For the past three weeks I have posted a projection of the Electoral College vote based solely on State rather than national polls (since after all that is how the College operates) that have been reported in the last 30 days.
Here’s how it works:
– States where the race is closer than 3% are shown as toss-ups.
– States where the range is between 3% to 5% are light colors.
– States where the range is between 5% and 10% are medium colors.
– States where the candidate is leading by 10% plus are dark colors.
Here is the updated map through July 11:
There are no flips, except that I noticed I had overlooked a poll last month of Nebraska that actually showed a slight Biden lead. In Biden States, Arizona weakened and several others strengthened. In Trump States, a number in the Mississippi valley weakened significantly. And this morning another Texas poll showed a Biden lead, although not enough to move that State out of the “toss-up” range.
As has been the case for the past two weeks, if Biden simply wins the States in which he leads by 5% or more in the polling, he would win the Electoral College, without even winning a single “toss-up” or “lean Biden” State as shown on the map.
Trump continues to have close to his worst polling in the past 2 1/2 years, as shown in Nate Silver’s most current measure of Trump approval:
Although he is a GOP pollster, I think Rasmussen’s measure of strong approval vs. strong disapproval is also very telling. The theory is that those with strong opinions aren’t going to change, so what remains are those with weak opinions. Here is what that looked like for Trump’s first 1 1/2 years:
And here is the same metric for the past 2+ years:
Strong disapprovers are at ~45%, about the worst level in the past two years. Only during the ACA repeal attempts during 2017 did Trump fare significantly worse. It would be extremely difficult for Trump to overcome that disadvantage, especially since late deciders almost always break towards the challenger.
Next, let’s look at some econometric models. First, here is the “Bread and Peace” econometric model, first showing its historical record through 2016 (the creator, Douglas Hobbs, has not made any update for the 2020 election):
This model measures the change in real disposable personal income per capita, and adds casualties in wars to arrive at its forecast (whether pandemic deaths would be equivalent is completely unknown, but obviously would make a big difference).
Here is what the change in real personal income per capita looks like, first historically through the last recession, and now the past few months:
The number, while not negative, was in the danger zone even before March. Since then, the stimulus checks in April greatly helped this metric for one month, but if June is as poor as May, it will be completely undone. If pandemic deaths carry any weight at all close to casualties in war, the model forecasts disaster for Trump.
Another model recently put forward by a Fed watcher (sorry, I forgot her name) demonstrated that an increase of 0.4% off its best levels in the unemployment rate in the quarters before an election has historically indicated a loss by the incumbent. Needless to say, this indicator is awful for Trump now:
But all of the above are nowcasts. They change right up until the election with incoming polling and/or economic data.
By contrast, the best *forecast* model I have seen takes Q1 polls, plus the Index of Leading Indicators at the end of the Q1 to predict how the economy will be behaving just before Election Day. So here is an update through May of the LEI:
Even May’s big bounce barely made a dent in the March and April declines. Needless to say, this forecasts a Biden blowout and is not affected by the vicissitudes of polling between now and November. In essence, it is already set in stone. All of this, in turn, was driven by the pandemic.
This leads me to the following: at this point, I think I can be blunt. Trump has about 7 weeks to turn around the pandemic. If Labor Day comes and goes and the pandemic is still raging anywhere near as bad as it is now, Trump is going to lose the popular vote, and lose it badly, making an electoral college victory virtually impossible.
And if so, it is very likely that the Democrats win the Senate as well. In the past week, polling has confirmed a big lead in Arizona, a moderate lead in Maine, and slight leads in Iowa and North Carolina. Even the Alaska Senate race isn’t solidly GOP.
Of course, keeping in mind 2016, Democrats should behave as if Biden, and every House, Senate, and State candidate is running 2% behind, and keep the pedal to the metal.
“…Of course, keeping in mind 2016, Democrats should behave as if Biden, and every House, Senate, and State candidate is running 2% behind, and keep the pedal to the metal.”
[Always a good idea, even after elections. Like 2008, Trump will be forgotten or at least excused all too soon.]
The SDNY, at least, will not allow trump to be “forgotten or at least excused all too soon.”
And I am thinking that there are a whole ton of DOJ employees who have been embarrassed by him, and what he has done to their profession, to let him fade away.
