INDEPENDENT NEWS

90 Days To Elections: Trends Show Biden Win And Turbulent Transition

Published: Tue 4 Aug 2020 03:41 PM
Biden is projected to win the presidential election in the United States, by both the popular vote and the Electoral College, based on trend analysis 90 days out. Moreover, the cultural trends indicate a particularly turbulent and drawn out transition of power.
Significant socio-economic factors have adjusted the original trend for Trump winning, having had strong momentum as late as January 2020.
The most pronounced of these factors include the COVID-19 pandemic and major economic fallout, cultural shifts among the voter base, and the declining appetite for divisive rhetoric among voters of both parties.COVID-19 IMPACT
The impact on voting blocs of the Republican party by COVID-19 are now being felt, as many key states report increasing numbers of deaths.
In such Republican states as Florida, Kentucky and Texas the number of deaths caused by COVID-19 has unfortunately escalated from April. The virus is also wreaking havoc among other critical states like Arizona, which in 2016 showed 48% for Trump and now shows in polls as 48% to Biden and 44% to Trump. [1]
The serious impact on numerous health care workers, families with retirees, and those who have young children fearing to send them back into the school system have all exacerbated the decline of support for the Republicans in key states.
If this trend continues, it will have a substantive impact on election night cutting into states with traditionally Republican support. Overt results will be felt early in the counts with regard to control of Senate seats.CHAOS USE TO BE POSITIVE
The 2016 elections were deeply influenced by the political chaos during Trump's campaign, with many voters specifically looking for a dramatic shake up of the status quo.
Today, the exact opposite socio-political sentiment exists.
Most voters have been inundated with divisive, destabilising rhetoric and their appetite for further chaos is over. Many traditional conservative voters have begun to shift their mentality from the optimistic, often idealistic belief that Trump will improve their personal circumstances, to a more negative ideology that the United States future is unstable.
The chaos that gave Trump his 2016 surge, with promises of changing the political system and improving individual voters circumstances, has now become an Achilles’ heel. Ideals established by the 2016 Trump campaign are now antiquated.
The result of this ongoing chaos can also be seen in the shift of financial campaign contributions trending towards a Biden election. For the month of June, Biden's campaign raised a substantially greater amount than any time prior, indicative of this trend.
Although Trump continues to lead in total campaign contributions, much of this support came in earlier months prior to the social and economic turbulence. The Trump campaign has now seen a leveling off in contributions with comparison to the Biden funds raised. Details of the total contributions can be reviewed on the FEC website. [2]LONG TERM DECLINE IN THE ECONOMY
The current trends indicate a long lasting decline in the overall American economic engine, negatively impacting substantial numbers of voters during election season.
The most recent GDP release of data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) indicates a compounding negative decline for the year. Their own report states, "Real gross domestic product (GDP) decreased at an annual rate of 32.9 percent in the second quarter of 2020, according to the 'advance' estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the first quarter of 2020, real GDP decreased 5.0 percent." [3]
The reality of this suggests the economy was already seeing contraction into March (-5%), with a now significant total decline of -32.9%. This contraction is greater than any prior year of GDP data recorded in United States history. Such large contraction will impact the economic engine for a substantive period of time.
More importantly, from the Department of Labour's own release of economic data, the details note, "In the week ending July 25, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 1,434,000." [4] The same report goes on to state, "The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending July 11 was 30,202,498." This is a substantial number of claimants.
It does not require further investigation to conclude that such significant negative numbers presented shortly before the elections are impacting the voting base across parties, and may be particularly bad for the incumbent in the White House.AMERICAN SOCIETY IS SHIFTING
Sociologic and enculturation trends indicate a continued strong movement away from the conservative roots, as minority voices grow and GOP cultural rhetoric continues to alienate this consequential voting bloc.
The trend continues for a gradual but strengthening momentum toward more liberal political ideology and fewer people voting conservative.
This growing shift away from conservative ideology has been exacerbated by the rhetoric used by the current administration. Gains in political left leaning ideals are being enhanced by not only statistic growth, but in counteraction to the assertive political push by the current administration.
Whereas the administration may have tempered the paradigm shift away from right leaning ideals, for instance by managing such a cultural shift with less divisive rhetoric and more subtle political pressures, they instead chose a methodology that perpetuates the very sentiments they oppose.
Although these very same tactics allowed Trump to win the electoral vote by a margin in 2016, some in the administration fail to recognise that there is a strong growing trend away from pessimistic, gloomy rhetoric.
The masses in the United States have been thoroughly overloaded by negative messaging.
Any candidate that comes across as hopeful, encouraging, and able to stabilise the socio-political context will have a clear advantage. As an incumbent, this is particularly challenging for Trump who has perpetuated negative sentiment as an integral component of his Presidency.
Biden’s campaign is now reaping the benefits not only of this cultural shift, but also the remarkably negative and destabilising messaging still coming from the administration.
Biden’s current growth is a reflection of the fulcrums of change occurring at the grass roots sociological levels and also a result of the administration's tactics for retaining control. The harder the administration appears to push divisive and negative rhetoric, the fewer swing voters are encouraged to side with Trump.ELECTION NIGHT NON RESULTS
