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2020 Election Prediction

It is a Greenbean tradition — to blog predictions about the election. How long have I been doing this? Well, somewhere out there in the interwebscapesingularity is a MySpace page where I have blogged about how I predicted John McCain would lose a close one to Barack Obama and win the Presidency.

For context, click here to see 2012 where I predicted Mitt Romney would be the next President of the United States and 2016 I couldn’t have been more wrong. I didn’t see President Trump winning by 80,000 votes spread out over three significant states. Take everything that comes from this with a gigantic grain of salt. I mean, a boulder of salt. I am just having fun here.

Before I launch into predictions, some housekeeping.

  1. If you haven’t already voted, and you are legally registered to do so, please go vote. Who you vote for is irrelevant to me. Participating in our government will help you grow as a person.
  2. Pray. There is a lot of emotion and turmoil — more than I have ever seen — regarding this election. Pray that violence does not erupt and nothing will occur to jeopardize our union.
  3. Remember, I am a-political when it comes to analysis. Regardless of who wins the presidency, Jesus is King, and he is my Lord, so my loyalties are to a much higher power than crass politicians who beg for votes so they can wield temporary power in vulgar displays. I have far more important work to do than any politician. My interest is, generally, more about societal trends and trying to read where the country is.

So, that said, let’s do some analysis and prediction.

The President has a solid base — as solid a base as anyone could ever get. His followers, fans really, will crawl through glass and swim in a sea of rubbing alcohol to vote for him. The issue in analyzing things is, that base is only about 43% nationwide. With no third party candidate there it pull votes, will he be able to get to fifty percent? A good baseline example of this is my home state of Texas in 2016. The President received 52% of the vote while Clinton received 43%. Texas is a red state, and on the face of it President Trump won by a comfortable nine points. But he only got 2% above majority. Other candidates and write-ins siphoned off the difference.

How will those break this year? It is hard to tell and to be honest it could all break incredibly close like 2016 or like 2000 in Bush v. Gore. It could break in a singular direction, like 1980 when Reagan and Carter were very close going in, but all the undecideds and I mean all, broke for Reagan which lead to a landslide.

This feels like the latter to me. The national polls still have, as of the day before, Biden at 6.5% ahead and he is leading in all the key battleground states besides North Carolina, and that is a statistical tie.

Of course, none of the polls count. The only poll which matters now is the real poll of who gets the votes.

Florida — Cuban and Venezuelan Americans are breaking for the President, which is a big deal. But senior adults are breaking for Biden in large numbers. Which way will it go? I think Florida stays red, which is an Election Day must for President Trump. He can’t win without it.

North Carolina and Pennsylvania — These are close races, but I perceive these are going blue. Biden picks these up I think by five percentage points. He gets Pennsylvania because of his close ties to the region and he gets North Carolina as a protest vote.

Texas, Georgia, and Ohio — These three are statistically even for both candidates. President Trump carried all of them easily in 2016. I think one of them, I don’t really know which one, but one of them, will turn from red to blue. If I had to lay out good money on it, I would wager Texas goes blue based predominantly upon the amount of early voting, and the turnout in Harris County. Geographically Texas is red — where I live President Trump enjoys great support and he carried my county at 73% four years ago. However, Houston, San Antonio, El Paso, and much of the suburbs in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area are blue to purple, and that is where most of the people live. It’s gonna be close. Keep in mind, if they all three stayed red I would not be surprised, but at least one will flip.

Arizona — Based on the polling for the senate race in Arizona, which has Democratic candidate Mark Kelly ahead by an average of nearly 6%, I think President Trump will loose Arizona.

Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota — President Trump was able to demolish the blue wall by picking off Michigan and Wisconsin in 2016. I don’t think he will do that again. The blue wall returns, which all the polling data indicates, even if adjusted for the kind of errors the polling data showed leading into the 2016 election.

Iowa — This one is the shocker. President Trump has a slim (less than one percent edge) in the Iowa polls right now — at about 46% of the vote. If that other wobbly four percent decides its time for a change, then Iowa goes blue. I predict it does.

Oregon — Is there a state that could flip from blue to red? Is President Trump cooking up a surprise? If I had to guess one, It would be Oregon. Though traditionally blue, there is a very conservative streak to much of Oregon, and the continual rioting and civil unrest in Portland might create a backlash in the electorate. Oregon is a vote by mail state, so they should have the results early in the evening (west coast time).