E Michael, you are positing a reason for Trump to resign, let Pence become president for a few months and pardon Trump as the quid pro quo. If Trump is convinced he is going to be drummed out of office you know he will put himself and his criminal enterprise a/k/a family first, second and third. And I have to believe that a fair number of GOP senators starting with Moscow Mitch would be on board. Even Pence gets something—a footnote in history.
When Fat Donnie™ is defeated, look for him to accept a large payment and pardon El Chapo.
On January 21 look for at least a dozen lawsuits to be filed against Donnie Fatso™.
My favorite model, right now, is https://projects.economist.com/us-2020-forecast/president
I believe when Trump loses the election he will resign if Pence agrees to pardon him. I am not convinced Pence would do that. Doubt he has the balls to deal with the end of his political career.
Also, that pardon would have to be almost a confession of every crime he has committed. They can’t leave anything out.
Don’t need to list the offenses. Here’s the Nixon pardon:
Now, THEREFORE, I, GERALD R. FORD, President of the United States, pursuant to the pardon power conferred upon me by Article II, Section 2, of the Constitution, have granted and by these presents do grant a full, free, and absolute pardon unto Richard Nixon for all offenses against the United States which he, Richard Nixon, has committed or may have committed or taken part in during the period from January 20, 1969 through August 9, 1974.
I’d take the Resignation/Pardon deal.
I was around for the Nixon pardon. It irked me as well as political figures like Senator Kennedy at the time. Later, like the senator, I came to see it as the right decision.
I’ll stand with Senator Kennedy.
Keeping trump in the limelight only feeds his “self.” He needs to be relegated to obscurity where the spotlight is off of him and he passes into the darkness. No president before him has ever done what he has done. We need to rid ourselves of him quickly and quietly.
Pardon only while Nixon was President.
All of the anti Trump commenters here really need to think [if they know how to do that] what a Biden administrating will do to this economy. Free college, forgiveness on student loans, slave reperations, open borders, 15.00 min wage, higher business tax, free medicare for all, the green new deal and much more. But I bet the majority of these commenters do not have two nickels to rub together.
Trump’s actions have done more to destroy this economy than any other Republican president before him. Lets start wih your list
– If there was free college? Potentially we would reap the greater income and the resulting taxes from higher productivity. Lets expand that to trade schools also.
– Forgive student loans? Not doing so cuts into the productivity of people. Those loans will never be paid back. Furthermore 2/3rds of what is owed are penalties. 35% of all student loan debt is held by adults who are 40 years or older. You must know by now, many of them will go into retirement and have their Social Security benefit garnished by the Department of Education to pay back a student loan which for all intents and purposes is impossible to pay back due to accumulated interest, penalties, usurious charges, etc. in their life span.
– Slave Reparation? How about some of the above and giving them equal footing with us?
– open borders? Nobody is 100% for open borders
– $15.00 minimum wage? Makes people more independent and not 100% dependent on social programs
– Higher Busines Tax? Many companies pay no tax and get funds back. The one thing which will not disappear in 2025 is the Corporate Tax cut. Most of us though, will be paying more.
– Free Single Payer? Reduces the costs healthcare and gets rid of all the clerical processing, commercial healthcare insurance, and sets budgets for hospitals
– Green New Deal? It is cheaper not to pollute as opposed to cleaning up pollution for one thing.
“….But I bet the majority of these commenters do not have two nickels to rub together.”
[That would be a very foolish bet. You apparently do not know anything about the overeducated liberal elite. They do not call them limousine liberals for nothing. One of the ironies of a financialized consumer economy is that the quants that got bullied in high school own the world after they graduate from college. It is not their lack of money that makes them the way they are, but rather how few calluses that they got making all that money that makes them the way they are. When money comes to one that easily then they develop a exaggerated sense of self-importance and their own infallibility. Today’s liberal elites are more like old fashioned conservatives than ever before.]
BTW. fellow traveler Run is correct on policy, but I did not go that way in responding to your comment because experience has taught me that the liberal elite campaigns on much better policy than they govern.
Republicans are more straight forwards. Republicans campaign on ignorance and govern the same way.
Two national polls this week shed light on why Trump may be shaking up his campaign
via @BostonGlobe – July 16
Just months before the November general election, President Trump is shaking up his top campaign staff, replacing campaign manager Brad Parscale with Republican campaign veteran Bill Stepien.
