President Donald Trump will win reelection on November 3rd, and by a larger margin than his 2016 shocker.
That’s the opinion of KMC Radio talk-show host Kevin McCullough, who made the declaration recently on Twitter and during subsequent appearances with Grant Stinchfield on Newsmax TV and on the Eric Metaxas Radio Show.
“The only thing I can find right now in American culture that says Trump is going to lose are these polls that continually come out, the RealClearPolitics average puts them together,” says McCullough, pointing out big media and university polls that many think are missing a wide swath of Trump voters and under-representing Republicans. “I think if you have properly-weighted polls and you don’t talk to registered voters, but you talk to likely voters, you start to get a different story.” Specifically, he points out the massive enthusiasm advantage for President Trump, as well as rapid job expansion as the economy roars back from the pandemic-induced shutdowns.
“Trump voters will literally crawl over glass to get to the polls for President Trump,” Stinchfield agreed. “That’s not the case for Joe Biden. He just happened to be the person Democrats offered up.”
McCullough’s bold prediction comes on the heels of a new Gallup survey, which says that 56% of American’s consider themselves better off than they were four years ago at the conclusion of the previous administration, even during a worldwide pandemic. The survey also shows that most voters agree with Trump on the issues and find him to be a strong, decisive leader.
McCullough, KMC Radio host and founder of BingeThinker.com, has a history of correct presidential predictions, including calling Trump’s victory in 2016. Instead of dissecting granular, district-by-district political minutia, McCullough relies heavily on overarching national trends in formulating his electoral predictions. He first broke onto the stage in 2006, when he published an article predicting a Barack Obama presidency.
McCullough’s recently-released 2020 electoral map predicts a Republican tidal wave, with Trump not only winning the states he carried in 2016 – including Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio and Arizona – but also picking up Nevada, New Hampshire and Minnesota.
“I think Donald Trump is going to blow Minnesota out of the water,” he said on the Eric Metaxas Radio Show, pointing to the key issues of law and order and the economy. “I think it is going to turn the darkest red that it has ever thought of being in the modern era. The enthusiasm in Minnesota is so raging…they are ready to walk through fire, crawl over glass, pick the analogy of your choice. They want to get to the polls.”
Overall, he has Trump winning 331 electoral votes, compared to just 207 for Biden. A candidate needs 270 electoral votes to win, and this prediction would be an increase over Trump’s 2016 winning tally of 306.
“It’s all red. We’re not talking just swing states” said Stinchfield, as he showed McCullough’s predicted map of the electoral outcome. “We’re talking a massive, Reagan-style landslide.”
Many others, including high-profile attorney and political gambler Robert Barnes, have also been singing the same song, noting the long list of trends favoring a comfortable Trump victory. Barnes often points to traditional objective data points, such as search engine volume, social media support, voter registration trends and models based on party primary turnout. All strongly favor Trump in 2020.
In addition, many other political voices point to a growing list of related, objective measurements that also foreshadow a Trump win. These include a dramatic rise in gun purchases, who polled Americans think is going to win, the stock market’s current rise over the three months leading up to the election, expected record-setting 3rd quarter GDP growth, younger candidates and incumbents almost always winning and the total number of small-dollar donors. Many experts point out that these data points all favor Trump, while only one – the group of big media and university polls – favors Biden. McCullough says both campaigns understand the real state of the race.
“They both know that the media polls are not accurate,” McCullough. “I know this because I’ve spoken to the Trump pollster and he’s told me directly, ‘yeah, they’re not even close.’ Biden people know they’re not accurate either, and if they tell the real story of what it looks like, it’s not gonna be good.”
In the conversation with Metaxas, who refers to McCullough as “Vote-stradamus,” he points specifically to the support that President Donald Trump enjoys among the Republican party, which is far superior to what either Barack Obama or George W. Bush garnered from their parties during the runup to their successful reelections. Also important is the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential tracking poll, where Trump’s job approval numbers have been consistently higher than those of president Obama during the month of September leading up to reelection. And that is with massively favorable, idolatry-like media coverage for Obama, compared to the opposite for Trump.
“While I don’t have an exact science to why I’m coming to these conclusions, there is certainly a lot of data, not anything that is indicating to me that Biden has this huge lead, other than those media polls that keep getting published on every media channel,” he said.
