The prognostication problems with the 2020 election continue apace. To listen to the talking heads at CNN and NBC News, the only question left in terms of the presidential race is what color gown Jill Biden will wear to the inauguration. So why do we keep seeing news items like this one from Investors Business Daily? The latest IBC-TIPP tracking poll landed yesterday and they’re showing a continuation of the reversal of the President’s recent slippage nationally. Biden is still ahead, but his lead sits at a little more than four points. Contrary to most of the headlines we’ve been seeing, Donald Trump is actually closer to Joe Biden in this survey now than he was to Hillary Clinton one week before the 2016 election.
The latest Biden Vs. Trump poll from IBD/TIPP suggests the race has become competitive with just one week to go. President Donald Trump’s support has surpassed his 2016 share of the vote in the IBD/TIPP presidential poll update, while Vice President Joe Biden appears to have lost ground among some key groups.
The IBD/TIPP survey was pretty accurate four years ago so take this news as you choose. But as with most races, we’re looking more at the trends and directions than the hard numbers. Biden is up 50.7 to 46.3 nationally. That probably sounds like good news for Biden fans, but if we scroll back only two days in the same tracking poll, Biden was up by a full seven points, 44.7 to 51.7. Yes, there’s always a bit of jitter in daily tracking polls, but something does appear to be lifting Trump’s fortunes over the past week.
This doesn’t mean that Trump is in any danger of winning the popular vote, but as we saw four years ago, he doesn’t really need to. And then there’s this alarming (to Democrats) headline from Newsweek. If the popular vote is “close” (definitions of that word in this context vary), Biden’s path to victory grows increasingly tenuous.
If the popular vote between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden is nearly a tie, Trump has an 88 percent chance of re-election, researchers of the Electoral College predict in a recent study.
The Electoral College system has a bias which is set to favor the Republican presidential candidate in 2020 again, but the discrepancy between the popular vote and electoral votes will not be as wide as the “statistical outlier” election of 2016.
That study’s conclusion as of this week is that if Joe Biden carries the popular vote 52-48, Donald Trump has an 88% of winning the electoral college. So if IBD/TIPP is anywhere near being in the ballpark of reality, this thing is far from over.
Personally, I’ll be keeping my eye on some of the same states that pretty much decided the election in 2016. Those would be Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, and, of course, Florida. Biden can afford to lose one of those, depending on how some of the western states play out. If he loses any two of them, the race is pretty much over and Trump gets four more years. And with Philadelphia currently going up in flames with all of those suburban voters watching it happen in real-time, the Keystone State may have just become even more of a challenge for Uncle Joe.
Does this mean that Trump is in the clear? Not by a long shot. But if you’re listening to the major cable news outlets this morning talking about how mail-in ballot requests and early voting numbers “look very good” for Joe Biden, I wouldn’t get too carried away. 2020 has been chock-full of surprises thus far and I’m not expecting the crazy train to pull up short in the next week.