United States President Donald Trump looks unlikely to be re-elected on the first Tuesday in November - but he was unlikely to win four years ago as well.
History won't repeat, and so a Joe Biden presidency looks likely.
The US President can do the maths as well.
Having spent his entire presidency putting his own interests ahead of his country, and knowing that, in a crisis, voters tend to rally around the flag and move towards the presidency, there's a chance he could provoke an "October surprise" international crisis.
That's not a prediction, but a fear. Russia wants Trump to be re-elected, and possibly so does Chinese President Xi Jinping. A confrontation doesn't feel far-fetched.
Count in India's Prime Minister Nahendra Modi, like Trump and Xi, an authoritarian nationalist, and it's been a long time since so many illiberal, race-baiters have run the most powerful countries at once.
And that's leaving aside the bovver boys in second tier powers like Turkey, Hungary, Poland and, shamefully, the United Kingdom, where the stench of incompetence is worse than the xenophobia.
Global politics are more fraught now than for ages.
If we don't see a crisis develop in the first days in office for the government we elect on September 19, what odds would we get for a crisis-free three years?
If Biden wins in the US, things don't instantly get better.
The stand-off with China will not resolve.
Democrats are under pressure from unions, and those Midwestern working-class voters that Hillary Clinton lost, to tariff China and to plan an America First post-virus recovery.
The US is unlikely to restore the international architecture Trump has torn apart. I expect to see more protectionism, and weaker global institutions. None of this is good for a trading country like New Zealand.
Isolationism has been worse for vulnerable populations.
As Scottish Labour politician Jim Murphy told me on a podcast interview, there has never been a crisis in our lifetime in which the poor have emerged better off. The global poor will almost certainly be the biggest victims of the pandemic too.
We're rapidly losing 30 years' progress dealing to extreme poverty. Famines are set to double. Up to 12,000 people could die from hunger every day globally because of lockdowns – 2000 more than died from Covid each day in April.
The Pacific is facing a dire future. Tourism is 70 per cent of GDP in some islands. That's gone and so have the jobs.
New Zealand is remote - and therefore Covid-free - but not isolated from global instability.
If the US provokes a confrontation in the South China Sea, would we have to choose between the US and China? Forced to choose sides between our largest trading partner, China, and Five Eyes partners, do any of us know which sides our major parties would take?
Pandemic responses are already complicating our international relationships. Our young are coming home from the world as visas expire, with chances for visa extensions a low priority for governments everywhere fighting sharp unemployment.
Our Government is keeping in place a ban on students here to study from countries like China, Taiwan, South Korea and Singapore, where the virus is under control and students can be tested before entry.
That is a huge lost opportunity to capitalise on our island isolation, and causes long running relationship damage. We're about to destroy a $5 billion industry that probably won't recover. Why not quarantine students in student hostels?
The relationship with China is going to get harder anyway. We can't stay on the sidelines over China's treatment of Uighurs for long. The state-sized camp China has created is fast becoming the world's gravest humanitarian scandal.
Our Government has ended our extradition treaty with Hong Kong, which was the right thing to do. China's breach of the Hong Kong agreement debases its reputation, and the injury is made worse by China's furious response that Hong Kong is an "internal matter". It isn't.
China made an agreement with the UK to leave the former colony intact. Since China now can't be trusted to respect an international agreement that is less than a quarter of a century old, how can it be trusted to honour its solemn commitments to us in our trade pact? We now trade with China only on its terms.
Xi's nationalist authoritarian behaviour has probably over-reached, but we need to have a conversation about when the cost will be too high. The point is closer than we want to admit.
We are confronting unprecedented foreign policy challenges. We need to talk about them.
- Josie Pagani is the Executive Director of the Council for International Development.
* On August 6 CID and the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs (NZIIA) will host the first big election debate in Wellington - Trade, Aid and New Zealand's Place in the World Post Covid.