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The US 2020 Presidential Election

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  • Originally posted by TopHatter View Post

    Trolls need love too
    Then roast them on the barbie, right....


    • Originally posted by TopHatter View Post

      Neither Bush, nor Kerry, are a valid comparison to Donald Trump. Which, again, is something you would already know if you knew anything about any of them.

      Your knowledge of the United States, its politics and politicians is exceedingly poor. You make that blindingly obvious every time you post about it.
      The beauty of the age argument is you need know absolutely nothing about either.

      Quite elegant.

      Another person told me they prefer to vote democrat because the candidates are better looking

      Really lucked out with Biden this time


      • Originally posted by Double Edge View Post

        The beauty of the age argument is you need know absolutely nothing about either.

        Quite elegant.

        Another person told me they prefer to vote democrat because the candidates are better looking

        Really lucked out with Biden this time
        Click image for larger version

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        “Never let yourself be persuaded that any one Great Man, any one leader, is necessary to the salvation of America. When America consists of one leader and 158 million followers, it will no longer be America.”
        ― Dwight D. Eisenhower


        • Originally posted by Double Edge View Post
          Chatting with some one that has no clue about American politics, the topic of age came up
          As they say two is company and now you have company...


          • Originally posted by tbm3fan View Post

            As they say two is company and now you have company...
            Tell me that after Trump wins his second term


            • Originally posted by Double Edge View Post

              Tell me that after Trump wins his second term
              That is one thing that I can only hope that you're wrong about. But I'll have to wait at least 7 interminable days to know for sure.
              “Never let yourself be persuaded that any one Great Man, any one leader, is necessary to the salvation of America. When America consists of one leader and 158 million followers, it will no longer be America.”
              ― Dwight D. Eisenhower


              • Originally posted by astralis View Post

                purple is fairly easily defined. a state with relatively even numbers of voters from both parties. in this cycle, Texas and North Carolina and Georgia are purple states, not California.
                Will get back to you on this when i find the quote.

                Originally posted by astralis View Post
                this is a meaningless metric, because social media engagement =/= political reality.

                IE Twitter overall has a very definite liberal activist slant, but using that to measure a state's political lean is...dumb.
                What kind of bias does facebook have then ?

                That quick a pickup in Wisconsin means not liberal is what i want to say.


                • Originally posted by TopHatter View Post

                  That is one thing that I can only hope that you're wrong about. But I'll have to wait at least 7 interminable days to know for sure.
                  Deal is I go with whoever wins, whether I like them or not and then find ways to like them.

                  This way i'm with the right crowd of any country that has free and fair elections.


                  • DE,

                    What kind of bias does facebook have then ?

                    That quick a pickup in Wisconsin means not liberal is what i want to say.
                    or, it just shows that some right-wingers are going online to vent-- which doesn't do anything politically, and is not a good indicator of where conservatives are relative to the entire population of Wisconsin.

                    also, regarding California again:


                    WASHINGTON —

                    With one week to go before the 2020 campaign ends, California remains on track to hand former Vice President Joe Biden a victory by the largest margin for a Democratic presidential candidate in state history, the final UC Berkeley Institute for Governmental Studies poll indicates.

                    Biden leads President Trump 65%-29%, the poll finds. That 36-point margin would top the 30-point advantage that Hillary Clinton amassed against Trump in 2016, the previous record for a Democrat. The only larger victory in state history came exactly a century ago, in 1920, when Warren G. Harding, the Republican, beat James Cox, the Democratic candidate, by 42 points.
                    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov


                    • Will the Electoral College favor Biden or Trump? Here’s what researchers predict

                      Researchers from Columbia University explored thousands of simulations to figure out who the Electoral College will favor this presidential election based on who it voted for in past elections.

                      The trio’s calculations revealed a “slight bias” toward President Donald Trump, but one that is about “half as severe” as that of 2016, according to the study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

                      There’s also the possibility that if Trump were to win the popular vote by a “slim margin,” he could lose the Electoral College, with the predicted bias favoring former Vice President Joe Biden instead.

                      “We note that 2016 was a statistical outlier,” study co-author Robert Erikson, a political science professor at Columbia University, who pointed out that Trump won in 2016 by barely winning Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, said in a news release. “The Democratic versus Republican divisions in the prior election have mattered, but only up to a point. That is why the same national popular vote as 2016 could have a different Electoral College outcome.”

