Instigator / Pro

Joe Biden is more likely to win the 2020 election than Donald Trump


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Resolved: As of now (June 2020), Joe Biden is more likely than Donald Trump to win the election.

R1: Opening
R2: Rebuttals
R3: Defense
R4: Close

Round 1
Thank you, fauxlaw, for accepting this debate. 


I. Keys to the White House

Political historian and professor Allan Lichtman proposed a system of true/false statements to predict the outcome of the election. If any 6 of these are false, then the incumbent party will more than likely lose the election [1]. Using his model, he correctly predicted 7 of the last 8 elections [2] :

  1. Party Mandate: After the midterm elections, the incumbent party holds more seats in the U.S. House of Representatives than after the previous midterm elections.
  2. Contest: There is no serious contest for the incumbent party nomination.
  3. Incumbency: The incumbent party candidate is the sitting president.
  4. Third-party: There is no significant third party or independent campaign.
  5. Short-term economy: The economy is not in recession during the election campaign.
  6. Long-term economy: Real per capita economic growth during the term equals or exceeds mean growth during the previous two terms.
  7. Policy change: The incumbent administration effects major changes in national policy.
  8. Social unrest: There is no sustained social unrest during the term.
  9. Scandal: The incumbent administration is untainted by major scandal.
  10. Foreign/military failure: The incumbent administration suffers no major failure in foreign or military affairs.
  11. Foreign/military success: The incumbent administration achieves a major success in foreign or military affairs.
  12. Incumbent charisma: The incumbent party candidate is charismatic or a national hero.
  13. Challenger charisma: The challenging party candidate is not charismatic or a national hero.
A. Keys in Trump's Favor

  • Contests: There are no serious contests for the incumbent party nomination
  • Incumbency: The incumbent party candidate is the sitting president
  • Third-party: There are no significant third party or independent campaigns, as of right now
  • Challenger charisma: The challenging party candidate is not charismatic or a national hero.

B. Keys against Trump

  • Party mandate: Not only did Trump lose 41 seats in the House of Representatives, but they also got clobbered in the popular vote tally. The GOP lost the House popular vote 44.8% to 53.4% [3]. Even though they picked up seats in the Senate, they lost the Senate popular vote by 20 points [4]. Trump also lost the popular vote in 2016 by more than 2 million votes. 
  • Short-term economy: With the COVID-19 crisis, we've lost millions of jobs and are now in recession. The unemployment rate is well over 13%, and that's probably an undercount [5]. 
  • Social unrest: Obvious
  • Scandal: Obvious as well. Even if you disagree with impeachment, the facts remain that Trump has had a scandalous presidency. I doubt Fauxlaw will challenge this key 
  • Incumbent charisma: Trump is no national hero, and he is nowhere near as charismatic as Reagan, Kennedy, or FDR were.  
  • Foreign/military success: Trump has failed to achieve any major foreign military success. He said he would defeat ISIS in 30-days, but he hasn't. He failed to achieve what Obama achieved by killing bin Laden or Bush did by toppling Hussein. 
  • Foreign/military failure: Trump has failed to secure America from Russian hacking, he pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal, making the middle east a more dangerous place, and his negotiations with North Korea have also failed. We also recently learned that Russia put a bounty on US troops in Afghanistan.

II. Polling

A. National Polling

Trump is down in the polls. In the national poll, Biden is constantly showing a 10 point lead or higher. In historical standards, he has the worst polling of any incumbent in more than 30 years. [6]. Trump was behind in the polls only a few points in 2016. The result? He lost the popular vote by over 2 million votes. 

B. State Polling

Trump is further behind in the states that are critical for any president to win: 

  • Wisconsin: Biden is up by about 8 points [7]
  • Michigan: Biden is up by about 5 points [8] 
  • Pennsylvania: Biden is up by 5-6 points [9] 
  • Arizona: Biden is up by about 5-11 points [10]  
These are not good signs for the incumbent. The only reason why Trump won in 2016 is that he narrowly won Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania by less than 1 percent. 

