Heading into November, with the general election right around the corner, the Democratic presidential ticket of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris clearly seems to have an advantage. As of Wednesday morning, FiveThirtyEight estimates that Biden has a 71 in 100 chance of winning the election, while Trump (alongside his own running mate, Mike Pence) has a meager 29 in 100 chance — which, while not insurmountable, definitely makes it clear who’s the one with the uphill climb ahead of them. FiveThirtyEight notes that while yes, Hillary Clinton led in many 2016 polls but ended up losing, Biden’s lead is larger and more stable — and it translates into a substantial advantage in electoral college predictions.
As of Wednesday morning, Biden is forecast by FiveThirtyEight to win a full 322 electoral votes, while Trump is forecast to win just 216. Biden’s 322 total is, of course, well above what’s needed for a victory. The total is built by slight advantages for Biden in states like Florida, which Trump won in 2016. As of Wednesday morning, FiveThirtyEight gives Biden a 64 in 100 chance of winning the state. In the most recent polling in the state, which was conducted by Change Research, Biden led by 6 percent, with 50 percent of the support compared to 44 percent for Trump. In the most recent polling before that survey — a Morning Consult poll from July — Biden led by 3 percent, with 49 percent compared to Trump’s 46 percent.
‘The presidential race is in many ways just getting started. On Tuesday, we got Joe Biden’s VP pick (Sen. Kamala Harris), the Democratic National Convention is next week, and the Republican National Convention soon after. So while it’s clear that Biden is comfortably ahead of Trump right now — nationally and in most battleground states — the forecast shows Trump with a meaningful chance of winning because there’s still plenty of time for the race to tighten.’
And as for the polling situation, they add:
‘But wait! Should you even trust the polls? Hillary Clinton led in the polls in 2016, right? Yes. But Clinton had only a small advantage in most surveys — Trump’s win was well within the range of normal polling error… there’s a genuine difference between Biden’s position now and Clinton’s four years ago.’
FiveThirtyEight’s forecasts follow the same trends established in other sources. For instance, the Cook Political Report currently estimates that at least 308 electoral votes are at least leaning Democratic, while just 187 electoral votes are at least leaning Republican. They only estimate three states (and one Congressional district) as toss-ups, including Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina, and Maine’s second Congressional District. (Maine allocates one electoral vote to whoever wins each Congressional district.)
.@KamalaHarris started strong in the Democrat Primaries, and finished weak, ultimately fleeing the race with almost zero support. That’s the kind of opponent everyone dreams of!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 12, 2020
Trump has already been frantically criticizing Harris. On Wednesday morning, he tweeted:
‘@KamalaHarris started strong in the Democrat Primaries, and finished weak, ultimately fleeing the race with almost zero support. That’s the kind of opponent everyone dreams of!’
In reality, she did comparatively well for an underdog candidate in the packed presidential primary field, and she clearly has a base of support to bring to the Biden campaign, since she’s been elected to not one but two statewide offices in California, including her current role as U.S. Senator.
"Kamala… has now joined the pantheon of great Black women in history," says Sen. Cory Booker.
"This Black woman… is used to men coming at her with the same viciousness, cruelty and meanness… She's not worried about Donald Trump… Trump should be worried about Kamala Harris." pic.twitter.com/53adGz9oSG
— CNN (@CNN) August 12, 2020