All That and a Bag of Mail: Analyzing Biden vs. Trump

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It’s Friday and later this afternoon, I am headed up to Knoxville for this weekend’s game between Alabama and Tennessee.

I will be there in person to watch Alabama run roughshod over Tennessee in Neyland Stadium.

It will be the first Alabama-Tennessee game I’ve attended in person since I ran through the T while writing “On Rocky Top” back in the fall of 2008.

Big news, next week online sports gambling will officially be legal in Tennessee. Right now you can sign up and get $50 free just for signing up. All you have to do is click this link and you’ll get your money credited and be ready to roll as soon as they flip the switch and all Tennessee sports gambling is legal.

It’s not getting a ton of attention, but the SEC is set to play four more games this weekend, meaning in the first five weeks of their season they will have played 30 of the 32 games scheduled for competition.

All with fans present.

That’s pretty extraordinary when you consider all the fear porn projections out there.

By Sunday, half the league will have played half of their regular seasons. Given that bye weeks and an extra week on December 12th still exist, it’s fair to say the odds of a completed season are very high. It’s 2020 so anything can happen. But 30 out of 32 games, that’s 93.75% of games being played as scheduled, is a testament to the conference.

The SEC has managed its schedule, at least so far, better than the NFL and any other college football conference.

As if that weren’t enough positivity for you, the Big Ten is also set to play tonight and tomorrow, providing further evidence that the coronabros in sports media have lost every battle they tried to fight.

All sports, especially college football, are set to be roaring back throughout the rest of the fall.

And I couldn’t be more excited about it.

You can celebrate by signing up for the OutKick VIP and registering for our event in Knoxville tomorrow. Right now you get the added bonus of 30% off for VIP memberships.

Okay, here we go with the mailbag.

Raven writes:

“After last night’s debate, who wins the election?”

Well, Trump did what he needed to do. He absolutely smoked Biden in the debate.

But did it come too late to have a substantial impact in the battleground states? That’s a big question. And the bigger question, honestly, remains what’s going to happen with Hunter Biden’s laptop and that story? Will the mainstream media continue to pretend this isn’t a story at all, or will more media acknowledge that the details alleged against Biden and his family are far more significant than anything that has been alleged about Trump and his family?

I mean, can you imagine if there were emails alleging Donald Trump, Jr. had taken payments from Ukraine and China and funneled money to his father as a part of those payments? It would be the number one story in America.

Hell, Democrats impeached the president for asking the president of Ukraine to look into the exact allegations that the emails seem to reflect. I still don’t see how that’s an impeachable offense. Shouldn’t we want to know if our political figures — or their families — are profiting off shady business dealings predicated on holding elective office?

I mean, I think that’s a no brainer.

Of course we should.

So that’s looming out there as a major issue — and story — as well. I think it’s far more significant than Hillary Clinton’s emails.

As is, I believe Trump wins Florida, North Carolina, Georgia, Ohio and Iowa, five states the Biden campaign has been hoping to put into play. I also think it’s unlikely Trump flips any of the states he narrowly lost in 2016 that he’s been trying to put into play: Minnesota, Nevada and New Hampshire.

If I’m correct about all these states then the election will come down to the Midwest and Arizona, and Trump needs to win two of these four states: Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Arizona.

That’s the electoral college math.

There are many national polls out there, but those national polls don’t really matter at all. What matters are the state polls, which tend to be notoriously unreliable. That’s why I think it’s hard to forecast exactly what will happen on election night — or in the days and weeks after election night.

We know that many states aren’t going to be competitive, and there will be huge margins run up in them, which is why the national vote and the national margin doesn’t really matter. I think you can ignore most of the state results and lock in on Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Arizona.

Again, if Trump loses Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Iowa or Ohio then those states won’t matter and the election won’t be competitive, but I think he gets wins there, and it comes down to the Midwest and Arizona.

Greg writes:

“Have the debates convinced ANYONE to change their vote? Is it just confirmation bias for everyone watching?”

I think there are a handful of people who watch the debates and are still undecided, but at this point I think it mostly comes down to turnout. Who can get their supporters to the polls — or voting remotely — in the greatest numbers?

I’m curious how the Biden campaign will play the final two weeks of the election as that will give us an indication of what their data is telling them.

We know Trump will be having rallies in all the battleground states from now up until election day. But what about Biden? Will they keep him out of the public eye or try to avoid any gaffes and keep him mostly locked up in his house? I find it hard to believe they won’t have him out on the campaign trail, given how much Hillary was criticized for not making any appearances in the Midwest.

But we will see.

And then, like I said, what will the get-out-the-vote process look like for both parties?

I’m voting on election day, so I’m curious to see whether the polls will actually be less crowded because so many people are voting by mail and voting early that the crowds on election day itself will be less significant than normal.

Honestly, I have no real idea what to expect. (And I also know that my polling experience isn’t necessarily going to be representative of what the rest of the country experiences).

I’m just excited for the results to start to come in and for us to have actual data to discuss as opposed to people online arguing about poll results.

What’s indisputably true is that Trump is less of an underdog right now than he was in 2016 against Hillary. That is, Trump is closer in the swing state polls right now against Biden than he was against Hillary at the same time last election season.

So are the state polls accurate or not? Will turnout be much higher or not? We’ll finally get the data to analyze in 12 days.

What’s also indisputably true, by the way, is we are headed for a 2024 election without an incumbent. If Trump wins, he’ll be term limited out and if Biden wins, I just don’t see any way he’s running for re-election at 82.

So 2024 is set to be an absolute battleground, the likes of which we have never seen before.

Lauren writes:

“What is your honest real opinion on how this election plays out? Where do you see us in 30 days?”

As I said above, I think it comes down to Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Arizona, with Trump needing to win two out of four of these states to be elected.

But I think you have to make Biden the favorite just based on the number of states he’s competing in that Trump won vs. the number of states Trump is competing in that Hillary won.

Right now Biden is trying to flip: Florida, North Carolina, Georgia, Iowa, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Arizona and Wisconsin.

Trump is trying to protect all of these states above and flip: Nevada, New Hampshire, and Minnesota.

So we’re talking about Biden competing in nine states that Trump won and Trump competing in three states that Hillary won.

This means Biden has multiple different paths to the White House and Trump has less.

In general, I’d rather be in the position of having more paths to winning than less.

But, as I said above, I think Trump will keep most of his states, and it comes down to the Midwest and Arizona.

And I believe it’s going to be super tight and there will be battles in multiple states over who actually won the election. I think we ultimately end up in the longest battle over who won Pennsylvania, which is the state that will ultimately determine who wins the presidency.

It’s interesting how the country has shifted, by the way. In 2000 it was Florida that decided the election. By 2008 and 2012 it was all about Ohio. And now both of those states are (potentially) in the Republican quiver, and we’ve moved on to Pennsylvania as the tipping point state.

I don’t think we will know who won the election on election night, and I think November could get ugly before everything is decided.

Danny writes:

“The threat of a shutdown is a big factor in the election. If Trump wins, does he open up the states as quickly as possible and pressure them to do so since they may no longer receive the fed bailout they wanted, or will Blue States stay closed out of spite?”

I think things with COVID will get much better once the election is decided because a huge part of the COVID debate right now is based on politics not science.

COVID hitting in the middle of the most contentious election year of our lives is the worst timing possible. I really think if this happens in, say, 2021 instead of 2020, the media attention is a fraction as driven by fear porn as it has been this year.

Many people on the Democratic side, and I really believe this, see COVID as their opportunity to get Trump out of office. I mean, think about it, without COVID, how good is the economy right now? The best of all time.

I don’t think anyone beats Trump without COVID, which is why Biden’s entire campaign has essentially become based on COVID.

The interesting thing here, however, is that as a result of federalism, we’ve seen a wide variety of different state responses to COVID. And, if anything, the president has actually respected the rights of mayors and governors to make the decisions for their constituents that they believe best fit the situation on the ground.

Indeed, far from being some power hungry dictator, which is what Democrats alleged he was, Trump has actually deferred to the states and local politicians a great deal when it came to their decisions. That’s why blaming Trump for schools and businesses being shut down rings very hollow for most people with a functional brain.

The president has made it clear that he believes schools and businesses should be open, but it’s local Democratic officials in the cities and states who are shutting down schools, not the president.

Right now the Southern states have done the best job in the country of managing the virus and simultaneously keeping the states open and allowing people to continue to work.

That’s why the unemployment rates in red states are much lower than blue states.

I mean, look at the data yourself, 12 of the 13 lowest unemployment rates in the country are in red states.

Meanwhile the nine states with the highest unemployment rates are all blue states.

And some of these blue states are insanely high when you look at their rates of unemployment. Especially when you combined that with their death and infection rates. It’s not like the blue states have done better with the virus than the red states. They have shut down their states, still had large numbers of infections, and they’ve simultaneously tanked their economies in the process.

New York and California have unemployment rates of 9.7% and 11%, respectively. Both states are economic disasters relative to the rest of the country. Meanwhile Florida and Texas, which have (mostly) been open for months and had similar rates of infection as New York and California, have an unemployment rate of 8.1% and 7.6%. There’s no reason why New York and California couldn’t have had the same economic results as Florida and Texas. If they’d done so, we’d be talking about millions more jobs and the national unemployment rate probably dropping by another couple of percentage points. Plus, we’d be talking about much lower rates of death, since New York alone still has more deaths than Florida and Texas combined.

This is why New York Governor Andrew Cuomo taking a victory lap and bragging about how well he handled the virus is so insane. He truly couldn’t have done a worse job, both in terms of deaths and economic blight.

He failed on both fronts, massively.

An interesting window into the divergent responses is what’s happened in California with Disneyland and what’s happened in Florida with Disney World. Disney World has been open for months and there hasn’t been a single case–not one!–of COVID spread traced to the Florida park. Every other Disney park in the world is open outside California, but Gavin Newsom, the governor of California, is insisting on an unreachable goal of viral spread before he’ll allow the park to open back up in his state.

That means Disneyland is going to be closed for well over a year before it opens again.

