The Instigator
Con (against)
21 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
0 Points

Trump's Reelection

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Voting Style: Judge Point System: Select Winner
Started: 1/19/2018 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,455 times Debate No: 106903
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (32)
Votes (3)





Nd2 asked to debate me on this in my thread, so, here we are. As someone who despises Trump, I sincerely hope that my arguments will prove predictive, rather than simply jinxing me. Suffice it to say, I am and am not looking forward to 2020. Here's to what will hopefully be a great debate!

In order to ensure quality judging, I have nominated the following judges: Tej, Whiteflame, Warren, Max, and Danielle. Those judges, by accepting this debate, agree to set aside their personal views on the topic and to adjudicate the round as impartially as they can; they also agree to refrain from discussing their vote or the outcome of the debate with any third party or the debaters themselves before casting their ballot. If Nd2 would like to have this list altered in any way, he should inform me before accepting the debate. The voting period lasts 14 days.


Donald Trump is more likely than not to be reelected President in 2020


The debaters will assume, for the purposes of the debate, that Trump, during his first term, will not be removed from office via impeachment and trial proceedings, via exercising provisions of the 25th amendment, or by resignation. In other words, we will assume that he remains President at the time of the 2020 elections. We will further assume that he is the GOP's nominee for President in those elections.


1. No forfeits
2. Citations must be provided in the text of the debate
3. No new arguments in the final speeches
4. Observe good sportsmanship and maintain a civil and decorous atmosphere
5. No trolling
6. No "kritiks" of the topic (challenging assumptions in the resolution)
7. For all resolutional terms, individuals should use commonplace understandings that fit within the logical context of the resolution, the reality of the US political landscape, and this debate
8. The BOP is evenly shared
9. Pro must post their arguments in R1 and waive in R4
10. Rebuttals of new points raised in an adversary's immediately preceding speech may be permissible at the judges' discretion even in the final round (debaters may debate their appropriateness)
11. Violation of any of these rules, or of any of the R1 set-up, merits a loss


R1. Pro's Case
R2. Con's Case; Pro generic Rebuttal
R3. Con generic Rebuttal; Pro generic Rebuttal and Summary
R4. Con generic Rebuttal and Summary; Pro Waives

Thanks... Nd2 for the debate. Looking forward to a discussion about our collective and political futures.


We'll hello Bsh1, i must say i actually agree with most of what you have talk" about on any subject. You been on this site for awhile now, and build up a good reputation. So it's a honor to debate someone like you. Finally we have a disagreement about something. This disagreement is actually rather simple, but also very important. Sure it's hypothetical, we don't have all the facts nor we can't predict the future. But we can gather what we do have on who might win this up coming Presidential election in 2020. So thank you Bsh1, for this interesting subject. I guess i should begin now.

This is not an easy subject for someone like me. Mostly because it hard to defend this guy. This guy meaning Trump. Trump does things or say things on a level we have never seen before. But yet he is our President, the President of the United State of America. I have to say last January i didn't think trump was going to last not to mention him being an Ok President. But here we are after one year of him being in the Oval Office, and he hasn't destroyed us, and things is running more smoothly then earlier in his term. He may not said things correctly, nor have the right frame of mind in some cases. But he was like this during his campaign trial and people still voted for him all the way to the White House. So, he has done something right.

Now i will discuss what he has actually gotten done so far in his first term. "Stock markets have hit record highs, oil prices remain low, consumer and small-business confidence is buoyant, and inflation is under control". (1.)
The fight against IsIs "one things for sure: under Trump, the U.S. military has overseen a major victory against the terrorist organization". (2.)
In Trump first year in office, "Trump has set a record for the amount of judges he has appointed to federal appeals courts nationwide". (3.)
Trump other accomplishment "nominated a conservative Supreme Court judge " Neil Gorsuch " to replace Antonin Scalia". (4.)

Sure trump try to repeal Obamacare aka (affordable care act) and failed. But this could be a good thing for trump, because if he had repeal it there were going to be a lot of unhappy people. But it still a chance to change it in the future to make it better. I have mentioned this earlier but the stocks are booming under trump. More specific the Dow Jones. Trump has the 4th "Greatest percentage rises in the Dow Jones during the first year of a Presidential term at 28.50%". (5.) so this is obviously good news for trump. With a upbeat economy and no major set backs he will win his re-election bid. But let me go a little more deeper on why he will win.

You going to mention his overall approval rating is at a all time low at 39% with most polls. But can you actually trust these polls? Most of us believe that Hillary Clinton was up pretty big before the election. And what happened? She lost to a guy with no politics experience.
"The final NBC News/SurveyMonkey poll also shows Clinton with a strong lead - ahead of Trump by six points, 47 per cent to 41 per cent." (6.)
Another poll also pointed toward a Hillary win "Bloomberg Politics national poll shows Hilary Clinton pulling ahead of Donald Trump by three points " 44 per cent to 41 per cent respectively". (7.) Again another poll wrong. I could name dozens more. The reason why I'm mentioning these polls because they were wrong. And these approval ratings could be wrong as while. They are no longer a proven fact on what the majority think anymore. "Relying largely on opinion polls, election forecasters put Clinton"s chance of winning at anywhere from 70% to as high as 99%, and pegged her as the heavy favorite to win a number of states such as Pennsylvania and Wisconsin that in the end were taken by Trump". (8.) Plus even if these numbers were right with trump at 39% disapproval, then these numbers could only get better with in time right? Can't get any worst.

"A poll from Morning Consult/Politico found 82 percent of Trump voters would vote for him again in a re-do of the 2016 election." (9.) The Republican poll could be the most accurate, because this base voted him in and are more likely to vote for him again in 2020. People love comparing Ronald Reagan, to Trump. And their are similarities, like both didn't have a political background, both were dislike by the media, both had strong personality, and both had to replace numbers of their administration and many more similarities to add on. But the reason why i brought up Reagan is because he was dislike at the beginning and by the end he was very well like. This could be true for Trump.

