Pro Perspectives 9/30/20

September 30, 2020

The debate was ugly last night, as expected.

If anything, it seems to be broadly agreed that Biden stepped over a low bar of expectations, and with that, gets some incremental gains from the election.

However, if we look back at the history of the past sixty years of debates/elections, there is no correlation between debate winners and election outcomes. As for the first debates, the winner of the first debate lost five of the past six elections. 

The democrats continue to push the narrative that the health crisis is still raging, and that the economy is in depression.  Trump didn't do a lot to dispute that, despite the clear data on hand. 

Below is a look at the CDC's chart of COVID hospitalizations.  


Remember "flatten the curve?"  The lockdown was all about preventing a run on hospital capacity. The country has since been open to increasing degrees since April (that's five months), and according to the data in the CDC's chart above, we currently have a whopping five COVID patients per hospital in the U.S., in the 50 and over age group.  And a percentage of those are hospitalized with COVID not because of COVID. 

Meanwhile, the positive surprises continue to roll in for the economy, in an environment where the size of the response has been far greater than the size of the economic damage.  You can see Citi's surprise index has sustained at sky high levels (relative to history). 

Adding to this, the report on Chicago PMI this morning showed a spike to a nearly two-year high – the huge snapback in business activity continues.

With the above on the economy and the health crisis, the election curiously still seems to hang on the topics of how to solve the virus and the economy. Trump continues to entertain the debate.