Here is my weekly update on the 2020 elections, based on State rather than national polling in the past 30 days, since that directly reflects what is likely to happen in the Electoral College. Remember that polls are really only nowcasts, not forecasts. They are snapshots of the present; there is no guarantee they will be identical or nearly identical in early November.
As I have frequently noted, Trump’s approval has always reverted to the mean, absent a new outrage that is both unusually cruel and simultaneously unusually inept. Since there has been none in the past few weeks, Trump’s margin has reverted by 2% for both approval and disapproval:
While Trump’s transparent trashing of the Postal Service in order to thwart voting by mail is certainly cruel, the cruelty has not been delivered ineptly, so there has been no penalty in the polls.
Next, here is the updated map through August 22. To refresh, here is 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.
This week saw Arizona weakening from “likely” to “lean” Biden, and Alaska moves from “lean” to “likely” Trump. Additionally, in the past four weeks, North Carolina has moved steadily from “lean Biden” to toss-up, and at present for the first time, Trump slightly leads, although not by enough to move it to “lean Trump” at this point.
On the other hand, once again, despite heavy polling, Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio, and even Texas remain in the toss-up category – and Florida remains firmly in the “likely Biden” category.
There are a few States where I have had to rely on older polling, and really need to be updated, notably Nevada, Arkansas, and West Virginia.
Nevertheless, based on the current map Biden just has to win the “solid” and “likely” States, and need not win any of the “lean Biden” States, in order to win the election.
I continue to be of the opinion that Trump has 2 weeks left – until Labor Day – to work a miracle with the coronavirus pandemic. If it is about where it is now, then the economic fundamentals + the casualties from the pandemic indicate that Biden will win the popular vote in November, although the race seems likely to tighten somewhat, because the short leading economic indicators have been suggesting the economy will continue to improve somewhat.
The Senate map is similarly further solidifying in line with the Presidential election map, as shown below, using the same % cutoffs as for the Presidential map:
With the exception of Montana, which moves from “lean” to “likely” GOP, all of the other changes in the Senate map this week benefit the Democrats. Cornyn’s seat in Texas moves from “likely” to “lean” GOP. McConnell’s seat in Kentucky moves from “solid” to “likely” GOP. And most importantly, Lindsey Graham’s seat in South Carolina moves from “lean” GOP to “toss-up.”
Based on this map, if Democrats simply win all those seats rated “solid” and “likely,” they will have the 50 Senate seats necessary for a technical majority. If they were to win the “toss-ups” and “lean GOP” races as well, they could end up with as many as 55 Senate seats.
Rassmussen at +4
Makes me nervous
RealClear Politics: Biden vs Trump
RCP Average …………… 8/6 – 8/22 — — ……….. 50.0 42.4 Biden +7.6
CBS News/YouGov ……. 8/20 – 8/22 934 LV 52 42 Biden +10
The Hill/HarrisX …… 8/15 – 8/18 2840 RV 46 38 Biden +8
Rasmussen Reports 8/12 – 8/18 2500 LV 48 44 Biden +4
CNN ………………….. 8/12 – 8/15 987 RV 50 46 Biden +4
ABC News/Wash Post 8/12 – 8/15 707 LV 54 44 Biden +10
NBC News/Wall St. Jrnl 8/9 – 8/12 900 RV … 50 41 Biden +9
FOX News ………….. 8/9 – 8/12 1000 RV … 49 42 Biden +7
CNBC/Change Research (D)* 8/7 – 8/9 ……….50 44 Biden +6
Monmouth* …………. 8/6 – 8/10 785 RV ………..51 41 Biden +10
It is Fat Donnie™’s +4 approval rating that makes me nervous.
Former GOP Senator Jeff Flake endorses Joe Biden
AP via @BostonGlobe – August 24
Flake was one of President Donald Trump’s most consistent Republican critics in the Senate. He penned an Op Ed in The Washington Post in support of Trump’s impeachment. …
Flake is one of more than two dozen former Republican lawmakers to announce their support for “Republicans for Biden.” Former Reps. Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania, Jim Greenwood of Pennsylvania, Jim Leach of Iowa, and Sen. John Warner of Virginia are among former Republican lawmakers who also have endorsed Biden.
