I do not like being wrong. Looking back on the journalism of the last few years, I have concluded this makes me one weird journalist. Most journalists, in fact most commentators, seem to prefer to be wrong: spectacularly, melodramatically wrong.
In 2013 when I met Donald Trump for the first time I concluded that he could be a successful politician. More than that, I concluded that if he ran for president he would win. He was not like any other politician I have known. He was smart, aggressive, and he knew enough about the issues to get by. That is true of a lot of other pols, but there was something more to Donald. He was a showman and a strategist. I have now, after seven years of watching him, concluded he has still more gifts. He has the energy of a great athlete and a voice that can only be a gift from God.
I concluded early on that Donald would win in 2016. I conclude in 2020 that he will win again. I say this based on observing the facts. As I have said, I do not like to be wrong. The vast majority of journalists and commentators do not care. They hide in the herd in which they travel. If they are wrong on Nov. 3 they and many of their colleagues will just not talk about it, and few will have the bad taste to mention their error in public.
If you doubt that I was one of the very few who picked Donald as the winner in 2016 even when he was as far behind as he has been the last few weeks, I can understand. The journalists of the herd never acknowledged their error. Seth Lipsky of the New York Sun, of course, got it right, but then he often does. And over at BuzzFeed Ben Smith got it right.
In fact, BuzzFeed is worth quoting, for Mr. Smith now writes on media in general for The New York Times and the media is his beat. Said Mr. Smith, “It’s easy enough to find editors these days who say they saw Donald Trump coming, hard to find ones who are telling the truth about that. By my estimation perhaps the only one who really did is R. Emmett Tyrrell….” Well, Ben there were two of us. Jeff Lord got it right too, and CNN fired him.
So why is Donald going to win? Because he won in 2016 with pretty similar ratios. These last three weeks in particular the spread was about the same as in 2016. Now Donald has poured it on. His voice has never cracked, and he has been a human dynamo. Joe Biden stayed close to his basement and prayed that no more stories would come out about Hunter’s sweetheart financial deals with the Chinese and no more evidence from Hunter’s laptop about setting aside a percentage of his deals for “the Big Guy.”
One Tony Bobulinski has been a partner with Hunter. Bobulinski came forward last week and held a press conference in which he divulged for “patriotic” reasons that Hunter told him the Big Guy is a reference to Joe Biden, who stands 6 feet tall.
Yet I have further reasons for believing Donald will win next week. In the Republican primaries more people voted for just one candidate, Donald Trump, than turned out for all the Democratic candidates. The enthusiasm for Donald is not just a matter of turnout at airports where he flies in and flies out. It can be tabulated in the electoral turnout at primaries. Throughout this race the enthusiasm for Donald has been colossal. For Joe it has been comparatively feeble. And there is more.
Last week I reported that 56 percent of people polled by Gallup in late September affirmed they were better off now, amid a painful pandemic, than they were four years ago before Donald entered the White House. Another 56 percent of Americans said the economy was the most important issue for them in the race.
And still another 56 percent of Americans said they expected a Trump victory. Forgive me for jumping to conclusions, but I too am expecting a Trump victory. Apparently I am not alone. Last week Michael McKenna who also writes in these pages was equally fetched by these 56 percenters. Maybe I will not be so lonely this election day.
The only thing that could overthrow my calculations is voter fraud. There are an awful lot of blank ballots floating around out there.
• R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is founder and editor in chief of The American Spectator. He is the author most recently of “The Death of Liberalism,” published by Thomas Nelson, Inc.