

    I was also convinced back then that he would be re-elected, but then I was extremely worried because you predicted his victory. I don’t know why that worried me so much, it was an unconscious act.

    Maybe I have an explanation now in retrospect: If even his worst opponents predict a Trump victory, then this is a strong indication that things were running quite perfectly for Trump at that time. But this points to fragility, because if everything has to run perfectly, then any expectable regression to the mean, to imperfection, can mean defeat. In other words, after your prediction, things could only get worse.

    He had a crazy run, and now it’s over.

    I feel a bit of a hang-up, it was quite some entertainment during the last four years, there was always something going on, we were on the edge of our seats nearly all the time.

    I would also have liked to see the “unhinged” version of Trump, considering that this was supposed to be his tamed version. Wow, what did we miss?

    Now it’s a bit like an action-horror-suspension movie being shut down before the grande finale. A bit unsatisfying, isn’t it?

    Actually one can only have one wish now: No stupid remake in a few years, with a worn-out Trump that urgently needs to make money. It would no longer be the same. It’s over.

  10. Gravatar of xu xu
    7. November 2020 at 13:16

    Article two of the constitution doesn’t say anything about media determining who the next president is.

    They still have to certify the votes, and answer to these allegations of corruption – which includes dead people voting, poll watchers not allowed to watch the votes, USPS workers admitting they were told to back date ballots, and software glitches.

    Biden will not be the winner. MSM was wrong in 2000 too.

    But just for further proof Biden is a corrupt degenerate, and CCP backer: yuan at all time high. Baht rising to 10 year high. Singapore dollar at three year high. Dollar collapsing under the communist agenda.

  11. Gravatar of ee ee
    7. November 2020 at 13:41

    I wonder if the reporting on early voting triggered the red wave. There was reporting on number of early votes by party registration, and reporting on how turnout was surpassing 2016. Obviously that’s knowledge that is typically not known on a normal Election Day. Maybe that turned more red registered voters into actual voters that pollsters did not expect.

  12. Gravatar of Thomas Hutcheson Thomas Hutcheson
    7. November 2020 at 13:45

    I’d say that Biden won because of Trump’s poor response to Covid. If he had not tried to downplay it, had played the role of “leading” (even if in fact he did nothing different), imagine the tsunami of sympathy he would have received when he fell ill. He would have been leading by double digits and could have been a cheerleader for high voter turnout. It would have been a Trump landslide.

  13. Gravatar of Christian List Christian List
    7. November 2020 at 14:49


    I agree. He really “only” had to speak differently about Covid-19. And he should have worn a mask and maybe even gloves. How realistic this is in a deterministic world is another question. A leopard cannot change its spots.

    But two or three years ago I read a really old German article about Trump, certainly 10 years old. It was a portrait, nobody in the article suspected that he would ever become president.

    Anway, the article was in parts about him having massive germaphobia. So maybe his tipping point in that direction was not so far away. And indeed, if you google for Trump and germaphobia there are many many recent results.

    Either the story of his germaphobia is a lie, but why should it be a lie, or this idiot has fought against his phobia every single day of Covid-19 and deliberately lied, just so that he wouldn’t be considered as, what he thinks, is a “soft guy”.

  14. Gravatar of LB LB
    7. November 2020 at 15:33

    Joe Biden’s America

    “Former staffers for Democrats Barack Obama and Pete Buttigieg are creating a list of people who staffed for, donated to, or even endorsed President Donald Trump and his administration.

    “The world should never forget those who, when faced with a decision, chose to put their money, their time, and their reputations behind separating children from their families, encouraging racism and anti-Semitism, and negligently causing the unnecessary loss of life and economic devastation from our country’s failed response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the site for the “Trump Accountability Project” reads.

    Tacked onto AOC’s inflammatory tweet was a now-deleted reply from a former Obama campaign staffer dealing in analytics, Michael Simon, advertising the “Trump Accountability Project.”

    “Yes we are,” he wrote, replying to AOC’s request for a roundup of Trump “sycophants” and linking to the project’s website. “Every Administration staffer, campaign staffer, bundler, lawyer who represented them- everyone.”

