Here we are, at the crossroad of intelligence and intuition, as I take advantage of the quadrennial opportunity to parade my political smarts — or stupids.
One thing I know: The person I voted for president will not win. That’s Jo Jorgensen, the Libertarian Party candidate. I hope that choice establishes my neutrality between Republican President Donald J. Trump, and Democratic former vice president Joe Biden.
In 2016, I predicted with certainty that Hillary Clinton would win, in large part because she would carry Pennsylvania. The Keystone State was crucial then, just as it is this year. Then, I predicted she would win Pennsylvania because neither she nor husband Bill had ever lost an election in the state — primary and general.
In horse racing, that’s known as handicapping the record. If a horse has never lost a particular race, the odds favor the horse winning it again.
Plus the polls, of course, almost all of which showed Clinton in the lead. And the polls were right — in the popular vote, but that isn’t how we select presidents. The polls were wrong in naming who the 45th president would be.
In addition to history and the polls, I add reading the experts, plus personal intuition, a.k.a., gut.
Four years ago, to the amazement of almost everyone — including his campaign staff, which had prepared a concession speech, but not one claiming victory — the billionaire(?) real estate mogul/reality TV star won the election.
One thing I had underestimated was his national popularity flowing from his TV show, because I had never watched it. He was the plain-talking, insult-spouting, PC-throttling, brash Everyman, the unknown political quantity. His candidacy satisfied a deep sense of grievance among many ordinary Americans, especially those in flyover country.
He is no longer politically unknown. He is as well known, and as political, as Biden. He has a record.
America has the power to say to him, as he said to many on TV, “You’re fired!”
I think America will do that, fire him, and relegate him to the Loser Pile of One-Term Presidents.
Why do I think that?
While he maintains his rock-solid, dead-ender 33% of America, I believe he has suffered serious erosion in key groups — seniors, white suburban women, and independents.
The seniors fear coronavirus and Trump has been dismissive of it, claiming it is lessening even while it is exploding. A secondary concern is that Trump will harm Social Security.
Suburban women have been turned off by his language and manner, plus the dreadful separation of parents from children at the border.
Independents are tired of the drama, and the whining and pettiness of the chief executive.
While Trump may have picked up the “macho” vote among some African-American and Hispanic males, the rest of their cohort is solid blue, except for Cuban Americans, who remain revulsed by Leftist regimes.
Trump won Pennsylvania by 44,000 last time, and I think he will lose Pennsylvania this year by at least that much.
Elsewhere along the Blue Wall, I believe he will lose Wisconsin and Michigan. He might win Minnesota because of people angry and frightened by riots that wracked Minneapolis.
I have no idea about Very Important Florida.
Bottom line: Joe Biden will be the 46th president. He has none of Hillary’s off-putting personal and personality defects. He does not drive people away. While his supporters are nowhere as passionate as Trump’s, he gain a ton of votes from people who hate Trump with a passion.
Trump is so unpopular, several Republican Senate incumbents have strong challengers.
I reluctantly predict Republicans will lose control of the Senate, which will put Congress and the White House in Democratic hands, something I would not like to see.
In this polarized moment, I want neither side with a monopoly. I trust neither political party. Each will do everything it can to solidify its position, even at the cost of hurting the nation.
We will probably have to wait until Friday to see if I am right, or wrong.
I know I will hear from some of you before then.