Debate day in the States. Mics muted, all to play for.
A pollster who's got 92.6% of his calls right says Trump will get somewhere in the 270s, possibly 280, or so in the electoral college. You need 270 to win.
Another analyst said the pollsters don’t have a clue what's going on in America. I think both men are probably right.
As we saw here last Saturday, the polls are a crap shoot. They got Act and the Greens about right, National wrong and the gap between the centre left and centre right hopelessly wrong.
In America, it would be even harder to poll accurately. Never forget, national polls break left, and hardly matter anyway.
Democratic support is disproportionately in defined areas of America; namely California and New York. Republican support is sprinkled favourably, as it turns out, in bell-weather states. Polls don’t capture that nuance. They poll on issues; economy, race, welfare, the virus. Biden wins a lot of the polls: it means nothing.
Biden, to my eye, is a spectacularly poor candidate. Clinton had it all over him. She was active, she was obviously well-read and bright. Biden, at best, even when he strings all his words together, looks old and full of stories from another age. He's a walking cliché, and this is not a partisan comment.
I am nothing more than an interested observer, and who wins will not change my life or outlook. But I was there in 2016. America was convinced Clinton was home free, and she was a way better contender.
Biden has spent the better part of this week out of sight, preparing for the debate. He looks scared. He's failed to answer the email questions over his son. I suspect because the answers are ugly. He failed to talk about stacking the Supreme Court.
Meantime, Trump, although sort of the same age, has boundless energy. Could be the drugs. He's criss-crossing the country. He's drawing huge crowds, he shows every sign of being as confident in 2020 as he was in 2016.
Also, what we see here by way of reportage, is your usual, woke, anti-Trump hatred. The economy has been smashed, but it's rebounding strongly. The Q3 number is out next week, it'll be big. Things like housing are booming, the market is booming, car sales are booming.
Never forget the ridicule we hear over the handling of the virus and states, shops and schools being open is through our fearful lens. We think locked borders and closed shops is good: there is a whole swathe of America that couldn't agree less. They are Trump's people, it's a big country and a lot of it we never see or hear from.
None of this is to say he's going to win, but it is to say if you're sitting here thinking Biden's walking home because that’s what you’ve read or watched, that will have been filtered through to you from a media that hates Trump. I stood in the Javid centre, Manhatten, four years back and watched the Democrats literally refuse to believe what was happening in front of their eyes. They're still not over it. Odds on, in the end, they’ll have to face 8 full years.