The Polls Are Narrowing
Author: Greg Valliere
August 6, 2020
WE THOUGHT THE POLLS WOULD NARROW in September, but they may be tightening already. Polls showed Joe Biden with a double digit lead over President Trump during July, but in this morning’s RealClearPolitics aggregate of all polls, Biden’s lead is down to 6.4 points.
WHY THE MOVE? The news hasn’t been great for Trump, who’s feuding with his health experts; there’s still no stimulus bill (and there won’t be a deal today); and
the virus surged in the Sunbelt in the past few weeks. So why has Biden slipped?
MANY DEMOCRATS ARE OPENLY QUESTIONING Biden’s extremely low profile, as he tries to run out the clock in Delaware, and they think his glacial vetting of VP candidates is beginning to look indecisive. Party leaders want Biden to become more visible — explaining why voters should support him, not simply oppose Trump.
WE HAVE ARGUED ALL SUMMER that it’s way too early to write off Trump. He may not be easy to like, but he has one very important card to play — the economy, which has bounced back spectacularly from the depths of April and May. The stock market is soaring and residential real estate is red-hot; voters undoubtedly notice this.
BIDEN CAN’T AFFORD MUCH MORE SLIPPAGE, because that 6.4 point lead is inflated by the the huge margins he has in California and New York. Those two states alone may be contributing about half of the 6.4 point margin.
THE BATTLEGROUND STATES are leaning slightly toward Biden, but there’s plenty of time for Trump to narrow the margins in states like Wisconsin, North Carolina, Florida, Arizona, and Pennsylvania. Michigan is a long-shot for Trump, but in those other five states the Biden lead is only in the 3-to-5 percent range, hardly insurmountable.
BOTTOM LINE: Because of Trump’s terrible polls on his handling the virus, we think Biden is still the favorite, but there’s an increasing likelihood that this will be a close race, not a blowout. In a close race, the GOP might hang on to the
Senate, and in a close race Trump has a plausible path to 270 electoral votes.
TRUMP IS PREPARED TO THROW everything but the kitchen sink at Biden, mocking his mental acuity, warning of more urban gun violence, and blasting the Democrats’ reliance on huge tax hikes to pay for an expensive Big Government agenda. Don’t rule out Donald Trump just yet.
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