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gatopredictions™: the 2024 presidential election
wading into the muck to assess what's to come
this sort of prognostication is a mess and fraught with face flops, but if we’re going to go around being afraid of looking the fool for flights of political fancy, well, where’s the fun in that? so i’m going to go WAY out on numerous limbs here that almost certainly will struggle to support my weight.
am i right? who knows? this stuff defies prediction at this stage. but it’s useful to have a structure to think within, so let’s see what we can conjure up.
as i have opined in the past, groovy gavin is running for president in 2024. this was the acid test. this was the “if he does this, it’s the cynical ploy to pretend to be centrist/family values” moment.
and he did it.
it will likely make no difference. the california legislature has the votes to override his veto, so this will become law.
but a line has been drawn: it’s time to appeal to the midwest and stake out a claim to centrism.
brace for it, here it comes.
the left seems to be tiring of biden, but the politcos seem mixed. it looks to me like team donkey is fracturing into factions one centered around the biden sockpuppet with valarie jared and many of the former obama string-pullers back in the roles of marionette master and the other comprised of the pelosi wing locking in around newsom. the clintons seem to be undeclared openly, but i suspect we’ll see them line up around the nancy and gavin show as a better path to power and grifter goody-rooms. they are not notable friends of the current admin.
this sets up an interesting and possibly non-transitive game. (a non transitive game is one like rock, paper, scissors where no one move beats all the others)
my base read is this: in a free and fair election
trump probably beats biden but this is far from sure
desantis beats biden
newsom likely beats trump (i can hear the howling, but read on, you may not like it, but it’s probably true)
and newsom likely gets beaten by desantis
but in the primaries:
newsom beats biden
trump looks way ahead of desantis
so we see the difficult math of the trump situation where his loyal core may be the majority of the GOP primary but is nothing like the majority of the overall electorate and his negatives are towering, unify and energize the democrats in a way they do not the full GOP, and an awful lot of the center simply does not like him.
and this sets up all manner of intrigue and need for positioning.
the left really wants to run against trump. they have been doing everything in their power to help him because they 1. think they can beat him 2. know that he is fund raising gold for them and 3. that “orange man bad” is about the only thing that can unify their increasingly fractious and incompatible coalition. it also gets out the vote for down ticket house and senate where they have a lot more to defend than last time.
i suspect the right wants to run against biden, but i’m not sure how much they care or are really doing about it but given he’ll be a drag in debates, weak on the trail, stumbles in public events, and has a litany of scandal and economic and covid failures dragging behind him, he looks like an easy take down. they’d prefer him, but cannot really prop him up. oddly, many are looking to take him down.
but the right is mostly busy fighting itself. trump went for the kill early on desantis and if one believes the polls (more on this in a minute) it’s working. it was a strong move to go full bore at him while his national name recognition was still low. trump has a big name, but i’m not sure how much love he really commands outside his core and his covid track record is an albatross for him. alone, he might have struggled to do this, but he got miles of help here from the left who went after RDS savagely because they REALLY do not want to run against him and his covid record of standing for freedom about as hard as any major US governor managed and having been anti-woke in word and more importantly in deed right from the jump.
meanwhile, the left are letting joe take all the heat and hits while gavin cruises in “comment mode” and is not yet on the defense that the spotlight brings. it’s a shrewd plan and one calculated to bring him in late once joe is stumbling and needs an heir apparent and it’s too late for anyone else. team pelosi etc are piling on the weight and suddenly scandals around hunter, ukraine, china, and all manner of ugly influence peddling are making their way to national media in a fashion heretofore impossible. it’s not really sticking yet, but it’s starting to pile up. so too are claims of age, infirmity, and inability to win.
that last one starts to get interesting. some polls have suddenly shifted dramatically. the question is “can we trust them?” and that’s a tough one.
there have been a lot of doubts about polling lately. the accuracy has been iffy and people doubt the ability to sample and the desire to do it right. many argue they are rigged and calculated to present whatever the media mavens want to show to elicit the behavior they want and playing mr suspicious paws for a moment, if i were team pelosi/newsom, i’d want polls showing trump crushing biden right now. this makes the GOP swing trump to back a winner and the dems start looking for another choice. a choice like greasy gavin. i have no idea if that’s what’s going on, but wapo is bezos and bezos is likely team newsom, so it’s not a stretch to imagine.
gavin would never be a biden veep and biden’s team would never allow it. he’d be looking to take over the day after the inaugural and the two teams do not like one another. gavin also does not want to “wait this cycle out” and let california keep dying under him and then miss trump and have to face RDS and pit the next 4 years of CA against the next 4 of FL. he’s gonna run, but he wants to step in positioned as “asked” to “save the party” not as an aggressor.
you’ll know the knives are really out for joe when outright accusations of influence peddling and of being non-compos mentis begin. my odds on gato-prediction™ is that biden does not win the dem primary. he’ll get undermined and yanked beforehand. my bet is that the lead candidate is newsom. president puddinhead is done for. he’s just out front for now to take the arrows.
