Polls Apart

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Polls Apart

Tue, 06/30/2020 - 14:07
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New York Times/Siena College has Democrat Joe Biden at 50% and Republican President Donald Trump at 36%; CNN has 36%; Fox News has Biden Biden at 54% and Trump at 50% and Trump at 38%. These recent national polls have left Democrats almost giddy with anticipation. But before Democrats put the champagne on ice, they would be wise to remember the prophetic words of an authentically wise Texan. Former Gov. Ann Richards said, on July 3, 1988, on CBS's "Face the Nation": "July does not a November election make."

After the Democrats' successful convention in Atlanta in 1988 (when keynote speaker Richards explained Republican nominee George H.W. Bush's verbal bloopers with, "Poor George, he can't help it. He was born with a silver foot in his mouth"), the respected Gallup poll reported the Democratic ticket of Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis and Texas Sen. Lloyd Bentsen trouncing the GOP team of Bush and Indiana Sen. Dan Quayle 55% to 38%. On Nov. 8, Bush carried 40 of the nation's 50 states, won became the first sitting vice 53% of the popular vote and president since Martin Van president. Buren in 1836 to be elected It is true, as Trump-back

It is true, as Trump-backers point out, that preelec tion polls in 2016 predicted with 90% confidence that Hillary Clinton would defeat win the Trump and White House. Just to review that year's final preelection numbers and results of polls: The Wall Street Jour the three of the best-known nal-NBC News survey found Clinton with 48% of the vote; ABC News-Washington Post predicted 47% for Clinton; CBS News gave Clinton 47% of the popular vote. Hillary Clinton did, in fact, win 48.2% of the popular vote to as we all learned, presiden-Donald Trump's 46.1%. But tial elections are about carrying states and their electoral votes, not just about winning people's votes.

So, what is to prevent Trump from duplicating his 2016 winning game plan in ber just how unique that 2020? First, we must remem-Clinton-Trump matchup has been asking voters since was. The Gallup poll, which 1956 whether their personal feelings were favorable or unfavorable toward the presidential nominees, Trump's 61% found that unfavorable score was in Gallup the worst history. By comparison, Republican John McCain at in 2008, Gallup had found crat Barack Obama at 62% 67% favorable and Demo-favorable. In 1984, Democrat Walter Mondale, who won just one state against Ronald Reagan, was rated 66% favorable, and Reagan was was unique about 2016 was rated 71% favorable. What that Hillary Clinton's 52% second-worst ever found by unfavorable score was the Gallup.

So, it turned out, not sur-prisingly, that nearly 1 out of 5 on Election Day 2016, according to the exit polls, had unfavorable feelings toward both Trump and told repeatedly before that Clinton. But, as we were election day, Clinton was was going to lose. So, voters going to win, and Trump who disliked both Clinton and Trump were able, they were told, to cast a "free vote" for Trump, who was not going to win, and against want to have a landslide Clinton, who they did not victory. Voters who disliked both 2016 nominees ended Trump and almost certainly up voting by a 3-2 margin for providing the margin for his electoral college victory.

In 2020, Donald Trump is not a "free vote." And in Wall Street Journal-NBC News poll co-founder Peter D. Hart, Trump is a bad fit for voters in this crisis year: "Sadly, Donald Trump is when America needs a 'we a 'me president' at a time president.'" Can Joe Biden country is looking for?

To find out more about Mark Shields and read his past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.