Let's clean out the notebook ...
• Putting aside policy debates for now, let's look at the cold hard facts on how the presidential handicapping is going along. I am mainly using the Real Clear Politic average of polls (they always do a good job), but they seem to be agreeing with others right now.
Let's put it this way: President Trump could win the election, and several battleground states are close. I have thought he could take Arizona, Ohio, Iowa, and Georgia; Florida, with 29 electoral votes, is close. But overall, his path is narrowing and it seemed to me that Rust Belt and Great Lake states will make a difference.
The thing is, the polls are becoming rather steady in Wisconsin (10 electoral votes) and Michigan (16), and Pennsylvania (20). RCP indicates that Biden's strong and leaning states already amounts to 226, compared to 125 for Trump and 187 undecided. If voting were to hold to those polling averages, Biden only needs 44 more to get to the magic number of 270, and those Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania would do it.
And for that matter, Republicans also see concerning signals in Iowa and Ohio. North Carolina could go for Biden and Florida early voting is leaning Democratic with seniors appearing unhappy with Trump. However, a Republican surge of voting on Election Day could negate that in Florida. And I should point out that any large tossing out of late absentee ballots for not following rules, with no time to correct them, could also have an effect, although I am hearing late voters in some states are headed to early open polls, not trusting the absentee or vote-by-mail process.
Many people don't trust polling, pointing to 2016, but you can't tell me pollsters haven't made adjustments. Professionals are also giving figures to adjust using 2016 trends, and the end result is that Biden is still in good shape. In fact, RCP said if no toss ups are counted and everyone votes where they are at now, it would be 358 for Biden and 180 for Trump.
And don't think that Ed is the only one paying attention, because some Republicans in the Beltway, disheartened by the president's debate and his actions after getting COVID-19, are privately indicating they are bracing for the worst. Democrats - who have also done well with fundraising - see possible victory and are even pouring money into places like Texas, where no one once thought they had a chance. Currently, Trump is up 4.4 percent in the averages, but is still a toss-up. As this goes on, Biden may actually have better chances in Ohio, Iowa and Arizona.
Again, polls can be wrong, but the fervor for Trump is not as strong as it is in Alabama, and we should be braced. As I understand, some are also looking for the vote totals in Florida to go quickly, and if it goes for Trump, that would take a lot of the air out of the balloon.
• I also heard a prediction from someone I trust that Republican Tommy Tuberville will win the Alabama Senate race, but not by landslide margins. The advertising by incumbent Democrat Doug Jones has been brutal, and I think it has had some effect. But straight ticket voting and the liberal label on Jones will be hard to overcome. The irony is that it may not matter for Jones, as there is already some speculation, reported by Politico, that if Biden wins, Jones could be named attorney general. That would be interesting as it would be the second administration in a row to pick a sitting or former U.S. senator from Alabama for that seat.
• For those who recall Guin Mayor Phil Segraves as the president of the Alabama League of Municipalities two terms ago, he is going back into office. Segraves served for 16 years until 2016, and the mayor who served before him for 16 years, Max Maddox, beat him in 2016. (Maddox served from 1984 to 2000, and Segraves served from 2000 to 2016.) Now, Segraves has come back in the runoff to defeat Maddox with 56 percent of the vote. The voter turnout actually increased from 587 in the primary to 648 in the runoff, a rare trend; Segraves lacked two votes to avoid a runoff.
• Seems like sinus drainage is going across the Eagle office, probably due to the temperature changes. I got it last week and got my meds, but I also got a COVID-19 test for good measure. It was negative, the third time it came out well for me this year. I had to quarantine from Saturday afternoon through Monday afternoon, and used Door Dash to get meals. It can add a few bucks to the price, so I use it sparingly, but the delivery service is pretty good, and they update you by text. I put out a TV tray outside the door, and they leave the food there. I still need to try out some of the other services sometime.
• The Alabama Tourism Department is doing marketing for safe outdoor places for people to go during the pandemic. They contacted me to do photos of the 50-Mule Team (the painted mules), Walker County Lake and Clear Creek Recreation Area. They wanted people if possible, with and without masks, but it didn't work out. I had a great shot of some strangers with the mule at the courthouse clock, but I blew it by forgetting to get releases from them as the state wanted. (Becoming sick didn't help matters, either, and with a tight one-week deadline and declining energy.)
I did go to Clear Creek for the first time and thought that was a nice facility for the family to visit, although it looked half closed. The department thought it was in Walker County, but I think we determined finally that it is actually in Winston County.