Five reasons pundits will overestimate Trump's odds of winning

3. Trump’s Electoral College Advantage

One non-superstitious reason for adding a few mental points to Trump’s polling numbers is simply that he has — thanks to a more efficient distribution of Republican votes — an electoral college advantage that isn’t reflected in national popular vote polling. Yes, Trump threaded the needle in 2016 with upset wins in three Rust Belt states by a total of 77,000 votes. But this was the second such Republican win in the last five presidential elections, and word has it that another victory in electoral votes despite a loss in the popular vote is not only plausible but is in fact central to Trump’s strategy.

Trump, of course, rationalizes his popular vote weakness as the product of voter fraud in blue states like California, a claim hardly anyone else takes seriously. But it will take a big margin in the national polls (which, of course, measure popular vote preferences) for Biden before the punditry is convinced Trump won’t find a way to slither across the finish line again.