The Polls

In 1980, the polls said that the election would be close. That year, Mrs. Hoge and I were traveling on a business trip (the Audio Engineering Society Convention) over the weekend before the election and were driving back from New York to Nashville on election day. We had voted by absentee ballot. We were driving down I-81 and stopped in Harrisonburg, Virginia, for supper as the Sun was setting. By the time we finished, got back on the road, and turned on the car radio, the election coverage was effectively over. As voting was ending in the East, the size of the blowout was already evident. Ronald Reagan was crushing Jimmy Carter. He secured more than the 270 electoral votes needed before voting hours were over on the West Coast. President Reagan carried 44 states and received 489 electoral votes.

At this point in the 1988 election cycle, Michael Dukakis had a double-digit lead in the polls.

I have no idea how this election will go. I am unalterably opposed to Hillary Clinton, and I view Donald Trump as the lesser of two evils. I’ve written before that I will probably vote for whichever third-party candidate seems likely to collect more popular votes than the others. My reason is simple. Maryland is the bluest of the blue states. Trump can’t carry the state unless it’s a 48- or 49-state blowout, and Maryland’s electoral votes would be lost in the noise in such an election. However, if a third-party gets at least 5 % of the national popular vote this year, its candidate will be entitled to federal matching fund in 2020. I find the thought of the Libertarians getting federal matching funds humorous. I also believe that having a better funded Libertarian or Green Party candidate would have a beneficial effect on the two major parties.

If you live in a deep red or deep blue state, you may want to consider my voting strategy. But if you live in a true battleground state, you should really vote for whichever of the two major candidates you think will do the lesser harm.

51 thoughts on “The Polls


  1. North Carolina is a battleground — and we keep bumping into candidates. I’m going with the candidate who has never stood by and allowed Americans die, and who can understand that “secret” is everything you don’t want people to know. It doesn’t have to be marked “secret.”


  2. Mark Levin has bowed to the reality about how bad a Clinton Presidency will be for America and the conservative movement:https://www.conservativereview.com/commentary/2016/09/levin-im-voting-for-trump . The reality he bowed to was reality the day that both Kasich and Cruz had suspended their campaigns. In the interim, he chose to de facto further the cause of Hillary Clinton by sullying her opponent. At this point, he can opt to be part of the solution rather than be part of the problem, but, his past actions and statements will undermine any moral authority he might have.

    That is both pathetic and a shame. It is pathetic because he of all people had to know what a disaster Hillary Clinton would be for this country, but, instead of taking that fact seriously he choose to humor a whim. It’s a shame because Hillary could potentially win. He had an opportunity to work tirelessly to stop that possibility but opted to sit on the sidelines. Evil wins when good people do nothing.


    • I deeply disagree.

      I will not vote for”the lesser of two evils”, first because I can’t see which that would be, this time, and second because evil is evil, and third and finally, I will not be even marginally responsible for the destruction of the republic, and to vote either Clinton or Trump into office is to do exactly that.

      Phone, train.


      • And, I think you are both wrong, and, in a deep state of denial. Hillary Clinton is about as evil as you can get. Aside from taking a $100,000 bribe laundered through the cattle futures market, perfecting pay-to-play in the State Department, knowingly destroying of the lives of women who she reasonably should have known were telling the truth, leaving American ambassadors to die and indignantly asking “What possible difference can it make now?,” Hillary Clinton is a radical liberal who will fundamentally change our courts, our government and our rights, all while flooding our nation with millions of new welfare-dependent Democrats in waiting, some of whom will inevitably murder Americans in terrorist attacks. A moral equivalence between that and Donald Trump can only exist in your imagination.

        As to being “even marginally responsible for the destruction of the Republic,” I would note that I, personally, crossed that line when I voted for Ronald Reagan, and the two Bushes. Reagan did a lot of good things, like help bring the Soviet Empire to its knees, but, he did sign an amnesty bill that set the templet for millions more to flood into the country. Those illegals from places like Mexico and Venezuela will tend to bring the politics of Mexico and Venezuela to America destroying the Republic. Presumably, you did the same. I’ll never get that virginity back, and, presumably, neither will you.


        • In defense of Reagan, he had been assured by the Democrats that in exchange for his amnesty (a one-time thing, they pinky-swore), he would be able to put through tax reforms. Which of course, the Democrats never did.

          Ron should’ve seen it coming, but in his defense I wouldn’t have expected someone to lie to my face like that. A less principled and more spiteful person might have responded in a truly impressive way.


          • There were some modest tax reforms.

            The other part of the deal is that it was (as you indicate) supposed to be a one time deal, and that things were supposed to have been straightened out.

            ‘Never give an inch’ is the only real play in politics.


    • Trump is self-sullying. He doesn’t need Levin’s help to be a dirtbag. Arguing moral authority on behalf of Trump is side-splittingly hilarious.