Alaska — Alaska is notoriously difficult to poll, but something in my gut says their senator, Lisa Murkowski, who is Republican but tends to always be on the other side of President Trump, might know about her state more than others. So, I think there is a possibility it goes from red to blue. We will not know though, until sometime around Thanksgiving.

So, here is my 2020 Electoral Map Prediction:

So, as you see, I have Vice President Biden defeating President Trump.

Of course, I have been wrong before and will be wrong again, no doubt. However, these are simply predictions. No one knows what will happen until after Tuesday when the polls start closing. The American People get their say, and we will see.

For President Trump to win, he needs to hold everything he had last year, which means he needs to win Arizona, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, all states he is currently trailing by an average of five to six points. It is not impossible, but increasingly unlikely.

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Guest Blog Post — Voting

Last week my co-worker, Kelly Trapane, posted on Facebook about her voting experience with her daughter and connected that with her parents. I asked her to consider turning that it into a blog post for me. She agreed, and here it is.

I share her story because voting is important. It is a right which has been preserved with the blood and sacrifice of generations of Americans. It is your civic duty to vote, to vote informed, and to vote your passions. We all have different ideas about how things should go, but voting is a shared value we all celebrate. I hope you enjoy Kelly’s story.


Kelly and her daughter Faith Voting

I had the most amazing day today! My daughter turned 18 over the weekend and I accompanied her to vote for the very first time. It was an honor to go with her! 

This being the year that the 19 amendment celebrates 100 years, it is not lost on us either! Did you notice my tee-shirt? I’m so thankful to the many brave women who paved the road 100 years ago. Today, my daughter and I cast our votes side by side in Marble Falls.

Madam Mayor herself in 1917
Click the pic to learn some history

Fun fact- Marble Falls elected a female mayor three years before the 19 the Amendment. Ophelia “Birdie” Harwood. 

When I was a child growing up in Houston, Texas, my elementary school was a polling location. I remember watching my parents come in to vote. They arrived dressed in their Sunday best. It was happenstance that I was even in the cafetorium when they arrived.

Kelly and her parents in 1970

We were on “silent lunch” to accommodate the voters and I waited in the lunch line hoping that the lunch plate wasn’t Salisbury steak. Being a gentleman, my Dad directed my Mom to go first.  One at a time I watched as my parents entered the booth. The curtains swished closed. I wondered what it looked like in there and who they were voting for. Then, the curtains swished open and they were finished.  I watched from a distance as they interacted with the other voters and volunteers.  They seemed happy. They joked with a neighbor, laughed (Dad had a big laugh!), and smiled. They waved to me and left. I remember asking them who they voted for. They never told me. It was private. 

An Old fashioned Voting Booth

Do you remember the first election you voted in?

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On Amy Coney Barrett And Other Things

WARNING: THIS BLOG POST IS FULL OF OPINION

That’s kinda the whole purpose of the Greenbean blog.

These particular opinions are about the theatrical presentation going on in Washington D.C. regarding the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett. So, settle in and enjoy these unvarnished opinions. I will enumerate them for you, because they are not necessarily connected.