C. Current Events


COVID-19 was Trump's biggest chance to show he can lead, and he absolutely blew it. Polls show Trump has only a 43% approval on how he handled the COVID-19 crisis and nearly 57% disapprove [11]

2. Civil Unrest

60% disapprove of the way Trump has handled Black Lives Matter and the recent protests. This is certainly bad news [12]

1. Licthman, Allen: The Keys to the White House: A Surefire Guide to Predicting the Next President 
I Rebuttal: Keys to the White House  
I.a For an argument demonstrating why and how Joe Biden is likely to be elected over Donald Trump, Donald Trump was the target of Pro’s argument, and not that Joe Biden would be a better President. Pro offers 13 points, 6 of which must disfavor an incumbent President to spell his loss. If the argument were mashed potatoes taste better than ice cream, then the criticisms against ice cream yield a victory: It’s fattening, it doesn’t hold up in heat, kids prefer it on their face than in their mouth… but how do these demonstrate that mashed potatoes taste better? Is it inferred? I am not convinced. 
I.b Pro lists 7 of 13 points; seven ice creams over mashed potatoes, if you will. We’ll address a few:
I.b.1 Party mandate:Yes, Trump lost seats in the midterm, 2018, but so did Obama in 2010, Bush 43 in 2006, Clinton in 1994, Bush 41 in 1990, Reagan in 1982. It’s typical for a president to lose House seats in a first midterm.[i]
I.b.2 Short-term economy:Standard economic assessment declares a recession only after two full quarters of loss by measure of real GDP. …the long-term macroeconomic trend in most countries has been economic growth. Along with this long-term growth, however, have been short-term fluctuations when major macroeconomic indicators have shown slowdowns or even outright declining performance, over time frames of six months up to several years, before returning to their long-term growth trend. These short-term declines are known as recessions.”[ii]  Not enough months, yet, for the argument. It’s already climbing, again.[iii]
I.b.3 Social unrest: There has been social unrest virtually continuously from June 2015 when Trump declared his candidacy to the present presidential election cycle of 2020, and all one on side of the political spectrum due to the continued belief that Trump is an illegitimate President, though elected by Constitutional means.[iv]
I.b.4 Scandal:Pro challenged that I will not address this factor. As above, the scandal is entirely one-sided, and began before the election of 2016. Russia collusion, the Steele dossier, Bob Mueller Report, Stormy Daniels, the pee tapes, Putin’s puppet, the Wall, takedown of NAFTA, the Iran Deal, NATO, Covid-19 response, et al, are all entirely Democrat-originated and fed ‘scandals’ lapped up by a radical mob.[v]
I.b.5 Foreign/military success:Moving the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. At least since 1992, every President has promised to move the US Embassy to, and declare Jerusalem as Israel’s capitol, but only Trump did it.[vi] Five more Pro BoP fails.
II Rebuttal: Polls: as of now, speculation 
II.a Political polls have several flaws up to about 6 weeks prior to the election, and, sometimes, even after that.
II.a.1 The target polling sample population is of registered voters. Registered voters are notoriously fickle about actually voting as a block, regardless of candidate. Between 2000 and 2016, the percentages of registered voters who voted are: 54.2, 60.4, 62.3, 57.5, and 49.9.[vii]
II.a.2 These values average 56.8%, meaning 43.2% of registered voters since 2000 did not vote. The more accurate polling sample population is likely voters,but until six weeks prior to the election, about mid-September, that sample population is unknown. 
II.a.2.A And yet, Pro claims that by barely half of registered voters, they will “more likely” elect Joe Biden. Less than half of registered voters is not likely enough. BoP failure by Pro.
II. b There’s an interesting comment from Pew Research about polling accuracy: A comprehensive review of polling accuracy published in 2018 found that ‘relying on vote intention polls from more than 200 elections in 32 countries over a period of more than 70 years, there is no evidence that poll errors have increased over time….’”[viii]  
II.b.1 The agenda of that statement is the claim that polling accuracy evidence shows no “poll errors have increased” over time. That’s a self-serving statement to ignore the obvious: the statement does not mean there are no errors; just that errors have not increased. In other words, political polls have errors, but, like the media, Pew Research is not going to admit it. There are other polling errors, and they include:
II.b.1.A Political polls ask too many questions. According to the Six Sigma Black Belt Certification Manual,[ix] [a statistical analysis model, and I am a certified SSBB, retired] polling questions should number no more than ten. After that, polling subjects tire of the poll, and will likely give any answer just to be rid of the poll.[x]
II.b.1.B Polls use a statistical model called Margin of Error,which is a pre-determined calculation of polling accuracy based on the sample population quantity. MoE is reflected as a plus/minus percentage reflecting a margin that is fully twice the percentage noted, such as ±3%, meaning that the total scope of potential error is 6%. MoE means that of a sample population of n,the expected error rate applied against the poll results is potentially in error by that percentage. The best MoE that can be achieved is probably ±2.5%.[xi] The details of political polls report an MoE of, rarely ±3%, typically more, making them augmentively less accurate.
II.b.1.C The sample population group nis a carefully calculated number based on a desired MoE, and is is intended to represent the entire population; in this case, of likely voters, which is not the full adult population of the U.S., but consists only of registered voters who, in fact, plan to vote. So registered voters is an invalid population because half of them will not vote. For an MoE of ±3% in the 2016 election, the sample population must have been n= 1,068 respondents to the poll.[xii] Few political polls collect that many samples.
II.b.1.D Of the sample population n,it is expected that an equivalent number of political parties by population be in the polling sample, i.e. the equivalent number of Democrats and Republicans, at least. This is seldom the case. In 2016, a Pew Research poll of Sept 15-18 polled a total of 1,000 adults [insufficient number] of which 365 were Democrats, 325 were Republicans, and the balance were undeclared or Independent.[xiii] The MoE was ±4.1% [too high] for registered voters.[xiv] The resulting poll [surprise!] favored the election of Hillary Clinton.
II.c Pew Research published an article following the 2016 election asking why the polls had that election so wrong. They said, “Pollsters don’t have a clear diagnosis yet for the misfires, and it will likely be some time before we know for sure what happened.”[xv] One might refer them to the above arguments, II.b.1.A – II.b.1.D, and the nearest Six Sigma Black Belt. Six Pro BoP fails.
III Argument: Why Trump will win in 2020
III.a A few Trump successes:
III.a.1 Every president since 1992, at least, has promised to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem. None but Trump did it.[xvi]
III.b No President since Truman dared to meet face-to-face with North Korea. Trump did.[xvii]
III.c  No President, Roosevelt through Obama, Republican or Democrat. Passed a tax cut package the size of Trump’s. His corporate tax cut was 43%, largest in a century.[xviii]
III.d No modern president since Roosevelt, at least, has achieved the minorities’ unemployment rate reached by Trump.[xix]
III.e Carter’s Iran disaster was legendary. Obama’s deal ensured Iran would have nuclear weapons by 2025. He caved to Iran, giving them $1.3B plus $400M in cash.[xx]
III.f Clinton declared a substantive deal in 1994 with NoKo, but never met with Rocketman’s father. The deal was violated almost immediately, which was meant to deter NoKo’s advances in achieving a nuclear missile delivery system. They have it, and have had it since 2002.[xxi]
III.g Obama’s economy lost our AAA credit rating for the first time in history in 2011, costing us billions in new interest payments on the debt.[xxii]
III.h Obama’s increase in market value was by artificial infusion of cash [Q.E.] from the Federal Reserve. Artificial infusion cannot sustain the market, and it didn’t. People look at the rise of the market during Obama, but ignore its numerous falls. While overall, the market grew from 8,000 to 18,000, it also lost 6,000 points in his 8 years; a net gain of an ordinary 4,000 points.[xxiii]
See comments for list of references.

