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  Will we ever go into an election that is not considered a toss-up?
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Author Topic: Will we ever go into an election that is not considered a toss-up?  (Read 1574 times)
President Johnson
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« on: April 24, 2019, 03:35:54 pm »

Will we ever (next few cycles) go into a presidential election that is not considered a toss-up at all in the days leading up to election nights? I know 2016 was long not considered a toss-up, but polls were pretty close by early November. I remember that even in 2008 there was some uncertainty whether Obama would actually win. Will we see an election in the cycles were all pundits agree on who wins before the election? 1996 may have been the last such election since Bill Clinton was seen as very likely to get reelected.

I think there is almost no way in 2020 even if the Democrat leads in the polls because Trump shocked everyone in 2016. 2024 he may be different story if either Trump is extremely unpopular or an incumbent Democratic president such as Harris or Buttigieg is over 50% approval.
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Orser67
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« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2019, 07:10:59 pm »

2024 he may be different story if either Trump is extremely unpopular or an incumbent Democratic president such as Harris or Buttigieg is over 50% approval.

I think these are, more or less, the two most likely scenarios. Either a two-term president who is really unpopular drags down his party (like in 2008) or a popular one term president enters the race as a strong favorite (like in 1996). I expect we'll see at least one such election in the next five or so cycles.

I would also add that, while McCain did have a polling surge in September 2008, he was pretty consistently considered to be the underdog.
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FalloutBoy97
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« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2019, 07:16:19 pm »

The current age of 50-50 polarization has to give way eventually. Ultimately either one party will collapse nationally to the point where the other is a strong favorite to win, or an extremely unpopular candidate is written off months in advance due to poor approval ratings.
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Cory Booker
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« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2019, 01:12:36 am »

The current age of 50-50 polarization has to give way eventually. Ultimately either one party will collapse nationally to the point where the other is a strong favorite to win, or an extremely unpopular candidate is written off months in advance due to poor approval ratings.

Just like Trump is being written off
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The Mikado
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« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2019, 09:29:35 am »

I'd agree that 1996 was the last election that was clear who the winner was months out, but 2008, at least, was clear weeks out that Obama would win. It was pretty competitive for most of the year, but the financial crisis sank McCain hard and turned what would've been a fairly close race into a rout.

2000 is almost an exception the other way. W was a favorite going into the election and nearly lost anyway when the race was unexpectedly close.
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SuperCow
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« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2019, 02:55:17 pm »

Close elections are more newsworthy. So even if it isn't truly a toss-up, the media will try to make us think it is to create drama and better ratings.
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Some of My Best Friends Are Gay
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« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2019, 06:09:14 pm »

Close elections are more newsworthy. So even if it isn't truly a toss-up, the media will try to make us think it is to create drama and better ratings.
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NCJeff
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« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2019, 03:46:13 pm »

The current age of 50-50 polarization has to give way eventually. Ultimately either one party will collapse nationally to the point where the other is a strong favorite to win, or an extremely unpopular candidate is written off months in advance due to poor approval ratings.

Does it have to give way?  What if we live in a more "perfect" political market where both parties have figured out how to constantly optimize their appeal so that they have a floor of 45% support?
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ElectionsGuy
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« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2019, 11:00:47 am »

Surely. We always consider in the back of our minds the unlikely chance of the underdog winning and 2016 was one of those where it actually happened. Almost every major prognosticator and election analyst had a clearly superior chance of Hillary winning the election (a Lean D election, if you will) but the opposite happened with the electoral college victories having the necessary distributions for Trump to win. The last true toss-up election was arguably 2004, but Kerry underperformed exit polls and expectations making it a small but clear victory for Bush.
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Red Tide Rick
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« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2019, 09:32:59 pm »

2008 was not a toss up after the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy on September 15th. 

However, it was only 53/45 when it probably should have been like 59/38.  It is hard to have a presidential election not be close in this day and age.

If only Obama was the white kind of Democrat.
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Ilhan Apologist
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« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2019, 10:51:43 am »

2016 wasn't considered a tossup
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Old School Republican
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« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2019, 07:59:40 pm »

2008 was not a toss up after the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy on September 15th. 

However, it was only 53/45 when it probably should have been like 59/38.  It is hard to have a presidential election not be close in this day and age.

