Biden is about 6% points ahead of Trump in the head to head polls…
Real Clear Politics has Trump’s approval within 2% or so of the head to head polling number..
Does THAT matter?
Stuart Rothenberg says maybe?….
Does Donald Trump have a secret stash of voters out there that don’t answer polls? or Is he in for a surprise when a LOT of people remember how he didn’t come to their help during the virus crisis , or much of anytime before….
This brings us to an obvious question: Given that we are in the middle of a national health care crisis, wouldn’t it make sense not to draw sweeping conclusions about 2020 until things settle down?
Handicappers of old may not use all the snazzy models of today, but we always had one rule of thumb on which many of us relied: For incumbents, what you see is what you get.
I’ve watched thousands of races, and in all but a few, an incumbent trailing in a race can’t count on getting most of the undecided voters. If, after years in office, he or she hasn’t sold himself or herself to voters, then that incumbent is unlikely to win late-deciders or reelection.
With an extremely negative race expected, one more development should be noted. Among voters who don’t like either presidential candidate, Biden currently has a strong advantage over Trump. That’s a marked difference from 2016, when the 18 percent of the electorate that disliked both Trump and Hillary Clinton went for the GOP nominee by 17 points.
Obviously, Trump has scrambled our politics. It’s possible (even likely) that his supporters don’t participate in polls, which could be a factor if Trump overperforms on Election Day. Maybe Trump will turn out an army of previously silent whites without a college degree. Or maybe handicappers have overestimated Democratic enthusiasm, and voters of color don’t turn out for Biden.
So yes, there are scenarios under which Trump loses the popular vote again but squeezes out the narrowest of Electoral College wins. We all know it is possible, although unlikely.
I expect Trump’s job approval and ballot test numbers will come together again, if only when November nears. But I am more sure of this: Merely replacing Trump’s ballot test number with his job approval number in a presidential matchup in the middle of a national crisis strikes me as more of an effort to prove something rather than an effort to understand what is happening in our politics….