|A Periodic Newsletter on
Breakthroughs in Strategic Foresight
October 4, 2020
Prof. William Halal
Forecasting the 2020 US Presidential Election - RESULTS
TechCast has done many provocative studies, but results of this one are unusually fascinating, worrisome and even hopeful. Much of the world is anxiously awaiting either more “Trumpmania” – or Biden normalcy and some resolution toward a complex future.
The bar chart below shows the probability of a Trump Win, and the probability of a Biden win is the inverse. Comments from our responding readers are spread out below along a Biden-Trump Spectrum.
Some of the 21 respondents are not Americans, but they are following this election closely, which shows that interest is global. We heard from Michael Vidikan, Margherita Abe, Dale Deacon, Peter King, Art Shostak, Jonathan Kolber, Jacques Malan, Clayton Rawlings, Brad Hughes, Ted Gordon, Owen Davies, Chris Garlick, Fernando Ortega, Steve Hausman, Mark Sevening, Wendell Wallach, Hannu Lehtinen, John Freedman, Jose Cordeiro, and Hellmuth Broda. Thanks to all.
While the probability data favors Biden winning the election, the results are so close there remains great uncertainty. As the comments make clear, people think Trump will find ways to suppress votes, get outside interference, introduce doubt and challenge the results, while many fear Biden will introduce more socialism and higher taxes.
We rely on the collective intelligence of 21 thoughtful readers from around the globe who have examined the Pros and Cons of our background data and made careful estimates. The wide diversity of the sample is especially compelling. If this study were replicated with 21 different people, the results would likely be similar. TechCast has studied our accuracy many times, and this is a typical result, with accuracy roughly within +/- 1- 2 percent.
Drawing on the probability data and comments, we sketch out the two possible scenarios that could result, noting both the dangers, challenges and gains. TechCast appreciates fully the heated nature of this issue, and we have strived to focus on the evidence summarized in the background data and comments, often with a touch of forecaster judgment.
Trump Wins would produce more confusion, a lingering pandemic and faltering economy, heightened social division and global isolation. American democracy would likely become more autocratic. Apart from gaining a majority on the Supreme Court (more politicalization), it is hard to find benefits. Trump is often thought to be good on the economy, but the evidence shows growth was the same under Obama. And Obama started from the worst crisis since the Great Depression of '29, while Trump slashed taxes and regulations with little effect.
Biden Wins would require absorbing Trump supporters, controlling the pandemic, taxing the wealthy, improving health care, supporting people of color, rebuilding infrastructure, addressing climate change, immigration and repairing global relations - while fending off charges of socialism. All this seems unlikely, but it could prove a tipping point in the decline of the Republican agenda and autocrats everywhere.
Both scenarios are possible, but TechCast relies on the data and concludes that a Biden win is the more likely outcome. It could possibly be a landslide victory, enough to overwhelm Trumpian power plays. We could be proven wrong, of course, but the outcome should be clear sometime after the election. If Biden does win, remember, you heard it here at TechCast.
Please note that we revisit this study and update the forecast closer to election time. So look for a possible invitation in 2-3 weeks.
Thanks for your support. The TechCast Team
Biden End of the Spectrum
Comments Arrayed Along a Biden-Trump Spectrum
This is a landslide for Biden and again a miss for most forecasters who called for a narrower outcome. Because of the outrageous behavior of Republicans ramming through a Supreme Court Justice at the last minute. Enough is enough. The Coronavirus mismanagement, the bluster, the lying, getting wise to the misinformation on social media.
There is an ominous possibility. Say Biden wins both popular and electoral votes. Trump contests in the courts citing fraud, intervention by foreign powers, etc. Trump’s proud boys, now greatly inflated and emboldened, take to the streets; revolution ensues. Army is loyal to whom? Stand back and standby.
My estimate is most influenced by 65 years of voting, and beforehand, taking that privilege quite seriously (research, study, etc.). I have backed fine winners (e.g, Carter, Clinton, Obama), though suffered costly disappointments (Reagan, Nixon, the Bushes, and the current Pretender). I now expect a very large Democratic turnout, one bolstered by many Independents and disillusioned Republicans. A Biden presidency, undermined by Republican extremists, is highly likely to underachieve. A Trump victory is likely to earn a massive 2024 Democratic win in Congressional races and set the stage for a Harris presidency.