    Following Simon’s tweet, others such as former national press secretary for the Democratic National Committee and former senior spokesman for the Obama presidential campaign Hari Sevugan as well as a former staffer for the Buttigieg Campaign Emily Abrams posted about the project, encouraging people to join their movement.

    If Democrats win the Senate we can thank the left for the Gulags. They won’t be happy till we are all in armed camps.

    The mob has declared victory.

  15. Gravatar of Jamal Jamal
    7. November 2020 at 16:58

    Doesnt anyone find it odd that Biden underperformed in every city across America except for Detroit, Atlanta, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh?

    Doesnt anyone find it odd that these three states had “malfunctions” and stopped their vote count?

    Doesnt anyone find it odd that wisconsin had districts with a 200% turnout – a mathematical impossibility, and that these turnouts were in DNC strongholds?

    If not, then our country has a serious problem.

    I voted for neither Biden or Trump, but fraud is fraud. The allegations coming out of some of these cities has to give you pause. Any rational person, following this closely, knows something is wrong. The data just doesnt add up.

  16. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    7. November 2020 at 17:53

    sty.silver, Yes, I mean people who don’t want to talk to pollsters.

    LB, You say:

    “Why has Trump been called a racist by the press and Democrats?”

    When commenters make these sorts of comments I lose all respect for them. Trump’s been called a racist by many of the most prominent REPUBLICAN officials in the country. Your unwillingness to confront that fact speaks volumes. Why even mention the Dems?

    ChrisA, Exactly my view.

    Christian, Covid has not hurt most other incumbents around the world, only Trump. Presumably his going out of his way to discourage any attempt to address the problem had something to do with that fact.

    Jamal, I find it “odd” that commenters with nutty conspiracy theories are never able to back up any of their claims with links to non-crazy information sources.

    BTW, 10 million votes haven’t yet been counted, so it’s way too early to conclude how the vote count compares to 2016.

  17. Gravatar of Market Fiscalist Market Fiscalist
    7. November 2020 at 18:19

    I am not a natural Biden supporter but literally shed tears of joy/relief today when it was clear he had won, which I have never done over a previous political event.

    You have been one of Trump’s biggest critics among the blogs I follow. Just curious what your emotions were today ?

  18. Gravatar of JHE JHE
    7. November 2020 at 19:20

    I think the effect of Covid is very hard to gauge. In particular, for people with jobs that can be done remotely without too much trouble (disproportionately well-educated professionals), it’s “obvious” that we should have more strict lockdowns, keep the bars closed, etc; and that Trump was a huge failure.

    But, for people who are fired, furloughed, etc; I think the feeling is very different. Trump was terrible in the very first debate and weak in the second, but in both debates he cut through with a clear and strong message about the need to get back to work. Now, of course you can say that if Trump didn’t mess things up Covid wouldn’t be as much of a problem, but look at Europe and Latin America right now. In particular, Europe’s experience gives pause to the idea that all would have been good if America just had a really strict lockdown.

    That said, Trump’s idiotic anti-mask rhetoric and the White House outbreak were almost certainly not helpful. I think this post is true in one sense, namely that if Trump reacted to Covid like the vast majority of world leaders–ineffectively, but with seriousness and a sense of compassion–he would have been reelected easily.

    It’s always hard to know with hypotheticals. Maybe the 2018 midterms were different because voters wanted to take away a partisan trifecta, but the Republicans got hammered that year in spite of a strong economy and a relatively placid world environment. By contrast, in 2020 people were much more focused on non-Trump news (Covid and protests).

  19. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    7. November 2020 at 19:50

    Market, Just another day for me. I don’t think the Trump problem has gone away in any way, shape, or form. Naturally I’m pleased he lost, but I don’t think it solves the problem. I just saw a poll that 81% of GOP voters want their future presidential nominees to be like Trump, not like a standard politician. The Republican party is gone, which means America is lost. You can’t have a one party democracy.

    We are a banana republic; I’ve accepted that. The election doesn’t change that fact.