  3. I, too, live in a deep-blue state (pay attention, Cuz, as your doxxing skilz are weak, even though you are mad).

    I endorse our Host’s strategy, and further recommend buying ammo, firearms, and other emergency supplies. Tyrants oftenalways cut off medical and food supplies to those they wish to oppress/eliminate, and it’s just a good policy to be prepared, anyway.

    Both actions have the side benefit of sending messages to the entrenched leadership…

    Soapbox, ballot box, cartridge box, in that order, if you please.


  4. I find the current batch of libertarians to be total kooks and completely undeserving of any votes much less future funding.

    They really had a debate over whether 5 year olds should be allowed to buy heroin……because self determination. /SMDH


    • As a long time anarchist/libertarian I’ve always had problems with the “Libertarian Party” since they so frequently seem to adopt policies that are not very libertarian.
      This time I’ll have a real hard choice. Johnson-Weld is not really libertarian [Weld for sure], Stein is an economic loon, Hillary is corrupt [and probably both ill and incompetent], and Trump is all over the map.


        • Green Party: Right in the sweetspot of her party from a policy perspective. It’s a awful policy perspective, but possibly the only candidate whose party actually like their standard bearer.

          Democrat Party: A fairly middle of the road democrat from a policy perspective, but vastly more corrupt than a hard-drive that has been wiped with a cloth. Has begrudging (learned helplessness) support of her own party.

          Republican Party: A fairly middle of the road democrat from a policy perspective, but running on the wrong party’s ticket. Has begrudging (learned helplessness) support of some of the party whose ticket he’s running on and outright hatred of others of the party whose ticket he’s running on. Enthusiastic supporters like that he’s an unrepentant asshole to the opposing party because it is just so awesome when Barack Obama does it. /sarc

          Libertarian Party: A non-descript and little known center-right Republican from a policy perspective, but running on the wrong party’s ticket. Has begrudging (learned helplessness) support of some of the party whose ticket he’s running on as a sacrificial lamb hoping to drawing enough votes from disaffected conservatives to line their coffers for future elections.

          So we have one awful party, one awful person, and two people running on the wrong party’s ticket.

          Joy 😐


          • A number of nominally left-leaning friends of mine have embraced Sweet Meteor of Death 2016. Several are also backing Cthulhu/Dagon, Phil O’Dendron (the REAL Green candidate), and possibly The Rock/Vin Diesel.

            I can’t really argue with any of those picks in light of what we have now.


          • Don’t know that I’d call the Libertarian candidate center-right but your analysis of the putative Republican candidate is spot on.


      • I’m considering Evan McMullen (if he’s on my ballot) but I’m probably going to vote for Darrell Castle of the Constitution Party.


    • Exactly – the harms will be different in some ways, but that doesn’t necessarily mean one will be less harm. We think Johnson is another leftist kook, and Stein is worse.


      • Johnson and Stein are both leftists. If people are serious about going anti-Trump and help elect Hillary Clinton, write in a funny vote like “Bugs Bunny” or something.


        • WRT both of BadgerBob’s comments in this thread:

          If all Trump supporters were so honest and reasonable, they’d persuade a lot more other people.

          Part of my problem with Trump are the ‘bots with which he surrounds himself, or chose as surrogates. *shudder*


          • …I’ll endeavor to provide my own answer.

            First of all, if the but vast majority of nevertrumpers were honest and reasonable, they’d never would have been nevertrumpers in the first place. #Nevertrump is #alwayshillary. Any other suggestion is simply irrational. To preference open borders over a wall; importing tens of thousands of essentially unvetted Syrian refugees over keeping them away; tax increases over tax cut; and liberal judicial activists on the Supreme Court over anyone else is irrational, unless you are at heart a liberal. Granted there are neocons whose major contribution to the conservative movement has been to raise the white flag of surrender over life, and, instead, turn the Republican party into the party of endless wars for negative results in the Middle-East, [resulting including a Democratic super-majorities that led to Obamacare.] Their actions might make neocon sense, but, they will lead inevitably to their complete lose of credibility among those that are truly conservative.

            The nevertrump crowd has consistently exhibited psychological denial, anger, resentment, irrational hatred, elitism, and an obnoxious sense of entitlement. Their preferred candidate lost, and, they simply can’t get over it. The Republican electorate preferred to take different direction, and, they cannot accept that fact. In a highly personal fashion, they attempted to destroy Donald Trump but it didn’t work. Unabashedly, they blamed Trump for the nastiness of the election instead. After they lost, they tried to steal the nomination from Donald Trump, but failed. Then, they tried everything in their power to sandbag his candidacy in the hopes of winning by losing, but, that is backfiring. Instead of respecting the will of the majority of Republicans, they attacked rural America and the White working-class. One National Review writer stated their towns deserve to die, and, that dirty heroin needles are their chief export. Another National writer stated that folks living Appalachia would have been called “peasants” five hundred years ago, as if that had any relevance today. They postured as if they were being smart to be the first to flee what would be a sinking ship, but, it turns out that it is rats that are fleeing the nevertrump movement because it is the one that is sinking.