The other reason trump will win his re-election bid is because of this. The democrats has no real challenger to replace Mr. Trump. They were running a failed strategic back in 2016 and still running a failed strategic. Who in your mind should run or actually have a realistic shoot at taking over as President? Just name 5 if you can. Don't need a paragraph on names. And tell me why you think they could beat trump. Because as of right now i see no one. I will also agree the mid-terms election will be important, i agreeing because you will mention it. But keep in mind the Democratic are still losing because they have no winning strategies in place. They got lucky by winning Alabama, they may not be so lucky by mid-terms. And as for this white house shutdown i will need more details since it just now happening while I'm writing this. But as if right now it doesn't look good for both party's, not just trump. This isn't all his mess. I will just leave it at that for now.

Trump will win this up coming election, because of the economy, it not going to have a down turn. His tax plan is already playing dividend to the economy by company's giving out bonuses, giving out better wages, already making decisions on staying in America like Apple and Tesla. And it already giving individuals better pay. I may go more in depth on his tax plan later. But as long as trump keep doing what his Republican bases wants he will win his re-election. Oh yeah just to mention another thing here. His strategy on North Korea is actually working, "South Korea's Moon says Trump deserves 'big' credit for North Korea talks". (11.)

I'm looking forward on your responses....
Debate Round No. 1


Thanks to Nd2 for the debate. I'll now present my case.

I. The Unpopularity Problem

A. Comparison to Previous Reelection Failures

Since the beginning of modern polling, only 3 Presidents who stood for reelection failed to prevail in their reelection bids. Those presidents are Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and GHW Bush. Understanding how Trump is faring a year in compared to these Presidents may give us a decent indication of whether he is likely to endure their fate. The average difference between Trump's net approval rating and the net approval rating of these three Presidents is 49.3 points. In other words, Trump is 49.3 points less popular (at this point in their presidencies) than the last three presidents who lost reelection [1].

B. Trump is Historically Unpopular

In fact, Trump's net approval ratings on year in have never matched or exceeded those of any of the last 12 presidents [1]. It is not hyperbole to say that Trump is historically unpopular. His approval rating has never risen above 47.8% and has spent more time below 40% than above it. On the flip side, Trump's disapproval rating has been over 50% for 11 consecutive months. None of the last 12 presidents ended their first years in office with net negative approval ratings. In other words, since 1945, no President ever reached the levels of deep unpopularity that Trump has during their first year in office [1].

C. Trump has Hemorrhaged Support

And the thing is, Trump didn't just start out low, he has spent most of the last year on a downward polling trend. He is actively losing support as time goes on. From his high point earlier this year until now, Trump has hemorrhaged 8.3 percentage points in his approval rating [1]. Given that his highest approval rating (47.8%) is similar to his electoral performance in 2016 (46.1%), if we assume that even just half of the voters in that 8.3% choose to vote for another candidate come 2020, Trump is almost certain to lose, capturing only about 42% of the vote.

D. The Special Elections

Moreover, actual election results are confirming that the Republicans are in a bad place right now. The various special elections held in 2017 showed that Democrats were outperforming districts' partisan leans by an average of 16%. A partisan lean the way in which a district would be expected to vote "in a neutral environment (i.e. an environment in which a Democratic and Republican presidential candidate would tie 50-50 nationally)." [2]

II. Miscellaneous

A. Shifting Views of Trump

Voters are finding Trump to be less and less moderate. "Since before Trump took office, YouGov has been asking voters to place Trump on an ideological scale from 'very liberal' to 'very conservative.' Compared to a four-week average in the lead-up to Trump"s inauguration, the most recent four-week average finds far fewer voters saying he is moderate or liberal and far more saying he is conservative." [3] This is significant, since Trump cast himself as an atypical Republican who could reach across both sides of the aisle to forge lasting deals. As the image of him as a moderate deal-maker erodes, he will probably lose the moderates and independents who voted for him in the hopes that he could bridge the partisan divide.

B. Things Aren't Getting Better for Trump

It seems unlikely Trump's position will improve going forward. Mueller's investigation seems to be destined to carry on through 2018 and maybe beyond (as the talking heads on CNN never cease to remind us). Moreover, to state the obvious, Trump is exceedingly gaffe prone. From mis-tweeting about FISA to calling African nations sh*thole countries, it seems that Trump is unable to stop himself from engaging in political self-harm. His irascible nature make him few allies within his administration, and it's clear GOP congressional leadership is becoming increasingly disenchanted with him. From Paul Ryan having to put out fires after the FISA and CR tweets to McConnell publicly admitting he has no idea where the President is on immigration reform, it seems like Trump's credibility (or what little he had) in DC is crumbling beneath him. Trump's presidency is floundering in any number of ways, and his missteps, faux pas, and crass behavior consistantly distract from whatever "good" news his administration could've been touting instead.

III. Trump Barely Won in 2016

Putting aside, for the moment, the fact that Trump lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes, let's focus on what got him the Presidency: the electoral college. On the face of it, the 306-232 skew in Trump's favor seems impressive, but, in point of fact, it was only barely cobbled together. [5]

A. Democratic Pathways to Electoral College Victory

Before I launch into an analysis of how flimsy Trump's win actual was, let's first assess the possible avenues for victory for a democratic challenger to Trump. Assuming that all the states that voted for Clinton vote for the democrat in 2020, a democrat would need only 269 votes to win. Why is that? Assuming a tied electoral college (269-269), the Constitution provides that the House of Representatives will decide the outcome of the election. Since all signs point to the House being in democratic control moving forward, it's logical to assume that they would vote to select the Democratic candidate.

A democrat could reach or exceed the 269 threshold by winning (1) PA, MI, and ME's 2nd Congressional District (ME2); (2) PA, MI, and WI; (3) FL and any one of the following: PA, MI, or WI. These are the most likely pathways, though there are outside chances of winning with AZ or NC and some combination of the others. Even more remotely but still plausible: winning with OH or IA. [4]

B. Trump's Flimsy Electoral College Coalition

So, back to Trump's "flimsy" win. Why do I say it was flimsy, and why does that matter? Well, it was flimsy because Trump barely won the states that got him elected, and that matters because these states should therefore not be hard to flip. Let's take a look at some results [5] one-by-one:

ME2: Trump won this delegate by some 37,000 votes out of some 350,000 cast. About 28,000 votes were votes cast for Johnson, Stein, or McMullin--votes which were probably cast out of mutual disgust for both Clinton and Trump. It is highly plausible that a less odious Democrat could win a lot of those disgruntled voters; if Trump sheds any voters, as he probably will, or if his voters stay at home, then this delegate could easily go to the Democrat.

