Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Georgia Senate Race, Russia Cyberattack; Biden's Approval Rating and Cabinet

Some OOP's short takes and assorted predictions:

  • Several Republican members of the U.S. House are ready to challenge the Electoral College vote on January 6th.  The trouble is they need one Senator to dispute the vote and Majority Leader McConnell is trying to discourage any of his GOP Senators from doing so.  
  • Expect Trump to soon put pressure on to Georgia Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler to join in the House objection.  I think they do it.  They would rather risk the wrath of McConnell
    Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA)

    than a nasty tweet by Trump which turns Trumpers against the duo.
  • I would not be surprised too if Vice President Mike Pence's role on January 6th leads to some Trumpian pressure.  Pence's job is simply to announce the Electoral College vote, a ministerial job.  However, since the election, Trump has demanded that Republicans at the state level not perform their ministerial jobs such as certifying vote totals.  I could see whether Pence announces Biden to be the winner becoming a litmus test for Trump and/or his supporters.
  • Not sure when, or if, I will ever be ready to predict who will win the two Georgia senate seats.  I'm inclined to guess Republican Perdue and Loeffler are victorious because Republicans tend to do better in low turnout elections.  However, I do think the attacks on the legitimacy of November's election in Georgia is probably turning off Republican voters who may stay home.  If Trump attacks Perdue and Loeffler for a lack of support before January 6th, that could hurt them. But tying themselves too closely to Trump could turn off Atlanta suburbanites which voted overwhelmingly for Biden.  
  • The polls have the two races as a dead heat.  But the result will depend entirely on which camps get their voters to the polls.  It is extremely difficult for pollsters to guess who will be voting, especially in low turnout elections.
  • Expect in late January that Biden's average approval rating to be in the low 60s.  Trump's rating never reached 50% during his entire presidency.   The problem for Biden is that, no matter what he does, even if he cures cancer, 35% of the country will never support him.
  • Between March and May, the computers of several U.S. agencies were hacked into and data stolen.  While Russia has not been formally identified as the culprit yet, several United States officials have confirmed that Russia was behind the biggest cyber raid in 5 years.   It is interesting to see whether Trump brings up the hack with his buddy, Vladimar Putin.  My guess is "no."
  • In this country, cabinet secretaries do not directly make policy. Rather they are carrying out the policy of the President of the United States.  Therefore, Republicans in the Senate should confirm Biden's cabinet choices as well as other appointees, unless they are found to be unqualified for those positions.  
  • The Republican attacks on Neera Tanden as OMB director are pure silliness.  Yes, she is a Democratic partisan and, yes, she wrote nasty tweets slamming some Republican Senators.  When it came to Trump's which were much worse than Tanden's, those same Senators would always claim to have not read them or, if they had, not been offended by them.  Republican Senators need to put their big boy pants on and confirm Tanden.  If they don't, we are going to end up with someone in that position who is much more liberal than Tanden, who is considered more of a moderate on fiscal issues.  

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