September 19, 2020

THE 42% CEILING:

Biden's polling lead nears magic number (STEVEN SHEPARD, 09/18/2020, Politico)

Biden is much closer to the magic 50 percent mark -- both nationally and in key Electoral College battleground states. That puts Trump in a significantly worse situation, needing to not only attract skeptical undecided voters but also peel supporters away from Biden, whose poll numbers have been remarkably durable.

And the president is running out of time for both.

According to the latest RealClearPolitics average, Biden is sitting at 49.3 percent in national surveys and has a 6.2 percentage point lead over President Donald Trump. That's significantly higher than Clinton's 44.9 percent mark this time four years ago, which was good for only a 1 point lead.

It's the same story in many of the battleground states: Biden is at or within 2 points of majority support in enough states to lock down an Electoral College victory, compared with Clinton's low- to mid-40s scores in mid-September 2016 in the same states, some of which she would end up losing as late-deciding voters went decisively for Trump.

"One of the worries that kept me up at night in '16 was we just always felt like there was a bigger number of undecideds. And if they broke predominantly in a direction, then the whole thing could change," said Steve Schale, a Florida-based Democratic strategist and the executive director of a pro-Biden super PAC. "I don't think there was a single poll in Florida that had [Clinton] over 48 percent. I think that was the case in a lot of places."

It's a fundamental difference in Democrats' standing compared to this time four years ago. While Biden has not locked up the election, the path to victory that Trump took in 2016 is currently blocked.

Trump is mired in the low- to mid-40s -- roughly where he was four years ago. But this time, Trump is the incumbent president. And with fewer undecideds or voters poised to select third-party candidates, Trump is running out of time to improve his poll numbers and close the gap.

It's not magic, just American decency.

Posted by at September 19, 2020 8:16 AM

  

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