FL: This is a similar situation to ME2. Trump won in FL by about 100,000 votes, but the votes for third parties numbered around 300,000. A democrat has a viable path to victory there by winning some of these third party voters back and by either convincing Trump voters to switch their vote or to stay at home on election day.

MI: Trump won MI by just 10,704 votes. PA: Trump won PA by just 44,292 votes. WI: Trump won WI by only 22,784 votes. In each one of these states, more than 3 million votes were cast. And, in each one of these states, Jill Stein won more votes than the total number of votes separating Trump and Clinton; Stein falls on the left, so the natural alternative for her voters would be the Democrat. So it's again likely that a more likable Democrat could not only woo back voters who fled to third parties, but could capitalize on Trump's historic unpopularity to steal voters away from him.

AZ: Trump won AZ by about 91,000 votes out of 2.3 million cast. NC: Trump won NC by about 173,000 votes out of more than 4.5 million cast. Both AZ and NC are trending blue, and NC has a Democratic governor. As demographic shifts continue to push these states closer to the Democratic camp, they will be even more in-play by 2020 then they were for 2016.

In truth, Trump won the election by a meager 77,780 votes. That number represents his combined margin of victory for MI, WI, and PA--the states that won him the election. Out of 13.6 million votes cast in those states, that number represents just 0.57%. [5] All a Democrat needs to do to win in these states is to convince enough Trump voters to stay home or to switch their votes, and maybe coax a few third-party voters to vote for them, and they would probably win these states and the Presidency.

B. The Enthusiasm Gap

It is political gospel that general elections tend to favor Democrats. But even setting that aside, the Democrats have enthusiasm on their side, and that will help power them to victory. Trump's "strong disapproval now 47.4 percent, up from 44.1 percent on May 23. And Trump"s strong approval rating is just 20.4 percent, down a tick from 21.4 percent in May." [6] Strong (dis)approval numbers are important indicators of enthusiasm, because they give insight into how excited or committed a voter is about/to their candidate. The fact that more people revile Trump than love him suggests, as the Special Election results seem to confirm, that the enthusiasm lies on the Democrat's side. This could seriously hurt Trump, particularly when his margins of victory in key states were so razor thin last cycle. Unenthusiastic voters are more likely to just not vote at all, and if Trump's voters stay at home, the Democrat will likely prevail.

IV. Conclusion

So, what are the key takeaways here? Trump is historically unpopular, and his unpopularity is going to handicap him moving forward. Democrats are energized, and well-positioned to beat Trump in states Trump only barely won in the first place. And the political situation for Trump is only deteriorating. In short, Trump is more likely than not to lose his reelection bid.

V. Sources

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Thanks. Vote Con!


We'll thank you Bsh1 for your insights and your thoughtfulness discussion. So, i guess you were ready for a battle and I'm glad to see this. Let's get this show on the road shell we!!!!

Let's talk why and how Donald Trump got where he is today. Because it important to understand why he got to be President before we can go forward on his re-election. You did a good job on the numbers part, so i won't get to much involved there. But it's important to realize who he went against and how the numbers are only part of how he won the Presidential election. Yes Trump won 306 to 232 electoral college votes. And yes when you add all that up he only won barely by 77,780 votes. And he lost the popular vote by over 3 millions. But the popular vote doesn't matter if you could win the electoral college votes. That's what trump did, he won the electoral college votes. If you look more closely this past election has the most votes ever standing at 138,847,000. This also tell us "voting age population (VAP) turnout was 55.5%". (13.); This was higher than 2012 election. So people voted this past elections. And trump still won. Now why did he win? Well it pretty simple because he actually went down and dirty. Meaning he went to the swing states and campaign. Unlike his opponent Hillary Clinton she campaign in states where she was already going to win like California and New York. As for Trump he went to "swing states of Florida, Ohio, and Iowa, as well as the three "blue wall" stronghold states of Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin". (14.) Another factor is trump promised changes as for Hillary she didn't promised anything. Hillary didn't challenge trump during their lives debates she didn't say anything meaningful as for trump he promised many, many things and his Republican base brought them. Trump win because a lot of people hated Hillary way more than trump. Trump take full advantage of the attention he was getting, it didn't matter if it was a negative. He turn it to say something meaningful. As for Hillary she just didn't do anything and this hurt her. But now he is in office and it going take a lot to knock him out. People didn't think he would win nevermind doing doing a decent job of being the commander and chief.

Now you talk about his approval rating being historically low and this may be true. But i already kinda touch on this in the first round. But i will go though it in more detail now. Can you actually trust these polls or approval ratings? I mean look these polls or approval ratings are a very small sample size when you compare them to the national size. These polls or approval ratings only have like a 1,000 to 10,000 or 100,000 people voted on them. This doesn't mean these polls are correct, when you consider the size of the Nation. These polls most people don't take very seriously. For example look what happened to the Presidential election. Trump took over 62 millions votes. None of theses polls predicted that. The media trying to manipulate these polls and approval ratings to make trump look bad. They try this during the election and what happened? They failed and they are still failing. Another way the media could be manipulating these polls is this way. You have a poll that says do you like trump or you don't like. Then you get only 10 people who voted on this poll. 6 out of 10 say they dislike trump. That would be 60% disliking him. And only 40% liking him. So you could see these polls are very a very small sample. So could you really trust these polling? If you want to have faith in these polls then here one "In October, for example, 44 percent of 2016 voters said they approved of Trump"s performance in office, compared with 37 percent of the general population". (15.) You want more evidence here "Among Republicans, 82 percent of voters approved of Trump in October, compared with 75 percent of all Republicans". (16.)