  1. I think it is wrong the Senate is even hearing this right now. Now, having said that, I don’t think it is forever wrong. Here is what I mean. If this were eight years ago, or twelve years ago, I would be fine with the nomination and the hearings. But given what they did to Judge Merrick Garland four years ago, this is an outrage. It is the height of hypocrisy.
  2. However, she has been nominated and here we are. I think if I were a senator, I would vote against her purely for the reason of #1, but I’m not so sure because . . .
  3. I like conservative judges. If she is confirmed, it will not be bad. She seems like a good choice to me. I have often said the best set-up is a very conservative judiciary, a progressive legislature, and a practical deal-making executive. This would be the epitome of checks and balances.
  4. A lot of the conversation has been about Roe V. Wade. The hand-wringing about overturning it is interesting. Do liberals not recognize this is the way many conservatives felt about Obergefell V. Hodges? For what it is worth, I think Obergefell has a better chance of remaining in tact than Roe simply because you really can’t dissolve a marriage by fiat and maintain any legitimacy as a government. Once you give it, you can’t take it away. Roe, on the other hand, would not eliminate abortion in our country but would make it a states issue. I don’t think it is a bad thing to limit abortion to states preferences.
  5. But on the topic of abortion — hear me loud and clear on this — this is not ever going to be solved in the legal system. Conservatives have made a terrible mistake by putting their eggs in the basket of power. Four years ago Republicans had the White House, the Senate, The House, and a Narrow Margin on the Supreme Court. Did they pass abortion legislation or try to use the legislative process at all? No, they passed unsustainable tax cuts for corporations, that is what they did. They attacked the ACA, that is what they did. Republicans want the issue of abortion to remain. The last thing they want to do is make the issue go away by actually doing something.
  6. Abortion is a heart issue. If we want to save lives and protect the unborn, then we need to convince individuals of the truth of life. If we do this only by legal means, then rest assured abortions will continue; they will simply be illegal and dangerous. I am not in favor of abortion, but I want to win the battle in the heart and not the courtroom. Every time someone posts a video or photo of their sonogram from a pregnancy on Facebook, we are winning the battle. Every time we make the issue about courts and lawyers and statutes, we are losing the battle.
  7. But back to judges. I have not been able to watch much of the hearings because . . . I have an active and full life. But I’ve seen a snippet or two and heard some on the radio when driving. The tone is very respectful and much different than the Kavanaugh hearings. So, I’m wondering why wasn’t Barrett up instead of Kavanaugh. She seems like such a better prospect than his entitled beer guzzling whining demeanor. I also liked Gorsuch, but Kavanaugh, man. If we’d had a better President, he would have pulled the Kavanaugh nomination when the cloud of sexual assault overcame him and put forth Barrett then. Think of how much better that would have been for the country?
  8. I am completely against any plan to add additional justices to the Supreme Court. This is a ridiculous idea.
  9. Stop using ACB the same way RBG was used. It doesn’t work like that, and it cheapens Judge Barrett and dismisses Justice Ginsburg, and neither of those should occur. Ginsburg leaves an amazing legacy and Barrett has the hope for the future.
  10. So here we come to the last opinion I have. The Supreme Court is the highest in the land, and it should be filled with people who are the best of the best of the best. These confirmation hearings should be a little more rigorous than left and right trying to score political points. These hearings should be used to question the intellectual strength, moral fiber, and patriotism of the candidate. Don’t ask Barrett about the ACA or Roe V. Wade, ask about her views on what makes a great family and what the obligation of a society is to the most vulnerable. Question her about what personal core values are and how she understands the role of America. Put her feet to the fire about the meaning of life and liberty. We need to know her character. We can read her lawyer stuff and opinions, but what is in her heart and soul? We don’t need her credentials, we need her credibility as the best of the best of the best.

Vice President Pence and Senator Harris — The One and Only VEEPBate

Thoughts on tonights VP debate, all of which came to me while on a bicycle ride this afternoon, so if they are jumbled you can blame the warm October weather.

1. With all the virus coming out of Washington, maybe I need a plexiglass screen between my television and me.


2. Vice President Pence is, by all accounts, a decent and nice man. I wonder if he will attempt the belligerent and bombastic strategy his boss used last week? If not (and I hope not), will he go the opposite direction and be syrupy sweet?


3. Okay, now here is the catch, if Vice President Pence goes syrupy sweet, it could look like he is patronizing Senator Harris and that will not be a good thing because the President is already hemorrhaging the female vote.


4. Will Senator Harris attack the Vice President on the coronavirus, since he is the head of the task force, or will she keep her target on the President? Smart money says go after POTUS, but the virus is such a soft target she may find it hard to resist. My feeling is she should stay away from it, because the disastrous political response to COVID-19 speaks for itself.


5. Senator Harris was not popular with the left-wing of the Democratic Party during the primaries because of her strong prosecutorial record. If the Vice President goes after that record, he may inadvertently give her more credibility with some Republican voters.


6. Two issues seem like wins for the President’s team. One, the ridiculous plan some Democrats have put forth to add extra Supreme Court Justices was not rejected last week by Vice President Biden. Vice President Pence should pin her down on that. Two, Senator Harris’ policies are further left than Vice President Biden’s. If Pence can get her into that kind of an exchange, it could provide lots of fodder for President Trump’s base.


7. Senator Harris is much better at this kind of a thing than the Vice President. She regularly eviscerates people in Senate hearings and her background in the courtroom makes her nimble on her feet. If she can leverage some of that Gen-X smart-mouth with just the right amount of her winning smile it could make her look very much like a fresh new vision for the future of our country.


8. Regardless, I expect this debate to be much more ‘normal’ and policy minded. This is what a good Veep debate can be. I remember when Dick Cheney and Joe Lieberman debated around a table like gentlemen with Bernard Shaw guiding a polite conversation about policy and ideas. It could happen again. I’m rooting for you, Vice President Pence and Senator Harris. You can do this. Make us proud again.