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Howdy friends, how was your fall break?

Thanks to Moll who wrote, "Please hurry back. I look forward to your column on A2." Apologies to Terry, who wrote, "These have been the best week of TFP A sections in recent memory without you."

That kind of leads us to today's chat.

We have been told plenty of times that every election is "the most important election of your lifetime." But those words are as trite as "new and improved" on every repackaged product at grocery stores.

This is the most important election of our lifetime — until the next election.

The avalanche of TV ads has overwhelmed just about everyone on all sides.

So what do we really know? Can we count on polls that tell us something different hour by hour?

PUH-lease.

The polls, depending on which ones you check, are as mixed as a bowl of nuts, whether they have Joe Biden plus-8 in this state or the race being a coin flip.

The intentions of newly registered voters are most likely absent from the rash of polls because, well, they are not considered "likely voters," according to some recent news reports and analysis.

But a late surge in voter registrations, according to The New York Times, in swing states gives Trump supporters a cause for hope.

Again, that's a belief, not certainty. So what do we know and what can we believe?

The stock market? Again, both the president and his detractors are taking credit for the economy while simultaneously saying they are the candidates that can get the economy back on track (I wish I was kidding).

In years past, the best analyzer for these things has always been the betting markets.

According to PredictIt.com, an online betting site that had Donald Trump a slight betting favorite heading into the 2016 election despite the overwhelming poll evidence that supported Hillary Clinton, this election is quite close, with Joe Biden as a narrow favorite.

And maybe that is the one thing we know: this is going to be close.

By almost every measure.

Contact Jay Greeson at jgreeson@timesfreepress.com.

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Jay Greeson
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