Only 15 won two consecutive elections out of 42 men who served as president before the current incumbent. "Among the others, five died during their first terms, seven incumbents declined to run". (17.)
So if you take away the 12 mention then Mr.Trump has a 50% chance to win. Those are pretty good odds. It will obviously matter who he runs against too. I have mentioned in the first round name 5 candidates you think could or should be nominated for the Democratic. This is important, because if you have a candidate like Hillary, trump will win pretty easily. You might be waiting to name these names later in this debate. But i will advise you to name them in the next round. So, i could have a chance to defend my argument better. It would be unfair for me if you name these candidates in your 3th or 4th round, because i would have no way of giving back my responses. Another reason why i think this is important on picking some candidates is this. Only a few candidates have a realistic chance of beating trump or at least giving this next presidential race interesting. The person does matter on who people wanting to vote for. If you give the voter bad choices then you get what happen in 2016. I can only think of two who might be able to beat trump. But the Democratic could failed again on electing them. And give out a poor choice like they did in 2016.

You mention that the mid-term election could go toward the Democratic way. And that would have a good insights on who might win the next election. That might be true, but like i said before the person matter more. Not what party or where they came from. People going to vote on the person not the party. So even if the Democratic win this year mid-term election it doesn't guarantee them anything comes 2020. The person who they elect will matter way more. You also mention the Democratic seem more enthusiastic about this coming mid-terms. But i will question again does these new poll numbers really matter anymore? Why do i say this, well i will point to what happen in 2016. All these poll numbers and what ever you wanna add in all suggest Hillary and the Democratic would win. And this didn't happen. It happening again, so how can we be so sure things won't happen the same way as in 2016?

Trump new tax plan already a big accomplishment. Here why some bigs company's already putting extra money to their employees. For example, "AT&T, Comcast giving $1,000 bonuses to hundreds of thousands of workers after tax bill". (18.) here another company "Walmart to raise its starting wage to $11, give some employees bonuses following tax bill passage". (19.)
"Apple today announced a new set of investments to build on its commitment to support the American economy and its workforce, concentrated in three areas where Apple has had the greatest impact on job creation". (20.)
"Tesla Wants to Build Three More Gigafactories in the United States". (21.)
This is great news why because the average employees now will have extra money to spend or save. Employees will get extra money that could go right back in the economy. Plus new employees will be employed. So it not just great news for the company, it good for the workforce. So this will help his re-election bid.

"Trump won his first term despite record low approval ratings, triumphing over the marginally less unpopular Hillary Clinton. He will probably be able to repeat this feat if necessary". (22.) Trump is getting better and better as the President. Rather you like him or not he doing a decent job.
Trump"s accomplishments are really just Republican Party accomplishments, and I think that"s the right way to judge him.
Debate Round No. 2


I'll respond now to Pro's case.

I.'s the Economy, Stupid...I guess?

A. Overshadowing the Economy (or, Gaffes Galore)

Pro hangs much of his argumentative hat on the notion that Trump's achievements in office (foremost among these being economic growth) are somehow going to get him reelected. Notwithstanding his other so-called accomplishments, it's interesting to note that his approval ratings have been low despite improving consumer confidence in the economy. This is likely attributable to Trump's own inability to distract from good news stories for his administration with a bumbling cacophony of gaffes and what often amounts to governmental hooliganism.

A few days ago, I remember watching CNN coverage where Trump's economic numbers got a 2 minute long highlight. Pretty good, right? Except, it doesn't seem so good when I mention that this 2 minute segment was a brief reprieve amidst hours of wall-to-wall coverage of his "sh*thole countries" remarks. The reality is that the news is regularly blanketed in stories which undermine public confidence in Trump's temperament, aptitude, and fitness for office. These stories obscure, through the sheer disparity in coverage time, any stories which might restore the public's faith in Trump's ability to lead.

It is indeed fascinating, as I said, that Trump's approval numbers remain low even as the economy is doing well. Pro seems to assume that this pattern is bound to change, but is it really? If it was going to change, why hasn't it already? Unless Pro can prove that Trump's behavior is going to radically shift in such a way that he is no longer engaging in political self-harm, then why should we believe that the status quo is not going to continue?

B. Other "Accomplishments"

As for Trump's other accomplishments, few outside his base will care about his court appointees, and his base will make up only about a quarter of the electorate in 2020. Getting conservative or liberal judges is something that partisans primarily care about, because it impacts their ability to produce outcomes within the judicial system that reflect their ideological biases. Moderates probably only care about whether these nominees are qualified, because they are less invested in ideological partisanship. That, however, matters, because it's not altogether clear if Trump's nominees are qualified. More of Trump's nominees for judicial postings have been rated not qualified by the American Bar Association than those of any prior administration. [1] You only need to watch the highly embarrassing testimony (please do, so much schadenfreude going on) given by one of Trump's nominees to get a feel for why the ABA reached the conclusions I did. [See Video]

ISIS was going to be defeated no matter who the President was, and it's not clear how much of that is attributable to Trump himself. A democratic nominee will likely make that argument to the public in 2020. And, for every accomplishment Trump can tout, the Democrats can comeback with 2 gaffes and a failure. If Trump says, "Defeated ISIS," Dems respond, "'sh*thold countries and the FISA tweet and botching the Puerto Rico recovery." Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!

II. Polling Reliability

Woohoo! Let's get wonkish, shall we?!