            Frankly, what the nevertrump crowd needs to do is grow up and live in the world as it is rather than in a world they wish would be.

            I would note how personal the #nevertrump folks have been towards me personally. Someone should explain the difference to them between venting their frustrations, and, venting upon innocent third parties.


          • “So… [], but vote for my guy. Got it.”

            Your analysis is wrong on so many levels. First of all, Ted Cruz was “my guy.” Second, one of my basic points is that the nevertrumpers have taken their loss much too personally. Another, is that this election should be about what is best for the future of our country. Directing obscenities at nevertrumpers would be merely accepting their false premise that this is personal. Third, shouting out an invective at a post directed towards me sends a certain message, even if it couched as being my alleged quote. And, fourth, some of the nevertrumpers ought to reflect seriously on what they have posted here. For instance, others have suggested that there are two legitimate positions: nevertrump and Trump-as-the-lesser-of-two-evils. They have denied that anyone could actually be for building a wall, excluding would-be immigrants from nations that host organizations such as ISIS, rethinking trade agreements such as NAFTA, and ending the endless wars for negative results in the Middle-East. Some of the same people doubled-down and offered the conspiracy theory that all other views were posted by liars. That wasn’t exactly a very respectful attitude.

            Someday, I suspect the nevertrumpers will see the error of their ways, and realize their actions were not their finest hour. The real question is how much damage will be done to the country in the meanwhile?


          • Cruz may *have been* your guy, but Trump *is now* your guy. And, if we don’t vote for him, it’ll be a disaster of biblical proportions, fire and brimstone, rivers of blood, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria!

            And it’ll all be the NeverTrumpers fault!

            While the expletive isn’t a quote, it is an accurate description of the attitude.

            The never Trumpers aren’t taking the loss personally, they were never Trump long before they lost. I’m not NeverTrump (I haven’t decided, yet), but many of them, like me, have been long time free-market conservatives that don’t have it in us to vote for a long established liberal just because he’s on our Party’s ticket. The Wall™ ain’t gonna happen, no one is getting deported, and protectionism was a bad idea when the Democrats proposed it and it doesn’t magically become good when a democrat with an (R) after his name wants it.

            NeverTurmpers were honest about their intentions and we’re then told “We don’t need you”. It turns out the Trump supporters do need them and now are mad because NeverTrumpers are keeping their promise and doing exactly what they said they would.


          • Nevertrumpism was always about hostage taking: if you don’t accede to our demands we will impose Hillary Clinton on you. Now, I grant you that some of the nevertrumpers are in fact trying to kill the hostage, but, the majority are beginning to realize that painted themselves into a very tight corner. So, the reality is that nevertrumpers are not “doing what they said they would do.” The reality is that they played a very dangerous game, and, it is not working out very well for them.

            In stating, “NeverTurmpers were honest about their intentions and we’re then told ‘We don’t need you’,” you seem to be suggesting the real issue is butthurt. You then, hypocritically, claim that I’m acting out of anger, when, I’m acting out of a twin desire that the best interests of the country be served, and, that nevertrumpers be held accountable for their attempts to harm the best interest of the American people.

            When Brett Stephens stated his intention was to destroy Donald Trump’s candidacy so that anyone intent of building a wall, rethinking NAFTA, excluding immigrates from terrorist strongholds, and ending the endless wars in the Middle-East for negative results would be taught a lesson. His position is clear: his opinions matter, mine don’t, and, that I am to surrender my voting card to him. He will rule the Republican party, or in his butthurt he will ruin it. I have yet to read a single nevertrumper disassociate themselves from him. I have yet to read a single nevertrumper say Stephens’ attitude is arrogant, elitist and anti-democratic and well beyond what the nevertrump movement is actually about, allegedly.

            In the debates, Jeb Bush’s talking points against Donald Trump were that a wall was never going to be built, that no one was ever going to be deported, etc. His arguments have already failed. You can repeat them, but, they have already failed. At this point, if Trump wins, even if the wall isn’t built, even if no one is deported, and NAFTA is untouched, the seemingly endless wars for no results will end, and, there will be accountability for those Republicans who would block Trump’s proposals. I would consider that a step in the right direction rather than a betrayal.

            I have repeatedly made it known that while I preferred Ted Cruz, this election will be the first is 1988 that I will not be considering the extent to which I will have lost. If Donald Trump wins, we’ll have the first decent President since Reagan, imo. The plain truth is that Ted Cruz was “my guy,” and that hating all the other candidates isn’t a necessary condition supporting Ted Cruz. To the extent that makes Donald Trump “my guy,” it makes Hillary Clinton the nevertrumpers “gal.” Think about it.