That’s why you’re seeing an interesting schism opening between California Democrats like former Disney CEO, Bob Iger, who is allied with business interests, and California Democrats like Gavin Newsom who are allied with the fear porn spreaders.

Really, honestly, what you’re talking about in many ways is the difference in how people work. The more educated you are, as a general rule, the more you are able to work remotely. That’s why the chattering class, the blue checkmarks on Twitter for instance, aren’t really suffering from the shutdown. It’s easy to tell people to stay at home when your job doesn’t really change at all if you’re working at home or in an office.

These are also, by the way, the people most active on social media too. If you’re paving roads or teaching kids, you probably don’t have a lot of time to be checking your phone during the day.

But what about everyone else, the people who have to work in public-facing jobs and aren’t employed by the government? Your restaurant servers, bartenders, hotel workers, construction workers, tour guides, retail workers, the people who come face to face with the public every day. These people live paycheck to paycheck, and they have no ability to earn their wages working remotely.

Worst of all, even if their jobs are still open, they may not be able to do them because schools are shut down and they lack affordable child care for their children. School, for many parents, is subsidized child care. That’s the reality. Once your kids are kindergarten age, you can rely on schools to educate and take care of your children every day, allowing many moms and dads to work. But if schools aren’t open, you leave many parents in a bind, especially single parents without substantial support structures.

Who is in the biggest bind because of COVID? The most economically disadvantaged parents. They are likely not to have reliable Internet or wi-fi at home. They are likely to lack reliable computers. Their kids are falling further and further behind the more affluent children.

As a public school kid who attended K-12 in Nashville schools, I didn’t grow up with a computer in my house that had access to the internet. I didn’t have an email address until I went away to college. I have no idea how I would have been able to do any school work if schools had shut down like this for me.

I got a scholarship to George Washington University and knocked out my first year of college taking AP courses in high school. I didn’t have my own computer in college until my senior year. Prior to that, I used campus computer labs.

How can you take, and score well, on AP courses when you’re remote learning and lack reliable education infrastructure? How can you prove you can compete with kids from richer, more advantaged schools when those kids are in school every day in person, and you can’t even get on a computer yourself?

It’s madness.

Now I’m not trying to claim I was some horribly disadvantaged kid. I wasn’t. We were solidly middle class, but I do think I understand, more than most people in positions of media prominence, what being a regular public school kid is like. And what challenges exist out there for kids like me.

It’s just wild how little actual debate there has been about shutting down schools for a year over a virus that poses almost zero danger to kids or teachers. It’s pure insanity. The data should govern everything here, and it’s not.

And that’s incredibly troubling to me, regardless of what your political beliefs are.

Okay, I’m headed up to Knoxville as soon as Fox Bet Live is finished this afternoon.

Thanks, as always, for supporting OutKick, and I hope to see some of you at the Alabama-Tennessee game this weekend.

Written by Clay Travis

Clay Travis is the founder of the fastest growing national multimedia platform, OutKick, that produces and distributes engaging content across sports and pop culture to millions of fans across the country. OutKick was created by Travis in 2011 and sold to the Fox Corporation in 2021.

One of the most electrifying and outspoken personalities in the industry, Travis hosts OutKick The Show where he provides his unfiltered opinion on the most compelling headlines throughout sports, culture, and politics. He also makes regular appearances on FOX News Media as a contributor providing analysis on a variety of subjects ranging from sports news to the cultural landscape. Throughout the college football season, Travis is on Big Noon Kickoff for Fox Sports breaking down the game and the latest storylines.

Additionally, Travis serves as a co-host of The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show, a three-hour conservative radio talk program syndicated across Premiere Networks radio stations nationwide.

Previously, he launched OutKick The Coverage on Fox Sports Radio that included interviews and listener interactions and was on Fox Sports Bet for four years. Additionally, Travis started an iHeartRadio Original Podcast called Wins & Losses that featured in-depth conversations with the biggest names in sports.

Travis is a graduate of George Washington University as well as Vanderbilt Law School. Based in Nashville, he is the author of Dixieland Delight, On Rocky Top, and Republicans Buy Sneakers Too.


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  1. As usual, you nailed it on every topic, reflecting what I believe the majority of Americans think, at least privately.
    It is madness on the Covid front. And the ‘powers that be’ have learned that it is the one thing that can be used in the future to exert maximum control. The combination of fear of sickness, for yourself and your loved ones, with the added virtue and peer acceptance of caring more for others, whether you mean it or not, has been very, very successful.

    • Very well said, I had the thought walking into a store this morning putting my mask on, and I thought to myself “the only reason I’m wearing this is the same reason I cannot wear a pro Trump T-shirt in public” because you expose yourself as a punching bag to the idiot Karens looking for a fight.

      I think 90% of the “caring” that you see, particularly from celebs is nothing more than posturing.

  2. To Clay’s point on schools, I knew it was bullshit to keep them closed months ago. My Son has been in day camps since early June. As a result of nothing bad happening at his camp, we held his birthday party in late July and invited a dozen kids, we had a big water bouncy and a great time. The Adults all stayed 6 feet apart, and no one got sick, no one died. I took some subtle shaming from people who didn’t like it, and I told one of them to fuck off.

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