Originally sent to VIXCONTANGO subscribers on July 22nd, 2019
This move by Trump – make no mistake about it – weakens even further Trump’s electoral chances in 2020. This debt ceiling explosion will infuriate the Tea Party (or should infuriate them) and even if Congressional Tea Party Lawmakers vote with Trump, the voters likely won’t in 2020. The whole premise of the Tea Party is small government and balanced budgets and all they see is Trump funding Pelosi’s agenda and ever bigger government. This will have a substantial impact on tea party voters and will suppress their turnout. To summarize, Trump has so far suppressed the Bannon voter (mid-west manufacturing renaissance/economic nationalists) with his weakness on China, the Ann Coulter voter (border wall) with his weakness on immigration and now the Tea Party voter (monumental deficits) with his weakness on budgetary matters. It is not possible for Trump to win with a coalition of one – evangelicals. This is almost as if Trump doesn’t want to get reelected in 2020 – which is likely what is going on here because the Presidency has been an enormous drain to his businesses and financial net worth. At this point, it looks like Trump’s landslide loss in 2020 is going to be bigger than McCain’s loss in 2008. And it doesn’t matter who the Democratic presidential candidate is.
If you don’t like my voter group analysis, I would like to point some more conventional polling stats for you. First of all, Trump has the lowest average approval rating of any President at 39%. He is 10 points below the lowest one on the list (Obama/Ford/Truman) which is pretty remarkable. He only has support of less than 40% of the population. But my political analysis focuses on hate more than love and the problem for Trump that just like Hillary he is more widely hated than loved. There is no bigger killer for a politicians than hate. It simply suppresses turnout and sends voters to the opposition. In 2016, it wasn’t that Trump won, but more that Hillary lost. My wife never supported Trump but she absolutely hated Hillary. At home, we have a Hillary in jail suit bobble head doll, not a Trump doll. Hillary simply had a lot of baggage from the Clinton presidency and particularly with Republican women who hated how she went after Clinton’s female accusers and stood by him throughout his cheating. Hillary brought with her a very specific “anti-Hillary” vote that numbered in the millions that doomed her REGARDLESS of who was going to be the Presidential choice of the Republican Party. You could have had a horse on the ballot and people would rather vote for the horse than Hillary. Trump is facing a very similar situation now even if the reasons why he is hated are drastically different. The point is he is hated. How can that hate be seen in the polls? Through disapproval rating. No President that ever reached a 50% disapproval rating in his first term got reelected. The last 2 such Presidents are named George HW Bush and Jimmy Carter. On the charts below, it is the size of the red that matters more than the size of the green. While many Presidents like Truman, Lyndon Johnson or George W Bush had horrible disapproval ratings in their second terms all of them were never at 50%+ disapproval ratings in their first terms.
I know it is fashionable/establishment thinking that 2020 will play out like 2016 and Trump will spring the big surprise and pull out another Hail Mary, but that is the intellectually lazy way out. Just like in 2016, it was the intellectually lazy way out to think that Hillary will win in a landslide and ignoring the closeness in the polls in key states. It is just that a deeper dive into the stats doesn’t validate either of these theses. And if you watch football, you know a Hail Mary pass wins one game a year. You can’t win a championship with a Hail Mary every single game. You just don’t get the chance. The problem for Trump is that 2020 is not going to be close at all. Neither Biden, nor Harris, nor Warren carries Hillary’s baggage.
Originally sent to VIXCONTANGO subscribers on October 19th, 2019
Trump Going Out in a Blaze of Glory
On the political front, increasingly it seems to me that Trump is trying to get impeached. His decision to abandon the Kurds to be slaughtered by Turkey makes absolutely no sense in any form or fashion. Even if you believe in US withdrawing from the Middle East, you don’t leave battle allies to be slaughtered like that. US troops may not fight but just their presence can prevent aggression and slaughter. His decision to grant Trump Doral the business of hosting the G7 also makes no sense. Politicians back in the day would hide conflicts of interest like that. Trump is announcing it publicly. Getting the government to spend money on your own business like this is very brazen. It is interesting to note that Trump Doral has been hammered in revenues and income since Trump became President. Trump is losing $50-$100 million per year there. Trump is a businessman and businessmen measure their self-worth with their income. These are big losses for Trump. At some point he will just want to go back to making money. So his bizarre actions lately scream “IMPEACH ME”. These aren’t some Twitter antics anymore. Foreign policy or corruption transgressions are acts for which he can legitimately get impeached.
I think Trump actually wants to get removed from office. Then he can complain about the “Deep State” on his own TV network to big ratings for the remainder of his life. I was doing some basic preliminary election analysis and the initial estimate is that Trump will lose by somewhere between 5 to 8 million votes in 2020, with Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, North Carolina, New Hampshire and Arizona voting against him. He will lose by minimum of 20 electoral votes. Believe it or not, despite being President for 3 years, he is polling 3% below where he polled in 2016 in the important states. Basically the suburbanites in Pennsylvania and Michigan that voted for him in 2016 and got hit with the SALT are not going to vote for him again in 2020. He has less support today. Trump is going to get blown out in 2020 regardless of the nominee. But the nominee is going to be Warren and if the nominee is Warren, it will be the biggest electoral win in history for Democrats. Follow this math here. Romney and McCain pulled about 60 million votes. That is the GOP hard core base – 60 million – which is not expanding. It is the same old white Baby Boomers. Trump got 63 million votes – or 3 extra million votes – because he wasn’t going to be a standard GOP president. But he disappointed. He turned out to be a standard issue Republican president in terms of policy. Tax cuts and military spending. These are the only accomplishments of his administration. He was dropping bombs on Afganistan, rocket attacks against Assad. Leaving the Kurds for slaughter is not going to wipe out the previous 3 years from people’s memory. In particular, his massive military budgets are there plain for everybody to see. Nobody is being fooled here. Trump is going to claim he is anti-military with a phantasmagorical military budget?!? Some of the 3 million extra that voted for him did that because he is a half-Democrat. They won’t be fooled again. There is no drug cost control, no infrastructure spending, nothing that would appeal to a conservative leaning Democrat. Some of the 3 million extra that voted for him, had a Supreme Court to rescue from liberal takeover. That is no longer an issue as courts are locked up for my lifetime with McConnell’s focused work in that area.
So that 3 million extra is not going to vote for him. I project half of those people – about 1.5 million will go back to vote Democrat. The number of Obama-Trump voters is estimated to be anywhere from 6.7-9.2 million. So I am vastly underestimating the number of voters that could switch from Trump to Warren. I am assuming only 20% conversion rate. If Trump goes back to 60 million and Warren picks up 1.5 million of disgruntled Trump voters and adds those to Clinton and Obama’s base of 66 million voters, we get about 67.5 million for Warren. So very preliminary estimate I have Warren 67.5 million and Trump 60 million. A difference of 7.5 million. You can’t overcome 5-8 million vote difference in the Electoral College. So Trump is looking at these numbers and impeachment route is the only way for him to get out in a blaze of glory. So an impeachment/resignation bomb is probably due any week now. Odds for Trump impeachment in his first term are at 75%. Odds for him resigning are at 25%.