A. Aggregates are AggreGreat!

Any individual poll is not likely to be particularly accurate unto itself--they tend to ballpark--which is why it is better to look at polling aggregates (i.e. averages of numerous polls) for more precise information One reason for this is that it reduces the potential for sampling error by including more individuals within the sample. [2] My data is all based on polling aggregates, not individual polls. Moreover, my source, 538, goes the extra step of adjusting for individual pollsters' house effects. A house effect reflects a regular lean in favor of one party by a particular pollster. Pollster A might, on average, overestimate a Democratic candidate's standing by 3 points; 538 adjusts for this bias to make for a more precise reading. [2] 538's predictions for the 2016 election were also more accurate than it's main rivals at the HuffPoll, RCP, and the Upshot...just sayin'. [3]

B. Reality Check

Furthermore, no one can reasonably expect polls to be precisely accurate. If a poll said Jim will win the election with 51% of the vote to Ursula's 49%, we could hardly lambaste the poll if the result of the election were Ursula winning with 50.2% of the vote to Jim's 49.8%. Polls are there to give us an idea of where the race is act, not a prognostication of where the race will fall exactly. The poll in the Jim-Ursula example did a good job by getting within a point of the actual result. Therefore, when we retroactively asses the accuracy of the polls in 2016, we should not grade pollster through a pass-fail prism where they only pass if they were perfect. That would be literally absurd.

In reality, the polls were not far off the result, and the Jim-Ursula occurrence closely resembles what happened with Clinton-Trump. According to 538, "The cacophony of headlines about how 'CLINTON LEADS IN POLL' neglected the fact that these leads were often quite small...[I]f Clinton had done only 2 percentage points better across the board, she would have received 307 electoral votes and the polls would have 'called' 49 of 50 states correctly...[T]he error in national polls wasn't any worse than usual." [3] To say the polls were only off by 2 points seems to say that the polls did a reasonably good job at giving us a sense of the race. 538, I think quite aptly, describes the post-election polling furor as a failure of conventional wisdom, rather than a failure in polling. Clinton only lost by a normal polling error; we just convinced ourselves that the race was a lot less close than it was, because who could honestly vote for Trump, right?

So, I think we can dismiss the idea that "the polls" were wrong, even if individual polls might have been problematic. And, all Pro talks about are individual polls, and not all of them look far off. Clinton captured 48.2% of the popular vote to Trump's 46.1% [4]. All of the polls he cites seem to ballpark the actual results reasonably well. Intriguingly, his own source says: "Real Clear Politics shows Clinton to be two points ahead of Trump overall." [5] RCP is a polling aggregator, and it shows a far smaller lead than the individual polls themselves, and accurately predicted the eventual spread a day before the election.

C. Future Match-Ups

What is truly baffling, however, is that, after Pro's repeated insistence that polling is unreliable, Pro cites a poll (just one, not an aggregate) as evidence that Trump is likely to get reelected. Okay then, I have my own poll saying just the opposite: "In a hypothetical general election matchup, Winfrey leads Trump by a 7 points; Biden and Sanders lead Trump by 11 and 13 points, respectively." [6] Also, Pro's reason to believe his poll literally makes no sense; Pro is basically saying: "I believe Trump's base will help him win reelection, therefore, polls which confirm this belief must be good polls." Not only is that confirmation bias, it is the same kind of logic that lead us to incorrectly believe that Clinton was certain to win in 2016. If Pro actually intends to convince us to believe his poll, he should make methodological or empirical arguments.

III. I Challenge Thee to a Duel (and Random Stuff)

A. The Duel, Good Sir

Pro says that the Democrats have no challenger. Okay, so what? Clinton had no clear challenger when the race was just gearing up. Remember when the pundits all thought Jeb Bush was going to be the nominee? Lol.

But, seriously, just take a look at the poll I quoted. It names at least 2 very serious potential challengers to Trump, and there are others, namely, Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, Corey Booker, Terry McCaullife, Caroline Kennedy, Adam Schiff, Jerry Brown, and Amy Klobuchar. I think I named 5...? Yup, I did. To say that the Democrats lack qualified, compelling candidates is false; we simply don't have a definitive frontrunner, just as the Republicans did last cycle. I think Sanders, Biden, Warren, or Brown could offer a particularly strong challenge to Trump going forward (they could appeal to the working class whites we lost last go-round), but any of the people I identified stand a good shot, given the other factors in play. Certainly, not one of them are as improbable a victor as Trump was last time.

B. Odds and Ends

Pro also makes some odd, unclear, and unsupported assertion about a lack of strategy (which he then undermines by saying that the GOP is a mess too). It's not clear that the candidate needs one until he or she becomes a candidate...Right now, the Democratic party is focusing on rebuilding its grassroots efforts and retaking seats everywhere it can, which is exactly what it ought to be doing.

And, on the last final, also random, note, Trump's North Korea policy is clearly not working. Moon is obviously going to pander to his biggest ally (and its narcissist of a leader). What's really telling is that Moon undercut Trump's policy of isolating North Korea by opening negotiations with Pyongyang over the Winter Olympics. Doesn't seem all that kumbaya to me. That and the fact that Russia is stepping in to replenish the North with what it's losing from cooling relations with Beijing.

IV. Sources

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Thanks for reading. Please, Vote Con!


Thank you Bsh1 for your response. I was expecting a strong response and you didn't disappoint. To bad this is the last round. I feel like i could go another round.

To begin my last go around, i will discuss how the economy will help trump win his re-election bid. And i will trickle in why the approval rating you desperately want to apply in your argument. Don't hold water now with the upbeat economy." It rather simple actually, when you see your pay checks higher, and see you have some extra money laying around it will point to trump. Why because he promised this. And he actually deliver on this promise. So many people will be rather happy on getting extra money. Like i said in my last round some big companies have step up on this new tax cut. You could expect more companies to follow suit. Even world economy is talking about this is being good. For example "The International Monetary Fund predicts global growth will accelerate to the fastest pace in seven years as U.S. tax cuts spur businesses to invest". (23.)
As for your approval rating argument. It doesn't give time on what affect the new tax plan has for the economy nor the tax payers. "The new tax law, which President Trump signed on December 20, 2017 temporarily cuts individual tax rates across the board and permanently slashes the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent". (24.); It barely been a month in for this new tax code to take full affect and already we seeing nothing but positive. You need to give it sometime before his approval rating jump higher or for his unpopularity to go down. A lot of people just don't like how trump run his mouth. But it hard to argue against an upbeat economy that only look better and better within time. Comes 2020 people going to remember he promised more money in people wallets and he delivered on that. Who doesn't want more money in their wallets?