I estimate that Biden will very narrowly win the election. That is, I estimate that he has a 54 percentage of winning based upon the early poll numbers and the intense dislike of Trump by large segments of the population. Nonetheless, Trump, as your blog points out, is a master of sowing discontent and causing voter suppression via a number of methods. As well, his voter base is strongly motivated to keep him in office. Should he win the election I feel the impact would be disastrous for the country in that, among other things, he would continue to deregulate a number of industries that are the main polluters, he might very well be able to do away with the Affordable Care Act (depending on the results of the Congressional election, of course) which would lead to millions of American becoming uninsured, as only two examples. Were Biden to win there would, I think, be a return to a sense of normalcy although Trump supporters might very well be enraged by his success.
A confounding factor in all of these predictions is what will happen to the Congress. If both houses are won by the Democratic Party then all bets are off since Democratic politicians might be tempted to take revenge upon what they perceived as Trump's transgressions and a "stolen" election. In that case it is likely that he could very well be impeached again, and that impeachment would be confirmed by a Democratic-controlled Senate which would vote to remove him from office. How his base would react to that is unpredictable, but I suspect the result would be highly disruptive.
As a complete outsider with no skin in the game, my estimates are based on all that I have read. The main factors that have influenced my estimation are (i) terrible handling of the COVID-19 pandemic with over 200,000 deaths; (ii) persistent misinformation and lying, which is hard to cover up; and (iii) the narcissistic personality of Trump, as he makes every issue about him, rather than what is best for America. Another 4 years of Trump will see America further reduced in international stature, if not a laughingstock. His "law and order" hypocrisy and unwillingness to condemn white supremacists will see the American people more divided than ever, with conflict and protest one of the few means for disadvantaged groups to draw attention to their causes. Further winding back of environmental legislation and regulations and withdrawal from international agreements like the Paris Agreement on climate change is inevitable. For Biden, I think it will be a very slow process of trying to wind back the damage that Trump has caused and slow but steady incremental changes in key social and environmental reforms. Actually, the economy under Trump (using indicators like the stock market) may do better under Trump than under Biden, but at the expense of inequality and environmental degradation.
Biden is a moderate and not offensive to the independents. The far left is hostile, but the death of Justice Ginsburg makes their staying home unlikely. Trump’s use of Federal forces to suppress dissent has motivated the youth vote for Biden. Young voters have historically failed to vote, so this may not be enough, yet again. If the minority population (with exception of Cuban Americans) votes in large numbers, Biden wins.
Trump has strong base that will definitely turn out. They voted for him last time, so their numbers are static. Trump has mismanaged the pandemic and unemployment is high. He played the race card in a clumsy way. His ads telling voters what Joe Biden’s America will look like, while using video from his time in office is absurd. He had a slim margin of victory in 2016. He has not only energized the left; he has Republicans for Biden showing up in unprecedented numbers. Retired Flag Officers, US Attorneys, House and Senate members are all endorsing Biden while criticizing Trumps intelligence, patriotism and sanity. Several anti-Trump groups such as The Lincoln Project are flooding mass media with anti-Trump rhetoric. Bloomberg has just committed $100,000,000 for the Florida race. Without Florida, Trump cannot win.
In a country with fair elections and voters who have both access to facts and the general will to use them, the vote would be 85 percent for Biden. Trump would receive support from hardly anyone but neo-Nazis and the hardest core of single-issue anti-abortion voters.
"Unfortunately, the US has neither of those assets. Instead, it has systematic gerrymandering and vote suppression, rampant disinformation, an electoral system deliberately left open to interference by foreign governments, and roughly 30 percent of voters for whom facts that conflict with their preferences are by definition lies. Add the fundamental bias of a system in which rural states with tiny populations fight above their weight in the Electoral College.
