- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 5, 2020

Let us pause for a moment and consider the Primary Model, a political forecasting method which predicts the ultimate outcome of White House races on voting patterns from presidential primaries.

The model has a laudable track record. Established in 1996 by Stony Brook University political science professor Helmut Norpoth, the Primary Model correctly picked the victors in multiple presidential elections — including the last one.

On March 7, 2016, it predicted then-candidate Donald Trump had an 87% chance of defeating Hillary Clinton. Will the president also vanquish Democratic nominee Joseph R. Biden?

“The Primary Model gives Trump a 91% chance of winning in November. This model has picked the winner in all but two elections since 1912, when primaries were introduced, including, of course, Trump’s victory in 2016,” Mr. Norpoth tells Inside the Beltway in a statement.

“As for polls showing Trump trailing Joe Biden right now, remember 2016. Polls and poll-based forecasts all handed Clinton a certain victory. But this is not the only failure,” he continues.

As a historical exercise, the model also forecast past bouts.

“The terrain of presidential contests is littered with nominees who saw a poll lead in the spring turn to dust in the fall. The list is long and discouraging for early front-runners. Beginning with Thomas Dewey in 1948, it spans such notables as Richard Nixon in 1960, Jimmy Carter in 1980, Michael Dukakis in 1988, George H.W. Bush in 1992, and John Kerry in 2004 — to cite just the most spectacular cases,” Mr. Norpoth advises.


In case you missed it, President Trump has established a task force for “building and rebuilding monuments to American heroes” and the plans include a formal National Garden of Heroes — a statuary park for such luminaries. In his official proclamation issued Friday, Mr. Trump cited the many statues vandalized or destroyed during ongoing public unrest.

“These statues are not ours alone, to be discarded at the whim of those inflamed by fashionable political passions; they belong to generations that have come before us and to generations yet unborn. My Administration will not abide an assault on our collective national memory. In the face of such acts of destruction, it is our responsibility as Americans to stand strong against this violence, and to peacefully transmit our great national story to future generations through newly commissioned monuments to American heroes,” Mr. Trump said.


In April, singer, producer and clothing entrepreneur Kanye West announced he would vote to reelect President Trump when the time comes. Now it appears he could be a rival. Or something.

“We must now realize the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future. I am running for president of the United States! #2020VISION,” Mr. West tweeted Saturday night to 29.5 million followers.

“You have my full support!” Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted back.

“Is Kanye a Democrat or Republican?” Jeff Benjamin, an editor for Billboard and a correspondent for Rolling Stone, asked in a tweet.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, “the announcement follows numerous statements by West in the past about his intentions to run for the highest office in the land — most recently last November at Fast Company’s Innovation Festival. The difference with that announcement was his presidential sights were set on a 2024 bid.”

“It is unclear if West has filed any paperwork necessary to run for president this election year, which would mean he’d likely have to run as a write-in candidate. As of Saturday evening, the only candidate for president named Kanye West in the Federal Election Commission database for the 2020 election year is a Green Party candidate named ‘Kanye Deez Nutz West,’” the Hollywood Reporter wrote.


What’s this? Democratic presidential hopeful Joseph R. Biden is having a little difficulty with major broadcasters? And it’s all President Trump‘s fault? Read on.

“Team Biden battles networks for airtime still dominated by Trump,” advises Vanity Fair.

“Though CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News carried Biden’s latest speech, the campaign has been frustrated when other events go uncovered. ‘The burden is on the candidate to say something that’s newsworthy,’ says one veteran producer,” Vanity Fair notes.


Applause, please, for Radio Free Europe — which has turned 70 years old. On July 4, 1950, the U.S.-based broadcaster debuted with a 30-minute message to audiences in Czechoslovakia, sent from New York to a transmitter on the back of a flatbed truck in Lampertheim, West Germany.

It would inform listeners under communist rule that regular broadcasts would come soon. These days, the message is delivered in 27 languages to 23 nations, and to an audience of 38 million.

“Uncensored news and open debate are hallmarks of free societies, and impediments to them must be swiftly met with a robust insistence upon liberty and the power of the imagination. People must not be told what to think, but they must be afforded the ability to think,” said Michael Pack, chief of the U.S. Agency for Global Media, a federal entity which oversees six broadcast sources which include Radio Free Europe and its companion network Radio Liberty, plus Voice of America — the last of which alone commands an audience of 280 million worldwide.


• 42% of U.S. adults “strongly trust” their personal doctor for advice about coronavirus; 43% of Republicans, 31% of independents and 52% of Democrats agree.

• 36% overall say they “somewhat trust” their doctor; 41% of Republicans, 40% of independents and 32% of Democrats agree.

• 5% overall don’t trust their doctor; 5% of Republicans, 10% of independents and 2% of Democrats agree.

• 11% overall say the question is “not applicable to them”; 8% of Republicans, 12% of independents and 11% of Democrats agree.

• 5% overall don’t know; 4% of Republicans, 7% of independents and 3% of Democrats agree.

Source: A Reader’s Digest poll of 2,070 U.S. adults conducted June 19-20 and released June 30.

• Helpful information to jharper@washingtontimes.com

• Jennifer Harper can be reached at jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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