Final 2020 Election Update – Expanded

Key Issues

·         Stimulus Passage/Delay Political Calculations – see above

·         Corn/RFS Waivers

·         Polling vs Reg Voter Statistics

·         Battleground States(Latino & Black Male vote collapse)

·         Obama MIA(PA late, now FL over Mich?)

·         Covid vs Economy

·         Electoral College prediction – 306 electoral votes for Trump, 232 for Biden.

Our updated electoral college prediction comes at the end of this piece, but we wanted to maintain a data audit trail in order to explain our prediction, which many consider an outlier. So, here goes:

Advantage Trump/McConnell – Stimulus Passage/Delay

Stimulus continues to be the focal point for both parties on the final stretch of the election. With early voting having already started a month ago, at this point, the political damage has been done. Pelosi’s strategy to hold stimulus talks hostage has seemed to fail as 43% to 40% blame her for the political games.

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Pelosi now has a mutiny within her own party, as party members are facing tougher races and we forecast the Democrats to lose over 8 seats, mainly in Trump leaning 2016 districts. 

Had Pelosi played ball weeks ago, she could have shored up her members and helped Senate Dems move closer to majority. McConnell has pounced on her miscalculations and now is eyeing to negate Democrat victories in Arizona and Colorado with a win in Michigan and/or Minnesota. A deal is likely to materialize over the weekend, but this is far too late to show results at the polls.

Here is Pelosi’s discussion on the stimulus on Sunday’s CNN State of the Union with Jake Tapper.

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Again, I am not sure her explanation for the delay works well optically – not good politics. Tapper appears not to fully accept her stance, and rightly so – it really is a milder version of the Wolf Blitzer train wreck interview.

Advantage: Trump/McConnell – Corn/RFS Waivers

Corn politics still seems to be the biggest under-the-radar topic in the media. The US agriculture lobby is the most powerful in the Senate and continues to see bipartisan support in funding and legislation. The RFS waiver issue was settled, as Albert had written in September, which boosted Joni Ernst (Senate Rep: Iowa) and solidified support from nearly 100,000 corn producing farms in the Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania region. The price was slightly below $300 when Albert sounded the alarm that this issue had to be done prior to early voting. It was and now those rural communities enjoy close to $400 price.

Furthermore, given Biden’s debate comments about the oil industry and fossil fuels, it is worth remembering that corn is absolutely correlated oil via the ethanol mandate. This was a bad electoral move for Biden and the Dems, over and above the negative impact on voters from the oil states. Just consider ethanol’s footprint in the US below:

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Advantage: Trump – Battleground States

The big debate is whether the opinion polls have corrected the error of their 2016 ways and thus accurately reflect voter intentions and the likely outcome. Firstly, national polls offer little value, although most of the media seem to focus thereon in order to push the ‘Biden will win’ narrative. It is all about the top battleground states:

·         Florida

·         Pennsylvania

·         Michigan

·         Wisconsin

·         North Carolina

·         Arizona

Back at the last election, RealClearPolitics had the following average polls in the above states showing advantage Clinton (left column). Compare them with the Saturday October 24th update showing advantage Biden:

October 29, 2016                                                 October 24, 2020

·         Florida (Tied)                                                Florida +1.2

·         Pennsylvania +5.6                                      Pennsylvania +5.1

·         Michigan +7                                                  Michigan +7.8

·         Wisconsin +6.2                                            Wisconsin +4.6

·         North Carolina +3.2                                    North Carolina +1.5

·         Arizona +1.5                                                 Arizona +2.4

Trump went on to win all these states in 2016.

·         Florida +1.2

·         Pennsylvania +0.7

·         Michigan +0.3

·         Wisconsin +0.7

·         North Carolina +3.6

·         Arizona +3.5

We have been very vocal on ignoring polling coming out of Covid lockdowns, where only phone or online polling has been conducted. This is the most error prone method to determine voter intentions, with only 6% of the public willing to be polled. Turnout percentage with voter registration, top issues, and approval within the party of the candidate are superior indicators in our opinion for determining the most likely outcome of races. 

With regard to voter registration, the GOP has cut the Democrats voter advantage in Florida, Pennsylvania and North Carolina:

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As JP Morgan’s famed quant Marko Kolanovic stated recently, adapting our data to a statistical analysis (see below table), thischange in voter registration data shown above would immediately invalidate all polls such as this one from Real Clear Politics showing Biden sweeping across the Battleground states. In fact, while he does not say it, the implication from the Kolanovic analysis is that Trump may well end up winning the critical trio of Pennsylvania (20 Electoral votes), Florida (29 votes) and North Carolina (15 votes).

