The loyal remnant of RBC readers deserve one last chance to let off steam about Donald Trump.
Your budget foreign soothsayer predicts:
1. Based on current polls: Joe Biden will be elected President in November, quite comfortably (high probability, strong evidence, as the IPCC would say). Democrats will get a thin majority in the Senate (medium probability, weak evidence) and hold their 2018 gains in the House.
2. “In one year many things can happen. I may die. The king may die. And perchance the horse will learn to sing.” Biden, Trump and Murdoch are all old men, living like me through a dangerous pandemic. Life insurance salesmen are not queuing at our doors. There is a significant chance the election will not be between Biden and Trump. Suppose it’s a contest between Abrams and Hawley? The best you can say is that Ms Generic Democrat beats Mr Generic Republican. Fox News either stays the same or implodes; the upside is all for the Democrats.
3. Current polls do not reflect the full impact of the coronavirus disaster. Trump’s increasingly unhinged behaviour (injecting disinfectant? WTF?) suggests his lizard brain fears the worst, and it’s right to do so.
Cumulative US deaths today are 50,000, about at the peak daily rate. The total death toll will therefore be at least 100,000. Check: Spain today, well past the peak, is at 22,000. Say ultimate toll of 25,000. Scale up to the USA by population (x 7.6) and you get 190,000. Spain, after a poor start, now has a well-enforced national lockdown, credible plans for a phased exit, and a decent income support safety net. The poor US safety net is leading to a chaotic and premature lockdown exit, giving the pandemic a long tail and ensuring an anaemic economic recovery. These predictions are pretty safe. Together they could easily lead to a wave election defeat for Trump and his party, on a par with 1932.
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On behalf of all us bloggers, a heartfelt thank you to all our readers and commenters over the years.