    • The way I see it is this.

      Neither of the top tow deserve it, so vote for the next biggest guy. Ok, so he’s a nut. What happens if he wins? Both parties oppose him.

      OTOH, if one of the others win, you’re going to have congress supporting the president.

      I’ve decided personally that Clinton would be the worst, because she’d have congress *and* the press on her side, as well as being… well, Clinton. A bad Clinton policy not called out by the press has to be as bad as a terrible Trump action that everyone knows about. And honestly, when it comes to actual policy Trump isn’t actually as bad as they pretend he is. It’s his off-the-cuff comments and ego that are the problem.


  5. My current ticket of choice – well, l’m still sorting it out between Meteor of Death and the Yellowstone Caldera explosion.


  6. Seriously, I’m hoping Hillary actually is unwell enough that it begins to interfere with her plans. (She can get better after the fact, and I wish her a long retirement.) If a democrat must win, I’d prefer Timothy Kaine – a steady, decent person who tends to do nothing, which is the best thing that government can do.


    • I don’t care for Kaine, but he might be the least objectionable candidate [unless Trump drops out or something and Pence is left in the running].


      • Pence wouldn’t be my first choice, or likely my fifteenth choice, but I could not only vote for him, I could enthusiastically support him.


  7. My state is a reliably blue state but somewhat competitive. I will be voting Donald Trump. I dislike the guy and don’t trust him but I’ve never trusted any Republican candidate in the past either. I am reliably sure his picks to the Supreme Court will be better than Hillary Clinton and for that reason will enthusiastically vote for him on election day.


  8. With all due respect to our Host,

    I do not like Trump as the Choice. I do not like beating a certain point of view like a dead horse, BUT it is very valid at this point in time; If you vote any other way then Trump, your voting for the Corrupt Clinton Machine Soros and a host of other Idiots who want power.

    I see your strategy Mr. Hoge, and under normal circumstances I would say yeah sure go for it, BUT we KNOW with Certainty how Clinton will run things. There is no doubt. We know what policy’s she favors.

    With Trump, we know he says dumb things, we know he has positions we may not totally agree with. What we do not know is how worse can it be then Pure Totalitarian rule which is what will happen. She already stated she will do these things. Again no doubt.

    He may not be the President we need right now, but one we deserve?

    Anyhow, I have to go Trump instead of abstaining. I want Reagan or Lincoln. Ultimately, in the end, God will put who wants in power for His reasons.


    • Voting is an affirmative act. Not voting for Hillary is not a vote for Hillary by any measure. By your logic, my not voting for Hillary is voting for Trump, so you can celebrate my “de-facto” Trump support now. Me, I’ll be casting a vote that doesn’t make me want to vomit.


      • And, not voting is an affirmation of the will of those that choice to vote. If you want to passively allow Hillary Clinton to come to power by votes other than yours that is your choice, but, own it.


        • I’m not in the will affirming business. People can affirm their own damn wills and I’ll affirm mine. Non-support is non-support and your vehemence won’t change that. I’d love to stop both of them, but that is not within my power. America wants a crapshow and we’re going to get one.


          • This is America. America has a Constitutional Republic allegedly characterized by government of, by and for the people of the United States. If you accept the moral validity of the premise of America, then, you accept the right of the winner of the election to serve as President. Whether actively voting for Trump, Clinton, or someone else, or passively ceding the decision to those who choice to vote, you are still legitimizing the process, assuming you agree with the American project, which I most certainly do.


      • No you forget the independent Candidates so no, not voting for Hillary is Not a vote for Trump.

        Voting won’t be the cause of the vomit, what happens after she wins will, and Yes I think she will win due to the inaction and of course all the dead voting 2 or 3 times.


  9. I had planned to write in Ted Cruz, but I live in a swing state.

    I had been hoping that some other alternative would present itself, but will likely hold my nose, vote for Trump, and then pull out the hand sanitizer.


  10. I’m a godless Canadian, but that’s never stopped me from having an opinion on everything. I’m a busybody that way.

    The way I see it, you are presented with the choice between a one-woman crime wave and a spray-tanned game show host who couldn’t quite figure out how to make a dollar out of three casinos who moonlights as a stalking horse for Russia’s intelligence services and seems to believe that “political correctness” has something to do with Article II of the United States Constitution..

    If given a ballot, I would vote Libertarian, but I’d do that anyway because the major parties are, at this point, little more than collectivized big government stupidity. Failing that, I would write in “military coup.”

    I guess there’s a reason write-ins are illegal in Canada,


    • Speaking as an American, I’ll second your motion, and have adopted it as my own.

      Except the ‘military coup’ thing; my employer may have issues with that.

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