Swing State Pres

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

BTRTN Presidential Snapshot: A Rash of New Polls – Is the Race Tightening?

Tom with the latest BTRTN look at the race.

There have been an absolute deluge of national and swing state polls in September, and they tell the same tale:  Joe Biden is firmly in control.  The race has not tightened one bit; if anything, it has moved marginally in Biden’s direction.

Though mail-in voting had already begun, and in-person voting starts in three days in three states, much can still change.  We have three debates ahead of us, and endless news cycles – so think of this as a “snapshot,” not a “prediction.”  

But almost all of the latest news has been favorable to Biden.  First there was the Atlantic article, in which Trump was quoted calling World War I soldiers buried outside of Paris “losers."  While the White House was still issuing furious denials, Trump then dissed his own generals for pushing for wars to line the pockets of defense contractors.  Then came twin disclosures that Biden had shattered fundraising records by raising $365 million in the month (dwarfing Trump’s $210 million) and that the Trump campaign was, in fact, cash poor at the head of the stretch drive.  

This was followed by the initial tidbits of Bob Woodward’s new book, “Rage” (out today) in which he interviewed Trump 19 times -- on tape!  The tapes revealed exactly how badly Trump had misled the public about COVID-19 back in February; we now know exactly “what the President knew” and “when he knew it.”  Neither those revelations, nor holding indoor rallies with no masks or distancing, is going to help Trump on the largest issue of the campaign: his handling of COVID-19.  Biden is already winning on this issue handily, and only 40% of Americans approve of Trump's COVID response, while 56% disapprove.

The Trump administration has managed some recent good news in the Middle East, with first the UAE and then Bahrain entering into normalized relations with Israel.  But all in all, the first two weeks in September had Trump on the defensive, stanching wounds largely of the self-inflicted variety. 

Before we dig into the latest numbers, this would be an opportune time to remind Democrats of our constant refrain – our warning label: 

WARNING:  No matter how good the numbers look at any given time, the Democrats will not win any election unless they work hard to earn it – registering voters, calling, texting, donating – throughout the summer and fall, up to and including Election Day.


ODDS 

Based on the latest polls (and other factors, including judgment), our BTRTN models now show that Biden has a 81% chance of winning the presidency if the election were held all at once, today.  This is slightly up from the 79% we calculated a week ago.  This chart includes our most recent Senate and House probabilities of the Democrats controlling the Senate and the House, and indicate the potential for a trifecta. 

Election Odds of Democrats' Winning/Controlling
President
Senate
House
81%
65%
99%
Electoral Votes
Composition/(Dem Change)
Composition/(Dem Change)
334 Biden/204 Trump
50 Dem*/50 GOP (D +3)
251 Dems/187 GOP (Dems +18)
*Including Independents who caucus with the Democrats.  Also assumes Biden wins the presidency, which would require the Democrats to get to 50 seats to control the Senate.


NATIONAL POLLS

There have been 14 national polls thus far in September, seven in the first week, and seven in the second.  They have barely fluttered versus the August polls, with Biden maintaining a +7 percentage point lead.  Biden is now averaging 50% of the vote in those polls, on average.  Keep in mind, considering the structural advantages the GOP has in the Electoral College, a “true” lead for Biden requires a 4-point advantage to carry through to the swing states.  At +7, Biden is clearly ahead and in a reasonably strong position. 

TRUMP VS BIDEN HEAD-TO-HEAD NATIONAL POLLS
Month (# polls)
Jun (26)
Jul (20)
Aug (30)
Wk Ending Sep 5 (7)
Wk ending Sep 12 (7)
Biden
50
49
49
50
50
Trump
41
41
42
43
43
Diff
9
8
7
7
7


SWING STATES

There have been 45 polls in the 14 swings states and two swing districts in the month of September, and Joe Biden has led in 37 of them.  Trump has led in just six, and there have been two ties. 

Based on this fresh batch of polls, we have made three BTRTN ratings changes since our September 7 snapshot, and each has been in Joe Biden’s direction.  

Minnesota
D Lean
D Likely
Arizona
D TU
D Lean
Nebraska 2nd District
R TU
D TU

Team Trump has long sought to put Minnesota in play, but with three new polls all in the Biden +8/+9, those hopes would seem to be fading.  Arizona has emerged as a potential flip state, a safety valve that gives Biden more paths to 270 than simply re-flipping the states Trump flipped in 2016.  There has been little recent polling in Nebraska’s 2nd district, but it is going Biden’s way, and any electoral vote is worth having, especially since there are 269-269 scenarios. 

There are now eight true Toss Up states, and Biden does not have to win a single one of them to win the election.  He has a solid 210 from his “blue wall” entities (states or districts), another 16 from three “likely” entities, and 63 more from six leaning states:  Arizona, Michigan, Nebraska’s 2nd District, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.  Trump won all of them (except Nevada) in 2016, by the slimmest of margins, but Biden now leads in each by 4-7 points. 

BTRTN PRESIDENT SNAPSHOT
BTRTN Rating
Entities
Electoral Votes
DEM TOTAL
29
334
Dem Solid
18
210
Dem Likely
3
16
Dem Lean
5
63
Dem Toss-up
3
45
GOP Toss-up
5
79
GOP Lean
0
0
GOP Likely
0
0
GOP Solid
22
125
GOP TOTAL
27
204

Here is a rundown of every state or district. 

BTRTN 2020 PRESIDENTIAL SNAPSHOT
States
2020 Electoral Votes
2016 Margin
Swing State Poll Avg
BTRTN Rating
Solid Dem (18 states or districts, 210 electoral votes): California, Colorado, Connecticut, DC, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine 1st District, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington





Maine
2
Clinton +3
Biden +12
D Likely
New Hampshire
4
Clinton +0.3
Biden +8
D Likely
Minnesota
10
Clinton +2
Biden +8
D Likely
Wisconsin
10
Trump +1
Biden +7
D Lean
Michigan
16
Trump +0.2
Biden +6
D Lean
Arizona
11
Trump +4
Biden +5
D Lean
Nevada
6
Clinton +2
Biden +4
D Lean
Pennsylvania
20
Trump +1
Biden +4
D Lean
Nebraska 2nd District
1
Trump +2
Biden +7
D TU
Florida
29
Trump +1
Biden +1
D TU
North Carolina
15
Trump +4
Biden +1
D TU
Maine 2nd District
1
Trump +10
Tie
R TU
Texas
38
Trump +9
Trump +2
R TU
Ohio
18
Trump +11
Trump +2
R TU
Georgia
16
Trump +5
Trump +2
R TU
Iowa
6
Trump +9
Trump +2
R TU





Solid GOP (22 states or districts, 125 electoral votes):  Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nebraska 1st and 3rd Districts, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia, Wyoming

But again, note well, there is much to overcome – voter suppression, Russian interference, Trump lies, third party influence, slow mail-in balloting and more.  Heed our warning well: 

WARNING:  No matter how good the numbers look at any given time, the Democrats will not win any election unless they work hard to earn it – registering voters, calling, texting, donating – throughout the summer and fall, up to and including Election Day.

3 comments:

  1. Thanks Garner Brothers for keeping us grounded

    ReplyDelete
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