that Donald Trump will be elected President of the United States on November 8. I mean, the guy just had about as bad a week as one can imagine, but some polls have him only a few percents behind and ahead in such states as Ohio and Iowa. I do not think that the VP debate will make much difference in the end, but Kaine pathetically lost to Pence.
The polls say so. I know there are "pundits" and various commentators noting that far more of what Kaine said was accurate than what Pence said, but this does not matter. Indeed, if this debate affects the final outcome it will do so by making lots of completely accurate statements Kaine made not be taken seriously at all by swing voters in the rest of the campaign. Why? Kaine acted like Trump and interrupted Pence 72 times (compared to only 55 by Trump in first prez debate), most crucially right up front in early boilerplate speeches by Pence. Given that more than half the voters do not know who either of these guys are, Kaine, who is a nice guy, managed to paint himself as an interrupting Trump-like jerk, thereby discrediting pretty much everything else he said in the debate except of course for committed Pollyanna Hillary supporters. Pence even pulled off a trick Hillary did not do of moderately shaking his head with a smirk while Kaine reeled off completely accurate statements. Probably the ultimate was when Pence got away with saying that Kaine was part of an "insult-led campaign" after Kaine repeated a string of insulting Trump quotes. But then, the VP debate probably will not mean too much, with the next prez debate pushing it off the media once that happens. Nevertheless, too bad Kaine blew it with an utterly assinine strategy.
So, what has me really worried if it is not the VP debate? It is that there are now two votes that have happened this year where I got a gut feeling that the widely predicted outcome would not come about. One of those was the June 23 Brexit vote. Not going to link to it, but just before it I posted that it was dead even, although my gut said it was going to win. As of the morning of the vote, the forecasters had its defeat at 90%, well over what anybody is forecasting probability of a win by Clinton. But Brexit won, 52-48%. I am not interested in discussing the pros and cons of that issue and outcome, other than to note that it looks like a similar complacency was involved. Young people who wanted to Remain so they could get jobs in Europe in the future only turned out 30% while retired people in rural England who do not have to worry about getting jobs but worry about England losing its identity to all those immigrants, turned out at 65% or so. Well, duh. If maybe those silly millennials now all upset about the outcome had not been taking so seriously all those forecasts of a 90% probability of Brexit going down, maybe they would have turned out and voted.
The other is the much more recent vote in Colombia to reject a long-negotiated peace agreement between the Colombian government and FARC after a 52-year old civil war, that vote proposition losing by 0,45%, despite massive forecasts of it passing. It is true that there was a weather event that influenced things, massive tropical storm on the Caribbean coast including Baranquilla, where pro-agreement sentiment was strong. Nevertheless this is a shocking outcome, and again, I had a bad feeling ahead of time that it might lose, although I had less reasons to think that than my feelings about either the Brexit vote or the upcoming presidential election, where the intensity of the pro-Brexit and pro-Trump voters can obviously and easily overwhelm a complacent electorate that thinks they can just sit around and twiddle their thumbs and Trump will not get elected. These people are very foolish (and, sorry, I have no use whatsoever for anybody who wants to try to convince me that Trump is really a progressive, blah blah blah, forget it. Pay attention to what Bernie has said about this election repeatedly and unreservedly).