                      What is the Electoral College?
                      Trump’s 2016 victory with the Electoral College, despite losing the popular vote, inspired the researchers to explore all the possibilities of 2020’s presidential outcome and biases.

                      U.S. presidents are not elected directly by the citizens, known as the popular vote. They are chosen by “electors” through a process called the Electoral College. This process was established in the Constitution as a compromise to give both citizens and Congress members a chance to choose who they think is fit for presidency.

                      There are 538 electors based on 435 representatives and 100 senators from the 50 states, plus three electors from Washington, D.C. States with the most electors are California (55), Texas (38), New York (29), Florida (29), Illinois (20) and Pennsylvania (20). These numbers are based on each state’s population size.

                      A presidential candidate needs at least 270 electoral votes, or more than half of all electors, to win the election. But some deem the Electoral College biased because not all state laws require electors to follow their state’s popular vote.

                      Who will Electoral College favor in 2020 election?
                      The researchers examined historical Electoral College bias in past elections, as well as voting patterns in each state going back to 1980 using mathematical equations.

                      Over the nine presidential elections leading up to 2016, the Electoral College showed little bias toward one party over the other, according to the study. There was some bias working in the Democrats’ favor in the three presidential elections leading up to 2016, however, the researchers found.

                      “Although it has not granted either party a persistent historical advantage, the Electoral College has offered a mild, seemingly random, perturbation to the outcome, which matters in close elections,” the trio wrote in their study. “The Electoral College’s tilt toward Trump in 2016 stands out for its absolute magnitude, with the largest gap out of all elections.”

                      If Biden gets 51% of the popular vote, the team estimates that he would have a 46% chance of winning the Electoral College and a 50% chance of winning the “electoral votes-rich states of Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania and losing the less rich states of Minnesota, New Hampshire, and Nevada.”

                      “We found that Biden probably does not need as big a popular vote margin as Hillary Clinton did,” study co-author Karl Sigman, professor of industrial engineering and operations research at Columbia, said in the news release.

                      “If the vote were 51-49, as it was with Hillary Clinton, that would be the tipping point, and the Electoral College could go either way rather than a certain Trump victory.”

                      But if the popular vote ended in a tie, the team’s simulations say Trump would have a 12% chance of losing, or 88% chance of winning. And if the popular vote was 52 to 48 in favor of Biden, the former vice president would have a similar probability of losing, according to the study.

                      It's going to be interesting - to say the least - to look back in a week or so, and see how close any of these predictions actually were.
                      “Never let yourself be persuaded that any one Great Man, any one leader, is necessary to the salvation of America. When America consists of one leader and 158 million followers, it will no longer be America.”
                      ― Dwight D. Eisenhower


                      • One Last Funny Feeling About 2020

                        Over the past month, I’ve shared insights gathered from a year spent on the road talking with voters in the nation’s most competitive swing states. The idea was to offer an unfiltered view of the race in its closing weeks, based on the hunches I’m left with after connecting so many anecdotal dots and placing them in the context of polling data, campaign metrics and talks with party officials.

                        I first inched out on a limb four weeks from Election Day, describing how Trump fatigue was peaking at the wrong time and predicting that the president could lose a historic share of women voters. Three weeks from Election Day, I wrote about the yard-sign wars and what they foretold about partisan intensity and record-breaking turnout. Then, two weeks from Election Day, I suggested that we’re overthinking this election; that more than Covid-19 or an economic collapse, the driving force behind Trump’s impending defeat is his essential unlikability.

                        I’ve got one last funny feeling about 2020 to share—and it won’t leave much doubt as to my expectations for November 3 and beyond.

                        This is nothing like 2016.
                        All of us—Republicans and Democrats, journalists and party operatives, political junkies and casual observers—are held hostage by memories of four Novembers ago. We remember how the polls insisted Donald Trump would lose. We remember how GOP officials left Trump for dead and planned a rebranding effort after his defeat. We remember watching the returns come in, wondering what we’d missed and how we’d gotten it so wrong.

                        The good news for Trump supporters is that his position today is similar enough to the one he was in four years ago: trailing badly in the polls, largely left for dead, needing some sort of electoral miracle to win the election. They saw him defy the odds once; because of that, they believe he will do it again.

                        With just seven days until the election, Trump is facing a surge in coronavirus cases and an outbreak within his VP’s office, providing a new line of attacks from Joe Biden. POLITICO’s Nancy Cook breaks down both campaigns’ strategies for the final week.

