The Race Next Door - #1

  • National Newswatch

(Every two weeks until the November Presidential Election in the US, I’ll post a new piece on an aspect of what’s happening in the US. A good deal of it will be about polls, some about ads, some about thematics and debates.) Follow #RaceNextDoor

States that Count

Who will win will almost certainly come down to what happens in a combination of 7 so called “swing states”: Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, Arizona, Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina, or Georgia.

Live in these states, you’ll be lucky enough to get a great deal of attention from the candidates. In 2020, turnout was above the national average – as both campaigns poured money into those states.

Across America, Biden collected 81.3 million votes, which was an all time record for a Presidential candidate. Trump won 74.2 million. But while a gap of 7 million votes seems enough for a comfortable win, the swing state picture was a lot closer.

Trump won 17.6 million votes in the Lucky Seven states, to Biden’s 17.4 million.

But Trump only prevailed in 2 of the states, for 33 electoral college votes. Biden won the other 5 states for 57 electoral college votes.

When the election dust settled, Biden had a total of 306 electoral college votes to Trump’s 232. If those 5 states that Biden won last time flipped to Trump this time, and everything else stayed the same, Biden would come out on the short end - with 249 to Trump’s 289.

Trump has a better than even chance to be the 47th US President

So, what do we know about how these states look today?

In the states Trump carried in 2020, he’s leading in the most recent published polls.

Ohio: Trump won by 8% in 2020. Trump is up by 11 or 12 points.

North Carolina: Trump won by 1% in 2020 and is leading by about 5%.

What about the states where Biden prevailed?

Georgia, Biden won by .24% in 2020. Trump has led all recent polls, by a pretty wide margin.

Michigan: A 2.83% Biden win in 2020. Trump has led in 4 of the last 5 published polls.

Pennsylvania: Biden won by 1.18% in 2020. Trump has led in 3 of last 5 polls, with narrow gaps.

Arizona: Biden won by .31%. Trump has led in 3 of the 5 latest polls, with very narrow margins.

Wisconsin: Biden won by .64% in 2020. In the last 5 polls, Trump leads in 3, Biden 1 and one is tied.

Neither candidate can feel confident at this point. Spending has been light so far, and billions of dollars will be deployed. By all accounts the Democrats have more money and the Republicans have big legal bills. One candidate is in the Oval Office the other in a courtroom being described as a cheater, liar, and fraudster.

But despite all of that the race looks like Trump’s to lose.

Biden won 51.3% to Trump’s 46.8% four years ago. The last five national polls show Biden and Trump tied. If Biden only ties Trump in national polls, he’s probably losing the electoral college.

If Ohio and Georgia stay comfortably in Trump’s column, this race will come down to what happens in only 5 states: Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona and North Carolina. In 2020, the gap between Trump and Biden in those 5 states was a miniscule .2% of all the votes cast in the United States.

To call it a nail biter would be an understatement.