This particular election highlights the limits of forecasting in that I believe there is as likely a chance of a Biden blowout as there is of Trump eking out a victory. Either of those extremes can be as high as 25%. Furthermore, any of a number of events between today and the election could easily alter the results, from an explosion of Covid-19 in Florida (looking more likely by the day) to guns in the streets of highly contested states (probable in at least one contested state). A protracted election and decisions by state legislatures, the Supreme Court, and Congress remain possibilities. But based on present events I still put that as fearful possibilities but fairly low, partially because I believe the vote will be conclusive, even if the race tightens between now and the election.
The behaviour of Trump raises worries that he may have medical issues typical among elderly people e.g. difficulties with short memory. It looks like Trump often hides - obviously unknowingly - his difficulties with sudden, surprising and insulting behaviour. He seems to believe himself all what he is saying. Most Americans are worried about his behaviour and will activate a social campaign to change the person in charge when they notice that Trump has potential to be elected once more.
I project Biden will eke it out. (Though I acknowledge that is arbitrary and we should be very careful about using the word 'scientific' in this context.) My analysis is based on the 5 factors which I think underpinned Trump's 2016 'surprise' victory:
1- Economic stagnation and dislocation of the shrinking, downwardly mobile middle class
2- Closet racism (Note: This is clearly NOT to say that all Trump voters are closet racists!)
3- Desire to pivot away from 'career' politicians
4- Wide and deep antipathy among many Democrats and independents toward the 2016 Democratic candidate
5- Electoral college system and red-blue demographics
#1, 2 & 5 still favor Trump, but 3 and 4 no longer do. #4 in particular may have been a major factor in Trump's victory. This makes a 2020 Trump victory less likely. Furthermore, the character issue, which may have been neutralized in 2016, favors Biden in 2020.
New factors in 2020 that favor Trump and could lead to another 'surprise' victory are:
1- Emergence of a new 'Age of Proud Ignorance' wherein ignorance brazenly masquerades as enlightenment and anti-science and baseless conspiracy theories hold sway to a great degree
2- A stark, strident and destructive racist/anti-racist dichotomy that has emerged in 2020, sadly and unintentionally enabling racism rather than suppressing it
3-The K-shaped recovery of COVID-19 exacerbating the economic problem.
4- Major strategic miscalculation by Democrats in not condemning violent protests soon enough and strongly enough, and not promptly and strongly dissociating themselves from the very poorly-chosen word 'defunding' of the police- thus playing into Trump branding as the 'law and order candidate'.
It may seem counterintuitive but my observations to date indicate that the Trump Administration's handling of the pandemic will play little role in the election outcome, as a pro-Trump position largely appears to inform views of Trump's pandemic management rather than pandemic management informing one's position on Trump.
Neutral Middle of the Spectrum
As a technology-focused researcher, I believe some of the most important factors here are performance on social media, namely (in order of importance), YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Similarly, disinformation and deepfakes will play a vital role in this election. If social media giants can quell disinformation campaigns, which I suspect they will, Biden could have a fairly clear run to victory with the perception as a safe, stable, candidate in a time of uncertainty. Expect the Trump campaign to attack this public perception further.
Impact of a Trump presidency: Little federal support on largely liberal issues of climate change, racial equality or gun control. Expect further military and industrial expansion, with better-funded border control.
Impact of a Biden presidency: A (relatively piecemeal) turnaround on many social issues at the federal level. Border policies will likely shift to make it easier for foreigners to legally work and live in the US. This, in an attempt to secure future elections in favour of the democrats.
With the pressure of covid-19 upon economies world-wide, we can expect to see large infrastructure projects rolled out in an attempt to grow employment and stimulate economic activity.
Margherita C. Abe
This is much harder to predict...because it is painful.
If Trump wins -- He tends to divide the country...This suggests that violence will escalate. His attitude toward science suggests that he will continue to ignore climate change related issues as well as issues related to the environment. This means a continued assault on these areas and a hollowing out of the government agencies that support this work. This will weaken the CDC, NOAA, and other similar agencies. Because of his lack of support of the ACA, many more people will lack health insurance, and this will affect public health in many ways. He will probably do whatever he can to eliminate Social Security and Medicare funding.