                        The bad news for Trump supporters: 2020 is nothing like 2016.

                        We are always fighting the last war in politics. But if we’ve learned anything about American elections in the post-9/11 era, it’s that volatility is a feature, not a bug. George W. Bush’s “mandate” in 2004 was wiped out by a Democratic rout in 2006. Barack Obama’s landslide in 2008 invited a Tea Party revolution in 2010. Trump’s shocking upset in 2016 was chased by a blue wave in 2018. These swings demonstrate how dramatic realignments—demographically, ideologically and otherwise—continue to accelerate in ways that keep both parties off balance. The coalitions that deliver victory often crumble just two years later. Four years, in this regard, amounts to an eternity.

                        With that in mind, here are 16 reasons why the 2020 election is nothing like 2016:

                        1. Four years ago, Trump won with a coalition of voters. While the fabled working-class whites were central to this coalition, he couldn’t have won without sizable support from suburban white women; from seniors ages 65 and older; and from independents who voted for Barack Obama in the previous election. Today, that coalition is in tatters. Trump ran competitively with college-educated white women against Hillary Clinton, losing them by 7 points; polling now suggests he could lose them by 25 points or more. Trump won seniors by 7 points against Clinton; polling now shows him consistently trailing among seniors by 5 to 15 points. Trump won independents by 4 points; polling now shows Joe Biden running up big margins with those voters. None of this means the president can’t assemble a new coalition to win this November. Indeed, his team has spent considerable time and resources targeting Hispanic voters and Black men, believing inroads with those groups could offset heavy losses elsewhere. Whether he’s successful, the fact remains: Trump’s coalition from 2016 no longer exists.

                        2. Four years ago, just a third of the country believed America was on the right track. These conditions were fundamentally advantageous to Trump, a political outsider, whose party had been out of power for eight years. Today, only one-fifth of the country believes America is on the right track. But this time, Trump bears the brunt of the public’s frustration, primarily due to his handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.

                        3. Four years ago, Trump defeated a Democratic opponent who was intensely disliked by tens of millions of voters; who was viewed as untrustworthy by huge majorities of the public; who was under FBI investigation for much of the general election. Today, Trump is facing a Democratic opponent who does not polarize the country, who does not antagonize the right, and who is personally well-liked.

                        4. Four years ago, turnout was a mixed bag, with solid numbers in some states but anemic participation elsewhere. Early voting numbers lagged in many swing states, reflecting a lack of organizing on the ground. Today, a week out from Election Day, early voting totals have already rocketed past the final figures from 2016, and absentee ballots are pouring into clerks’ offices at a clip nobody ever thought possible. Overall turnout could shatter records. (More on that below.)

                        5. Four years ago, turnout was especially stagnant in battleground states such as Michigan and Wisconsin. (Fun fact: Despite carrying Wisconsin, Trump won fewer votes in the state than Mitt Romney did in 2012; Romney lost Wisconsin by 7 points.) This low turnout owed largely to waning enthusiasm in major Democratic strongholds, such as Detroit and Milwaukee. Today, organizers in these cities report voter-mobilization efforts that make 2016 look like a school board election.

                        6. Four years ago, sluggish voter turnout allowed Trump to win the Electoral College by threadbare majorities (77,744 votes combined in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania) while losing the popular vote by nearly 3 million. It was widely acknowledged that had participation been modestly higher than the roughly 137 million people who voted, Clinton would have won. Today, experts believe we could be heading for turnout in the neighborhood of 160 million votes or higher—which would roughly match the scale of record-breaking turnout in the 2018 midterms, when Democrats won the popular vote for the House by nearly 10 million votes.

                        7. Four years ago, nearly 8 million Americans cast ballots for a third-party presidential candidate, with Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson winning roughly 4.5 million of those votes. Today, with polls showing that voters almost universally view this election as a binary choice between Trump and Biden, third-party vote share will likely plummet. (This is one potential ace up Trump’s sleeve; Johnson stole more votes from Trump than Green Party nominee Jill Stein did from Clinton; based on my reporting, many Johnson voters in conservative counties, where he took upward of 5 percent, are coming home to the GOP, voting for a candidate they weren’t comfortable backing in 2016.)

                        8. Four years ago, the polls were … actually pretty darn accurate, at least at the national level. The final RealClearPolitics average projected Clinton winning the popular vote by 3.3 points; she won by 2.1 points. If the average is off by an identical spread this year—if Biden beats Trump by 7.1 percentage points nationally, instead of the 8.3 points he’s leading by in the current averages—then he clobbers Trump in most if not all of the battleground states and carries somewhere north of 350 votes in the Electoral College.

                        9. Four years ago, some state-based polling missed the mark badly, in part because pollsters struggled to identify some Trump supporters—either people who didn’t want to share their support for him, or people who hadn’t yet decided. Today, pollsters have adjusted their methodologies and are confident they are capturing a more accurate picture of the president’s base; moreover, from my own reporting, it’s been nearly impossible to find the fabled “shy Trump voter” we heard so much about four years ago. Local GOP officials will be the first to tell you about the folks who were too nervous to put a Trump sign on their lawn four years ago but now have five of them plus two bumper stickers.

                        10. Four years ago, district-level polling was full of red flags for Clinton, as local Democrats saw her numbers flatlining due to consistent indicators of low voter enthusiasm. Today, that same district-level polling shows enthusiasm is off the charts, and the top-line numbers have changed accordingly: There are numerous congressional districts that Trump carried by 5 to 10 points in 2016 that he’ll likely lose by 5 to 10 points in 2020.

                        11. Four years ago, as I made clear in Nos. 8, 9 and 10, the polling was nowhere near as dire for Trump as it is today.

                        12. Four years ago, everything that possibly could have broken Trump’s way in the final three weeks of the race, did. Huge numbers of Republicans consolidated around him after panicking over the Access Hollywood tape in early October; his final two weeks of media coverage were by far his most positive of the entire campaign; and FBI Director James Comey’s letter to Congress, effectively reopening the Clinton email investigation just 11 days before the election, had a measurable effect on moderates and independent voters. The net result? Trump gained considerably on Clinton in the closing stretch. Today … well, between two shaky debate performances, a Covid-19 diagnosis, and Washington’s inability to deliver another round of economic aid, things are not exactly breaking the president’s way.

                        13. Four years ago, Democrats did not take Trump seriously. The party’s organizational efforts on the ground were a running joke. State parties bristled at tone-deaf directives handed down from Clinton’s campaign in Brooklyn; local Democratic rainmakers barely lifted a finger to help the nominee, so offended were they by her team’s arrogant approach (and so unworried about a Trump victory). Today, the Biden campaign has integrated itself with state and local parties, delegating major decision-making power to the people on the ground in places like Detroit, Phoenix and Charlotte.

                        14. Four years ago, the battleground map was not elastic. Trump had comfortable polling leads in states like Ohio, Iowa, Georgia and Texas, all of which he won by decent margins. The only safe red state where Clinton got aggressive was Arizona. Today, Trump is playing defense in all five of those states, his resources stretched thinner and thinner across a battleground map that’s gotten wider and wider.
                        15. Four years ago, nobody knew how Trump would govern. Republicans worried—and Democrats hoped—that the new president would fancy himself a New York machine pol, hanging conservatives out to dry and cutting deals with Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi on all sorts of populist initiatives. Today, there is no longer ambiguity as to Trump’s political true north: His embrace of socially conservative policies, deregulatory measures and tax cuts for rich people and corporations puts him, at least policywise, squarely in the Republican mainstream. His uncouth behavior notwithstanding, once-hesitant conservatives know exactly what they’re getting from a Trump administration. Then again, so do the moderates and independents who voted for him last time.

                        16. Four years ago, a Supreme Court vacancy was hanging in the balance. The election-year death of Justice Antonin Scalia, the conservative lion of the high court, gave Trump a critical leverage point that he exploited to rally conservative voters around his campaign. Republican leaders hammered this point home to their voters: This wasn’t about electing Trump; it was about electing a conservative Supreme Court. Today, those voters have a conservative Supreme Court; Monday’s confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett gives conservatives a 6-to-3 majority for years to come. It’s possible that this triumph rallies more troops to Trump. But it’s also possible that the president will be victimized by his own kept promises; that some anti-abortion evangelicals who agonized over the decision to support him in 2016, and did so precisely because they worried about the future of the courts, can now in good conscience vote against him, or just stay home, happy with the right’s takeover of the judiciary.

                        These are all valid points, but who knows what kind of bullshit Trump will pull to stay in office if there's even a shadow of a doubt in a critical swing state(s)

                        “Never let yourself be persuaded that any one Great Man, any one leader, is necessary to the salvation of America. When America consists of one leader and 158 million followers, it will no longer be America.”
                        ― Dwight D. Eisenhower


                        • Trump pulls statistically even with Biden in Florida; Arizona is a dead heat: Reuters/Ipsos

                          WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump has pulled into a virtual tie with Democratic challenger Joe Biden in Florida, just a week after the former vice president held a narrow lead there, a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll showed on Wednesday.

                          With less than a week to go before next Tuesday's election, a second Reuters/Ipsos poll showed that the two candidates remain neck and neck in Arizona.

                          Reuters/Ipsos is polling likely voters in six states - Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan, North Carolina, Florida and Arizona - that will play critical roles in deciding whether Trump wins a second term in office or if Biden ousts him.

                          Below is a state-by-state look at Reuters/Ipsos findings, based on the online responses of likely voters:

                          FLORIDA (Oct. 21 - Oct. 27)

                          * Voting for Biden: 49%

                          * Voting for Trump: 47%

                          * A prior poll had showed Biden with an apparent lead of 50%-46%, with the margin being on the edge of the poll's credibility interval.

                          * 32% said they already had voted.

                          * 48% said Biden would be better at handling the coronavirus pandemic. 42% said Trump would be better.

                          * 52% said Trump would be better at managing the economy. 41% said Biden would be better.

                          ARIZONA (Oct. 21 - Oct. 27):

                          * Voting for Biden: 48%

                          * Voting for Trump: 46%

                          * The two are statistically tied as the margin is within the survey's credibility interval.

                          * A prior poll also showed a statistically even race, with 49% for Biden and 46% for Trump.

                          * 37% said they already had voted.

                          * 50% said Biden would be better at handling the coronavirus pandemic. 42% said Trump would be better.

                          * 50% said Trump would be better at managing the economy. 44% said Biden would be better.

                          MICHIGAN (Oct. 21 - Oct. 27):

                          * Voting for Biden: 52%

                          * Voting for Trump: 43%

                          * Biden was up 51%-44% the prior week.

                          * 32% said they already had voted.

                          * 52% said Biden would be better at handling the coronavirus pandemic. 39% said Trump would be better.

                          * 48% said Trump would be better at managing the economy. 45% said Biden would be better.

                          NORTH CAROLINA (Oct. 21 - Oct. 27):

                          * Voting for Biden: 49%

                          * Voting for Trump: 48%

                          * Since the margin is within the poll's credibility interval, the race is statistically tied, as it was in the prior poll when Biden had 49% to Trump's 46%.

                          * 35% said they already had voted.

                          * 48% said Biden would be better at handling the coronavirus pandemic. 44% said Trump would be better.

                          * 51% said Trump would be better at managing the economy. 43% said Biden would be better.

                          WISCONSIN (Oct. 20 - Oct. 26):

                          * Voting for Biden: 53%

                          * Voting for Trump: 44%

                          * Biden's advantage is marginally wider than his 51%-43% lead the prior week.

                          * 33% said they already had voted.

                          * 52% said Biden would be better at handling the coronavirus pandemic. 38% said Trump would be better.

                          * 47% said Trump would be better at managing the economy. 45% said Biden would be better.

                          PENNSYLVANIA (Oct. 20 - Oct. 26):

                          * Voting for Biden: 50%

                          * Voting for Trump: 45%

                          * Biden's lead is marginally wider than in the prior week when he was up 49%-45%, an advantage that was on the edge of the survey's credibility interval.

                          * 21% said they already had voted.

                          * 50% said Biden would be better at handling the coronavirus pandemic. 42% said Trump would be better.

                          * 50% said Trump would be better at managing the economy. 43% said Biden would be better.

                          “Never let yourself be persuaded that any one Great Man, any one leader, is necessary to the salvation of America. When America consists of one leader and 158 million followers, it will no longer be America.”
                          ― Dwight D. Eisenhower


                          • Biden will win, polls say. But the stock market is sending a different signal | Market Watch (op-ed) | Oct 13 2020

                            With three weeks to go, President Trump’s re-election bid is in trouble. At least that’s what the polls show.

                            But it’s not what the stock market is signaling. Based on nearly a century’s worth of election-year data, Trump may yet win.

                            Here’s the research, and it is compelling: Since 1928, whenever the S&P 500 Index SPX, -3.52% of the largest U.S. stocks has risen in the three months prior to a presidential election, the party that controlled the White House won 90% of the time.

                            “If you think about it intuitively, it makes sense,” says Julian Emanuel, chief equity and derivative strategist for the investment firm BTIG who compiled the data. “Because a rising stock market tends to be a ratification of the present policies being satisfying to the investing public.”

                            Three months prior to election day (Nov. 3), the S&P 500 was at 3,271 points. It’s over 3,500 today, a gain of 7%. Based on Emanuel’s study of history, Trump is better positioned to win a second term than pollsters or the media seem to think.

                            Both, Emanuel says, may be “underestimating the probability of President Trump getting re-elected.”

                            He’s unswayed by Biden’s recent surge. The former vice president’s lead in national polls has risen from about 6.5 percentage points at the beginning of October to about 10.5 points now, according to aggregate data compiled by media sites Real Clear Politics and 538.

                            Emanuel’s answer to this: The race perhaps isn’t being handicapped correctly.
                            It would seem the stock market is a better predictor than the polls.

                            Only thing is this article came out when the S&P index was at 3,500, its 3,271 at close of business yesterday.

                            It took a sudden dip in the last couple of days


                            • It would seem opinions from THIS WEEK disagree with your opinion piece from 2 weeks ago...


                              “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
                              Mark Twain


                              • What happens when a narcissist loses? Expect "rage" and "terror," psychologists warn

                                There is agreement among psychologists — and, for that matter, anyone who has been abused by narcissistic personalities — that President Donald Trump fits the psychological profile of a narcissist. What does that mean for the upcoming election, particularly if Trump loses, as polls suggest? Psychologists tell Salon that pathological narcissists who do not get their way tend to react abusively — which could lead to one of several devastating political scenarios for the nation in the election's aftermath.

                                "One does not have to diagnose to recognize pathological or toxic narcissism," Dr. Bandy X. Lee, a psychiatrist who has taught at Yale and authored the new book "Profile of a Nation: Trump's Mind, America's Soul," told Salon by email. "This is behavior, not a diagnosis — and the media need not fixate so much on 'the Goldwater rule,' which applies to only 6% of practicing mental health professionals (that is, members of the American Psychiatric Association, the only association in the world with this rule)."

                                The so-called Goldwater Rule holds that "it is unethical for a psychiatrist to offer a professional opinion unless he or she has conducted an examination and has been granted proper authorization for such a statement." However, the rule does not apply to describing obvious narcissistic behavior in a public figure, any more than it would disqualify someone from describing celebrities who spend most of their days drinking liquor as having an alcohol problem.

                                "Those with pathological narcissism are abusive and dangerous because of their catastrophic neediness," Lee explained. "Think of a drowning person gasping for air: a survival instinct just may push you down in order to save one's own life. In the manner that the body needs oxygen, the soul needs love, and self-love is what a toxic narcissist is desperately lacking. This is why he must overcompensate, creating for himself a self-image where he is the best at everything, never wrong, better than all the experts, and a 'stable genius.'"

                                Dr. Ramani Durvasula, a licensed clinical psychologist and professor of psychology who is noted as an expert on narcissistic personality disorder and narcissistic abuse, agrees that Trump is narcissistic and believes this makes him very dangerous.

                                As Durvasula explained, many of Trump's seemingly inexplicable actions as president make sense when viewed through the lens of a "narcissistic or antagonist personality style." These include "validation and admiration seeking," as manifested by his "endless campaign rallies despite the associated danger, needing to be taken on a ride around the hospital when he had COVID-19 so people could wave to him, repeatedly requiring validation on the number of people present at his inauguration." Trump also displays denial, as seen by his response to the pandemic, and vindictiveness, as demonstrated by his obsession with reversing Barack Obama's legacy "seemingly just to punish him" as well as by his threat to "withhold federal funds from California for wildfire destruction because he perceives the state is against him."

                                In addition, Durvasula pointed out that Trump shows extreme sensitivity to criticism through the erratic and malicious content he frequently posts on Twitter, but at the same time reveals a lack of empathy through "his discourse about the diverse citizenry of this country – racial and ethnic minorities, specific religious groups (e.g. Muslims), women, and separating families at the border." Trump, Durvasula said, is also manipulative, as he panders to a constituency that he appears to "have contempt for." Durvasula cited his gaslighting, too— meaning trying to alter or deny memories of basic facts — is revealed in how "he has often been caught by fact-checkers in his lies, and denies things he actually said."

                                Perhaps the most ominous of the symptoms that Durvasula identified, though, is "triangulation." As she explained, "this is the infliction of chaos created by turning groups against each other. Doing this centralizes the power in the narcissist and creates a blind alliance between some of the polarized groups and him; the country is terribly polarized on numerous dimensions, to the point where families are bearing a toll of divisiveness based on the antagonistic rhetoric."

                                Now, experts and pollsters seem to agree that Trump is likely to lose this election. So what happens when a narcissist doesn't get their way?

                                Lee explained that narcissists who cannot get the love they crave will frequently seek adulation as a substitute. Because no amount of adulation will ever satisfy them, though, "the usual course of an unconstrained pathological narcissist is to seek positions of ever greater power and celebrity." Yet, as Lee explains, because "reality never matches one's fantasy, dissatisfaction grows at greater pace."

                                Therefore, if Trump loses to Biden, as seems likely, the outcome could be be "frightening."

                                "Just as one once settled for adulation in lieu of love, one may settle for fear when adulation no longer seems attainable," Dr. Lee told Salon. "Rage attacks are common, for people are bound to fall short of expectation for such a needy personality—and eventually everyone falls into this category. But when there is an all-encompassing loss, such as the loss of an election, it can trigger a rampage of destruction and reign of terror in revenge against an entire nation that has failed him."

                                She added, "It is far easier for the pathological narcissist to consider destroying oneself and the world, especially its 'laughing eyes,' then to retreat into becoming a 'loser' and a 'sucker' — which to someone suffering from this condition will feel like psychic death."

                                In a sense, the best analogy is that of a narcissistic family member abusing other family members. Metaphorically, Trump has already abused America. "This personality pattern has taken a toll on this country, and been quite abusive," Durvasula says. "It has eroded trust, left a nation confused and unsupported, and deeply divided and insecure. These same adjectives can be used to describe a marriage or a family which is suffering the challenges of a difficult narcissistic personality in its midst."

                                If Trump loses, Durvasula says it will be like watching a three-year-old refuse to go to bed.

                                "They will just stand there, poignantly in their Superman pajamas and say NO, I am NOT going to bed, and drop to the ground and scream," she explained. "Plan on an adult version of that. As is often the case when a difficult personality style like this faces disappointment we tend to see a cascade of reactions – oppositionality, denial, rage, despair, paranoia, more rage, entitlement, victimhood, and vindictiveness."

                                The next question, then, is what Trump could actually do in his vindictive rage to punish an America which he may believe has consigned him to "loser" status. (Indeed, one-term presidents are usually regarded as failures — and Trump would be the first one-termer in 28 years). As political activist and former Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader wrote in August, Trump could pressure the Justice Department to issue bogus subpoenas in order to punish his critics and opponents, pull out of contracts with businesses and individuals who he feels wronged him, refuse to work with Biden's transition team in handing over power and (of course) "intensify the use of the Justice Department and his personal lawyers to challenge in every frivolous, obstructive way the results of the election in selected states, no matter what the margin of his defeat."

                                Trump could also pick winners and losers in terms of who receives federal help during the pandemic and recession, helping those who sided with him and exacting vengeance against those who did not. He could egg on his supporters into committing acts of violence or, at the very least, do everything in his power to make sure they do not accept the legitimacy of a Biden presidency. He could pressure the Federal Reserve to try to drive up interest rates and stop supporting the stock and corporate bond markets, actions that would tank the American economy (and which Trump would most likely attempt to blame on Biden).

                                Most ominous of all, a narcissist like Trump could simply refuse to leave office when his term ends on January 20, 2021. America has never had an incumbent president flat-out defy the results of an election — John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Martin Van Buren, Grover Cleveland, Benjamin Harrison, William Taft, Herbert Hoover, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and George H. W. Bush all overcame their disappointment and accepted that they had lost.

                                If Trump refuses to leave because of his narcissism, it will be unprecedented. It will be abnormal. And it will all have been very, very predictable.

                                The only thing that will stop or ameliorate Trump's scorched earth vengeance will be public servants and appointees that still have a conscience.
                                “Never let yourself be persuaded that any one Great Man, any one leader, is necessary to the salvation of America. When America consists of one leader and 158 million followers, it will no longer be America.”
                                ― Dwight D. Eisenhower