Round 2
I will be responding only to my opponent's arguments. 


I. Trump's Successes 

As my opponent noted, all presidents have their successes and failures. However, this debate asks us who is most likely to win. We must weigh the president's successes and failures, as well as look at the state of the economy and other factors that go into play. George HW Bush was arguably a very successful president, yet he lost re-election due to the state of the economy and reneging on his pledge against new taxes. 

A. Israeli Embassy

This is rather a weak point. How many voters are going to go to the ballot and say they're voting for Trump for moving the Israeli embassy? Honestly, I totally forgot about this until my opponent brought it up. My opponent needs to show the impact that this will have on the general election. Moreover, we must look at why the other presidents failed to move the embassy. The law that was passed allowed the President to grant a 6-month memorandum. Every president, including Trump, used the memorandum in concerns about national security. For example, on June 1, 2017. Trump passed the memorandum stating [1]: 

Pursuant to the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, including section 7(a) of the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 (Public Law 104-45) (the “Act”), I hereby determine that it is necessary, in order to protect the national security interests of the United States, to suspend for a period of 6 months the limitations set forth in sections 3(b) and 7(b) of the Act.
You are authorized and directed to transmit this determination, accompanied by a report in accordance with section 7(a) of the Act, to the Congress and to publish this determination in the Federal Register.
The suspension set forth in this determination shall take effect after you transmit this determination and the required accompanying report to the Congress.
What impact did this move have on foreign policy? As Palestinians protested the move, Israeli soldiers killed dozens of them [2]. That said, this move will have a very minimal impact on the outcome at best. At worst, those who opposed such a move will be more motivated to go out and vote against Trump

B. North Korea

Again, my opponent needs to show what impact this will have on the outcome of the US election. Why will this make Trump more likely to win? Moreover, Trump failed in his initiative to get North Korea to abandon nuclear weapons. Had Trump been successful, this would be a more powerful point in the President's favor. 