Okay you did name a lot of names for the Democratic nomination. But i will only going though some of them. The ones who matter and the ones who actually have a realistic chance of winning the Democratic nomination. But keep in mind just because you win the Democratic nomination doesn't mean you are the best candidate to win the President case in point 2016.

First i will talk about the Governor of California Jerry Brown. He will not win the Democratic nomination nevermind being in the presidential race. Why because he pass a very unpopular bill to rise the gas tax. "The backlash against the gas tax could cost Democrats seats in the legislature come election time". (25.) So how he going win the Democratic nomination if he can't get California. He went underneath to pass this bill without having Californians votes on this bill. So he has no chance here.

The second person i will take my attention toward is Senator Elizabeth Warren. "The reasons why more voters don"t embrace Warren are varied. They range from her politics to her unwillingness to compromise to, in some cases, flat-out sexism". (26.) She does have a good chance of coming out of the Democratic party to go against trump. But she will failed like Hillary did. Why because in the national election voters going to pick out her flaws just like they did with Hillary. This country prove it not ready for a woman being president. At least not in 2016 and not in 2020. And not the ones like Warren or Hillary. Warren going to bring out the sexism card in this race. And unfortunately this will hurt her way more than the Democratic think. It will rub many potential voters the wrong way. So, no she would not be the right pick to go against trump. He would win. Because he would be in a better position than 2016. He would have proven he can govern during his time in office.

The third person i will talk about is Senator Kamala Harris. I will admit she seem promising, but i think it to early for her to run in 2020. She will need to build-up her name more. A little more years in the Senate will do her some good. She would have a great chance in 2024, just not in 2020. She would not beat a guy like trump at this stage of her career. Definitely when trump is doing a decent job of being President. Yes he still say stupid things. But he was doing the same thing during his campaign and still got over 62 millions votes to win.

The forth and fifth person i will talk about is Bernard Sanders and Joe Biden. Both would be good candidates to go against trump. Both could win the Democratic nomination without much of a problem. Both could stage an upset against trump. It just if both ran against each other, this might not be such a good out come for the Democratic party. Because if both ran against each other it will be tense, a true battle between them. The loser candidate would be sure. The voters of either one would be bitter on losing. And this could cost them votes in the national race like it did with Hillary. So, in this scenarios both would lose out in the long run. Not because they were bad candidate but because they were good candidates.

So, if we could assume only one of them run. They might have a better chance to run against trump. In this scenario, lets assume Bernard Sanders won the Democratic nomination. On paper he have a great chance on beating him. But if we look closer he still would be facing an up hill battle. Let me tell you why. First trump approval rating the one you wanna keep mentioning, will only grow. It won't go down any further no matter what trump spurt out of his mouth. One of his biggest complaint against trump is what he say or didn't say. But the Republican base is already over it and voted him in and will likely vote for him again. What trump is doing on policy is what Republican want. The other thing is the economy, when it still up and booming in 2020. This will change his unpopularity to most likely a like, at the very least he doing an decent job. Remember when people say he can't do this or that. Guess what he is doing it. He doing a average job at best and this is good news. Because people though he would be doing horrible. Yes the left side, meaning the Democratic side don't like what he is doing or how is he doing it. But the right side think he doing a great job. They say give him a chance and guess what he holding his on in there. By 2020 arrive he will be in a better position to fight off a guy like Bernard Sanders. Another thing Bernard Sanders would have to tax everything, to get his policy working and this inst going to fly with the majority.

Joe biden might have a better chance than a Bernard Sanders in this race against trump. But at the same time he will face the same challenge as Bernard Sanders facing. And that is trump base inst likely to change. Trump will grow in popularity during the next election. So this mean he will get more votes and change some one views on him like my self. Even if trump does nothing else he could still gain with his tax plan. As long as his tax plan keep going smoothly, from now until the next election. Another factor that could be against Joe Biden, is people would get tried of the same old strategy from the left. Biden would have nothing new to add and this could very well hurt his bid as being President. Some people would not wanna go back to Obama policy which biden would wanna preach for. So again this will hurt him because people want to look at the present and the future. During the next election trump will be facing a better popularity than he is today. So it will be a new challenge for any Democratic challenger.

The North korea part might seem random. But i have a point on this and it will help trump. During trump first year we all talked about a possible war between us. Trump maximum pressure on the North show his tough strategy is working. It brought the north to the negotiate table. So, again this is a huge plus for trump. It also show he is welling to bring pressure when needed and show he is welling to make a good negotiate deal. So in his next presidential race it will look like a good gamble for trump. A gamble that he won. No war is always a good path.

The reason why i mention the Republican polls was this, They won the election for trump. So that's the only good piece of evidence. All the other polls was still wrong, on predicting a Hillary win. You mention the masses of a poll being much closer than the other. This might be true but where was these polls during the election? The media outlets for sure didn't make this available. This is partly why i said this was a failed strategy on the Democratic side. Trying to relay on those false polling. Another failed strategy is the Democratic trying make trump words a weapon for them. They try to use trump own words against him. But this didn't work. And the national votes prove this. Over 62 millions votes. The Democratic still trying run this same strategy. Instead of trying to focus on policy and trying to make things better they are running a failed strategy again.

The Democratic trying relay on the same things as they campaign for in 2016 will not work again. In this year mid-terms or the national race in 2020. Need new ideal and policy, not the same old ones.

Trump is the favorite to win his re-election bid and nothing you has presented so far prove otherwise. The challenger you mention will failed and i mention on why they will. You haven't convince me on why trump won't win in 2020. The only thing you said is his unapproving rating is low and he is unpopular so this will stop him from being President. But this in fact not true because he was very dislike in 2016. And still won. Please Vote Pro!
Debate Round No. 3


I will defend my case, address various others points, and present voting issues.