McCullough says he will update his 2020 map as the days tick down until the election, but that his current prognostication is about far more than just Trump’s appeal. As he sees it, this race is also about what many see to be the shortfalls of Biden’s long tenure in government.
“When you’ve been in Washington for 47 years and you’ve not really gotten any accomplishments to your credit, except things that you are kind of embarrassed by, like the prison reform package that he put together that jailed more African Americans than anything before it, you’re talking about a very troublesome record that he’s got to depend upon, “ McCullough pointed out. “This is one of the reasons even president Obama was slow to endorse him.”
Kevin McCullough has traditionally been spot on when he puts out an electoral map projection, and since making this prediction last week he has gained nearly 30,000 Twitter followers.
These thousands join millions more who are hoping his streak continues in just a few short weeks.
DEBATE PREVIEW: It’s a Thankless Job, and Unfortunately She Has to Do It
The stakes are even more complicated now that the Commission on Presidential Debates has changed the rules.
NBC News White House correspondent Kristin Welker has the job nobody wants tonight.
Welker will try to reign in President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday night in the second and final debate of the 2020 election.
The president attacked Welker on Twitter and in rallies this week, calling her terrible and unfair, setting up a debate showdown with both his opponent and the moderator.
It’s a thankless job for Welker, who will have to corral a president who needs to do well in the debate to shore up what appears to be a several-point disadvantage with less than two weeks of voting left in the election.
Several colleagues and other news personalities came to Welker’s defense this week, but the true grit will come on Thursday night when she will have to tightrope between keeping personalities in check and not becoming part of the story of the night.
The stakes are even more complicated now that the Commission on Presidential Debates has changed the rules.
Just as in the first debate, the debate will be 90-minutes long divided into six 15-minute segments. Each candidate will deliver uninterrupted remarks in response to a question from the moderator at the beginning of each segment. Then the debate will move to an ‘open discussion’ period for the remainder of the 15 minutes.
What’s different this time is that the mics will be muted during the 2-minute answer period for each candidate. They will not be muted during open discussion.
This is where things will get tricky for Welker.
The president, anxious to make his points and make up ground on Biden, will likely be even more aggressive during the open discussion. Their personalities are starkly different without the pressure of playing catch-up.
How will Welker react if Trump simply talks over Biden and dominates his time during the open discussion?
Interruptions will “count toward their time,” but again, that puts the pressure back on Welker. She becomes the center of the evening at a time when public trust of the media is at or near all-time lows, and one candidate is actively undermining trust in the media at-large and this moderator specifically.
It’s a job nobody would want, but Welker is a seasoned professional.
Here’s wishing her luck.
Capitalizing on Debate Season
Your station carrying not only the presidential debate, but also carrying debates in statewide races, can grow and keep your audience tuned in.
The election season always brings opportunities for news talk stations to shine. The audience knows they can go to you for the latest information, news and events. I’d imagine there won’t be a news talk station (that isn’t fully syndicated) that won’t carry this week’s second and final Presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden.
It’s relatively easy to do, it’s great for branding and it hopefully draws you some cume during a time of day when your station might not typically get it.
But what about carrying debates from some of your local races?
It seems like debates at the state level are happening less and less each election cycle. Political consultants are convincing campaigns that it’s only the blunders that get remembered and the campaigns flush with cash are better off letting their TV and radio ads do the storytelling for them. Whether you are Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative, that’s a disservice to the voter. But it’s the way things are trending, unfortunately. Incumbent favorites usually find every reason to not debate their opponents.
So when a debate does occur, how can your radio station capitalize on it? And should you carry it?
Here in Kansas City on KCMO Talk Radio, we will be airing a congressional debate on Thursday, October 22nd, between incumbent Democrat Sharice Davids and Republican challenger Amanda Adkins. The seat that was Republican for nearly a decade until 2018, when the House of Representative’s “Blue Wave” hit Kansas’ third district. As a news talk station, our conservative audience would love nothing more than to flip the seat back into Republican hands.
Also, the seat covers essentially the entire side of the KC Metro in Kansas. Unlike in Top 5 or Top 10 markets, where congressional districts, for example in the Dallas-Fort Worth market can include up to, or more than, 10 congressional seats, the Third District of Kansas is the bulk of the Kansas side of the KC Metro and is a relevant race to a huge part of the listening audience.