And the polls this week offer a pretty good hint about why: Former vice president Joe Biden has opened up a wide lead against Trump, as high as 15 points in one national poll.
Here’s a closer look at the state of the race this week, according to several recent polls.
Biden’s lead is widening over Trump nationally
A Quinnipiac poll of registered voters nationwide published Wednesday found Biden with a 15-point lead over Trump, with Biden receiving 52 percent of support, compared to Trump’s 37 percent. Compare that to Quinnipiac’s June poll, which found Biden with a much tighter 49 percent to 41 percent lead.
“There is no upside, no silver lining, no encouraging trend hidden somewhere in this survey for the president,” said Quinnipiac polling analyst Tim Malloy in a press release.
The Quinnipiac poll of 1,273 registered voters, which had a 2.8 percent margin of error, was among two major polls out this week that surveyed voters nationwide. The other one, from NBC News and the Wall Street Journal, found Biden up 51 percent to 40 percent, an 11-point margin. That poll surveyed 900 registered voters and had a margin of error of 3.3 percent.
Setting aside individual surveys, the polling average from the website FiveThirtyEight, which factors in results from several polls, shows Biden up by about nine points as of Thursday morning.
Trump’s performance on issues like the coronavirus and racial inequality are hurting him
The Quinnipiac poll found that Biden also holds double digit leads over Trump when it comes to handling the coronavirus pandemic and racial inequality, two issues respondents said they will weigh when choosing whom to vote for. Respondents said they thought Biden would do a better job handling the pandemic than Trump, 59 percent to 35 percent ― a 24 point difference. On which candidate would better handle racial inequality, the difference was even more stark: 62 percent said Biden while just 30 percent said Trump, a difference of 32 points.
Respondents overall said they were unhappy with the direction the nation is going: 56 percent said they were “very dissatisfied” with how things are going, while just 24 percent reported being very or somewhat satisfied.
Drilling down, Trump keeps picking fights on issues unpopular with most voters
When Trump replaced his campaign manager, a donor to the president’s campaign told the Wall Street Journal that he hoped the new head of the campaign could rein in some of Trump’s tweets. And this week’s polls show why: The issues Trump’s White House has focused on in recent weeks, like protecting symbols of the Confederacy or criticizing public health officials, are deeply unpopular.
Nearly two-thirds of voters in the Quinnipiac poll said they thought Trump was hurting efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus and trusted Dr. Anthony Fauci. That finding comes as White House aides just spent several days attacking Fauci’s credibility. On top of that, the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found respondents were twice as likely to support a candidate who prioritized slowing the spread of coronavirus over one who prioritized reopening businesses.
On race issues, the majority of respondents think the Confederate flag is a symbol of racism and support removing Confederate statues from public spaces, according to the Quinnipiac poll, even as Trump has repeatedly defended such statues, and said this week the Confederate flag was a symbol of “freedom of speech.”
Trump elevates Bill Stepien, a major figure in the Bridgegate scandal
Stepien, a longtime political operative and deputy campaign manager for Mr. Trump, was promoted Wednesday night, replacing Brad Parscale as campaign manager nearly a month after the president became angry with him over a sparsely attended rally in Tulsa.
In Mr. Stepien, Mr. Trump gets an operative with a data obsession, having kept a color-coded map of New Jersey on his office walls when he worked for Chris Christie, the state’s former governor. He’s been described as both shrewd and ruthless, a Machiavelli guided by vote-share spreadsheets. … Mr. Stepien prefers to operate behind the scenes.
Mr. Stepien is no stranger to rough-and-tumble politics. Mr. Christie fired him over the so-called Bridgegate scandal, which embroiled the governor’s administration after it came to light that officials had closed down access lanes to the George Washington Bridge to punish a political opponent. While Mr. Stepien denied involvement and was never criminally charged, there were indications that his hands weren’t entirely clean.
Mr. Christie ultimately said he had lost trust in Mr. Stepien, citing a “tone and behavior and attitude of callous indifference” in Mr. Stepien’s emails that “made me lose my confidence in Bill’s judgment.”
But the two have since reconciled, and Mr. Christie said he spoke to Mr. Stepien multiple times a week.