C. Tax cuts

My opponent is wrong. This is not the biggest tax cut in history, but rather, as PolitiFact noted, it's only the fourth largest. Ironically, the two largest tax cuts were passed by Obama [3]. 

That said, let's look at the impact on the tax cuts. Trump's tax cuts remain deeply unpopular, which is a point against President Trump. A poll conducted last year the majority of Americans don't think they actually got a tax cut and only 1/3 approves the legislation itself. [4]. According to the Tax Policy Center, there have been little economic benefits to it, and the vast majority of the tax cuts went to big corporations who used it to buy $1 trillion of stock buybacks [5]. Finally, the US deficit is now nearly $1 trillion, most of it thanks to these tax cuts [6]. 

D. Minority Unemployment 

Trump here is taking credit where credit is not due. As notes, minority unemployment was well in decline long before Trump took office, and in fact, the downward trend actually slowed down under Trump [7].  But to make this point worse, COVID-19 completely erased this gain. Minority unemployment since COVID saw some of the highest levels of unemployment. This is what voters will remember. [8] 

E. Iran Nuclear

Obama did not give Iran $1.3 billion, the money already belong to Iran, but their assets were frozen. Obama simply unfroze their assets as part of the deal. [9] What about the $400 million? Again, Iran was already owed that money from a 1970s arms deal that was never delivered [10]. My opponent provides no evidence that the Iran deal would allow Iran to get a nuclear weapon by 2025. What's your evidence? 

F. Clinton NoKo. 

Again, what does this have to do with Trump? What impact will this have on the 2020 election? That happened more than 20 years ago and is certainly not going to be on people's minds when they go to vote. 

G. AAA Credit 

So what? How will this impact the 2020 election? Moreover, the Standard & Poor blamed both the Republicans AND the Democrats for the downgrade. As notes [11]:

S&P, Aug. 5, 2011: The political brinksmanship of recent months highlights what we see as America’s governance and policymaking becoming less stable, less effective, and less predictable than what we previously believed. The statutory debt ceiling and the threat of default have become political bargaining chips in the debate over fiscal policy. …
Republicans and Democrats have only been able to agree to relatively modest savings on discretionary spending while delegating to the Select Committee [of Congress] decisions on more comprehensive measures. It appears that for now, new revenues have dropped down on the menu of policy options.
So no, Obama is not the only one to blame for the credit downrate. 

H. Obama again

Once again, so what? This debate is about Trump, not Obama. Again, I'm having a really difficult time understanding your point. 

