ChrisWeigant.com

Archive of Articles in the "Economics" Category

Biden's Closing Message Has Been There All Along

[ Posted Tuesday, October 20th, 2020 – 15:04 UTC ]

This is the phase of the presidential election when all the pundits start talking about what the candidates' "closing message" either is, will be, or should be. For Joe Biden, the closing message really should be one that has been there all along. In fact, it's the underpinning of pretty much everything Biden has campaigned on, whether explicit or merely implied. It's also easy to state and it is already on the minds and lips of voters everywhere. It is such a simple message that I identified it long before Joe Biden even became the Democratic nominee.

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Friday Talking Points -- Battling Townhalls Show A Clear Choice

[ Posted Friday, October 16th, 2020 – 16:56 UTC ]

The second wave of the pandemic now appears to be upon us. Yesterday, over 60,000 new coronavirus cases were reported in the U.S. That number has been heading upward all week, in fact. And it's higher than it has been since the last wave hit (some call the impending wave the third wave, due to the two previous spikes, we should point out). And we are less than three weeks away from the presidential election.

This, more than any other factor, may become the key reason Donald Trump loses. Sure, we're all tired of hearing about the pandemic (and have been for quite some time). But then Trump caught it, which relaunched it back onto center stage in the political arena. Although he quickly recovered, for once Trump could not manage to change the storyline. And now it looks like the fall/winter wave is here. This will mean COVID-19 will, once again, lead most news coverage. For the next week (at the very least), stories will again appear about overwhelmed doctors and hospitals. It will be on everyone's mind.

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Are Republicans Getting Worried?

[ Posted Thursday, October 15th, 2020 – 16:27 UTC ]

Are Republicans getting worried about the outcome of the upcoming election? This is a real possibility at this point, given the polls. After all, if the Democrats have a very big night three weeks from now, Republicans may be cast out into the wilderness for at least the next two years. And just like the robins return in the spring, if there is a Democratic president and the Democrats control both houses of Congress, Republicans are going to try everything in their power to sabotage Joe Biden's first two years in office. They did so before, back in 2009, when Mitch McConnell told his fellow Senate Republicans that their only goal was to "make Barack Obama a one-term president." That didn't really work out for them, but they did manage to claw back majorities in Congress.

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Electoral Math -- No Sympathy Polling Bump For Trump

[ Posted Monday, October 12th, 2020 – 17:58 UTC ]

It's Monday, so it is time once again to take a look at the state-level polling for the presidential race. I have to point out as a reminder, right up front, that no matter what the national-level polling shows, it simply does not matter to how we actually elect our presidents, as both Al Gore and Hillary Clinton can easily attest to. This is why I never even mention these numbers in this column series.

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Friday Talking Points -- Is Trump Trying To Lose?

[ Posted Friday, October 9th, 2020 – 17:55 UTC ]

It seems that it is now time to ask a very strange question: Is Donald Trump actually trying to lose the election?

As astounding a question that is, there are really only two answers to it: yes or no. Either Trump is intentionally torpedoing his chances of re-election, or he is just trying to re-run his 2016 playbook in the hopes that it'll produce the same miraculous victory for him. But either way, what is becoming more and move evident is that President Donald Trump is currently losing. Bigly.

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Taking The Long View

[ Posted Thursday, October 8th, 2020 – 17:01 UTC ]

Today, I'd like to step back from the fray of the current political campaign season. I know, I should be racking my brains for "fly in the ointment" or "waiter, there's a fly in my soupy Vice President" jokes right now, but today I will leave that sort of thing to others. Because instead I'd like to pull back to 30,000 feet and take a much wider and longer view of the shifting political landscape in this country. Because there seems to be some slow-moving tectonic shifts at work which might influence our politics long beyond this November's election.

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Vice-Presidential Debate Thoughts

[ Posted Wednesday, October 7th, 2020 – 21:14 UTC ]

Two down, two to go.

Continuing my "I watch them so you don't have to" commitment, tonight I watched the vice-presidential debate between Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Kamala Harris in full. Boiled down to one thought, my main takeaway was that I seriously doubt that tonight changed any voter's mind out there.

I thought both candidates did OK -- not great, not bad, just OK. I thought that they both had a gameplan and pretty much stuck to it, and I thought both had weak moments as well as strong. All in all, I'd largely call it a draw, although my personal bias would have to give Kamala Harris the edge, in the end.

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Biden Gets A Chance To Make His Case

[ Posted Tuesday, October 6th, 2020 – 16:35 UTC ]

Last night, Joe Biden gave the debate performance we all wished we had seen last week. Now, that statement isn't strictly accurate, since the event Biden appeared at last night was a townhall meeting with undecided voters and not an actual presidential debate. Also, the reason we didn't see this performance last week was because the incessant noise and bluster from Donald Trump made it all but impossible to hear what Biden was actually saying. Nevertheless, last night's performance was indeed what most voters should have watched instead of last Tuesday's debate.

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Friday Talking Points -- October Schadenfreudefest

[ Posted Friday, October 2nd, 2020 – 15:59 UTC ]

Late last night, the political world began reeling from what could be the biggest October surprise in a generation (at the very least), as the White House announced that President Donald Trump and his wife First Lady Melania Trump had tested positive for COVID-19.

This was greeted in some quarters as not so much an October surprise as (to coin a term) an October schadenfreudefest. If there is any one individual who richly deserves to contract the coronavirus, after all, it is Donald Trump. Trump has pooh-poohed the virus from the very first, insisting that it will magically go away ("by April, when the weather warms up"), that it isn't that big a deal ("it's like the flu"), that testing is unnecessary, that it affects "almost no one," that most people get a mild case and recover, that many don't even know they've got it, that children "get the sniffles" (no big deal), that we've already defeated it ("we've turned the corner"), that it's all in the past, that getting the economy going again and getting kids back to school is more important than any imagined risk, and -- worst of all -- that wearing masks and social distancing and all that stuff is for sissies and definitely not for real macho men like him. Or to put it another way, the karma wasn't instant, but it caught up to Trump in the end.

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Schumer Successfully Trolls Republicans

[ Posted Thursday, October 1st, 2020 – 16:42 UTC ]

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer managed a rather extraordinary feat this week -- he forced a Senate floor vote on a bill designed to become campaign ad fodder for Democratic challengers to vulnerable Republicans. This is notable, because normally the Majority Leader Mitch McConnell controls what gets floor votes, not the minority party. And it was even more notable because five Republicans voted for it out of sheer terror of it being used in an ad against them. Three others didn't take the bait, and can now expect such ads to begin airing soon.

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