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Questions Of The Day (Politics)
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Grant



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Not sure you're right about the news because it's certainly not the case in France. There the TV news seems to be about things which have happened in France: a fire here, a robbery there. The discussions about global warming, BLM, gayness and other tediosities are left to the late night talking head shows.
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Mick Harper
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No president since Calvin Coolidge has won without carrying Florida. Hence today's quiz question: How many law suits are there before the courts about how Florida votes are to be counted in 2020? Single figures, or double figures?

Wrong ball park, two hundred. This is the best one:
Republicans amend electoral law so that ex-felons may not vote
Democrats amend electoral law so they can
Republicans amend electoral law so they can but only if they've paid all their fines, court costs etc
Michael Bloomberg rides into town with $60 million to pay off felons' fines, court costs etc
Republicans want Bloomberg prosecuted for interfering in elections

They've got a point.
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Grant



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It's all academic though. The Democrats have made a massive error in supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. Latinos don't like civil unrest (they thought they escaped that when they came to America) or rioting black people. Current polls show 50% support for Trump among Latinos in Florida.
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Mick Harper
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So half of them like civil unrest. Interesting.
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Grant



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50 per cent is quite remarkable. Last time it was 30% across the country. If he achieves 50% in California he could win that state back but that seems a little far-fetched even for me.
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Mick Harper
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Psephologists are not supposed to reveal whuch outcome they personally favour, Grant. I personally favour Biden. It was an interesting experiment, and in slightly different hands probably ought to have run for another four years (and then wait and see), but I am satisfied that Trump is just too fruitcake for the health of the world. We shall have to renew syndico-liberalism some other way.
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Mick Harper
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Surely the penny will now drop. The issuing of this new Covid app, after such fanfare and so much time to get it right, but with absolutely glaring glitches, demonstrates beyond any remaining doubts that the civil service machine is broken beyond repair. We need a Northcote-Trevelyan 2.0.

The politicans are not to blame, they are meant to be amateurs. That principle must remain. Like the army and the police, it is too dangerous having efficiency in certain quarters.
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Mick Harper
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The Democrats have made a massive error in supporting the Black Lives Matter movement

Ir's early days but the fact that the Louisville événements have relatively fizzled out suggests that this latest cycle is over. Who remembers that women's lives used to matter before Me Too was swept into the dustbin of history by Black Lives? Not that these things are not useful, there is a ratchet effect and things never go back to normal when things get back to normal. But Match of the Day already seems out on a limb insisting that footballers kneeling down has to be shown every time. Lest we forget. Harrumph, says Disgusted of Tumbridge Wells and most other places.

As for the American election the fact that Trump is even in with a distant shout shows that Grant is correct to point to just how backward America is though not, I think, quite as backward as Grant thinks. So far as the silent majority goes, one would think that they are in for a quieter life under Biden than under Trump but then again are we sure the Silent Majority actually want a quiet life? In their own backyards, yes, we all do. But on telly? You wait till they get used to being a disengaged Great Power and not having American boys coming back in body bags. Ask the British! Not counting for anything gets some getting used to.
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Grant



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The Democrats had it in the bag. All they had to do was put forward a likeable, bland figure, preferably under 59. Instead they found a senile old codger and decided to promote black riots. Result, virtually no-one who supported Trump in 2016 will now support Biden. The Dem’s only chance now is for the rapidly-increasing Latino population to come to the rescue. But they dislike blacks more than the whites are supposed to.
Trump will win this time in a landslide.
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Mick Harper
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Unless this is wishful thinking, or you have a November surprise up your sleeve, you will have to explain why Biden is so significantly ahead in the polls.
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Grant



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Polls, schmolls. Trump has been so ridiculed in the press that there now truly is the existence of the shy conservative voter. Why would you admit to voting for someone the main stream media tell you is a stupid, misogynistic Russian-controlled racist?
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Mick Harper
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I suppose we ought to apply an AE rule and decide whether the 'shy voter' is is an old wive's tale i.e. 'what is is what was'. Politicos are often having to explain why they are behind in the polls and often come up with some rationale involving responders not telling the pollsters their true intentions, the only obvious reason being some form of shame (unless someone can think of another reason). Trump supporters are not noted for their shyness or their sense of shame but it would only require a proportion of intending Trump voters to bridge the gap.

However, Grant, you would have to point to this syndrome happening sometime, someplace before. Unless you are arguing that Trump is a one-off. It didn't happen in 2016 so that seems unlikely.
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Grant



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Didn’t it happen in 2016? My memory is that everyone said Trump had no chance and was a misogynistic, racist blowhard. On the eve of the election he was said by Nate Silver to have a 28% chance of winning. And other pollsters gave him a much slimmer chance. But he won. What was that if it wasn’t the shy Trump voter issue.

And you are making an epistemological mistake if you judge Trump supporters by the loud ones. Of course the ones on TV wear MAGA hats and make a lot of noise, but for every loud one there are legions who keep their faith in Trump to themselves.

Frankly my faith in him has disappeared if it ever existed. Do you know how many new miles of wall he actually built?
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Mick Harper
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And you are making an epistemological mistake if you judge Trump supporters by the loud ones.

I said the opposite.

Didn’t it happen in 2016? My memory is that everyone said Trump had no chance and was a misogynistic, racist blowhard.

Well he was, and everyone said so; he was behind in the polls, and everyone said that too.

On the eve of the election he was said by Nate Silver to have a 28% chance of winning. And other pollsters gave him a much slimmer chance.

Since he was behind in the polls this is a bit unavoidable.

But he won.

No, he didn't. He lost by 2% whereas the polls were showing about 5%. The margin of victory in three decisive states was far too small to be detectable by polling, even within these states.

What was that if it wasn’t the shy Trump voter issue.

Or some other factor because this is not only (just about) within the margin of error generally but polls cannot pick up very late surges. There was, you will recall, the November surprise about Hillary's e-mails. It happens all the time, everywhere. It might happen in 2020. And don't forget, pollsters have to cover their backs too and are forever coming up with some new factor they can't be blamed for not picking up. It was they who came up with the Shy Trumper theory but, unfortunately for your argument, that will already have been factored in by 2020 pollsters.
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Wile E. Coyote


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The problem for Trump is the elderly, they don't want to die early so naturally they will judge him on the pandemic.

I have to say it's a bit of a masterstroke by the democrats, fielding a frail old guy in a mask who has been mostly hidden away shielding for the period of the election.
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