Presidential Prediction 2020

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 I've had a number of election cycles accurately predicting the results.  As a refresher to my methodology, leftists vote left, rightists vote right, and that squishy middle "independent" or "moderate" voter makes the difference in the results.  So it's that segment we're after, right?  Like, $18,000,000,000 of marketing worth this year?  That's like, the life blood that keeps networks, newspapers and special interests in business.  Good thing they have no self-serving motivation in all this politicking.

Gallup says 31% of Americans are Democrats and 25% are Republicans.  Pollsters.  What do they know?  I figure by unscientific means that it's more like 45% of the population is locked in by each party allegiance regardless of their "independent" posturing.  That helpfully narrows our target audience to a tidy 10% upon which I can thrust a single DECIDING FACTOR.  

Which of the candidates would our truly "independent" voter want to invite to their backyard BBQ?  That's it.  This isn't just for dinner; it's entertainment.  There are other guests.

With that in mind, no one really wants a political discussion, or God forbid, an argument, at their party.  No one is looking for hand-outs, either.  No one is looking to hear how awesome or successful someone else is.  It's about the meat and sides, sprinkled with beverages of choice.  The event is more likely to focus on that grand fish story... the recipe for that pecan pie... horseshoes... humor... the book someone just read... the sport that's in season... and whatever else that doesn't test whether everyone will remain friends when the night comes to an end.  

Let's recap:

2008 - McCain's grumpy old man persona or Obama's fresh face and free stuff for everyone congeniality?  I also self-servingly reviewed prior elections on this post regarding BBQ theory, and, of course, aced the analysis.

2012 - Romney's 2D cardboard cut-out manner or Obama's silky voice, broad smile and sports talk?  Even Obama's emerging condescension (or is that being Presidential?) was a clear favorite Mr. Ho-Hum.

2016 - Hillary looking down her long nose at the deplorables (and everyone, really, that would attend a  BBQ) or Trump's reality-TV populism?  Admittedly, the methodology led to a Trump prediction in a landslide, and given the polling at the time, I figured that was the end of my BBQ forecasting.  But it worked, and here I go again. 

So here we are at 2020.  Trump vs. Biden.  

BBQ conversation: Knowing what we know... Trump is the unfiltered cigarette blowing smoke in everyone's face.  Some people like it; the vast majority don't.  You never know what Trump might say, but, you know that despite his limited vocabulary he'll repeat himself enough that even his strongest supporter and harshest critic can agree that he used very few words.  How the message might be better expressed is another issue, but he's to the point.  

Mr. Biden, in BBQ terms, will use a lot more words to accomplish about the same result.  The problem there is that when he speaks most forcibly, he uses someone else's speech and fails to give them credit.  And if the words are his own, you can flip a coin on whether he said what he meant to say.  He can't keep it straight either.  The self described "gaffe-machine" has outright lied throughout his career.  If that's too harsh, then fine.  He's claimed a lot of accomplishments that never happened.  This can be kind of fun, though, even if the "fun" is laughing at a person and not laughing with him.  

What if both Trump or Biden were to give us the silent treatment?  Biden is looser and smiles a lot.  Trump can't help himself from making ugly faces.  Advantage: Biden

Making others comfortable:  Trump is a bit of blowhard.  Mr. Biden is a bit of a wallflower, in comparison.  You're not inviting both, obviously, so it's a decision between someone who demands being the center of attention or a guy who just seems to have always been there, not bringing much attention to himself, much like the tenure of his political career.  You don't ask him about his accomplishments because you already know he would just have to make something up.  But he's a nice guy!  It may be helpful to look how each fits in the role of  bringing "life to the party," and here we have opposite approaches.  With this we'll have to go with photographs and hope they're not #fakepics.  

Granted, they're "Trump Steaks"

Possibly the strongest argument for Biden here.

Why you have a running mate.

Clearly, the political handlers have embraced my methodology

Advantage: Biden.  Ah, the joy on his face.

Politics:  Mr. Trump is an anti-politician.  Mr. Biden has been a politician for nearly half a century.  Do you even want a politician at your BBQ?  The method demands you choose, and I pity you. For my apolitical BBQ, advantage: Neither.

Off-work attire: BBQs are casual affairs.  Let's compare and contrast.

Let's not.  Slam dunk to Biden.

Covered Dish: Mr. Trump provided fast-food for the Clemson Tigers football team when they visited the White House to celebrate their national championship a couple years ago. Sure, the government was closed down, but the cuisine perhaps speaks to Trump carrying a bit of financial debt when he could as easily paid for professionals to deliver a meal more worthy of the occasion.  Still, BBQ people aren't snobs, and look how happy he is about it.  It turns out the football team does.  Maybe he knows people better than I'd guess. 