    JHE, I believe 2018 was a disaster for the GOP because Republicans could not vote for Trump but Dems could indirectly vote against him. It’s asymmetrical; GOP voters don’t care about issues while Democratic voters do. GOP voters want to vote for a troll, but Trump wasn’t on the ballot in 2018. Dems voted against people protecting the troll.

    On Covid, forget about lockdowns. The real problem was that Trump opposed masks, testing, voluntary social distancing, indeed almost everything that would make lockdowns less necessary. Voters understood that he ignored the problem.

  20. Gravatar of Ray Lopez Ray Lopez
    7. November 2020 at 19:54

    I’m not sure of what to make of Sumner’s post, it’s not that logical. If Covid-19 was a factor, Trump would have lost to a Blue Wave, by a blowout, not by a mere fraction of a percent. In fact, political scientists who study this stuff (and that’s not our host) say that Trump lost due to Wisconsin, Georgia and Arizona white uneducated voters flipping to Biden, as well as some educated women in Arizona. It wasn’t Covid-19 at all.

    But what do I know? I just happen to be in the top 1% in net worth in the USA–and that would be greater than 99% of the rest of you reading this, especially you non-US citizens–with a net worth in excess of $10M.

  21. Gravatar of Eric Eric
    7. November 2020 at 20:17

    I keep encouraging people to use the phrase “popular vote” instead of popular vote. Looking at the “popular vote” under EC is about as useful as asking what a basketball score would have been if you just didn’t count the 3 pointers. The rules of the game change incentives. Who knows how many votes would be cast if everyone was equally incentivized to vote? Or what shares…

    As someone center-left/libertarian from dark red ID, it’s never felt particularly useful to vote given EC. But popular vote would be more inspiring. (Disclosure: did vote Biden this year).

  22. Gravatar of Market Fiscalist Market Fiscalist
    7. November 2020 at 20:19

    ‘I don’t think the Trump problem has gone away’

    I agree – but if this election was a referendum on Trumpism, then Trumpism lost – by a big majority both in the popular vote and in the electoral college and I think that it is worth celebration. At the very least it buys us 4 more years to fix the problem (or emigrate!)

    I think we are far from being a banana republic – there is way more ruin in us yet. We are rich and we are we resourceful. I am optimistic (at least for today).

  23. Gravatar of Bob OBrien Bob OBrien
    7. November 2020 at 20:27

    “Jamal, I find it “odd” that commenters with nutty conspiracy theories are never able to back up any of their claims with links to non-crazy information sources.”

    OK, probably Biden won. However, ignoring election fraud is dangerous. There are going to be many sworn statements about the fraud in the republicans legal actions so calling them crazy sources is not going to cut it.

  24. Gravatar of Carl Carl
    7. November 2020 at 20:31

    I’ve found you to be a remarkably good prognosticator but I don’t think your recent post about a possible Trump return in 2024 will age well. Trump doesn’t seem to fit the mold of political figures who have made comebacks. Some had built up trust by spending time in exile for their vision (e.g. Churchill and Deng). Some were patient, brilliant, political tacticians(Disraeli, Nixon , Lincoln). The one politician to pull off the precise political comeback Trump would be attempting, Grover Cleveland, left office the first time with his moral reputation intact. Trump shares nothing with these men. And now his reputation as a winner is tarnished by having lost soundly to a poor candidate.

  25. Gravatar of JHE JHE
    7. November 2020 at 20:36

    Scott, I agree that voters didn’t think that Trump handled Covid very well. No matter how much he tried to shift the blame to everything else under the sun, it’s clear his response was ineffective at best and atrocious at worst. I think that cost him votes, even though I do think he was helped by the second wave in Europe making America less of an outlier among wealthy countries.

    But, people also can be influences by choices, in addition to retrospective performance evaluations. If you are in a precarious position economically and you hear Trump say “we need to get back to work” and Biden say “we might need to shut down the country again,” it’s easy to see how the former statement could be more appealing. Even more so given that improved treatment means that Covid is not as deadly as it was early in the year.

    More speculatively, I think Biden didn’t benefit as much from Covid as most Democratic presidential candidates would have. Some the qualities that Democrats often get dinged for (overly analytical, too focused on factual minutia, stiff/overprepared, etc;) can come off well in a pandemic. By contrast, Biden’s personable and unfocused style isn’t as much of a contrast with Trump.

