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Is the third wave hurting Trump?

Summary:
Yes, there’s a third wave now (for all you people who insist we are technically still in the first wave.) But will it affect the election? Wisconsin has recently been hit harder than any other electorally important state. Until September 30th, it had never seen more that 22 deaths in one day. Yesterday my home state had 64 deaths. Is this affecting the race? A week ago, Biden had a 6.3% lead in the Wisconsin poll average (using 538). Now it’s 8.4%. Biden’s lead is also widening slightly in nearby Minnesota, Michigan and Iowa. Wisconsin is just one state, but if you believe the third wave is hurting Trump, the most dramatic effects should be in states where it’s only recently become a big problem. But in that case, the smaller Covid surges in other

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Yes, there’s a third wave now (for all you people who insist we are technically still in the first wave.) But will it affect the election?

Wisconsin has recently been hit harder than any other electorally important state. Until September 30th, it had never seen more that 22 deaths in one day. Yesterday my home state had 64 deaths.

Is the third wave hurting Trump?

Is this affecting the race? A week ago, Biden had a 6.3% lead in the Wisconsin poll average (using 538). Now it’s 8.4%. Biden’s lead is also widening slightly in nearby Minnesota, Michigan and Iowa.

Wisconsin is just one state, but if you believe the third wave is hurting Trump, the most dramatic effects should be in states where it’s only recently become a big problem. But in that case, the smaller Covid surges in other states might be having a smaller but still meaningful impact on their races.

On the other hand, and this is important, the national polls are tightening somewhat as we approach election day, just as I expected. Pennsylvania is also getting tighter. So there presumably are other factors pushing in Trump’s favor. Nonetheless, if Trump were to lose a close race, the Covid third wave could be decisive, at the margin.

PS. After reading Kavanaugh’s disgraceful comments on whether late votes might “flip” the election, I am so done with conservative claims that, “At least Trump put good people on the Supreme Court”. No, he put immature GOP party hacks on the Supreme Court. I wish Merrick Garland were there instead.


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Scott Sumner
Scott B. Sumner is Research Fellow at the Independent Institute, the Director of the Program on Monetary Policy at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and an economist who teaches at Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts. His economics blog, The Money Illusion, popularized the idea of nominal GDP targeting, which says that the Fed should target nominal GDP—i.e., real GDP growth plus the rate of inflation—to better "induce the correct level of business investment".

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