If Biden wins, unless the democrats gain control of both houses of congress, there will be a significant drag on any attempts he makes to promote science-based initiatives on the environment, climate change and related green technologies, and healthcare initiatives like the extension of health care insurance and protection of pre-existing condition coverage. I think that he will generally have a calming and conciliatory effect on the population and violence will decrease.
I think that this may be an election that is not called for days or weeks even after Election Day, because of counting issues with mail in ballots as well as challenges. Why I am favoring a Biden win: Whenever Trump speaks at an event where he is not among favored supporters, he does poorly. The most recent Town Hall in Philadelphia is an example. I suspect that he will do poorly in the three debates and that this will have an impact on undecided voters. It will not affect his base, but I think that he cannot win with only his base's support. He needs additional voters. There are enough voters who see problems in his record -- his handling of COVID, his lack of interest in climate issues, his view on the ACA and pre-existing conditions, his attitude toward the military, and the detrimental effect of his policies on the farmers in the Mid-West -- to defeat him. Because the election is ultimately decided by the Electoral College I think that this will be a close call. He will lose the popular vote by a decent margin but lose the Electoral College vote by a much smaller one.
Trump carries a structural advantage in the Electoral College but--unlike Clinton--Biden has the lead in most tipping point states. Regardless of who wins, the US will continue down a dark path. The manipulation of individual thought and behavior by the AI algorithms embedded in our social media, as described in The Social Dilemma documentary, will continue for the foreseeable future.
Impacts from the pandemic, likely including a Depression, will continue for years. The present schism of values and even perception of reality will yield more extremism. If Biden wins, circumstances will force this natural moderate into FDR-like fundamental change, including Supreme Court packing and new US states. If Trump wins, his authoritarian instincts will have even fewer controls.
Both presidencies would include radical change.
Trump's: significant restrictions on abortion, end of ACA, increasingly frequent use of military on US soil to enforce presidential wishes. The Civil Service will bend to presidential control. A Great Depression, with numbers manipulated to look better. Militarized public works.
Biden's: increase size of Supreme Court, add new states, new federal voting act, "green" public works, Trump in some way punished for his crimes, tax law changes, and possibly a UBI. Riots encouraged by Trump.
It is a problem to point out a percentage because of the complexity of the American election system, since one can have more votes and lose the election.
Rather than forecasting that Trump would win, I would rather say that Trump will not lose. Trump is an old fox, and I don't think he will pass up the opportunity to take advantage of everything in his power to discredit his opponent, including the Secret Service, the CIA, the State Department and even the Postal Service.
I would not be surprised if days before the election something regrettable happened somewhere in the world against North American interests (an embassy, an American company, a ship with an American flag, etc.). Something that moves the patriotic sense of the average American. In politics as in love, anything goes.
Annmarie Geddes Baribeau
You are missing a couple big cons for Biden.
First, people do not believe a vote for Biden is really a vote for Biden. There is presumption that someone else might be in charge. Kamala? Who knows and that is part of the problem.
Second, there is a great perception that a vote for Biden is a vote for socialism and a vote for Trump is a vote for capitalism. I can’t tell you how many people I am running into who hate Trump, voted for Hillary but are planning to vote for Trump for the sake of capitalism. Everyone who admits they are voting for Trump say it very quietly, in whispers, because they do not want others to know. That in and of itself is not good.
Just my feedback from the cheap seats. I am not academic, but I talk to people from all walks of life and while everyone has their own list of what they do not like about Trump, a surprising group of people tell me they will vote for him anyway. This includes immigrants who tell me they left socialism and don’t want to see it here.
The merits of all of this can be debated, but as you know, perception, not reality, rules the political game.
Although not a US citizen I have been following US politics for the last 40 years with great interest. Having lived in the US for several years and visiting the US several times a year for several weeks at a time (at least until the CoViD travel lockdown) while regularly reading several US news publications and recent books on US politics, I would like to add my few cents.