I Rebuttal: Polling is speculative, r2
I.a The description of the debate offered by Pro has a caveat to be considered in light of the proposal, “Joe Biden is more likely to win the 2020 election than Donald Trump.”The caveat is: “As of now [June 2020].”  I’ll even offer a given, that, although the challenge of the debate was given 6/26, the debate did not begin until Pro’s r1, on 7/4. So, “as of now,”July, “Joe Biden is more likely to win the election… [?]”  
I.b Timing in the election campaign is a critical factor. Pro is not saying that, as of 11/3/2020, Election Day, “Joe Biden is more likely to win…” In my r1, rebuttal II.a.2.A, I stated, effectively, “Pro claims that by barely half of registered voters, they will ‘more likely’ elect Joe Biden. Less than half of registered voters are not likely enough.”Pro established the timing of his argument, and must now live by it. Since “registered voters” are a fickle lot [see my r1, II.a.1], dependence on their accuracy is a flawed position. As demonstrated in my r1, II.a.1 and II.a.2, their error rate [not voting] is 43.2% over 16 years of presidential election cycles. That’s “likely to win?”
II Rebuttal: Lichtman test Key Factors, continued
II.a Incumbent charisma:   All through the 2020 primary season, Democrat candidates for the presidency struggled to attract crowds in hundreds. Some achieved, sometimes, crowds in small indoor and outdoor venues approaching and slightly exceeding singular thousands. Meanwhile, Donald Trump, at indoor and outdoor rallies, scheduled in, and filling venues of tens of thousands of capacity, filled them in the 2016 election campaign, and is doing so again in the 2020 election campaign, always, not sometimes. 
II.a.1 According to the Oxford English Dictionary, “charisma” is defined as n,“A gift or power of leadership or authority; aura. Hence, the capacity to inspire devotion or enthusiasm.”Tens of thousands attending a political rally may have occurred before, but never has it been a habitualoccurrence before Donald Trump in any campaign season for President in the last 70 years; my lifetime. This meets the definition of “charisma." 
II.b Foreign/military failure:  Pro claims Trump has failed to prevent Russian hacking into our elections. On June 21, 2017, the New York Times reported on an appearance by Jeh Johnson, former Secretary of Homeland Security, who testified to the House Select Committee on Intelligence that “Acknowledging Russian meddling in the 2016 election would reveal too much about intelligence gathering…”[1] and further acknowledged that the administration was aware of hacking at the Democratic National Committee the previous summer. What did Obama/Biden do about it?  They “failed to prevent Russian Hacking into our elections.”Sound familiar? It is.
II.c I believe that rebuts all seven of Pro’s [and 7 of 13 arguments by Lichtman] that“as of now…” “Joe Biden is more likely… to win.”Pro acknowledged that of the 13 Lichtman points, four were already in Trump’s favor. As it appears by rebuttal that the other seven also tally in Trump’s column, well, the Lichtman test fails. “As of now.”That leaves one remaining in the air: the challenger’s charisma.I watched a speech offered by Joe Biden on 6/17 in Darby, PA, not from his basement, but before a live audience, read eloquently from a teleprompter. The speech was received by polite applause from… I counted about ten people sitting in chairs, six feet apart, inside perfectly formed circles on the floor [the article says there were 20 people - fine]. Joe did not wear a mask, not even one dangling from his ear.[2]Was this exercise demonstrative of charisma? Not by Obama standards.
III Argument: Is Joe Biden equal to the measure of Barack Obama?
III.a Obama won his 2ndterm in 2012 with 57.5% of registered voters. Hillary Clinton lost to Donald Trump even though having 51.1% of registered voters’ votes. 6.4% is the margin within which Joe Biden must squeeze a victory. That’s a margin of error of greater than ±3%. Biden barely has the numbers in his favor, “as of now,”but 6 weeks from now,let alone four months from now?BoP failure by Pro.
III.b Consider these Biden multiple faux-pas in his own words [as opposed to opinions from other people about Trump levied by Pro]: 
III.b.1 “I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor  [investigating Biden’s son]is not fired, you’re not getting the money  [$1B]. Well, son of a bitch, he got fired.”[3]
III.b.2 “And the kids used to come up and reach in the pool and rub my leg down so it was straight and then watch the hair come back up again…I love kids jumping on my lap.”[4]

