Last question: The election ends on Tuesday. National polling has consistently shown a substantial lead for Biden. What is your message to people who think that this thing is done?
Cahaly: I don’t think it’s done. Some of these national polls are not even taking into consideration the fact that Republicans have closed the gap with voter registrations. I don’t think they’re taking into account the number of low-propensity voters who are voting and who will vote on Election Day. I don’t think they’re measuring people’s genuine opinions. And I think [pollsters] are just not going to see it coming.
There’s a lot of hidden Trump votes out there. Will Biden win the popular vote? Probably. I’m not even debating that. But I think Trump is likely to have an Electoral College victory.
Kapteyn: I will be really surprised, given our own numbers, if there isn’t a very sizable gap between Biden and Trump in the popular vote—in favor of Biden. But in the states? I don’t know.
Cahaly: I like your skepticism.
There are going to be millions of people who vote for the first time in this election. That’s not just about Gen Z but it is also because people have more time. There are millions of people out of work and it’s an excuse to get out of the house or to spend half an hour filling in a form before mailing it. Turnout is likely to be the highest in decades. California alone could ensure Joe Biden wins a popular vote majority of 3 or 4 percent. Yet, the electoral college is likely to be a lot closer.
I have a lot of sympathy with the shy Trump voter theory. I know perhaps four people in my friends’ circle who are willing to confide in private they will vote for Trump. Three of them are Jewish. Moving the capital of Israel to Jerusalem and normalising relations with an increasing number of Arab countries is important to them.
The challenge for Democrats is how they are going to avoid being cast as anti-Semitic. Many recent emigrants to the US and, UK for that matter, are from majority Muslim countries where anti-Semitism is de rigeur. By focusing on championing the rights of new immigrants’ islamophobia is increasingly and rightfully unacceptable. However, if local protest graffiti is any guide, anti-Semitism is on the rise.
Obviously, it should not be an either/or scenario but there is a definite trend and the Muslim voting population is growing faster. How the UK’s Labour Party reconstitutes itself following the ouster of Jeremy Corbyn will likely offer insights in how the Democrat Party will meet this looming challenge.
The political landscape has long been accustomed to thinking about the voting priorities of Christians of all persuasions. That seems likely to evolve considerably in the coming years considering the demographic trends of who is having the most children.
In the meantime, a weak stock market heading into the election is not a positive development for the incumbent. It suggests investors are voting with their feet and that Trump is going to have hard time winning.Back to top