Here are factors hurting Biden:
Reasoning for the probability for Trump to be next president:
- Voter suppression by Gerrymandering
- Voter suppression by misinformation on Fox and in Social Media — from Republican re-election committee and (mostly) Russian trolls
- Voter suppression by administrative hurdles — missing ballot boxes; ballot mail delivery hickups
- Voter suppression at the polling stations by militias and other self-appointed police (the first time in 50 years these can come to the ballot stations)
- Vote cancellation by authorities (especially in states with Republican majorities) e.g. stopping to count mail-in ballots
- Above factors have to be weighted additionally with the fact that instead of the usual 500 international election observers there will be only 30 (!) allowed this year
I foresee a dystopian future and hope that my prediction is wrong.
- Trump will not concede
- He will declare victory on election night with just the personal votes (and very few of the mail-in ballots) in
- His lawyers as well as the Justice Department under Bill Barr will do everything to stop mail ballot counting in most swing states and in select other states
- Republican majorities in some states will invalidate the popular vote in that state and nominate electors independent of the popular vote
- Trump will mobilize his base to occupy state capitols and state legislatures (with 2nd amendment gear). Violent conflict likely to arise in many centers across the US
- He might declare a state of emergency after counter-demonstrations and activate unmarked semi-military forces
- The stakes for him are too high to allow to lose the election especially in light of the NYT disclosures on his financial obligations (including likely tax fraud).
Trump End of the Spectrum
While Trump does not appeal to some extremists and is not liked personally, many people recognize his ability to drive outcomes, especially economic prosperity, as he approaches government as a catalyst but relies on private sectors to drive and deliver value. Biden appeals to emotions for many people, but most recognize he does not have the will or drive to sustain our economy.
It is a bit difficult to forecast the winner of the 2020 election. My forecasting is showing too many elements (and actors) that could swing this election one way or another. My latest analysis is showing that this election is a repeat of the 2016 election where the Republicans win the electoral vote but loses the popular vote. What swings the election to the Republican's side is that there is a silent conservative majority in the US that will vote Republican. The Left makes a loud statement, but the louder they get, the more resolve goes to the (right) silent conservative majority to go out and make their vote count. Also, I believe that there is a correlation between voter registration (to either side Republican or Democrat) that is a good indicator of how they vote in the general election.
Historical precedent indicates that hatred of the current president is not sufficient to oust the president (ex: GOP hatred of Obama & Clinton, Democrat hatred of Bush & Reagan). Incumbents have a built-in advantage that only a poor economy or a third party can spoil. Rasmussen poll indicates favorability above 50%. Polls indicate that while Trump does poorly with Blacks, Hispanics, and Jews in general, his share among all of those minority groups has actually increased and if the polls are accurate, these groups would play a major role in swing states that could actually increase his share of the electoral college.
Trump will continue to reshape the courts including the supreme court which could see 6 or even 7 conservatives on the court reshaping it for a generation. He will continue to remove regulations that will enable faster construction and infrastructure projects and push for multi-trillion-dollar public-private partnerships in infrastructure across the country.
His foreign policy focus is realigning allies and adversaries - bringing Israel together with the Arab League which will counter Russian influence in the Middle East, removing troops from Germany and putting them in Poland has the effect of shifting power from Western Europe to Eastern Europe and possibly seeking to destabilize the EU, and his focus on decoupling the US from China will bring more manufacturing back to North America and investment in a new industrial age.
He will also seek restructure the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries, seeking more price transparency, democratization of healthcare, and faster drug development.
On the balance of what happened in 2016, the chances for a Trump victory and the effect of another 4 years would be slightly positive (+3 on a scale of -10 to +10). This positive rating will mostly be economic (post pandemic recovery) and most visible in job numbers. On the downside, with a Trump win, there will possibly be escalating social unrest for a period, maybe even necessitating federal government intervention.
Despite Biden leading in the polls, indicators for this prediction is based on the following:
Polls are notoriously unreliable - especially with two months to go (viz 2016).
Mainstream media is considered less trustworthy than the Trump administration.
In effect, CNN et al constantly attacking Trump actually counts against Biden.
