Why this election will be different

or at least, why I think many of the analysts are getting it completely wrong.

Some analysts are saying that Trump supporters are more motivated than are Biden supporters.  But that misses the point. The comparison should be with Trump opponents, who are incredibly motivated to vote him — and in many cases the Republicans in the Senate enabling him — out.

Their intensity has already been demonstrated several different ways, for example

–  how long people were willing to stand in line to vote in primaries which saw much higher increases for Democrats than for Republicans.  Please note, I am NOT talking about Presidential primaries, but primaries for other Federal and in some cases statewide offices.

  • the incredible support being seen for conservative groups like the Lincoln Project, who are after all Republicans who are rejecting Trump, and thereby giving cover/permission of others to do likewise

I realize that conventional wisdom says a race tightens at the end. Except when it doesn’t, which happens more often than people realize.  But there is another factor happening right now, which is that there is evidence of people’s attitudes hardening much more quickly than in most cycles.  There are several reasons for this hardening, most of them directly related to Covid-19:

  • there is too much video of Trump and his enablers dismissing the seriousness, and this is being contrasted with the continuing (and clearly understated) rise in both cases and deaths.
  • the economic impact has been staggering,  and is not going to be minimized between now and November 3. There will be millions still out of work, because there are jobs being permanently lost. People may well be being dispossessed of homes, whether renters or mortgagees.  Favorite places are gone and continuing to disappear:  look around where you live and see how many restaurants and bars/taverns you know that have shuttered.

  • sports have been wrecked.  Baseball may well have to shut down again, and even if college and professional sports find a way of continuing, because of how badly we handled the pandemic it will be without the normal audiences.  For some people they want to watch in person, and if you are talking high school sports, parents want to see their kids play. The league in which the school at which I teach plays has postponed football to the Spring.

There is more…..