I. Polling Reliability

A. Dropped Points

Pro fails to substantively rebut many of the arguments I made defending the credibility of polling, particularly that my source (538) was especially reliable. He never really responds to my "aggreGreat" argument or to my Jim-Ursula example, which illustrated that just because polls don't call races exactly right doesn't mean they aren't good. Polls are indicators of the general tenor of the race, and they shouldn't be interpreted as anything but. Pro also fails to respond to the idea that it was a failure in conventional wisdom, rather than a failure in polling, which produced the sense of shock which pervaded post-election America. The false confidence that Clinton was bound to win made small polling leads of 2-4% look like insurmountable obstacles for Trump. In reality, these leads were small and indicated a competitive race in which either candidate could have won.

B. Where's the Beef?

Pro asks where were the accurate polling aggregates during the election. Well, I cited a few in my last speech, including one from RCP (quoted from Pro's own source). There has just been no believable reason provided in this debate to not trust polling. Polling aggregates might be off by 2-4 points, but not by the whopping margins that show Trump's net approval at -18.1%. In fact, projections show that 90% of all polls would have to be wrong for Trump to have an approval rating above 45% (as of today). [1]

Additionally, Pro writes: "The reason why i mention the Republican polls was this, They won the election for trump. So that's the only good piece of evidence. All the other polls was still wrong, on predicting a Hillary win." I can't really think of many ways to read this except that only polls which predict Republican victories can be accurate, since Trump won last time. This fundamentally misunderstands the role of polls as indicators. By this logic, a pollster that said Trump would beat Clinton by 30 points is more reliable than a pollster that said Trump would lose to her by just 1 point, because, hey, the first one predicted correctly that Trump would win (even though its prediction is 31 points farther off the actual result than the second).

C. Hemorrhaging, and the Bleeding ain't Goin' Stop

Pro drops my second contention (Miscellaneous), which gives several reasons for why Trump will continue to lose support and credibility moving forward. The Mueller investigation is still going full-throttle, Trump's losing his deal-making bona fides, Trump can't stop making serious gaffes, and Trump is annoying allies which handicaps his effectiveness.

D. The Unpopularity Problem

Because polling is trustworthy, you can cleanly extend my case's first contention (Unpopularity Problem). This has several impacts. Firstly, the fact that Trump is more unpopular today than the last three Presidents to lose reelection bids were at this point in their presidencies suggests that Trump is on course to endure their fates. Secondly, Trump's unpopularity is likely to depress turnout among reluctant Trump voters. These voters were ones who despised Clinton enough to hold their nose and vote for Mr. "Grab 'em by the P*ssy." They never liked Trump in the first place. A more likable Democrat, like Biden or Sanders, could woo these voters over. Finally, the special elections combined with the data I cited early about strong approval/disapproval ratings suggests that there is a distinct enthusiasm gap which favors the Democrats.

II. Re-litigating 2016

Pro spends a lot of time in round 2 explaining why Trump won in 2016. Trump was a better campaigner than Clinton; Trump had a better platform with more enticing promises than Clinton; Trump was less hated than Clinton in many quarters; etc.

Okay, so what? The Democrats aren't nominating Clinton in 2020. Even if all of Pro's arguments are true, they don't mean that Trump will win against a different nominee. Trump might not be a better campaigner than Sanders or Biden. He might have worse promises than Warren. Certainly, no one hates Kamala Harris the way Clinton was reviled. Whatever Clinton's failings, it is fallacious to assume that a future Democratic nominee will share her flaws.

Plus, Democrats have learned much since 2016. I don't think any Democrat will forget to campaign in Wisconsin, for example. Pro's reasoning here just doesn't hold up to even the meanest level of scrutiny.

III.'s the Economy, Stupid...I guess?

Pro says that higher pay checks as a result of Trump's tax plan will result in better approval ratings for Trump in the future. This only tangentially responds to my argument that Trump's gaffes distract from and overshadow growing economic confidence. It only tangentially responds to the argument because it assumes that the savings people receive would somehow outweigh Trump's faux pas. There are a few reasons not to give too much credence to that assumption.

Firstly, a median household is only going to save about $1,100. It's not tiny, but it's not huge either. [2] Certainly not the kind of "wowza" savings that might give people amnesia re: "sh*thole countries" or similar comments. It's plausible even that many families won't notice the difference. Secondly, as I argued earlier, economic confidence is growing but Trump's approval rating isn't. If Pro's argument is that improving economic conditions causes improvements in Trump's approval ratings, why hasn't Trump's approval rating recovered already? Why is he still in the polling equivalent of Tartarus? For the record, his approval rating right now stands at 38.4%, by 538's count. [1] Pro asks us to give it some time, but when Pro's argument doesn't comport with reality, he can't just say that he hopes it maybe will at some indefinite point in the future, and then claim that this hope is itself a credible argument. That's literally absurd. Thirdly, because comments like the "sh*thole" countries remarks dominate news coverage in a way the economy doesn't, there is no reason to believe they will not continue to distract from the economic "good news" stories Pro has cited. To coin a phrase: it's the media, stupid!

IV. Candidate-a-rama

Pro literally cites Briebart to discredit Jerry Brown. Does anyone trust what Breitbart says? Their political commentary is massively biased against Democrats. This source can be dismissed basically out of hand. It has no credibility as a legitimate journalistic outlet. It's Steve Bannon and the alt-right's personal mouthpiece. Beyond that, it's ridiculous to think that 1 bill is somehow going to doom Brown, who has been a darling of the left largely because of his scrappy resistance to Trump. It's not like Brown couldn't tie his primary opponents or Trump to unpopular bills.

Pro's attacks on Sanders and Biden basically boil down to "Trump is making Republicans happy." But Republicans were already going to vote for Trump in the first place, irrespective of who the Democratic nominee is. It's not the partisans that matter (except in the sense that there is good reason to believe that Democrats will have a turnout advantage in 2020). It's the independents that need to be courted and enticed. I cited in my case an argument (which Pro flat out dropped) which said that Trump is losing ground with independents because his image as deal-maker-in-chief is eroding. That creates an opening for a Sanders or a Biden to use their own brand of populism to win those voters back.

Pro also talks in vague terms about the strategy of the left, but it is never made clear what this strategy is and why it's failing. As I said last round, these assertions are totally unsupported.