Alternative conservative online sources are completely underestimated by the left.
Violence and intimidation at protests is perceived to be supported by the Democrats.
Democrats have alienated Law Enforcement across the US, even in Democrat-led cities.
Support for Law Enforcement by ordinary citizens is underestimated across the US.
A significant proportion of minorities (esp. Black Voters and LGBTQ) are still pro-Trump.
Trump is better in debates than most people give him credit for, and those are still to come.
I expect Trump to achieve an electoral victory despite ballot challenges in the court that will reach the SCOTUS.
Trump enjoys several advantages that are discounted by the media.
Trump has a pro incumbency advantage. Only Johnson, Carter and Bush 1 didn't get a second term for all the presidents since FDR. Bush 1 had Ross Perot that substantially altered the election. Trump has a pro debate advantage. Biden looks very old, tired, and confused in his debate performances. Harris destroyed him in the Democratic debate for his racist background. Biden was anti-busing, wrote the racist 1994 crime reform bill, was a strong supporter of Robert Byrd (a leader in the KKK) and has expressed that if you're not pro-Biden, "you ain't black."
Trump has a huge economic advantage. The Biden-Obama administration was the first in recorded history to not record one year of 3% GDP growth despite doubling the US debt over ALL preceding presidents combined. The Trump stock market has exploded, unemployment for minorities was at an all time low, general unemployment was at a 50 year low, and GDP growth did hit 3%.
Trump has a huge foreign policy advantage with the first Mideast peace accords in 26 years, the movement of the Israel embassy to Jerusalem, the killing of Baghdadi and Soleimani, the restructuring of trade agreements, the vanquishing of ISIS, the easing of North Korea hostilities, and restoring US leadership in the world. Trump has received three Nobel Prize nominations for these achievements.
Trump has a law and order advantage. Police unions typically endorse the Democratic nominee but not in this case. None has come out for Biden while Trump has garnered the majority of endorsements.
Trump has a military advantage. Over 250 of the 1,000 military general officers have publicly endorsed Trump while very few have endorsed Biden.
Trump also has a pro achievement advantage for Trump (Biden has accomplished nothing in 50 years and has failed three times to become President). Biden was caught plagiarizing at Syracuse Law School and finished near the bottom of his class. He has amassed $250 million of net worth despite being a career government employee with very few accomplishments. There are some considerable concerns about Hunter Biden using his position as Biden's son to gain significant compensation for deals in Ukraine and China that were directly tied to influencing Biden.Trump has been a successful entrepreneur, author, billionaire, successful TV personality, and real estate developer BEFORE he ran for office and before being President, not because of being President.
Trump has a SCOTUS advantage if the results are contested with it being settled in the SCOTUS. He has appointed three of the nine justices and has a conservative majority.
Finally, Trump has an enthusiasm advantage. Trump can draw 25,000 people to his rallies. Biden has a tough time drawing much more than yawns from his supporters. Trump will get a better turnout and will garner a higher percentage of minority voters than his Republican predecessors.
Background Information on the 2020 Election
Pros and Cons On Donald Trump
Pro: Large and solid political base. Somewhere between 30-40% of Americans support Trump, and some 90% of Republicans are devout believers.
Pro: Electoral college advantage. The disproportionate weight of scarcely populated states strongly favors Trump. Nate Silver, a successful political forecaster, thinks it will take Biden at least a 5% lead in the popular vote to overcome this advantage.
Pro: Rated best on economy. Despite statistics showing no difference between Obama’s 8 years of economic growth and Trump’s 4 years, many continue to believe Trump is better at stimulating economic growth.
Pro: Takes advantage of uncertainty. Trump is a master at using sowing doubt, blaming others, provoking crises and generally causing uncertainty. More is likely to come so he can gain advantage.
Pro: Voter suppression, foreign disinformation, etc. may help. Cutting back capabilities of the Postal Service, discouraging mail in ballots, restricted voter rules, disinformation from Russia, conspiracy theories, etc. could all give Trump an edge.
Pro: Law and order campaign could work. Racial justice protests could become more violent, especially if fomented by Trump. Fears of racial riots would then attract many voters.
