Sex Scandal Could Derail Blue Wave; Confusion on Stimulus

by Greg Valliere, AGF Management Ltd.

For Print Only Logo

Insights and Market Perspectives

Author: Greg Valliere

October 7, 2020

A BLUE WAVE IS FAR FROM CERTAIN: As Joe Biden’s lead continues to grow, many analysts are assuming that there will be a blue wave — the Democrats capturing the White House, keeping the House and gaining control of the Senate. That’s possible but far from certain.

The three elections —

1. Control of the House isn’t in doubt. Republicans need a net gain of 21 seats to
win control, but that’s not going to happen; they may lose a handful of seats.

2. The presidential polls show Biden with a 9% lead in the Realclearpolitics average, and CNN had Biden leading by an astonishing 16 points yesterday. We think that number is too high, but it appears that Biden is pulling ahead in key battleground states like Michigan and Pennsylvania.

3. Then there’s the Senate, the crucial part of this trifecta. The Democrats can gain
control with a net gain of three seats. They’re very likely to lose one seat, in Alabama, which means they would need to capture four GOP seats. Democrats lead in Colorado, Arizona, and probably Maine — but that leaves them one seat short.

THAT FOURTH SEAT FOR THE DEMOCRATS was widely assumed to be in North Carolina, where GOP Sen. Thom Tillis has looked shaky. But that race has been rocked by disclosures that the Democrat, Cal Cunningham, sent racy emails to a campaign worker; now there are reports that they covered up a relationship (Cunningham is married).

CUNNINGHAM HAS PROFUSELY APOLOGIZED, but this race could become a tossup in the final month of the campaign. If the Democrats lose this race, they would have to hunt for one more seat — perhaps in Georgia, Montana, Iowa or even South Carolina — but those are conservative states.

BOTTOM LINE: Thanks to North Carolina, we’re only at 55% that the Democrats will capture the Senate. And if a Biden win looks likely, Republicans will urge voters to prevent Democrats from controlling everything, and ballot-splitting is possible. Bottom line: if Biden wins only narrowly, the Senate may stay Republican; if he wins comfortably, the Senate will fall. But, again, a blue wave is not certain.
* * * * *
CONFUSION ON STIMULUS: After apparently pulling the plug on a pandemic stimulus bill, President Trump threw a curve ball last night, calling for $1,200 stimulus checks, $135 billion for small businesses and $25 billion for airlines. So are the talks dead or not?

THE INTENSE ANIMOSITY BETWEEN TRUMP and Nancy Pelosi makes any type of deal unlikely until later this year or 2021, despite pleas from Fed Chairman Jerome Powell and most economists to provide a booster shot for the economy, which could falter by winter.

WE STILL THINK THERE WILL BE A DEAL, but it’s probably coming later rather than sooner. Pelosi has restive troops who may be tempted to take the $1,200 checks, but she wants a far more comprehensive deal, with major aid to state and local governments. That’s a non-starter with most Republican lawmakers.

EVEN IF PELOSI AGREES TO A DEAL with Steve Mnuchin (unlikely but not out of the question), we cannot envision Mitch McConnell and the Republicans accepting anything that costs more than $1 trillion. Millions of Americans, facing evictions and bankruptcies, will continue to be pawns in this bitter political battle.

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of AGF, its subsidiaries or any of its affiliated companies, funds or investment strategies.

The views expressed in this blog are provided as a general source of information based on information available as of the date of publication and should not be considered as personal investment advice or an offer or solicitation to buy and/or sell securities. Speculation or stated believes about future events, such as market or economic conditions, company or security performance, or other projections represent the beliefs of the author and do not necessarily represent the view of AGF, its subsidiaries or any of its affiliated companies, funds or investment strategies. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy in these commentaries at the time of publication; however, accuracy cannot be guaranteed. Market conditions may change and AGF accepts no responsibility for individual investment decisions arising from the use of or reliance on the information contained herein. Any financial projections are based on the opinions of the author and should not be considered as a forecast. The forward looking statements and opinions may be affected by changing economic circumstances and are subject to a number of uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in the forward looking statements. The information contained in this commentary is designed to provide you with general information related to the political and economic environment in the United States. It is not intended to be comprehensive investment advice applicable to the circumstances of the individual.

AGF Investments is a group of wholly owned subsidiaries of AGF Management Limited, a Canadian reporting issuer. The subsidiaries included in AGF Investments are AGF Investments Inc. (AGFI), AGF Investments America Inc. (AGFA), AGF Asset Management (Asia) Limited (AGF AM Asia) and AGF International Advisors Company Limited (AGFIA). AGFA is a registered advisor in the U.S. AGFI is registered as a portfolio managers across Canadian securities commissions. AGFIA is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland and registered with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission. AGF AM Asia is registered as a portfolio manager in Singapore. The subsidiaries that form AGF Investments manage a variety of mandates comprised of equity, fixed income and balanced assets.

About AGF Management Limited

Founded in 1957, AGF Management Limited (AGF) is an independent and globally diverse asset management firm. AGF brings a disciplined approach to delivering excellence in investment management through its fundamental, quantitative, alternative and high-net-worth businesses focused on providing an exceptional client experience. AGF’s suite of investment solutions extends globally to a wide range of clients, from financial advisors and individual investors to institutional investors including pension plans, corporate plans, sovereign wealth funds and endowments and foundations.

For further information, please visit

© 2020 AGF Management Limited. All rights reserved.

This post was first published at the AGF Perspectives Blog.

Previous Article

Is the U.S. economic recovery slowing? What the September jobs report reveals

Next Article

Deglobalization and Emerging Market Opportunities

Related Posts
Subscribe to notifications
Watch. Listen. Read. Raise your average.