Mr. Biden, he's smart enough to bring something home-made rather than store-bought, but the question is who he'll get to make it for him.  It might be good, or, it might not, if the person he asks is sick and tired for covering for him.  Still, while Trump opted for quantity, Biden will spring for both quantity and quality.  While he's considered one of the least wealthy politicians with an estimated $9M net worth, this doesn't include the off-the-book riches his son has netted, so, for a good BBQ, it's reasonable to assume a briefcase full of cash can happen, enough to surprise the hosts with some coolers of beer.  Advantage: Biden.  C'mon.  No one wants McDonald's for a friggin' party, and Mr. Biden has a career of spreading other people's money around. 

Sports: But the sports thing, otherwise known as "things to talk about."  Mr. Trump wanted Clemson to visit, and he was probably excited about meeting Dabo, Trevor and the team.  And he's known to like a variety of sports through the years, from boxing to baseball.  He was also insistent that sports should be played, rightly or wrongly, and, indeed, sports are being played.  

Mr. Biden?  "Sports are probably not going to happen."  Weasel words.  Football matters.  Baseball matters some.  Basketball... matters to the players I guess. He might be a better fit for whatever the ladies at the BBQ talk about, but... what do they talk about?  I don't know.  It's my BBQ.  Advantage: Trump

Adult beverages:  BBQ?  or BBQ and beer?  Well, it's usually the latter.  Regardless of whether you want an alcoholic beverage, your guests likely will.  Mr. Trump, it seems, is a tee-totaller.  

In 2009, at Obama's "Beer Summit,"Mr. Biden drank a Buckler, a non-alcoholic version of Heineken.  Oh, for appearances's sake!  C'mon, Joe.  This was an easy win for you, and then you go and drink that.  Like your political career, being unremarkable works for you because in this case, your competitor dislikes other people who drink and is a sure-fire bet to be stand-offish about it.  Advantage: Biden, though he doesn't deserve it.

The ladies: You might want to plan your BBQ on a fall day.  You don't want the women in attendance to be too fetching, and the cooler weather will invite layers.  Why does that matter?  Well, you never know if Mr. Trump might be looking for his next wife.  He's about due, right?  There's some unpleasant (or worse) history there, but he managed to survive it in the last election cycle.  

And as awkward as that might be, you're far more likely to be keeping an eye on Mr. Biden.  He might be sniffing your wife. Or your daughter.  Or your granddaughter.  Advantage: Trump, a giant one frankly.

And sadly, in this "how low can you go" contest, it's the Creepy Joe factor that cements the BBQ decision.  The bully in the room?  We know what he's about.  However, we've all seen one too many movies where the "nice guy" turns out to be a mass murderer.  Creepiness loses.  Despite a string of small victories, once again, in a polling upset, the BBQ methodology says Mr. Trump gets another four years.  

How many weeks or impeachment attempts it would take for America to catch it's breath is another question. But should it work out, it's not the Russians, it's not voter mail fraud, it's not the Post Office failing to get the absentees in to the jurisdictions on time, it's not whatever poll station mayhem might occur on voting day.  It's that squishy "moderate" that's being told every other minute by every editor, celebrity, or social media platform to get out and vote.  It's not just the "moderates" that are influence here, but also the occasional voters.  The bombardment of reminders to vote (Democrat, because everyone should vote Democrat) has risen to the point where the people who sometimes vote have put off planning their next brisket cook to do their civic duty.  And maybe you see the catch.  These are BBQ people who were "too busy to vote" in other elections, because they rightly or wrongly lean to a self-centered approach to life that puts a lot less weight on the influence of government in their lives.  They're the same type of people who hang up when a pollster calls, if they bother to answer at all. And, importantly, they like to watch their fires burn, not their cities. 

For those who enjoy more erudite reading, I offer some quotes by G. K. Chesterton, a man who was thoughtful and lived in a time when thoughtful things brought thoughtful discourse to society.  Maybe they will redeem this post. 

“Men are ruled, at this minute by the clock, by liars who refuse them news, and by fools who cannot govern.” – “The New Name,” Utopia of Usurers, 1917

“When a politician is in opposition he is an expert on the means to some end; and when he is in office he is an expert on the obstacles to it.” – Illustrated London News, April 6, 1918

“The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected.” – Illustrated London News, April 19, 1924

Postscript.  Why did "W" get two terms?

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