During the 2008 Presidential campaign, our friend David Sedaris published some thoughts about the undecided vote. His piece went out in The New Yorker Magazine one week before the election, but it turned out that his concerns about how undecided voters might impact the outcome ended up being misplaced.
This morning I started the day off by doing what I do every Monday morning, which is to obsessively look at the Presidential polls. Because even though even Fox News has Biden clearly ahead, I can’t shake the memory of what happened in 2016. At the beginning of July, Hillary was at 41.5, Trump was at 36.7. Together, Johnson (Libertarian) and Stein were at 11.3. Add it up and more than 11% of the voters hadn’t yet made up their mind.
A week before the 2016 election, there were still 5% of the voters who couldn’t figure out what to, meanwhile the gap between Hillary and Trump was down to less than 3 points. Now of course what these national polls masked was the degree to which Trump was able to score the necessary number of electoral votes even though his popular total was still slightly less than 3 points below the number of votes that Hillary received. But the bottom line is that the fact that Biden is out in front of Trump doesn’t mean all that much if the undecided numbers are still strong. Back to our friend Sedaris.
David describes undecided voters as follows: “To put them in perspective, I think of being on an airplane. The flight attendant comes down the aisle with her food cart and, eventually, parks it beside my seat. ‘Can I interest you in the chicken?’ she asks. ‘Or would you prefer the platter of shit with bits of broken glass in it?’ To be undecided in this election is to pause for a moment and then ask how the chicken is cooked. I mean, really, what’s to be confused about?
I have the exact, same feeling about the 2020 election that Sedaris had about the 2008 vote. What’s to be confused about? How can anyone not yet understand what’s at stake? Today I received an invitation to sign a letter drafted by a group of faculty at various law schools which asks Congress to urge the Trump Administration not to withdraw from the WHO. If you want to add your name to the letter, here’s the link.
How could anyone, anyone, even consider pulling us out of the WHO when the number of U.S. deaths from this pandemic are one-quarter of all COVID fatalities in the world, with the #2 country – Brazil – not even being close? What kind of unbelievably crazy thoughts are swirling around inside Trump’s head that could provoke such a bizarre and dangerous idea? So maybe the WHO should have been more diligent when it came to tracking the initial outburst of the disease. So what?
Last week Fox and Quinnipiac released their latest head-to-head polls with Fox saying that Joe had a 12-point lead, and Quinnipiac finding that the lead was eight. But the undecideds in the Fox poll were twelve percent of the people who were polled, for Quinnipiac the dog-shit with bits of broken glass number was ten. Even the Ipsos/Reuters poll that came out last week had a thirteen-point spread for Joe, but seven percent of the registered voters who answered the poll still ‘weren’t sure’ how they would vote.
I love the fact that Trump went out to Tulsa yesterday and fell flat on his face. I love the fact that he came back from the rally and looked like someone who just picked himself up off the barroom floor (note the crumpled MAGA hat in the picture above.)
What I don’t love is that this racist, narcissistic jerk referred to the COVID-19 pandemic as the ‘kung flu.’ And the fact that there is one, single voter out there who hasn’t yet figured out whether he’ll eat chicken or shit with bits of broken glass fills me with fear and dread.
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