Even FDR didn't win by that margin in 1932
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Contest of Truth: Science Beats Religion
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« Reply #12 on: May 06, 2019, 09:35:42 pm »

By the idiot pundits at the start of an election cycle (such as Sabato Crystal Ball)? No
By rational people along with some pundit at the late end of an election cycle? Definitely
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adrac
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« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2019, 11:44:07 pm »

I wouldn't call any of 2008, 2012, or 2016 toss-ups. I don't think anyone would say that Obama had a less than 60% chance of winning either time, and although some people will say that 2016 should have been close to a 50-50, I don't really think the evidence was there at the time.
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Old School Republican
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« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2019, 08:00:15 pm »

2008 was not a toss up after the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy on September 15th. 

However, it was only 53/45 when it probably should have been like 59/38.  It is hard to have a presidential election not be close in this day and age.

Even FDR didn't win by that margin in 1932

Yes, but 1st term incumbent vs. open seat should be worth a couple %.

Nope, not for someone as unpopular as Hoover or with economic numbers as bad as Hoover had. If another Republican was nominated in 1932 , that Republican likely does better than Hoover
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Does the title even matter?
tara gilesbie
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« Reply #15 on: May 17, 2019, 08:14:59 pm »

Let's hope not. Just look at what passed for politics in 1996.
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brucejoel99
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« Reply #16 on: May 17, 2019, 09:13:17 pm »

Close elections are more newsworthy. So even if it isn't truly a toss-up, the media will try to make us think it is to create drama and better ratings.
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Calthrina950
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« Reply #17 on: September 08, 2019, 04:21:20 pm »

2008 was not a toss up after the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy on September 15th. 

However, it was only 53/45 when it probably should have been like 59/38.  It is hard to have a presidential election not be close in this day and age.

Even FDR didn't win by that margin in 1932

Warren G. Harding won 60-34% in 1920, as a non-incumbent. But as regards to the thread's question, I would hope that polarization eventually breaks. It is not a good thing for our country, if the current political conditions continue as they are.
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Grassr00ts
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« Reply #18 on: September 08, 2019, 09:28:14 pm »

I wouldn't call 2020 a tossup, or 2012 or 2008.
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Mister Mets
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« Reply #19 on: September 10, 2019, 03:11:44 pm »

It may be a while just because so many people didn't think 2016 was a toss-up until the unexpected candidate won.
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Reluctant Berniebro
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« Reply #20 on: September 10, 2019, 10:09:58 pm »
« Edited: September 10, 2019, 10:16:11 pm by IceSpear »

Pundits and media hype notwithstanding, the only debate among serious political analysts in 2008 was whether it was likely D or safe D.
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TrendsareUsuallyReal
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« Reply #21 on: September 10, 2019, 10:15:31 pm »

Pundits and media hype notwithstanding, the only debate among serious political analysts in 2008 was whether or not it was likely D or safe D.

Also Iím not convinced that 2016 was viewed as a tossup considering the vast majority of people expected Clinton to win.

I think thereís a good chance the opposite happens in 2020: everyone becomes so convinced that Trump will beat the odds again despite all the evidence (so far) suggesting heís anything but a lock to win again
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Old School Republican
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« Reply #22 on: September 10, 2019, 11:51:28 pm »

If Texas flips Dem , yes until map fully realigns .


On the other hand if GOP is able to turn WI and PA red as well while keeping Texas a Republican state than it will be true for the other side .



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Staunch anti-Trump Dem for Trump bcuz SoCiAlIsM
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« Reply #23 on: September 11, 2019, 05:00:35 pm »

I mean, most presidential races recently have started out being considered a Toss-Up more than a year out, but I think the last one that was considered a true Toss-Up near the end was 2000. Maybe 2004, but my impression was that Bush was considered favored. By the end of 2008, Obama was heavily favored, he was pretty strongly favored in 2012 as well, and most considered Clinton the heavy favorite on Election Day 2016.
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Pro-Life Single Issue Voter
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« Reply #24 on: September 11, 2019, 11:09:36 pm »

We have had one tossup election on the morning of Election Day since 1976:

1980: Likely R
1984: Safe R
1988: Safe R
1992: Lean D
1996: Likely D
2000: Tossup
2004: Lean R
2008: Safe D
2012: Lean D
2016: Lean D (even though the underdog party won in this case)

2020 may be a tossup right now, but, chances are it won't be next November.
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