III.b.3 “I’m prepared to say that I have a record of over 40 years and that I’m going to beat Joe Biden!”[5]  Some media outlets have suggested that Biden did not say, “beat,” but “be.” Well, just roll that over for a moment. Joe Biden, as of now, 77 years of age, was born and christened Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr. If he’s not Joe Biden now, when will he “be” Joe Biden? That’s actually a post-apology effort that should be on the cutting room floor. Which is worse; that Joe Biden will beat Joe Biden, or that he will be Joe Biden, but isn’t right now? Neither is particularly complimentary, or confidence-building,“as of now.”
III.b.4 “I am running for U.S.  Senate.”[6]
III.c The above quotes demonstrate a man whose proclivities are bullying, bedlam, binary, and bizarre. This would be a benign President? Not even the measure of Barack Obama, and that, in my view, was a questionable eight years. Who was his Vice President, again? I ask, in closing this argument: if Joe Biden is elected, who will be the President?
IV. Argument: Who is this debate about, again?
IV.a Pro’s r2 was entirely off-topic. Isn’t this a debate about Joe Biden’s likely electability? I contend that any negative, let alone a litany of them, about Donald Trump is not likely to result in Joe Biden’s election. The tactic did not yield success by Hillary Clinton in 2016 -  she asked, “Why aren’t I 50 points ahead?” and it will not succeed in 2020. At some point, Joe Biden must present his own unique, positive message.
IV.b Actually within the preparation and posting of Pro’s r2, Joe Biden has released an economic package.[7]  But the package, titled “Made in all of America by all of America’s Workers” is strangely reminiscent of another campaign run three and four years ago by… Donald Trump: “Buy American and Hire American.”[8]  Plagiarism? Well, not word for word, but the idea is hardly original to Joe Biden. Neither is Hair.[9]
IV.c There’s an itch needing a scratch. It's President Obama, and the scratch is “Much of the blame for the weak economy [2009 timeframe] can be set at the feet of two failed economic policies: monetary and fiscal. From the reliance on the Federal Reserve’s easy money - $4.5 trillion of ‘quantitative easing” – to… Cash for Clunkers;”[10]  Obama/Biden monetary/fiscal policies that were disastrous. President Obama declared in June 2016, after 89 months of his policies, that manufacturing jobs “…are just not going to come back.”[11]  Who was President Obama’s VP? Who silently nodded his approval of the administration’s monetary/fiscal policies? Yes, this is all about Joe Biden and his “Made in all of America by all of America’s Workers.”  His? Sorry, lost my head. According to Obama, and silent Joe, those jobs were not going to come back. How did they rebound, inside 30 months after Trump took office? Not by anything Joe Biden did, other than revamp and old campaign that was not, and still is not his to claim.  Paul Krugman, NYT columnist said on 11/25/2016, 5 monthds after Obama’s prediction, that of Trump’s campaign promises to increase manufacturing jobs, “Nothing policy can do will bring back those lost jobs. The service sector is the future of work; but nobody wants to hear it.”[12]  President Obama said of candidate Trump that he [Trump] would need a “magic wand.” Well, “Trump’s Policy “Magic Wand” Boosts Manufacturing Jobs 399% In First 26 Months over Obama’s Last 26”[13]  This is not intended to argue for Donald Trump, but against Joe Biden’s electability based onTrump policy. 

I've demonstrated a number of pro BoP failures. I yield the floor.



