Don’t bother to give to presidential candidates

Shawn Langlois:

President Donald Trump has a love/hate relationship with polls, surveys and predictions. He loves the ones that paint him in a positive light, and, of course, he hates all those “fake” ones that don’t.

He’s going to absolutely adore this one.

According to Moody’s Analytics, Trump is headed toward another four years in the White House. And, if the numbers are right, it won’t even be close.

In fact, his Electoral College victory could very well be wider than the 304-227 margin he enjoyed over Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.

Since 1980, Moody’s has managed to nail the outcome every time but once — like many, it didn’t see Trump coming.

“In our post-mortem of the 2016 presidential election model,” the report said, “we determined that unexpected turnout patterns were one of the factors that contributed to the model’s first incorrect election prediction.” Here’s Moody’s track record, including a 2016 adjustment for the turnout variable:

Will it return to its winning ways? The team takes into account how consumers feel about their finances, the performance of the stock market SPX, -0.20% and their job prospects. Essentially, today, they’re feeling pretty good.

“Under the current Moody’s Analytics baseline economic outlook, which does not forecast any recession, the 2020 election looks like Trump’s to lose,” the authors wrote. “Democrats can still win if they are able to turn out the vote at record levels, but, under normal turnout conditions, the president is projected to win.”

Moody’s uses three models to come up with its forecast. In each case, Trump gets at least 289 Electoral College votes.

The “pocketbook” measure, which focus on how people feel about their money situation, is where Trump shines brightest, grabbing a whopping 351 electoral votes. “If voters were to vote primarily on the basis of their pocketbooks, the president would steamroll the competition,” the report said.

The stock-market model gives him the slightest edge of 289-249, as investors continue to navigate a volatile investing landscape. Then there’s the unemployment model, which leans heavily in his favor at 332-206.

Neither polls nor models nor anything else would stop me from voting regardless of whether my intended vote matched the models. And since Trump broke the model in 2016, anything’s possible, though if the Moody’s model is correct, the time is growing short for the pocketbook, stock market and unemployment models to reverse themselves.

Of course, the Democrats who would replace Trump aren’t helping, Langlois also reports:

“Far better to bear four more years of Mr. Trump’s mercurial temperament, these voters will rightly conclude, than risk it all on the Democrats’ radical and destructive policies.”

That’s Bobby Jindal, former Louisiana governor and candidate for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, explaining in an editorial published in The Wall Street Journal on Sunday why voters who don’t like President Donald Trump may actually feel compelled to vote for him in 2020.

“Every time the Democratic presidential contenders gather together,” Jindal continued, “it’s a contest between the merely delusional, the vaguely vindictive and the patently absurd.”

He says that these debates would make for great TV if the policy ideas discussed by the candidates weren’t so dangerous.

“Their radical ideas include open borders, confiscating guns, paying reparations for slavery, adding trillions of dollars in new government spending, taking away employer-based health care and restructuring the entire economy through the Green New Deal,” Jindal wrote in the Journal.

He singled out Joe Biden as trying to position himself as the moderate alternative to Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. Jindal, however, isn’t buying it.

“Upon closer inspection, however, Mr. Biden isn’t the moderate he claims to be,” he wrote. “Judging by the policies he now supports, the Joe Biden of 2019 is much more liberal than Hillary Clinton or any other previous Democratic nominee.”

Meanwhile, Jindal says many voters will embrace Trump’s accomplishments: tax cuts, deregulation, increased domestic energy production, military investment, the appointment of conservative judges and support for Israel.

Whether or not what Jindal said in the last paragraph is accurate, it seems as of now voters would choose Trump and every erratic thing is over his hideously bad Democratic challengers. As of now.


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