this chart is meaningless before the real opposition announces.
on the GOP side, people seem ready to count the primary as a done deal and many of the polls sure make it look that way. but, again, we’re back to polls and “can they be trusted?” we’re also early and while everyone knows orange don, far fewer know florida ron. but the scores can really change if ron takes a couple of early states in primaries and suddenly shows viable and this seems to be his strategy (though perhaps a fall back) and it’s not an impossible one, but it’s also uphill.
folks like karl rove are opining about this in the WSJ
and it’s not impossible we see shifts, but thus far the withering attacks on desantis from both sides have been taking a severe toll and the legions of left leaning media are making sure that america’s first impressions of rambunctious ronnie are universally negative. and that stuff sticks. this is going to be A LOT to overcome (assuming these polls are anything like correct).
and so this leaves us with the tricky scenarios:
in a free and fair election:
i suspect RDS wipes the floor with biden or newsom because he can argue from principle, and frankly i think that newsom v desantis is the election america deserves/needs. let’s take the young avatars of the competing ideologies and let them have a real debate.
but i have real doubts we can get there. RDS is not out, but with both team redhat MAGA and the full panoply of liberal media pulling for trump and enraging/energizing his base with yet another round of indictments complete with flyer ready mugshots, i just cannot see a way not to claim trump is the frontrunner to win the GOP nom.
so we get trump v newsom, and i think newsom can and likely would beat him.
he’s younger, better looking, and just as tall. (don’t underestimate those factors) he’s got some real negatives, sure and is probably not at all the leader most of america wants, but he’s also a slick and convincing liar who the media will not fact check, a better and more inspiring speaker than trump once you get outside of trump’s base which is maybe 30% of the electorate, and plays far better with women especially on abortion which is a MUCH bigger issue on the left and in the center than the right seems to realize. and all of big tech and big media will line up behind gavin, and that’s likely to be the ballgame.
trump is getting to cruise right now. the left is riling up his base, but not attacking him meaningfully. they are propping him up and smashing his competitors. but that will end. keep in mind he’s never run against anyone from the left with even a soupçon of charisma. hillary was hated, hateable, and horrendous. basement joe was a cardboard prop. and trump lost. (albeit in some pretty questionable voting practice) in gavin, he’s got a real opponent with real coms and powerful friends (do not underestimate the value of being a getty protégé or the pelosi machine/money. note that she’s staying in to run again. more evidence gavin is going to run) and the whole of the media/internet complex behind him.
gavin is already positioning for the “i’m not california, i’m like you” pitch. it’s a dead end against RDS, but against a philandering billionaire who seems to struggle on questions around woke and whose grand claims to be ready to “drain the swamp” look weak based on how much more water it had in it when he left than when he began his presidency, it will get traction.
they will run the same playbook as last time and just starve the beast. trump won in 2016 because he was the story. he was all the media talked about. he took all the air out of every room. but in 2020, they learned to just ignore him. silence is orange man kryptonite and they are going to give the stage to gavin and give him fair winds and safe harbors. social media is going to go full soviet to prevent america from learning the extent to which newsom actually resembles “dexter” if dexter were a getty grifter economic illiterate without morals.
they are already warming up for it.
these are not even new tricks, they are older and more tired than the septuagenarian senators club in DC.
but that does not matter.
they are not trying to convince right-thinking people, they are ginning up pretexts to fire up the stanford internet observatory and all the other groupthink tanks to start the censorship show again aided and abetted by google, meta, and very probably twitter under the yaccster. they have subverted lots of media with implanted activism all of which blows due gavin and they have been setting up nasty new nudge systems to dominate algos and AI and are monologuing their plans in the journal of online safety etc.
this is going to be the about the most dirty-pool national election in modern US history and it’s not going to be russia who frankly could not make a dent if they tried. it’s going to be us, our media, our institutions, and our actual government lock, stock, and justice system. it’s going to be a brutal, nonsensical game of ballot harvesting and scummy shenanigans with mail in votes as 2000 mules become 200,000. it’s going to be a filth brigade arms race, an election for orcs.
i just see no way that what’s coming will not be a horrific mess. it will be a battle not of ideas but of censorship regimes and vote harvesting and rigging schemes. everything will be an emergency, an exception, a defense against an attack because the current regime has drifted so far from anything resembling a constitutional republic as to instantiate its antithesis and they have no interest in rights or rules apart from those that serve their ends. this will be a bench clearing dirty brawl of popinjay propaganda and we the people will be the losers. and i doubt trump has the machine and ground game to win it.
president gavin looks like a very real option.
honestly, i think i may want some of these 9:1 odds.
i wish i had better news here, but i’m just not seeing it. this is what you get when you lose a republic to democracy and once you cross certain rubicons, it gets ugly, fast.
and if you thought this was bad
wait until you try this: