After an annoyingly grueling first presidential debate and national polls that appear to show President Donald Trump trailing former Vice President Joe Biden by double-digits, many in America—and particularly on the Right—are asking, will Trump win the 2020 election?
The question is particularly relevant because Donald Trump’s victory in 2016 is widely considered to be a huge upset. Virtually every poll heading into Election Day 2016 showed Hillary winning by comfortable margins—albeit half the margins now visible in national polling between Biden and Trump. People are asking, rightly so, can Trump do it again?
I was, at best, politically apathetic in 2016, for reasons beyond the scope of this post. Yet I knew going into Election Day that there were two reasons Donald Trump would win. I affectionately called them the White Horse Factor, and the Porn Addict Factor. I believe that each of these has only been amplified over the last four years, and that both of them will propel Donald Trump to victory again next month.
The White Horse Factor
There’s no question that Donald Trump is a political outsider. Of all those who ran for President in 2016, Donald Trump was one of the few who hadn’t spent a lifetime in politics. Sure, the Republicans had Carly Fiorina (CEO of Hewlett-Packard) and Ben Carson (neurosurgeon extraordinaire), and the Democrats had Lawrence Lessig (stuffy Harvard professor), but only Donald Trump was a household name because of his media personality, and only Trump ran on the promise to “drain the swamp.”
That promise, of course, came back to bite Donald Trump in the you-know-what, because as Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer famously said, that “swamp” has “six ways from Sunday to get back at you.”
Of course, that ominous comment, made on January 3, 2017, preceded a two-year probe by Bob Mueller that turned up *zero* evidence of collusion between Donald Trump and Russia, resulted in indictments that had *nothing* to do with Donald Trump and Russia—and all while Democrats and the media (but I repeat myself) promised that damning evidence was just around the corner (according to all those “anonymous” sources, of course).
That ominous comment, made on January 3, 2017, also preceded the highly partisan and ultimately unsuccessful attempt—instigated by a career bureaucrat named Eric Ciaramella in collaboration with California Congressman Adam Schiff—to impeach Donald Trump for a phone call in which he asked for cooperation of the Ukrainians in the United States’ investigation into the Ukrainian dealings of Hunter Biden. Hunter is, of course, the son of Joe Biden, who at the time was a candidate in the Democratic presidential primary race.
Never mind that Joe Biden himself bragged about extorting the Ukrainians with a billion dollars to fire the “corrupt” prosecutor who just so happened to be investigating the energy company which paid Hunter Biden $600,000 per year to sit on their board and do absolutely nothing. It was Donald Trump’s request for good-faith cooperation into the U.S. investigation that was the impeachable quid pro quo. (The Democrats claimed Trump made the request in exchange for military equipment. A transcript of the call shows that was not the case.)
Chuck Schumer was right—Donald Trump threatened to drain the swamp and the swamp fought back. That fight, ironically, engendered loyalty from politically apathetic people like me—not to the Democrats or the administrative “deep” state, but to the Republican Party and President Trump.
Americans’ Concern for the “Swamp”
As a lawyer, I was always troubled by the extent to which the Supreme Court has allowed Congress to delegate its legislative authority to unaccountable bureaucrats. But Donald Trump brought that concern to the forefront and exposed, to me, the incredible threat to our lasting freedom posed by the “swamp.”
A Listening Project poll from April 25, 2018 found that between 55 and 60 percent of Americans share my concern about the swamp. President Trump campaigned as a “white horse” from outside the establishment, promising to drain the “swamp.” The swamp fought back, and a strong majority of Americans believe that is something about which we should all be concerned.
For people like me, that concern has only grown in the last four years. In 2016, I was politically apathetic. I didn’t vote. I will vote this year, and it sure as hell won’t be for Joe Biden. Why? Because I saw all that happened to Donald Trump when he tried to drain the swamp. The swamp fought back, and it was deeply alarming.
The Porn Addict Factor
In the 2016 election, President Trump’s supporters were famously dubbed a “basket of deplorables” by his then-opponent, Hillary Clinton. This was consistent with the narrative in the mainstream media, which largely viewed Donald Trump supporters as racist, sexist, xenophobic, and Islamaphobic—worse than a porn addict.
Many Trump supporters give the bird to that kind of rhetoric and openly support him. Where I live, in a suburb of Salt Lake City, Utah, it’s not uncommon to see trucks driving with two large flags mounted in the bed and blowing fiercely in the wind—an American flag, and a Trump flag. It’s a big “f*** you” to those who think the worst of them.
Others, however, are far more quiet. For whatever reason, they fear that their family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors will label them worse than a porn addict so they remain silent with their support. But when confined to the privacy of the ballot box, they’re finally able to speak freely and without judgment, and they voice their support where it counts.
It’s why the polls in 2016 got the outcome so wrong. When a pollster calls you up and says, “Who do you intend to vote for?” everything you’ve heard in the mainstream media floods your mind as you contemplate your answer. If I say, “Donald Trump,” they’ll call me a racist, sexist xenophobe—or worse. So, you answered “Hillary Clinton,” or “I don’t know.” Or you simply said you didn’t plan to vote, and then voted anyway when no one was looking.
A lot has changed from 2016, of course. Now, if you voice your support for President Trump, you risk losing your business at the hands of Twitter’s “social justice warriors” or Yelp’s new “racist” alert, or just having your house burned down by Marxist mobs masquerading under the banner of “Black Lives Matter” (about as ironic as a “Ministry of Truth” that has propaganda as its primary goal).
In a fateful twist of irony, the Left’s radicalization in the wake of Donald Trump’s 2016 upset translates into an even lesser likelihood that polls will be accurate on this go-round. Unsurprisingly, polls show Joe Biden in the lead because confessing your support of the former Vice President and career politician presents no real threat. No one is going to run you out of business or burn your house down if you put a Joe Biden sign on your front lawn.
Will Trump Win?
This brings me to my final point: how you know I’m right. Yes, some Trump supporters will tremble in fear for their homes and livelihoods when you ask them if they intend to vote for Donald Trump, much like my two-year-old daughter fears going to bed when I ask her if she’s sleepy. (One is obviously more rational than the other.) But when I ask my two-year-old daughter if her baby doll is sleepy, my daughter tells me exactly how she really feels.
That’s because of a psychological phenomenon called projection. It basically means that if you want to know how someone’s really feeling, you ask them a question that isn’t about them, but about someone else. It’s the whole basis behind the Birkman Method for personality tests: you ask someone what “people generally” are like and you find out who the respondent really is.
I’m not the biggest psych fan myself, and if you’re like me, maybe a biblical analogy will suit you better: planks and specks. In his famous Sermon on the Mount, Jesus chastised those who critique the tiny speck in their neighbor’s eye while missing the ginormous plank in their own. Jesus is talking about this same phenomenon. Both men have something in their eye. The one with the plank is making a big deal about the small speck because the thing in his own eye is huge. He’s projecting.
Projection and the Porn Addict Factor
Here’s what that means for the 2020 election. If you want to know who people are really going to vote for, ask them about who other people are going to vote for. Take this Monmouth University poll of registered Pennsylvania voters, for instance. It found that Biden appeared to hold a 13-point lead over Trump. It also found that a whopping 57% of those voters believe that there are “secret Trump supporters” waiting in the shadows to emerge in November and cast their ballot for President Trump.
That poll was dated in July of this year, after Marxists took to the streets in droves to burn down Black-owned businesses because Black Lives Matter, so we know it’s accounting for the most recent amplification of the Porn Addict Factor, which means 57% could be a pretty accurate reflection of Trump votes in Pennsylvania.
Compare that with today’s Real Clear Politics average showing Biden up by 7.1% in Pennsylvania and you see just what I’m talking about. The polls upon which the RCP average is based seem to reflect between 4% and 9% of voters who “aren’t sure” who they’ll vote for. The polls also have margins of error that range between 3% and 5%. Add those together and Trump easily gets in the range of 57%.
Career Politicians and the White Horse Factor
You’ll also note that every one of those polls is a poll of “likely voters,” which brings us back to the White Horse Factor. Every poll’s methodology for identifying these so-called “likely voters” is different, but usually they simply base it on whether or not you’ve voted in any of the past X number of elections. The theory is that if you cared enough to vote in one of the previous elections, you’re likely to care enough to vote this time around.
But what about when the candidate is someone outside the establishment, someone who draws on his status as a household name and promises that he’ll put an end to the establishment about which 55 to 60 percent of Americans are concerned? Well that just throws a wrench in the whole damned equation—the White Horse Factor.
“Likely voters” are the kind of people who will turn out for a guy like Joe Biden, who’s spent 47 years campaigning on the same problems he always promises he’ll fix but never actually does. They’ve been suckered into voting for career politicians just like him before, and they’ll care enough to get off their sofas and do it again.
“Likely voters” are not the kind of people who turn out for a guy like Donald Trump. A guy like Donald Trump—who does more in just four years than Joe Biden has done in 47 (tax cuts, border wall, criminal justice reform, landmark Middle East peace deal, two huge trade deals, ISIS defeated, etc.)—draws out a different kind of voter, people who are disenfranchised with the broken record of the same old politicians running for office over and over again on the same issues that never seem to get fixed, people who are sick of seeing crooks like Hillary Clinton commit crimes the rest of us would do time for and get off scot-free simply because they’re connected to other swamp rats.
The Bottom Line
Bottom Line: I expect President Trump to have a decisive if not a landslide victory next month. While I don’t expect him to pick up solidly blue states no one thinks are in play (like California), I wouldn’t be surprised if he did. Ronald Reagan did it back in 1984, and I see no reason Trump can’t do it again.
And sure, mail-in ballots are the unknown variable everyone’s talking about, but for every vote that Joe Biden picks up from someone who’d otherwise be too unenthused about him to leave their house, Donald Trump will pick up a vote in a riot-plagued, Democrat-controlled city from someone who would otherwise be too scared to leave their home. Absent fraud on a massive scale (the likes of which we’ve never seen and are still not seeing despite heightened awareness and enforcement), mail-in voting is a zero-sum game, in my view.
So expect Donald Trump to win next month, and expect him to win big. Here’s to four more years.