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Greenbean’s 2020 Election Analysis

I’ve got some top-notch analysis for you, but first, I want to brag. I was far closer to being right than I was wrong. If you check the blog I posted (click here) the day before the election, you will note the following:

  1. I said Biden would win the ‘blue wall’ which he did. he carried Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Wisconsin will end up being the closest, although Pennsylvania took more time.
  2. I said one of three states will go blue — Texas, Ohio, or Georgia. In my map I colored in Texas (more on that below) but it didn’t and neither did Ohio. Georgia did. They have not called it yet, but Biden’s lead there seems insurmountable unless a recount finds a trove of Trump votes hidden somewhere, which is very, very unlikely.
  3. I called Arizona for Biden. There seems to be some doubt about it (and I am not 100% certain Biden’s lead will hold) but it is in Biden’s favor and at the writing of this blog if I were a betting person I would say Biden’s lead will hold because most of the vote that is outstanding is in Maricopa and Pima counties — both places Biden is winning.
  4. I said the President would take Florida, and he did. I want to thank my people on the ground in Florida who gave me insight. Florida really wasn’t even close, especially by Florida standards.
  5. I had some wildcards out there — like President Trump taking Oregon and President-Elect Biden taking Alaska, but it seems none of those are going to pan out and that is okay, those were reaches and I knew it.
  6. The one surprise I had where I was really wrong was North Carolina. I thought President-Elect Biden would take the Tar Heel State but President Trump will win it resoundingly.

Now, how about some analysis. Let us begin with polling. Again, we learn, the pollsters are really no practical use. They get the margins in states overwhelming wrong. Part of this reason is Republicans always underperform. This was true of Trump in 2016, Romney in 2012, McCain in 2008, and Bush in 2004. What they got right, though, is the national average. They stink at state polling, but nationally they were correct in 2016 and this year. When all the vote is totaled, Biden will likely win the popular vote in American by 7-10 million, which would be in that 5-6% range.

Let’s talk about Texas for a moment because that is where I live. I can’t underscore enough the. thrashing democrats took in this state. Their hopes were so high, but reality came crashing around them at the ballot box. They not only failed to turn the state blue, they didn’t even achieve a purple hue. Republicans took the state house and did very well. Which leads me to more analysis.

Republicans took a lot of state legislatures in this election. That, combined with the gains the GOP made in the House and how they are still defending their senate majority, tells me the nation repudiated Donald Trump but not conservativism. The United States is still, as it always has been, a center-right nation. Joe Biden was a centrist candidate and the nation rewarded him.

I could never, never, in a million years have predicted the angry breakup between Trump’s supporters and Fox News. Fox called Arizona very early and then the AP followed suit in the wee hours of Wednesday morning. As of this writing (10 November 1:25PM CST), CNN, NBC, The Washington Post, and all other reputable organizations have not called Arizona labeling it “Too Close to Call”. Trump supporters viewed Fox as stabbing them in the back. Time will tell if this is simply a lover’s spat that will mend in time or whether it is a divorce. If it is a divorce, I wonder who gets Tucker Carlson in the custody battle?

It seems to me Florida should no longer be thought of as a swing state. It is decidedly ruby red with a blue dot at the bottom. The with margins of victory for republican candidates are similar to Texas. However, Pennsylvania is the new Florida, and Georgia is the new Colorado.

Let’s talk about coalitions. President Trump did very well in this election and received a lot of votes, and surprisingly a lot of votes from the Cuban-American and Venezuelan-American communities in Florida and the Mexican-American communities in Texas. Donald Trump performed very well in The Valley. I have always affirmed that ethnic communities have a strong conservative traditionalists line in them, and if the GOP can put aside its tendency toward racism, then it could have powerful inroads with people of color. By contrast, Black voters turned out in droves for Joe Biden, and that is probably the difference in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and definitely Georgia. As American turns less and less white, it is these demographics that will determine political fates. Both parties better pay attention, and if the DNC is smart, they will appoint Stacey Abrams as their leader.

I have a question that I do not have the answer to; but the question itself is, in some ways, the answer. Will Republicans turn out in these kinds of numbers when President Trump is not on the ballot? They didn’t in 2018, and that led to the Blue Wave. I am assuming he will not run again in 2024. He could, but I assuming he will not. So much of the republican brand is tied up in the personality of the President that I wonder if there will not be a severe drop in enthusiasm.

Something needs to be said about the situation with the transition. Let me be clear: President Trump has every legal right to challenge and question results in court and through democratic processes. That is how we do things in this country. There is no way any of these challenges will hold up, however, as the situation is insurmountable. In 2000 Bush V. Gore we were talking about 537 votes in one state, Florida. What we have here are several states, all of which will (Arizona is the sticky wicket) go to Biden — Nevada, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin all by thousands of votes. Biden will win Georgia by around 12,000, he is ahead now in Pennsylvania by 45,000 and will likely get close to 60 or 70k, Michigan is around 150k and Wisconsin is sitting at 20k. For comparison, President Trump won Wisconsin by 20k in 2016, Pennsylvania by 40k, and Michigan by 10k. And in 2016 President Trump won fair and square. That is what I said then, and that is true now. Recounts only change a handful of votes where bad math was used or a ballot was mislabeled. It does not affect thousands upon thousands and it will never undo Biden’s electoral college total of over 270. If Pennsylvania is miraculous taken, Arizona, Georgia, and Nevada more than make it up. If Arizona is lost, that is no big, and the same is true of Georgia. The cake is baked. Biden will likely win with 306 Electoral votes –the same number Trump won in 2016. But all Biden needs is 270, and that is already attained.

I have heard people complain about ‘The media doesn’t get to pick the president’ when they complain about what states have been ‘called’. They are correct, the media doesn’t. The states do with their elections. All the media is doing is applying math to the equations so that we can tell who will win. That is all they ever do. Sometimes they make mistakes (Again, Florida, I’m looking at you) but not often. Nothing is official until the election is certified and the electoral college votes. But that doesn’t mean we don’t know who will be certified and who will be elected based on the beauty of math.

Lots of discussion about the Biden heavy late vote in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Georgia. That is not hard to figure out, and no, it is not fraud. President Trump told his supporters not to use the mail-in ballots. Over and over and over again he said that. Democrat’s told their people to use them because it was safer. The result was predictable; The President won the in-person voting, which is tabulated instantly on machines and The President-Elect won the mail-in voting which takes time because it is a paper ballot in an envelope which must be opened and looked at.

To that end, all calls of fraud, rigged elections, and illegal votes needs to stop. That just didn’t happen. I understand being upset if your team lost, but the system works. There are observers, lawyers, and patriots throughout the electoral process and they are wonderful people. There is just no evidence that fraud occurred. Are there clerical errors? Yes. Are there problems with some votes? Yes. Could there have been shenanigans with some people cheating? Yes. But nothing in wholesale amounts, and nothing that is one side or the other. Just as many cheaters, errors, and problems benefit GOP as it does the dems. A good example is in Arizona. The Trump Administration has sued over disputed ballots, but it is only 180 ballots and nobody really knows how those ballots will turn. Conservative Media and social networks keep throwing out ‘Trumps challenges” as if we’re talking about large numbers of votes that could change the totals. We are not. In fact, Republicans, apart from the President, did very well in this election. So, in summary on this point, President Trump lost, but he is legally entitled to challenge because the states don’t certify the elections until much later, with final results due by December 8. We have plenty of time. His challenge will not change anything, so he would be much wiser, and it would be much better for the nation, if he would concede and let us move on.

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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.