As hard to believe as it may be, there are only 25 days until the 2020 Presidential Election. For many, this election has flown under the radar, as headlines involving the coronavirus, social unrest, and the climate crisis in California have dominated news outlets for quite some time. With that being said, what should we expect of the outcome of this election, just less than a month out?
One clear reality at the moment is that President Trump is losing momentum following a contentious debate and a surprise COVID diagnosis. Before the debate, RealClearPolitics gave Biden a 6.5-point lead nationally, and currently, that lead has expanded to nearly 10 points. With the Electoral College; however, national polling goes out the window, as the battleground states prove critical for both candidates to reach 270 electoral votes.
This year, key battleground states for both candidates can be broken into the southern and southwestern states of Florida, North Carolina, and Arizona, as well as the Rust Belt states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Four years ago, President Trump won all of these states in route to victory with 304 electoral votes. Currently, Biden is faring very well in the polls in the Rust Belt states that Trump flipped in 2016, as he leads Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin by 7.1, 6.2, and 5.5 points respectively (RealClearPolitics). In the South, Biden’s lead is much smaller, as he is ahead in Florida, North Carolina, and Arizona by 4.5, 1.4, and 3.1 points respectively (RealClearPolitics). If we were to assume that these polls held true, Biden would win the Electoral College handily. With that being said; however, polls could very well be wrong again, just like they were in 2016 on a statewide basis. In Wisconsin, for example, Trump trailed Hillary Clinton by 6.5 points on average, yet won the state by less than one percent. Nobody expected Pennsylvania and Michigan to flip red either, but both went to the president in 2016. With that being said: will the polls be wrong again?
The answer to this question is very unclear. While Trump does not need to win every single state he won four years ago, the fact that he is trailing in every single battleground he won in 2016 is concerning for the Trump Campaign. If I were the Biden campaign right now, I would be cautiously optimistic, aware of the fact that the current political climate is as unpredictable as ever.
Riley Dulin – Political Editor