In Wisconsin Trump will do a couple points better than his best poll, unless there is a major problem with the Biden campaign. If Biden makes a mess of his campaign, then more Trump support will be willing to say so. But right now there is definitely a significant slice of folks who won’t say one word in favor of Trump until they go vote for him.
Republicans Who Have Endorsed Joe Biden For President
Forbes – August 18
Former Gov. John Kasich, who challenged Trump for the GOP nomination in 2016, has been one of Biden’s most vocal Republican backers, lauding his “experience and his wisdom and his decency” at the Democratic convention on Monday.
Biden has won the endorsements of four Republican cabinet secretaries; Obama administration Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, and Bush administration Secretary of State Colin Powell and EPA Director Christine Whitman, who appeared at the DNC alongside Kasich.
Anthony Scaramucci, who served as Trump’s White House communications director for just two weeks, endorsed Biden and called Trump “crazy,” while former Homeland Security Department Chief of Staff Miles Taylor accused Trump of withholding disaster aid from blue states and claiming “magical authorities” above the law.
Carly Fiorina, a former Hewlett Packard CEO and GOP presidential candidate who was briefly the running mate of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), said she cannot support Trump and that “elections are binary choices,” while Meg Whitman, another Hewlett Packard CEO, said at the DNC on Monday that Trump “has no clue how to run a business, let alone an economy.”
Four former Republican Senators have come out for Biden: David Durenberger of Minnesota and Gordon J. Humphrey of New Hampshire (both independents now), John Warner of Virginia and Jeff Flake of Arizona, who called a Trump second term “a real danger.”
Former Rep. Susan Molinari of New York spoke at the Democratic convention on Monday as well, joining former Reps. Charles Djou of Hawaii and Joe Walsh of Illinois, a former tea partier who challenged Trump for the GOP nomination in 2020 and voted for Biden in Illinois’ open Democratic primary in March, calling Trump a “horrible human being” who “must be defeated.”
Cindy McCain, the widow of Sen. John McCain and mother of The View host Meghan McCain (who also endorsed Biden) narrated a video for the Democratic convention detailing her late husband’s “unlikely friendship” with Biden.
Former Rep. Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania endorsed Biden ahead of the third night of the Democratic convention, declaring, “It’s a sad state of affairs when a president endorses a 9/11 truther,” in reference to Trump’s embrace of Georgia Congressional candidate Marjorie Taylor Greene.
A group of 73 former U.S. national security officials in the Republican administrations, including former heads of the CIA and FBI and Trump administration officials, endorsed Biden, asserting that Trump’s “corrupt behavior that renders him unfit to serve as president.”
On first morning of the GOP convention, the Biden campaign released a list of 27 former GOP lawmakers, including Rep. Bob Inglis of South Carolina, Rep. Jim Kolbe of Arizona, Rep. Jim Greenwood of Pennsylvania, Rep. Jim Leach of Iowa and Mickey Edwards of Oklahoma.
Trump Disapproval Rating At New High In New Poll As Americans Are Embarrassed By Coronavirus Response
Forbes – August 19
A majority (68%) of Americans said they feel embarrassed by the United States’ haphazard response to the coronavirus outbreak, according to a new CNN poll released Wednesday, which also found that a majority of respondents are “very angry” about the state of the country—as President Trump’s approval ratings hit a new low.
58% of Americans say they don’t approve of the way President Donald Trump has responded to the pandemic, according to the CNN survey, which is a new high. …
About eight in ten Americans say they are at least somewhat angry with how “things are going in the country today,” including a remarkable 51% who say they are very angry.
According to CNN, the previous high for the share who said they were “very angry” was 35%, reached in 2008 and 2016. …
2016 CNN Poll: https://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2016/images/07/25/trump.clinton.poll.pdf
2014 CNN Poll:
2010 CNN Poll:
2008 CNN Poll: