A Rocky Night for Joe Biden — But Did it Change Anything?
Author: Greg Valliere
October 23, 2020
IT WASN’T JOE BIDEN’S STRONGEST NIGHT: He looked pale and frail, he had difficulty finding the right words, and he gave Donald Trump a major new issue — phasing out reliance on oil. But public opinion seems locked in cement, and the debate probably didn’t move the needle significantly.
TRUMP MAY NEVER RECOVER from his handling of the pandemic, and Biden won’t let him forget it — it’s as simple as that. This issue dwarfs all others in the campaign, as Trump continues to hold packed rallies that put thousands of people at risk.
YET TRUMP STILL HAS A CHANCE: He has remarkable energy and may enjoy a momentum surge in the closing days. And Trump has a new issue to exploit — Biden’s gaffe last night, calling for phasing out of oil. Biden was headed to defeat in oil-rich Texas and Oklahoma, but this doesn’t help him in Pennsylvania.
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE AGENDA: Hunter Biden’s dealings in Ukraine and China have become a deafening issue for Fox News, but most Americans don’t care (or can’t figure out what the fuss is all about). The real opportunity for Trump to exploit is Biden’s progressive agenda, but the prospect of significantly higher taxes barely came up last night.
SOME SNAP POLLS DURING THE NIGHT showed viewers thought Biden won, but we’ll stick with our assessment that it wasn’t a great night for the former vice president. “Biden didn’t project any vitality,” a friend texted last night.
SO NOW THE PRESSURE IS SQUARELY ON TRUMP to show discipline and stick to a simple closing argument on the economy. If Trump continues to veer off into twitter fights with Anthony Fauci or Hunter Biden, it will dissipate any bump he got last night.
BOTTOM LINE: Biden wins the national vote by 4 to 6 points, not the landslide that some Democrats are predicting, and he gets about 300 electoral votes, just 30 more than needed. Biden’s lead is not insurmountable in key battleground states, but voters may have made up their minds, and last night probably won’t change that.
THE LIKELIHOOF OF A RELATIVELY CLOSE FINISH has two significant implications: a Trump legal challenge, based on what he considers corrupt mail-in ballots, is still possible. And a relatively close finish could marginally help the GOP keep the Senate — so a Blue Wave, while probable, isn’t quite certain.
The views expressed in this blog are provided as a general source of information based on information available as of the date of publication and should not be considered as personal investment advice or an offer or solicitation to buy and/or sell securities. Speculation or stated believes about future events, such as market or economic conditions, company or security performance, or other projections represent the beliefs of the author and do not necessarily represent the view of AGF, its subsidiaries or any of its affiliated companies, funds or investment strategies. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy in these commentaries at the time of publication; however, accuracy cannot be guaranteed. Market conditions may change and AGF accepts no responsibility for individual investment decisions arising from the use of or reliance on the information contained herein. Any financial projections are based on the opinions of the author and should not be considered as a forecast. The forward looking statements and opinions may be affected by changing economic circumstances and are subject to a number of uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in the forward looking statements. The information contained in this commentary is designed to provide you with general information related to the political and economic environment in the United States. It is not intended to be comprehensive investment advice applicable to the circumstances of the individual.
AGF Investments is a group of wholly owned subsidiaries of AGF Management Limited, a Canadian reporting issuer. The subsidiaries included in AGF Investments are AGF Investments Inc. (AGFI), AGF Investments America Inc. (AGFA), AGF Investments LLC (AGFUS) and AGF International Advisors Company Limited (AGFIA). AGFA and AGFUS are registered advisors in the U.S. AGFI is a registered as a portfolio manager across Canadian securities commissions. AGFIA is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland and registered with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission. The subsidiaries that form AGF Investments manage a variety of mandates comprised of equity, fixed income and balanced assets.
About AGF Management Limited
Founded in 1957, AGF Management Limited (AGF) is an independent and globally diverse asset management firm. AGF brings a disciplined approach to delivering excellence in investment management through its fundamental, quantitative, alternative and high-net-worth businesses focused on providing an exceptional client experience. AGF’s suite of investment solutions extends globally to a wide range of clients, from financial advisors and individual investors to institutional investors including pension plans, corporate plans, sovereign wealth funds and endowments and foundations.
For further information, please visit AGF.com.
©2022 AGF Management Limited. All rights reserved.