Last updated on August 3, 2020
There are still people who think Trump will win in November, despite his usual attempts at kayfabe like threatening an election postponement today to distract everyone from the record slump in second quarter GDP.
Despite a number of poll numbers that predict Donald Trump will lose his reelection bid, one political scientist says the president has a good chance of winning a second term.
Helmut Norpoth, a political science professor at Stony Brook University–who forecasted Trump's 2016 win eight months ahead of the election and has accurately predicted 25 out of 27 elections–said on Fox News' The Ingraham Angle that Trump's reelection chances are above 90 percent.
“The key to the November election is the primaries,” Norpoth said, adding Trump won Republican primaries quite easily while presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden had difficulty winning delegates. “On balance, a stronger performance in primaries gives Donald Trump the edge in November.”
Norpoth cited Biden's fourth-place finish in the Iowa caucus and his fifth-place finish in the New Hampshire primary as among his reasons for his forecast.
“Where I would expect the pandemic to have an affect is on the approval rating of the president, and I don't see any dent in Trump's approval rating,” he said. “Unless his approval rating collapses, I don't think this will have much bearing on my forecast.”
Norpoth said if Trump is able to refrain from commenting or tweeting about political opponents and instead focus on the continued economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, he stands a good chance of winning a second term.
If Trump, in his desperation could execute one of many October surprises, what will they look like. In 2016 Trump had some breaks from the Russian hack of DNC emails, and including the aid of the NY Times and even the FBI head James Comey. Who will help Trump this time? Odds are now that Barr will do something, much like Facebook and a host of other malign actors including Russia, China, and even North Korea.
Also interesting to think about what it does to Trump’s chances if he catches the virus himself — which wouldn’t necessarily be the game-ender you might think. He could get over the virus, and then trumpet that ad nauseam. See? I’m fine, you’ll be fine, everybody quit complaining!
The Twitter question is also an intriguing one. The president has increasingly pushed the bounds of what the social network is comfortable with, as we’ve noted already, and it’s possible the service could take action leading up to … expulsion? Maybe? I wouldn’t be surprised if Trump threw a rhetorical hand grenade-via-tweet close to the election, just to see if Twitter would give him the boot. Playing the aggrieved party sometimes works well for him.
How about a Supreme Court justice retiring sometime between now and the election? There are few things that bring Republicans together, even to the point of overlooking Trump’s weaknesses as a candidate, than the opportunity to ensure that a justice of your political persuasion replaces a high court vacancy. “I couldn’t even fathom the chaos a (Supreme Court) vacancy could bring to this race,” a GOP operative close to the Trump campaign told Politico. “McConnell’s going to go forward, the president’s going to go forward and the left is going to go crazy.”
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