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As for top issues, it is the economy:

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What do American voters’ election predictions look like?

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President Trump’s approval ratings amongst Republicans is at its highest since he was elected:

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And the level of Trump’s strong support remains higher:

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And finally, according to this poll by Rasmussen, Trump is running at a marginally higher rate of total approval than did Obama at the equivalent date ahead of the 2012 election against Romney.

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Advantage: TBD

Polls have been publishing wild results showing Texas, Georgia, Iowa and other states in play. We completely dismiss these unrealistic outcomes and focus solely on the battleground states of Arizona, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota. The statistics from early voting have shown a drop in the African American turnout in key Democratic stronghold counties in Michigan and Pennsylvania with further evidence of Black males supporting Trump more than in 2016. I cannot stress how this, along with a collapse of non-Mexican Latino vote, makes Biden’s chances of winning this election minimal at best.

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Then we have this poll from Rasmussen:

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The strategy to only use Covid response against Trump’s economy was an absolute disaster and an obvious loser, as people vote with their paycheck and rarely ideology. The fear inducing lockdowns have run their course, as the public is desperate for normalcy. Let’s have a look at some of the latest state data for mail-in and in-person early voting, starting with Florida. This looks to us like game-over in Florida. Bear in mind that the big Democrat voting counties are Palm Beech, Broward and Miami-Dade. But look, early voting in Miami-Dade is leaning Republican, wherein GOP has 218,624 to Dem 125,302 early votes tally. Without running up the totals for Democrats in these three counties, there is no hope that Biden can win this state, despite the polls averaging a Biden lead of 1.5 points!!!

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Then we have this from the New York Times/Sienna poll out today with regard to Philadelphia:

 

Biden’s underperforming Hillary Clinton by 24% in Philadelphia is seriously bad news for the Biden campaign in Pennsylvania, and this comes from the New York Times!

Furthermore, Trump continues to out-perform his 2016 polling in the battleground states and Targetsmart data models, to which we have previously referred, continue to show that the GOP are experiencing a surge that has surprised many within the Biden campaign and poll modeling outfits, who had Biden winning at a 90%+ rate. The Democrats have urged Barack Obama to finally show up on the campaign trail, however he decided to make one digital appearance in Philadelphia 2 days after registrations closed and instead of moving to Michigan where Biden is likely now losing, he decided to go to Florida where the race is all but over in the state. This only further solidifies Albert’s speculation that his selection of Biden and Harris was an intentional loss to set up Michelle Obama for 2024 and have 2020 as a massive fundraiser for a 2022 Senate majority strategy. Trump has been an absolute financial windfall for the Democrats as they have raised record amounts of money this cycle. 

However, just to emphasize the problems with some of the polling, over and above the claim that Biden is winning Florida, let’s take a look at Texas, the latest poll being the University of Texas at Tyler:

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Firstly, if Texas were truly in play, Joe Biden would be there on the stump – he is not, having spent time on Saturday in Pennsylvania. Nor is Obama, who has been in Miami!!!

Targetsmart data for Texas suggest that the early voting for Republicans is up from 2016, whereas it is down for the Democrats!!!

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Let’s take a look at North Carolina. Which has also benefited from a surge in GOP voter registrations relative to the Democrats (see above). Consider the following data:

2008

Dem voter edge over GOP – 864,253

Obama won NC by 0.32%

2012

Dem edge over GOP – 818,443

Romney won NC by 2.04%

Flip of +2.36% to GOP from 2008 result

2016

Dem edge over GOP – 646,246

Trump won NC by 3.66%

Flip of +1.62% to GOP from 2012 result

2020

Dem edge over GOP 398,953

GOP closes gap by further 234, 105 votes

Odds for a Trump win?!!!

We continue to believe that the preponderance of opinions are not showing much accuracy. Have a look at this interview on the RealClearPolitics website:

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Advantage: Trump for 2020, Dems for 2022/2024

Prediction

With many missteps and failure to capitalize on Trump’s public mistakes, the most logical outcome considering all the data is a Trump re-election with Senate control still in the GOP’s hands while losing 2 seats. The House will remain in the Democrats control, but Nancy Pelosi’s miscalculations will cost her party seats and her leadership position. This will be a welcome result to the centrist Democrats, who will use this loss as an excuse to purge some of the progressive elements in the party, that have challenged the establishment for control. The GOP will have to contend with how to amicably separate itself from the Trump brand for 2022 and 2024. However, with Trump’s penchant for chaos and ego, this will not be easy and likely cost the GOP control of the Senate in 2022.

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