How Trump Can Win – The New York Instances
Good Morning. Republicans have the vote to confirm. Miami will reopen the classrooms. And many Americans are obsessed with the idea of a Trump comeback victory.
How Trump can win
Across the political spectrum, many Americans are obsessed with the idea that President Trump will claim another surprise victory this November. Today I want to see how such a victory could happen.
If the latest polls are perfectly accurate, Joe Biden will comfortably win, taking both the upper Midwest and several Sun Belt states. But they cannot be.
State-to-state polls could be systematic, as they were in 2016 when they underestimated Trump’s support for the white working class. Pollsters have tried to fix this problem and there’s no reason to believe they failed, as The Times’s Nate Cohn says. But polls are an inaccurate science made difficult by the decline in landline phones.
The bigger problem is that the campaign isn’t over yet and Trump may have some support in the past few weeks. One possibility is that the upcoming Supreme Court confirmatory battle will affect some conservative voters who are dissatisfied with Trump. If the campaign were a referendum on his presidency, they could vote for Biden. If the affirmation battle instead makes them ponder whether they are conservative or liberal, they could come home to Trump.
The Upshot’s poll scorecard provides a useful way to think about it: Trump will narrowly win re-election if the results differ from the current polls by as much (and in the same direction) as the 2016 results differ from the final polls differed.
In that scenario, he would likely still lose the referendum. But he would win any state where he leads or follows very closely, like Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, Ohio – and Arizona, where most polls show he’s lagging, but a new ABC / Washington Post poll this morning shows a virtual tie. Even with these, Trump would need one more, and the most likely is Pennsylvania, where Biden’s lead hovered 5 percentage points.
Just a few years ago Pennsylvania was more democratic than the rest of the country, but it has shifted to the right, fueled by its large number of non-college white residents. Trump is trying to address them by emphasizing both the hostility of many Democrats towards fracking (Biden’s own position is more nuanced) and the coronavirus lockdown imposed by the state’s Democratic governor, according to The Times’s Trip Gabriel, who reported on the state.
Notably, Trump is less behind in Pennsylvania than in Wisconsin or Michigan, two other states he won in 2016. “Pennsylvania must worry about the Biden campaign,” says Trip.
A Trump victory can bring another factor with it: controversial postal ballot papers. (Thomas Edsall, a Times Opinion writer, cites these ballots as one of five reasons Biden should be concerned.)
The Trump campaign has consistently tried to make the vote harder, believing that a low turnout will benefit the president. Last week, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court campaigned and ruled that electoral officials should not count mailed ballots that were received in a single envelope, instead of enclosing a second “confidentiality” envelope.
A local official told the Philadelphia Inquirer that the ruling could result in more than 100,000 completed ballots being discarded – or between 1 and 2 percent of the total likely to be cast.
More election news:
THREE GREATER STORIES
1. Romney supports Trump’s court ruling
Utah Senator Mitt Romney said he would support Trump’s push to fill the Supreme Court seat vacated by the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. His decision essentially ensures that Republicans can affirm a new justice.
Trump will announce his election on Saturday at 5 p.m., he said at a rally last night. Hoping to divert attention from the coronavirus, he is pushing for confirmation ahead of election day. Some Republicans would like to wait, hoping that the problem will lift the Conservative turnout and help the party maintain control of the Senate.
2. Miami plans to return to the classroom
Miami-Dade County’s Schools Board approved a plan for students to return to classrooms for full time starting next month. The reopening would make Miami-Dade, the fourth largest district in the US, the largest to get students back into class all day. (Families who prefer virtual learning are allowed to continue.)
In other virus developments:
3. Climate change is uprooting a community
Cameron Parish, a tight-knit coastal community in southwest Louisiana, is a place where families stay for generations. But as the changing climate has plagued the Gulf Coast with more frequent and violent hurricanes, residents are tormenting themselves over whether to rebuild homes and businesses or move.
Trump’s Legacy: In his first term, federal judges rejected a number of the president’s withdrawals of environmental legislation. A second term and a more conservative Supreme Court could help its administration secure these changes.
The future: The Times spoke to two dozen experts about the future of the climate crisis and the steps that could prevent the worst outcomes.
The following also happens
The House approved a spending bill to fund the government through December 11th.
Louisville residents await a decision from Kentucky’s Attorney General as to whether his office will bring charges against the police officers who shot Breonna Taylor at their home in March.
In a video Op-Ed, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya tells the story of her transformation from a mother who stays at home to a leader of a Belarusian revolution.
Lived life: Tommy DeVito grew up under difficult circumstances in New Jersey and was, in his own words, “a summoner of hell”. But he found a purpose when he got serious about music and formed a band called the Variety Trio. After a teenage singer named Frankie Valli joined the band, they found success as the Four Seasons. DeVito died of the coronavirus at the age of 92.
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IDEA OF THE DAY: End the boring breakfast
When the Mediterranean cook and food writer Edna Lewis grew up on a farm in Virginia in the early 20th century, her family gathered for a hearty breakfast of fried chicken, sweet potatoes and more. Lewis liked to describe breakfast as “roughly most of the day” as everyone greeted each other “with a real sense of gratitude to see the new day,” as Bee Wilson wrote in the Wall Street Journal.
Wilson’s essay is a nice request to more Americans to channel Lewis and forego their boring breakfast of cereal or toast. In many other countries this is the norm: breakfast is more like lunch or dinner than dessert. And the rhythms of pandemic life give Americans an opportunity to change something.
“For some people who work at home during the pandemic, it was easier to have breakfast later and at a more leisurely pace,” writes Wilson. “If you’ve already got coffee in your body and a Zoom meeting under your belt, you can branch out and turn to more brunch-like dishes – like a tangy shakshuka made from eggs poached in a rich cumin-scented tomato sauce and are topped with coriander. “
A personal postscript: I gave up my muesli breakfast a few years ago and switched to a combination of eggs, cheese, bread, fruit and vegetables. (Yes, vegetables.) I highly recommend it.
PLAY, WATCH, EAT, SURF
The bagels business
Beth George is officially a lawyer. Since 2013 she has been working day and night as one of the world’s most sought-after bagel consultants. She was largely self-taught and wrote her first bagel recipe on the back of a Lebanese cookbook. Since then, budding bakers from the Bahamas to Saudi Arabia have hired her to develop recipes and guide their business plans.
To bake: Try the classic no-knead bread, one of the most popular recipes The Times has ever published, to make it a little easier to make at home.
The biggest wave
Some of the highest waves on earth are in Nazaré, a Portuguese fishing port. A scientific team discovered that Maya Gabeira, a 33-year-old Brazilian woman, rode a 73.5-foot wave in February, the largest wave surfed in the 2019-20 winter season. This is a first for a surfer.
Seven years ago, Gabeira nearly died on a 50-foot wave, and her long recovery included three back surgeries.
Take a virtual tour of Montana, where trout abound and fly rod making is an art.
The nightly hosts responded to Romney’s decision to support Trump’s plan to quickly appoint a Supreme Court judge.
Here’s today’s mini crossword and a hint: thumbs up (three letters).
You can find all of our puzzles here.
Thank you for spending part of your morning with The Times. Until tomorrow. – David
PS The word “Ghostlings” first appeared in The Times yesterday, as noted by the Twitter bot @NYT_first_said.