Round 3
I Disappointment
I.a It is a disappointment that Pro has forfeited r3. I hope he continues his argument. Having rebutted the Lichtman test, and polling fallacies, in my r1 & r2, it is left to defend my arguments of Pro’s rebuttals: 
II Defense: Trump success by moving US Embassy to Jerusalem
II.a Pro calls this a weak success. However, at least since the Clinton presidency, every President has promised, and not delivered on the promise to move the embassy. Even Trump passed on the effort at his first six-month option, but upheld the promise in December 2017 when other Presidents passed, and passed, and passed. Pro argued it is weak because Palestinians complained. Palestinians complain about everything; it is a broken record of complaint. Regardless of what benefit it has to Trump specifically regarding re-election, it is a foreign policy success that Pro can dismiss, but he cannot sell it.
II.b By contrast, what did Joe Biden accomplish relative to the promise to move the embassy to Jerusalem while he had eight years with Obama to demonstrate more than lip-service to the promise of the U.S. to do it? Where is Pro’s BoP for that, considering the Lichtman test made an issue of “no foreign/military failure” by an incumbent? Moving the U.S. embassy was not a failure, regardless of Palestinian complaint, and Pro has not offered one source to demonstrate that it was. He offered a Vox Media source [his r2 [2]], but the NYT said of Vox “[they are]a technology company that produces media."[1] In other words, opinion pretending to be hard news. 
III. Defense: North Korea
III.a Pro claimed that I need to show BoP on the matter of Trump’s approach to North Korea and that it will have impact on the outcome of the 2020 election. Trump has accomplished what no other President since and including President Truman, under whose administration the U.S. severed relations with North Korea, and no President from Truman until Trump has made direct contact with the North Korean leader, including Vice President Joe Biden. Trump has met directly with Kim Jong Un on two occasions.[2, 3]. On the second encounter, President Trump became the first President to ever step foot in North Korea. What are Joe Biden’s credentials in this foreign policy that make him the better candidate for President on this foreign policy matter? 
IV. Defense: Tax Cuts
IV.a Pro argued in r2, with Politifact as source, that Trump did not produce the biggest tax cut in history. I will not refute the argument, however, I will defend against the resulting claim that it marks a failure on Trump’s part because he ranks only fourth among recent Presidents. 
IV.b What Politifact does not reveal, and is reported by CNN[4]  is that Obama/Biden 2010 and 2013 “cuts” did nothing but extend Bush 43’s temporary tax cuts of 2001 and 2003, continuing Bush’s rate of a combine 1.3% of GDP. Therefore, Obama/Biden did not originate the 2010 and 2013 tax cuts, as would be believed by reading the Politifact article sourced by Pro. If Trump was able to achieve a further tax cut of 1.1% of GDP in 2017 notwithstanding Bush 43/Obama tax cuts in 2001 to 2013, why didn’t Obama/Biden do so in their two terms? So, is Biden really the better choice on taxes, when he and Obama left another 1% on the table?
IV.c Pro argued that Trump’s tax cut remains “deeply unpopular,” sourcing a Politico article of 4/15/2019 [Pro r2, [4]]. The article states, “Multiple polls show a majority of Americans don’t think they got a tax cut at all – even though independent analysis shows they did.”[5]  Even assuming the poll results are correct [Politico omitted citing them], the bolded phrase concluding the quoted reference [Pro’s source] indicates that the “most Americans” were wrong in their assessment. 
V Defense: Minority unemployment
V.a It should be noted that Pro’s source for the unemployment report he cited [r2, [7]], is dated 1/30,2018, just one year into Trump’s term; hardly the current status.  When Trump took office, nearly three months following his election, the Dow-Jones, one marker of the economy, was already rising, having risen 1,000 points just ten days following his election, and 2,000 points increased by the time he took office.[6]  It was predicted by pundits that the market would crash if he were elected.[7]  Prior to Covid-19, the DJIA was above 29,000 points, almost exactly three years into the first term. Some crash. And a solid indicator of Trump’s significant contribution to lowering the minority unemployment rate with the addition of jobs Obama/Biden claimed would never come back, as cited in my r2 [13]. And Pro’s reference to the effect of Covid-19 [which will be addressed later] is spurious since Covid-19 was not a factor in January 2018, so Pro’s reference to “Covid-19 completely erased this gain” [gains made in reducing minority unemployment prior to Covid-19, and was not a factor for another two years][8]  is completely irrelevant as a reference, particularly since Pro did not include any argument, with sourcing, that Trump bears full responsibility for the virus and its effects. 
VI Defense: Iran Nuclear
VI.a Pro claimed that $1.3B given to Iran as part of the Nuclear Deal negotiated by an Obama team was money already owed to Iran by the settlement of Iran against the U.S.’ the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal. However, Pro’s own source [r2, [9]] admits, “The part that the meme [“So, when Obama bypassed the Congress while giving Iran $150 billion in cash, how many States had sued him?”]  gets right, though, is that the deal didn’t get congressional approval. The Obama administration had maintained that the agreement wasn’t a treaty.”[9]  Since Congress holds the purse strings of Federal Government expenditures, the Obama administration payments in cash of $1.3 billion to Iran was not appropriate. Also still in question by congressional committees is the matter of the cashpayment, particularly since Obama administration officials testified before Congress in September 2016 that “…they were not aware of specific Iranian requests for cash.”[10]
VII Defense: Clinton NoKo
VII.a Pro argues that Clinton’s negotiation with NoKo has naught to do with Trump, and doubts the impact of Trump’s actions will have on the 2020 election. Since Pro offers no sourcing to back his opinion of the potential impact, or lack of it, I’ll simply rebut by saying his conjecture does not convince that “Biden is more likely to win the 2020 election than Donald Trump,”when Biden has done nothing to address the matter other than more complaint that Trump acted “irresponsibly.” “While we should never refuse to speak with our adversaries, nether can we ignore the horrendous human rights abuses North Korea’s leaders perpetrate against their own people. Talking to dictators is one thing, embracing them is another…”[11]  I challenge Pro to tell us when Biden ever did not refuse to talk with this adversary, and that he did, in fact, talk to the dictator, directly, in person, face-to-face as Trump has. Twice. 
V Defense: Handling Covid-19 Pandemic
V.a Once again, Pro has chosen to take a route that does not address why “Joe Biden is more likely to with the 2020 election,” Pro’s singular BoP, by demonstrating the qualities and performance of Joe Biden, which has yet to see a single argument from Pro in 3 rounds that holds, but, instead is choosing only to demonstrate opinion jargon against Donald Trump, such as addressed by Pro in r1 & r2 with the aforementioned Lichtman test, and polling statistics, both of which have been surrounded and disqualified by my r1and r2, an Pro failed to re-argue successfully in r2, and forfeited r3. AS stated above, the Lichtman and polling elements of Pro’s argument are defeated.
V.b Pro has merely stated opinion on the matter of Covid-19 effect on the 2020 election. The opinion stated is Pro’s r2 source, [11]:  “Poll: Record number of voters disapprove of Trump’s handling of Covid-19.”[12]. There are a few problems with that article title:
V.b.1 It claims the poll respondents are “voters,” but the second paragraph refutes the title, saying, “Fifty-seven percent of registered voters in the June 22-23 survey said…”  It does not matter what they said, because registered voters are not voters; they are only potential voters, qualified to vote, but did not by over 40% of them in 2016. That necessarily skews the stated results. 
V.b.2 Further, 951 respondents is a statistically deficient number of samples, For the population of registered voters, approximately 250M people, with a quoted margin of error of ±3.1%, the sample size should be 1,068.[13]
V.b.3 Moreover, the poll cited states that 37% of respondents were Democrat, while 32% were Republican. With a skew like that, the poll results are flawed. 
VI Defense: AAA Credit
VI.a “So what?” This: The U.S. Government credit rating began with Moody’s in 1949. Since then, our rating has been “prime;” AAA, but lost that rating in 2011 under the Obama/Biden watch.[14]
I conclude that all these Pro arguments fail under greater scrutiny and rebuttal of the sources by these defenses. The arguments are rendered claims only.
Note: all sources for this round, 1 – 14, are placed in comments.
I yield to Pro for round 4.