Con: Disliked by large segments of society. It's rather obvious that large segments of American society strongly dislike Trump's callous behavior. Yet this is what his supporters like.
Con: Mediocre to Poor performance. Data on economic growth, presidential approval ratings, the Federal deficit and other indicators show that Trump’s performance is mediocre to poor. (See our TechCast Study) Roughly 75% of the public thinks the Nation is "On the wrong track," a telling sign of presidential failure.
Con: Vulnerable on pandemic and resulting economic collapse. By almost all indicators, the US response to the coronavirus has been among the worst in the world, even eclipsing Brazil. Brazil's president is being indicted by the World Court for crimes against humanity due his disregard of the nation's health.
Con: Health problems. Trump is obese, eats fast foods and shuns exercise. He staggered down a ramp and he was rushed to Walter Reed Hospital recently. A physician said: "I would expect Biden to be a low risk patient, but I would be concerned about Trump. I think he has a problem."
Pros and Cons on Joseph Biden
Pro: Favored by Alan Lichtman forecast. Prof. Lichtman at American University has developed a system that accurately predicts presidential elections for the past century. His system gives the election to Biden, but only narrowly.
Pro: Rated best on all other issues. Apart from the economy, Biden is thought to be better at managing other political issues.
Pro: Solid reputation and experience. Biden has made mistakes, but he has an impeccable reputation and a lifetime of experience at government.
Pro: Return to Normalcy. After 4 years of Trump, many would welcome a president like Biden who could restore normal behavior and civility, even though Biden may be boring at times.
Pro: Black voters determined to remove Trump. Black athletes, celebrities and ordinary citizens are infuriated by racial injustice and other Trump flaws, and they show fierce determination to mobilize their large constituency against his reelection.
Pro: Shift to progressive values underway The pandemic, economic collapse, racial injustice, climate change and other crises have spurred a worldwide shift in global consciousness that favors progressive change.
Con: Some positions alienate voters Biden's stance favoring choice on abortion alienates Catholics, and the more "socialist" groups who like Sanders and Warren may be turned off. It does not help that Democrats are usually divided.
Con: Lacks charisma and strength Biden may be pleasant and friendly, but he does not inspire like Obama's charisma. Many think he lacks political strength.
Con: Looks old. Biden may be fit for his age, but he appears old at times and often slurs when speaking.
Introducing New TechCast Experts:
Dr. John Freedman and Dr. Nir Buras
TechCast is pleased to welcome these latest two additions to our Expert Panel, or Global Brain Trust. We now have roughly 60 international thought leaders involved and hope to reach 100 soon. TechCast Experts are like “fellows” in an ordinary research institution, or what we think of as an “invisible college” at TechCast. They have no required responsibilities, but they are encouraged to participate in our research, provide articles to publish, initiate interesting projects and generally help to advance our work on strategic foresight. Anybody with serious research qualifications is invited to join by providing a bio and photo at Join Our Panel of Experts on our site.
Dr. John Freedman, MD
John was recommended by another member who was impressed by his forecasting skills. John’s qualifications are nicely summarized in his TechCast Profile.
Here’s how John described himself: “I’m simply an intellectual omnivore with a wide range of interdisciplinary interests who travels the world and shares (in a lecture portfolio of over 250 lectures) observations about our fascinating world. Many of my presentations, such as those on climate change, AI, gene editing, extra-terrestrial colonization, malaria, & nutrition, are heavily science-based and futurist in essence. Others, such as my coverage of dynamic Asian political affairs as they affect and are affected by world geopolitics, are rooted in the social sciences and economics but also culminate in disciplined speculation on future scenarios.”
John’s work can be found on his three websites: TravelEnrichmentServices.com and ScholarAtSea.com
Dr. Nir Buras, PhD
Nir is an architect and urban planner, and has the distinction of running one of the most beautiful websites ever seen. His range of interest is wide, including alternative scenarios of the future cities in general and the rules that should govern robots.
