With six days to go, it seems like the right time for me to make a presidential election prediction.
Close enough to feel confident in the prediction, not so close as to be accused of waiting until the last moment when the pre-election cards have all been dealt face up.
But I'm going farther, into a prediction of not only what will happen, but how the post-election period will go -- with a bang or a whimper?
As a progressive, I understand why many in my political tribe are agonizing over all sorts of dire election possibilities. Some of this is a hangover from the 2016 trauma of expecting that Clinton would win, only to suffer the despair of Trump being elected by the narrowest of margins in a few mid-west states.
However, that was then, and this is now.
I follow several pollsters on Twitter. Nate Silver. Harry Enten. Nate Cohn. They each have their own take on both polls and the state of the Biden-Trump race. But they agree on the basics.
Biden's lead has been steady. Nothing changed after the last debate. The divergence between national polling and state polling has narrowed to reflect Biden's lead both in the country as a whole and in the most competitive states (meaning, neither heavily blue or red).
So I'm convinced that Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight current forecast is solid. Joe Biden has an 88% chance of beating Donald Trump.
Of course, Silver correctly points out that Trump's 11% chance of winning is a long way from zero. And it also is a long way from 88%. Thus Trump could win, but this is much less likely than Biden winning.
What about polling error? Silver says that this is as likely to be in Biden's favor as in Trump's favor.
Plus, even if the state polls were as far off as they were in 2016, this still leaves Biden in a strong position given how much better he is doing in swing states than Clinton was at the point in the election year.
I'm equally optimistic about what the post-election days and weeks will look like.
Yes, Trump is talking trash about wanting the election over on November 3, hinting, if not outright saying, that no votes should be counted after election day. Which is so absurd, even a 6-3 conservative majority on the Supreme Court isn't going to go along with that argument.
Here in Oregon, a 100% vote by mail state, ballots have to be in by 8 pm on election day. Yet election results are updated for at least several days afterward, with the final certified vote taking weeks.
In Washington and California, ballots just have to be postmarked by election day. This is why California takes forever, more or less, to report final election results, with Washington also taking a long time.
So there's no way Trump is going to succeed in his fantasy of stopping the presidential vote count at midnight on November 3, when he hopes to have a lead based on Republican in-person voting, since in mid-west swing states mail-in ballots can't begin to be counted until election day.
My bet is that the presidential election won't be close. Biden will win handily, and perhaps in a landslide.
Thus I'm expecting that Trump will end up going out of office with a whimper, not a bang. Sure, he will fuss and fume about voter fraud, a rigged election, and such. That's what Trump does with everything -- lie habitually.
I could be wrong, but I suspect that the post-election period will be calmer than many anxious Biden supporters expect it to be. I don't see the Supreme Court bending over backwards to hand Trump an undeserved election victory.
That would destroy the credibility of the court. It also would guarantee that Democrats enlarge the Supreme Court if they win the presidency and gain control of the Senate, as seems likely.