With that being said, we elected to carry the Third District debate this week which is set to begin at 5:30 p.m. There was some hesitancy as it is in the middle of Ben Shapiro’s afternoon drive show, and Ben is performing well on the station, but considering the percentage of the audience that lives in this district, combined with the fact that it’s the only debate between the two candidates, we decided to move forward.
Also, it gives us a great branding opportunity as Thursday being “Debate Day” and a “Two-Fer”, as listeners will get our local, Third District debate at 5:30 p.m. and then later that evening the Presidential Debate at 8:00 p.m. We’ve used that branding on our website and social media.
The lead up to the event will be just as important, if not arguably more important, than the debate itself. All week long, we’ve been able to push on the station via promos, liners, imaging, etc. our ability to cover the local and national races better than any station in the Metro, while branding ourselves as the station, politically, where “if it’s happening in KCMO, it’s on KCMO”. Thursday’s debate will be another example of coming through on that promise in a way no other station in the market will be.
GEN Z Transforming Newsroom Social
500 million people watch Instagram Stories daily. Compare that to Twitter’s 166 million daily active users and it’s not even close and it’s where more than half of Gen Z’ers get their news.
I asked my son the other day where he was getting his news on the upcoming election from— he doesn’t watch TV. He doesn’t do TikTok. He’s not active on SnapChat. He doesn’t have a Facebook account & he only follows his baseball team on Twitter.
While all the talk this week has surrounded Twitter and Facebook when it comes to election season, there’s been one stealth social media platform affecting change, but not making as many headlines:
Once known for a place to post your selfies or vacations, it’s now become a player in the election process.
And, it’s high time local news started paying attention to it. It’s not a new platform, recently celebrating its tenth anniversary. 500 million people watch Stories daily. Compare that to Twitter’s 166 million daily active users and it’s not even close, and it’s where more than half of Gen Z’ers get their news.
But, it’s not just Gen Z, more in my generation, Gen X, have gravitated away from Facebook and into Instagram.
The problem is: Most newsrooms don’t know how to use Instagram, so they don’t use it at all or the only thing they’re consistent about on Instagram is being inconsistent. Or, even worse, they don’t even have an Instagram account.
In the words of Julia Roberts, “Big Mistake. Big. Huge.”
GETTING HELP FROM GEN Z
But, nearly two dozen local newsrooms weren’t going to make that mistake this past summer. 22 college graduates participated in the Instagram Local News Fellowship, a partnership between the Reynolds Journalism Institute and the Facebook Journalism Project. As a group, they generated:
- More than 111,000 new followers
- More than doubled their publishers’ posting frequency
- Increased interactions by 120%
- Increased Video view by 360%
HOW THEY DID IT
TEXT FEED ASSETS: It’s a trend you’re seeing across the news industry. The format is simple, yet encourages shares because it’s easy for followers to hit the paper plane underneath the post and share it in their own Stories and provide their own viewpoint, increasing the reach of the post and ultimately, your news organization.
INCORPORATED STICKERS: From quizzes to polls to questions, stickers aim to increase engagement. These kinds of “stickers” are much more than what you grew up with and are where you can get immediate feedback and discover what topics resonate with your community and which ones don’t.
INSTAGRAM LIVE: Nine of the participating newsrooms went live on Instagram this past summer, many for the first time. Only NINE. Some for the FIRST TIME. They are NEWS outlets. It’s incredible that this feature isn’t used more in newsrooms to deliver on the promise they don’t just make daily, but invented: live, local and late-breaking news.
By doing these core three items, the fellows were able to:
- Generate subscriptions
- Generate referral traffic
- Reach younger audiences
- Increase engagement
I spent more than 20 years in a newsroom as a TV producer and now own a social media content creation business, so I’ve seen this from both sides. We spent more time on making content than we do promoting it. In TV, it was always the very last thing we did when it should have been our first. I’ll admit I used to hate it when the promotional team would come to me while we were still on the air with that morning’s news to ask me what we were doing tomorrow for a :10 spot that would air on some courtroom show I didn’t even know we aired to a demographic we weren’t after…
I was living in a bubble.
At the end of the day, as journalists, we want to make an impact on people, on peoples’ lives—but, our one-dimensional approach that everything has to be on TV or on our website is, quite frankly, elitist and short-sighted when one piece of content could be sliced into a variety of different formats and distributed across multiple channels to reach a maximum number of people.
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