  26. Gravatar of Todd Kreider Todd Kreider
    8. November 2020 at 01:31

    More surreal commentary:

    “On Covid, forget about lockdowns. The real problem was that Trump opposed masks, testing, voluntary social distancing, indeed almost everything that would make lockdowns less necessary. Voters understood that he ignored the problem.”

    The lockdowns began when almost no Americans were wearing masks and testing was ramping up to be in the top two countries per capita by early April. Trump never commented on social distancing and people were already doing so by late March.

  27. Gravatar of Mark Z Mark Z
    8. November 2020 at 02:37

    “I just saw a poll that 81% of GOP voters want their future presidential nominees to be like Trump, not like a standard politician.”

    I think that’s likely to be about as predictive of what they’ll want in 4 years as a poll asking GOP voters what they thought of Trump in January 2016 was of how they feel today. It could turn out to be a stable preference, but I certainly wouldn’t assume so.

  28. Gravatar of JC1 JC1
    8. November 2020 at 04:48


    How do you feel about the influence peddling charges against Biden and his family? Are you prepared to diacuss it, or going to do a twitter and Facebook on us and ban it?

  29. Gravatar of mbka mbka
    8. November 2020 at 05:00


    while I was shocked to see the level of support that Trump still commands, I also believe that people and times change, and can change again. The Overton window may just switch back. Just looking at the pictures and words from the Biden camp after the announcement, it was so heartwarming to feel like that’s a human being there, and a conciliatory one, not just some mean, poisonous snake like Trump. And if there’s a little blacklisting going on as someone above alleged … well the Trump camp absolutely deserves that.

    To all the commenters here that allege various Democrat controlled voting fraud – No election is completely clean but by the same token it would be unrealistic to assume that fraud (if at all) was committed only in Democrat controlled states. Who knows how many small counties in the Mid West quietly ditched some Biden ballots. And how about those reported 150,000 postal ballots in Georgia that were mysteriously delayed in delivery until Nov 4?

    Just to respond in kind, not that I know anything. If fraud is a significant issue at all, I can guarantee you that it’s par for the course for both parties.

  30. Gravatar of Michael Sandifer Michael Sandifer
    8. November 2020 at 05:41

    I guess it hasn’t occurred to many election conspiracy theorists that if the Democrats are stealing elections, then it would make sense for them to steal Senate control too, and not lose House seats while at it.

    Poll watchers from both parties have always been welcomed wherever votes are being counted. The vote counts are performed locally, guided by state laws. Some of the states Democrats in which Democrats are accused of stealing votes are run by Republicans.

    This “controversy” is extraordinarily stupid, and misinformed. Only crazies, ignoramuses, and idiots can entertain them.

  31. Gravatar of Ray Lopez Ray Lopez
    8. November 2020 at 05:49

    @Michael Sandifer – I’d like to see the Trump lawsuits result in a teaching moment for how elections should be conducted. It seems to me perhaps state constitutions were violated by having so many absentee votes available (which heavily favors the Democratic party, in the same way ‘gerrymandering’ favors one party over the other and is sometimes held to be unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court). Doesn’t it strike you as strange that the Wisconsin board of elections voted unanimously to allow absentee ballots by anybody? Without a good reason? You can Google this yourself and see. While I’m glad Trump will be leaving, I hope the US Sup Ct clarifies election laws using this election as a case.

  32. Gravatar of Michael Rulle Michael Rulle
    8. November 2020 at 06:26

    I never really bought into secret Trump voter—-I did buy into biased media polls—-but Polls are unlikely to persuade voters to switch. Yes, for most people, me included, it is easy to dismiss fraud or cheating claims as “conspiracy theories” believed by crazies.

    But what Scott cannot see, as he is blinded by his Trump dysphoria, is that Trump supporters have witnessed a non stop series of extreme accusations —or “conspiracies” by the opposing party and its partners in the media since 2016.

