Ksenija Pavlovic Macateer: Skimming the surface, optics and media-wise, Joe Biden is already the winner of the 2020 Election. However, Trump stands a chance at victory, and here’s why.
Welcome to Day 8 before the historic election. Last night, President Trump and the First Lady Melania Trump welcomed children for a Halloween celebration at the White House. Supporters shouted, “We love you!” and two shouted, “God bless you, Mr. President.” Another asked for, “four more years!”
There was one little boy dressed as President Trump. He stopped to take a photo in front of the first couple before a little girl with him pulled him away.
Today, the Senate will confirm Amy Coney Barret to the Supreme Court, which makes big news and plays a part in the election dynamics concerning conservative causes. The White House will host a ceremonial swearing-in of Amy Coney Barrett.
The president will continue to hold big rallies. In Allentown, PA, he will give a campaign speech to American workers at 11 A.M. In Lititz, PA, he will deliver remarks at a Make America Great Again Victory Rally at 1:30 P.M. The third rally Trump will hold in Martinsburg, PA, at 4:30 P.M.
Yesterday, Biden confused Donald Trump with “George.” In a virtual event, he said, “four more years of George.” Whether Biden was thinking of George Washington or George Bush is unclear. This morning Trump said: “Joe Biden called me ‘George’ yesterday. Couldn’t remember my name. Got some help from the anchor to get him through the interview. The Fake News Cartel is working overtime to cover it up!”
Skimming the surface, optics, and media-wise, Joe Biden is already the winner of the 2020 Election. However, Trump stands a chance at victory, and here’s why.
In-person voting vs Mail-in ballots
The Biden campaign is holding smaller events, with polls indicating the election results are turning in his favor. The major question of the election is: Are the people showing up at Trump’s rallies included in the polls, or might they represent a voting preference the polls have failed to capture?
It may also be that the high numbers of people at Trump’s rallies are ‘all there is’ and that, while they make a significant and energetic group of American voters, it may not be enough to carry Trump over the victory line.
At this point, each campaign is tooting its own horn, the legacy media pundits are openly cheering for Joe Biden, and the Fox and OAAN outliers are supporting President Trump for four more years.
While Trump is holding overcrowded rallies, Joe Biden is showing up in front of empty chairs.
The argument of those supporting Biden is that his voters are COVID-19 aware, and they would rather cast their vote than show up in-person at an event where they would have a heightened chance of catching the disease.
So who, then, are early in-person votes favoring: Biden or Trump?
If the public health crisis is what prevents Biden’s voters from showing up at the rallies, then the possibility of catching COVID-19 is an equal concern at polling places. The issue preventing people from attending Biden’s rallies remains the same with in-person voting, where people are standing in lines near each other, as well as interacting with poll workers. Voters have to touch shared equipment, use a pen… In fact, some may argue that in-person voting may pose a greater risk of catching Covid-19 as opposed to the rallies, many of which are indoors.
Ksenija PAVLOVIC MCATEER: If Biden is right that the lack of turnout for his events is due to voters taking precautions, then it is also likely that his voting base will opt for mail-in voting as opposed to in-person voting. If that’s the case, then the early voting lines are more likely to favor Donald Trump. Republicans are increasingly worried that mail-in voting will lead to fraud and their ballots being thrown out, a further indicator of Trump’s voters’ preference for in-person voting.
Those who show up at the rallies will likely show up at the polling station. Those who join by the virtual live stream will likely be opting for mail-in voting.
Mail-in voting represents an additional problem due to the pandemic, given that no one knows what to expect. With so much undetermined, such as the possibility for unmatched signatures on ballot envelopes, ballots arriving after Election Day and all other possible mismatches, it is likely that we will have one messy Election Day.
Who are the people Democrats are reaching?
Since the pandemic, Democrats’ campaign tickets have focused on online activities and text messages. They, so far, have not pursued much in-person activity, very likely to be an influence of Barack Obama whose initial campaign was, at the time, innovative in the sense that it went online.
However, there is only a certain group of people that can be reached online and through social media. While there is a widely accepted belief that Trump won with the help of social media as a way to bypass the Mainstream Media, he also did a lot of in-person events, even in 2016.
Ksenija Pavlovic Mcateer: Since Twitter and Facebook joined the mainstream media as the new gatekeepers of information, using internal discretion to decide that the news is not the news (except when they say it is), in-person campaign events, traditional door-knocking efforts, and rallies have become increasingly relevant.
That could work in Trump’s favor. What also goes towards Trump’s favor is that, for now, the majority of the population does not spend vast amounts of time on Facebook and Twitter. The Democrats are focusing on Twitter, which is the platform of choice for journalists, but, according to the latest Phew research, is a bubble that only captures one point of view.
Phew research suggests that “a small minority of users create the vast majority of tweets from U.S. adults, and 69% of these highly prolific tweeters are Democrats”. This number implicitly suggests that Republicans spend less time on Twitter, especially since many of them moved to Parler. If the viewership reflects this disparity, and polls are circulated on Twitter, then the pool of subjects from which data is drawn is already biased. Naturally, the results found in these polls follow as unreliable.
Polls favoring Joe Biden may not accurately measure the variable attempting to be studied. If the proportion of Biden voters to Trump voters is larger online than it is in real life, the polls will never accurately reflect the voting preferences.
Come November 3rd, we’ll see whether this was true.