This should hint at the vast scope of Nir’s work. He is concerned with aesthetic design as well as planning that is sustainable and serves both the people who live in it as well as its impact on the environment. The future thinking element rises out of his understanding that life is almost certain to become far more congested and complex. As Nir put it, “The future of futurism is urbanism, because chances are 90% of people will be living in cities and towns by the end of the century.”
For details, take a look at his TechCast Profile.
Defining the TechCast Mission
The advice from readers was pretty clear in thinking a more inclusive name named was needed for our newsletter. But some also like the personal touch of "Bill's Blog." As noted in the new masthead above, the newsletter is now called "TechCast Research & Bill's Blog."
It's not too late to give us your opinion. TechCast always welcomes advice.
Invitation to Comment on TechCast Mission
Mission Do you like this TechCast mission? See a problem? Suggest something else? Have a proposal to consider?
Newsletter Name Do you like our new name "TechCast Research & Bill's Blog"? Can you suggest other names?
Kindly send your suggestions to Halal@GWU.edu.
William E. Halal, PhD
The TechCast Project
George Washington University
TechCast always encourages letters, comments and suggestions.
TechCast at Breakfast Seminar with Phil and Tim
Bill Halal led a lively discussion on Global Consciousness at this seminar in Washington, DC, on Sept 11, 2020. Here’s what the hosts of this influential group said:
“Over the past four plus years Tim and I have been hosting these Friday mornings, we've never have had such involvement from our attendees........thoughtful questions, passionate answers, great dialogue."
AIA Foresight Signals Features Our Redesigning Capitalism Blog
AIA Foresight Signals, the newsletter put out by Tim Mack and Cindy Wagner to the futurist community recently summarized TechCast's work on Redesigning Capitalism. We have also received very favorable compliments from several other futurists and business leaders.
The AIA newsletter can be accessed here.
Cognis Group Cites TechCast on Redesigning Capitalism
JessGarretson, CEO of The Cognis Group, has partnered with TechCast on a variety of projects. Their August newsletter reprints our background information on Redesigning Capitalism.
TechCast Briefs Angel Investors
TechCast founder, William Halal, kicked off the annual meeting of the Angel Capital Association’s Virtual Summit May 12 with his keynote on The Technology Revolution. Among his many points, Bill outlined how AI is causing today’s move beyond knowledge to an Age of Consciousness, and that business is now altering corporate consciousness to include the interests of all stakeholders. Angel investors are concerned about the social impacts of their companies, so this news was well received, especially as Bill stressed this historic change could be a competitive advantage.
Click here for the presentation
TechCast at the Armed Forces Communication and Electronics Association
Halal also spoke at the annual AFCEA conference on the topic of AI, noting TechCast’s forecast that AI is expected to automate 30% of routine knowledge work about 2025 +3/-1 years and General AI is likely to arrive about 2040. Expanding on the same theme delivered at ACA, Bill explained how today’s shifting consciousness is likely to transform, not only business, but also government, the military and all other institutions.
We Invite Your Ideas
TechCast offers exciting new possibilities to use our unequaled talent and resources for creative projects. I invite you to send me your questions, fresh ideas, articles to publish, consulting work, research studies, or anything interesting on the tech revolution.
Email me at Halal@GWU.edu and I'll get back to you soon. Have your friends and colleagues sign up for this newsletter at www.BillHalal.com.
William E. Halal, PhD
The TechCast Project
George Washington University
Bill's Blog is published by:
The TechCast Project www.TechCastProject.com
Prof. William E. Halal, Founder
George Washington University
Prof. Halal can be reached at Halal@GWU.edu
The TechCast Project is an academic think tank that pools empirical background information and the knowledge of high-tech CEOs, scientists and engineers, academics, consultants, futurists and other experts worldwide to forecast breakthroughs in all fields. Over 20 years of leading the field, we have been cited by the US National Academies, won awards, been featured in the Washington Post and other media, and consulted by corporations and governments around the world. TechCast and its wide range of experts are available for consulting, speaking and training in all aspects of strategic foresight.
Elise Hughes, Editor
Copyright © 2020 The TechCast Project. All rights reserved.