    It literally became a running joke among Trump supporters that “this week’s” accusation would prove to be unprovable and we would be on to the next one. We literally would forget what was said “2 weeks ago” as we would be on to the next “conspiracy”

    It is not exactly surprising that Pro-Trumpers exhibit mental inertia on the vote count——just from an expectation that lies continue. And when you add to that a counting pattern which switches to Biden in the 9th inning repeatedly, is it really so crazy to be suspicious?

    Trump ran a bi-modal campaign. With his base he did great. To the 500k non-base voters needed he was horrible—-and , no, it did not have to be that way. I believe Scott is anti-shutdown, as is Trump. But Trump should have justified his policies instead of mocking mask wearers——etc. In this way Covid cost him the election.

    Greg Ip is claiming the Biden election will be “more predictable but less hospitable” to business ——as if those are offsets.

    Because Scott has locked himself into this 3% concept and the banana republic concept, I assume he does not think it matters much who is president. We are already screwed—-maybe—-but my dysphoria leans against Democrats——I predict two GA senate losses. It seems impossible——except it feels inevitable.

  33. Gravatar of Benjamin Cole Benjamin Cole
    8. November 2020 at 06:39

    “Baht rising to 10 year high.”–Xu

    This is a curiosity. I do not understand the Bank of Thailand.

    The nation is in deflation.

    “On the stability front, headline inflation was less negative mainly due to energy prices. Labor market slightly improved but remained vulnerable.”–BOT, Oct. 30.

    But the Bank of Thailand has maintained its policy rate of 0.50% and does not conduct QE. In fact, last year its inflation target was 1% to 4%, but this year it is 1% to 3%. They lowered their inflation target into a pandemic.

    In Indonesia, Bank Indonesia has moved to debt monetization, and has some luck in preventing appreciation of the rupiah against the US dollar.

    In China banks have been lending like crazy, and their GDP is leading the world. The PBoC can and has bought sour debts from the commercial banking system, an interesting solution to over-indebtedness, and to maintaining the lending infrastructure. Provincial governments are spending.

    I loath the CCP, but I wish there was an explanatory discussion of their successful macroeconomic tools.

    The Bank of Thailand appears hidebound. Many more people in Thailand have died from elevated suicide rates than from COVID-19.

  34. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    8. November 2020 at 10:27

    Eric, Who knows? I know that it would have relatively little effect, although probably the Dem margin would be a bit bigger if based on the popular vote.

    Mark, I hope you are right, but I doubt that. It’s Trump’s party now. If the GOP nominates “Jeb!” or Mitt in 2024, I’ll admit I was totally wrong. Going forward, the GOP will be the party of populist demagogues.

    JC1, I’ve already discussed the Biden accusations many times.
    True for Hunter but not true for Joe. And even if everything thrown at Joe were true, Trump would still be 100 times more corrupt. So it’s a total non-issue. No, I don’t censor anything, and I have spoken out against twitter censoring the Biden story. Twitter was stupid, and their action helped Trump.

    mbka, I’m much less optimistic. I hope you are right.

    Michael, Yeah, the real problem is Democratic conspiracy theories.

  35. Gravatar of derek derek
    9. November 2020 at 10:43

    Not sure I fully buy that the Dems would have handily lost without covid. First, Trump had a huge advantage in his willingness to continue the physical campaign trail, while Biden largely avoided in-person campaigning. Second, some of the gains Trump seems to have made in unexpected places (e.g., Latinos, blacks) could easily, perhaps most parsimoniously, explained by these groups being most opposed to the lockdowns that most directly impact their earnings. Sure, intersectional social justice/BLM seems to be a massive loser electorally, but I think that most people just vote with their wallets.

  36. Gravatar of Philip Crawford Philip Crawford
    10. November 2020 at 08:11

    I don’t see Biden making those improvements in the WOW counties of WI without Trump’s bungling (mostly messaging) of covid19. If you move 50k votes in AZ, PA, WI, and GA, you have an easy trump win and shifts in suburbs alone was likely enough. That’s covid, imo.

  37. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    11. November 2020 at 09:49

    Derek, I don’t think physical campaigning matters anymore. The people at his rallies are not swing voters.

    Philip, I agree.

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