The headline here might look as if I have decided to bet on “Steady Wins the Race” Biden, but that is not true. This is just where I am now in my handicapping.
Sticking with my horse-racing analogy (I lost $6 at Emerald Downs today!), the field has just entered the paddock. The announcer has listed the entries’ weights, and there are some jockeys who could have dropped a few more pounds in the sweat box. There’s a ways to go before the starting gates open and the wire is crossed.
We’re gathering information now, leading to our final bet. Listening to the touts, weighing pieces of information, making pencil notes on our Daily Racing Form. These notes may not determine whom you think will win, but they need to be considered.
I’m watching some sticky points as the race approaches. We got some work-out figures that move around how these horses will line up, who’s backing them and whether they will still be there at the finish on Nov. 3.
In relationship to the presidential race, these are preliminary events, but they do influence a betting man’s mind. At least they do mine. Now listed in the past performances (PP) are these primary races:
Missouri? Moving my undecided Missouri electoral votes into the Biden barn. Cori Bush walked straight from the Black Lives Matter protests into the House of Representatives, taking down a 10-term congressman who took over the seat from his father. So long, Clay family, after 50 years. This is only one district in St. Louis and might not say much about the rest of the state and the “independent” farmers banking on government subsidies. But enough of those farmers voted for an expansion of Medicaid to win statewide approval. If you want to see an urban-rural divide look here.
Arizona: Phoenix voters put an 88-year-old, has-been sheriff within 500 votes of someone who does not have Joe Arpaio’s problems (“$147 million in taxpayer-funded legal costs, a failure to investigate more than 400 sex-crime complaints made to the sheriff’s office and launching criminal investigations against judges, politicians and others who were at odds with him,” according to the Associated Press). Those voters probably hadn’t heard of the Democratic Party, whose candidate, Paul Penzone, will hand whoever wins the GOP primary a large defeat in the general election. But those same voters may swing the 11 electoral votes over to Quadruple Bogey tRump.
Michigan, known as That State up North to those of us from Ohio, is edging over to the Steady Joe camp based on Rashida Tlaib winning big time over the president of the Detroit City Council. Big city, big win, maybe a move away from all the wrong-headed things they do up there. We’ll see.
Kansas: Despite the defeat of Kris “No vote or immigrant above suspicion” Kobach there, I’m leaving those six electoral votes in the dung pile outside the barn.
You might say this looks like Biden the Tortoise may win the race, but as a friend from Montana says, “Still too close to be scary.”
P.S. Right now I’m in the same camp as Allan Lichtman, who says that the hardest part of handicapping presidential elections is “keeping your politics out of predictions.” Probably did not do that very well.