Round 4
I Disappointment, again
I.a It appears by forfeit of the last 2 rounds, half the rounds, I regret that Pro has fully forfeited the debate. Nevertheless, I will offer a final defense and conclusion:
II Defense: A review of defended arguments
II.a Pro proposed that Professor Allen Lichtman offered 13 factors, and six of which, if false, would spell defeat for President Trump in re-election. Of the 13 factors, I demonstrated over rounds 1 & 2 that Lichtman’s list failed to find Trump lacking in Party mandate, social unrest, scandal, foreign/military success, political polls, incumbent charisma, and foreign/military failure, 7 of the 13 factors, and Pro already acknowledged that Trump had 4 of them already in his favor, or 11 of 13 factors are in Trump’s favor. Failed BoP by Pro.
II.b In Pro’s r2, he refuted my r1 rebuttal that Trump’s move of the U.S. Embassy was a weak success because Palestine complained about it. My r2 rebuttal to the weak claim went unchallenged in Pro’s r3, by forfeit, thus securing the foreign policy/military failure claimed by Pro. Failed BoP.
II.c In Pro’s r2, he refuted my r1 rebuttal that Trump’s handling of NoKo was a failure. My return defense demonstrated that no President since Truman, including Truman, ever met face-to-face with the NoKo leader, but that Trump has done so twice. The defense went unchallenged in Pro’s r3, by forfeit, thus securing the foreign policy/military failure claimed by Pro. Failed BoP.
II.d In Pro’s r1, Pro claimed Trump’s tax cut was not the biggest in history. I acknowledged it was not, making 1 of 2 Lichtman factors Pro wins. It’s not enough; Pro claimed there must be 6 failures for the incumbent to lose the election. Failed BoP.
II.e In Pro’s r1, he claimed that Trump failed on the economy. I rebutted in r2 that a major hit to the economy was the Obama failure to maintain our AAA credit rating, lost in 2011. Pro’s reply in his r2: “So what?” My r3 defense was that the U.S. has maintained a prime, AAA rating since 1949, and lost it only during Obama’s watch. That defense went unchallenged in rt3, r4 by forfeit. Failed BoP.
II.f In my r1, I challenged Pro that Trump’s handling of Covid-19 was a failure by polling statistics. In my r2, I defended my sourced claim that the polls were flawed by an insufficient poll sample, an excessive margin of error, and skewed Party numbers favoring Democrats. Pro never responded to my defense, forfeiting r2, r3. Failed BoP.
III Unchallenged rebuttals
III.a In my r2, I challenged Pro to demonstrate that Joe Biden was the full measure of Barack Obama, worthy to inherit the former President’s legacy. The challenge went unmet. Failure by Pro.
III.b In my r2, I challenged Pro to offer positive reasons why Joe Biden would win the election, rather than concentrating on tearing down President Trump. This challenge, as well, went unmet. Failure by Pro.
IV Conclusion

IV.a I conclude that Pro’s BoP’s failed in sufficient number, not to mention forfeit of the last two rounds. I ask for your vote.

Note: No added reference sources because there were no new arguments presented. All sources for reviewed matters are in the rounds referenced in the reviews.