V. The Electoral Extravanganza

Pro basically concedes my assessment that Trump barely won. If you realize that the effective margin of difference between a Trump win an a Clinton win was only around 77,000 votes out of 13.6 million, you realize that Trump's position is extremely tenuous. If the Democrats nominate someone more likable than Clinton--and it appears that they will, because no major political figure but Trump is more disliked than she is--the Democrats are in an excellent position to defeat Trump. Flipping the handful of votes needed to win the Electoral College should not be hard for Democrats when their opponent is about as popular as a sharp stick in the eye (shout out to Max). Please extend my third contention (Trump Barely Won in 2016).

VI. Voting Issues

1. A Blue Turnout Advantage

Democrats are more enthusiastic than Republicans, per dropped data I introduced. Moreover, reluctant Trump voters may be less inclined to vote for Trump when the alternative is not Clinton. Turnout matters when the effective margin of victory for Trump last cycle was so small.

2. Historic Unpopularity

Trump is the most unpopular President in this history of modern polling. His own gaffes and ongoing headaches (e.g. Mueller) make that reality unlikely to change. The gaffes also suppress good news stories, making it difficult for Trump to get a positive message out there to help rehabilitate his image.

3. Independents

Trump is likely to lose moderates and independents as his image as a deal-maker erodes. These are the voters that decide the election; the partisans are predetermined.

4. Electoral Math

Democrats would have won the electoral college in 2016 by flipping just 77,000 votes. Trump barely won, and his weak position makes him a much easier target for Democrats, particularly a non-Clinton Democrat.

In sum, Pro has not made a convincing, well-supported case for why Trump is more likely to win. In contrast, I have a wagon-load of warranted, largely dropped arguments showing just the opposite.

VI. Sources

1 -
2 -

Thank you to the judges, the readers, and Nd2! Please VOTE CON!


Bsh1, i wanted to thank you for this debate. It was very interesting, and entertaining for me. I know why you have a tremendous record on debating. Your were very good. I just hope i give you a decent fight on this. I also wish i had another round on this topic. Because i know i have more things to touch on. But i will follow the rules of this debate that you put in line. And not make anymore arguments.

It very hard not to mention anything else. So i better stop here.... I will just ask the judges to read the arguments carefully and make sure to have fun in reading this debate...

Bsh1 again thank you for this opportunity. It was truly a Honor to debate someone with your skill sets. Maybe one day i could have the opportunity to debate you once again.

One more thing for the judges, if you find one good piece of evidence on my side. Then Please vote for (PRO)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Debate Round No. 4
32 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Our_Boat_is_Right 2 years ago
lol a salty never-tramper who thinks Pocahontas or Cory Booker will win. . . Im ded haha
Posted by ConserativeDemocrat 2 years ago
I'm a little late to the party, but I'm tired of hearing about how the polls were "inaccurate". That is just not true. On election day, Clinton was up by 3-4 points on average. She ended up winning by 2 points. If you just look at this, it would appear that the polls were inaccurate. However, this ignores the fact that the polls have a 4 point margin of error. This puts Clinton's underperformance well within the margin of error, meaning the polls were accurate.
Posted by whiteflame 3 years ago
Alright, I should be able to manage that this weekend, ND2400.
Posted by Nd2400 3 years ago
@Bsh1; thank you for this debate. Until next time. And they will be a next time. LoL maybe not on this subject. But another.....
Posted by bsh1 3 years ago
@Nd2, thanks for the debate, btw.
Posted by bsh1 3 years ago
@Whiteflame - up to you man; I know you're super busy.
Posted by Nd2400 3 years ago
I already know i lost, and that's fair. I will accept that part.

But if you could give me feedback on what I should do better next time. That would be greatly appreciated.. Thanks
Posted by whiteflame 3 years ago
Well, I remembered I should have voted on this a little late. My bad, guys. Looks like you have 3 talented voters who gave good feedback, though. If you'd like, I can still finish reading through this and give feedback after the voting period is up.
Posted by Nd2400 3 years ago
Thanks for voting Danielle.

I know i should had talked about the economy way more in detail. Like you mention "creating a ton of manufacturing jobs in the rust belt". And how trump could had convinced some independents and the undecided voters to swing his way.

But i didn't make those connections, so i understand why you voted the way you did.
I just have learn form this....
Posted by Danielle 3 years ago
[ RFD part 1 ]

Pro begins by discussing Trump's alleged accomplishments: a booming economy/stock market, some ISIS retreat, and the appointment of federal judges. He also suggests that polls on favorability are unreliable. The crux of his argument is that Democrats don't have a competitive challenger or strategy to defeat Trump in 2020.

Con responds by noting that Trump is not just down in the polls; he's wildly unpopular. His approval rating is far below any other POTUS in history. The fact that he is continuously losing support implies that even if the polls are not perfectly accurate, it is undeniably true that Trump is unpopular.

Further, Con points out that Trump is likely to lose support as he becomes more partisan. Con also pointed out that the Russia investigation may continue to portray Trump in a negative light. Considering Trump's polled unpopularity, and the fact that he barely won in 2016 (while losing support since then) defeats Pro's argument about the polls. Bsh1 proved we should suspect Trump has less support than in the past *not only* because of what the polls say, but because of the Russia investigation, and because common sense alludes to that conclusion based on how partisanship impacts widespread approval (or lack thereof).
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by warren42 3 years ago
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: I have read the debate but am not yet able to type up my thoughts into a complete RFD. Full version will be available at the link above in the next 5-10 hours. Wanted to get the vote in before the voting period ended. Short version: Pro proved Trump will keep his base, Con proved that's not enough.
Vote Placed by Danielle 3 years ago
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: Pro did better in this debate than I expected him to do, but he could have done better. It would be interesting to see bsh1 debate this with a more formidable debater (no offense). I highlighted some ways Pro could have strengthened his argument in my RFD. Again I am impressed with some of Pro's rebuttals, and do think it was possible for him to win. Ultimately Con's final debate round is what solidified him as a clear winner. Con did a great job at summarizing why each point was in his favor.
Vote Placed by tejretics 3 years ago
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments

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