The result of so many distinct but profoundly influential shifts in the trends will have a long term impact on the election.
Trends currently indicate Biden will win both the popular vote and the electoral votes by a margin. The existing administration will challenge a substantial number of facets of these results, drawing out voter counts through litigation and political means. It will not only be a legal and political battle to retain the White House, but also a major struggle to try to ensure GOP Senators' retain their seats.
There is of course the possibility of a last minute event that can foster a major paradigm shift on the election night.
However, trends show that the impact of such a singular event is highly unlikely to stop the projected loss of Republican Senate seats or to undermine an already accelerated cultural movement away from conservative support. Moreover, for any such last minute shift to have bearing on election night results requires underpinning economic stability and overt political successes.
Instead, the most likely scenario based on the currently established conduct from the administration, means that any final vote tallies and results will not be broadcast until December, where most likely the Supreme Court will intervene. During this delay, substantial behind the scenes negotiations between the incumbent and the incoming leadership will already be enabled.
One of the key ingredients to the peaceful transition of power will be political tools used to protect the Trump family from litigation following the January 2021 transition to a Democratic White House.NOVEMBER NEGOTIATIONS
Trump is most likely to concede if and when he receives the necessary political guarantees for preserving his family subsequent to the transition.
Some GOP backers will not fare as well, with little clout left, a handful of Republicans will endure protracted investigations and litigation.
The true beneficiaries of this turmoil will be leaders who already distanced themselves from Trump, including Mitt Romney, who will take a far more substantial leadership role in the "new GOP" going forward.
Moreover, it is important to emphasise that Senator Romney retains his standing as one of the most important conservative leaders, regardless of election night results. This is seen overtly by the fact that his experience and political clout allowed the inclusion of the TRUST Act to become integral to the latest Republican "federal coronavirus stimulus bill."
Of course, much of this is speculation based on trend analysis 90 days out. Some of the foundations for such conclusions are established in the socio-political trends and historical events in the United States.
Hence, it is unlikely that an administration which has taken such aggressive cultural and political tactics would suddenly shift its methodology nearing the election night. Regardless how the voting results arrive, the planning around protecting Trump and his inner circle has already begun.
Any new administration and new Senate leadership will need to prepare for the eventuality of vital negotiations, to ensure the peaceful transition of power in January.TRANSITION WITH TURMOIL
Besides the transition occurring in the midst of a severely decaying economic climate, it will also occur by and between two parties that have been deeply divided by forceful political rhetoric and tactics.
Any transition is most likely to include very limited handover, as well as general issues with retaining information and data from the past four years of operation. Moreover, underlying contentious ideology between parties will exacerbate delays in transition timelines and deliverables.
In most of the positive scenarios, the transition will occur, but not without extensive turmoil.OTHER SCENERIOS
Many of the socio-political events that have taken place in 2020 were previously categorised as "unrealistic" and highly unlikely. It is for this reason that the peaceful transition of power in the United States, come January 2021, may not necessarily unfold.
There is the unique possibility that an alternative scenario weighs in last minute, as the election looms.
In most cases the trends show overall Democrats making gains this election, albeit by margins. But there is the distant possibility that the military leadership of the United States may be required to intervene and address uncertainty regarding the transition of power. This direct military intervention of the political process in the United States is already being evaluated by a variety of leaders in Washington.
Moreover, it is also a possibility that Trump, seeing a potential loss, will concede prior to election night allowing Mike Pence the presidency, to ensure the Trump family receive exoneration guarantees needed to provide a peaceful transfer of power.
Unfortunately, although some of these potential scenarios are unusual, in this current political climate they remain a distinct possibility.AMERICA AT CROSSROADS
Current socio-political and cultural trends show the Democratic Party as marginal winners going into 2021, leading the country during a particularly challenging economic period where the divisiveness and instability have reached new heights.
Unemployment numbers, social instability, crime and overall failures in structural function across the United States will require particularly out-of-the-box solutions, similar to the major economic recovery plans under Roosevelt beginning in 1932.
This tenuous period of time, where the cultural divide is substantial and economic issues dominate day-to-day lives of Americans, will immediately begin to define the next administration and its survivability.
For any administration to succeed in the coming four years will require new and innovative approaches to the substantive issues so deeply rooted in the American systems and culture.
Mark Rais is the creator of the think tank Trend Analysis Network, writer for the technology and science industry and volunteer senior editor for an on-line magazine. He has published several books and written numerous articles on the topics of macro-economics, technology and society.
SOURCES
[1] https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/polls/president-general/arizona/
[2] https://www.fec.gov/data/browse-data/?tab=raising
[3] https://www.bea.gov/data/gdp/gross-domestic-product
[4] https://oui.doleta.gov/press/2020/073020.pdf

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