We are 131 days away from election day now, or a little more than four months. Going into the 4th of July weekend, the numbers for Joe Biden vs. Donald Trump are unreal, particularly for a country as polarized as we are right now. According to the latest NYTimes/Sienna poll, Joe Biden is up by 14 points nationally. But what about the electoral college, because ultimately, that’s what really matters.
Biden holds a commanding lead there, too.
New NYT/Siena polls:— Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) June 25, 2020
Trump is at 41 or lower in all of them.https://t.co/OE6yHJqoWB
Current polling averages— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) June 25, 2020
National: Biden +9.5
MI: Biden +9.7
NV: Biden +8.7
WI: Biden +8.4
NH: Biden +8.2
PA: Biden +7.0
FL: Biden +7.0
AZ: Biden +4.9
NC: Biden +2.8
OH: Biden +2.5
GA: Biden +1.3
Reminder: a snapshot, not a forecast.https://t.co/wKbW02AGO5 pic.twitter.com/NwMixddVec
You have to go back to Bush 41 to find an incumbent president who's in the same kind of polling hole that Trump now finds himself.— Mark Murray (@mmurraypolitics) June 25, 2020
And we remember how 1992 turned out for the incumbent.
This morning's @MTPFirstRead: https://t.co/6BulSpXFnc pic.twitter.com/0H8zQwzS76
Biden has about a 10-point lead. Hillary Clinton+Obama never had avg leads that big, and it’s the biggest lead at ~4 months out since Bill Clinton was up 12 in ‘96. Biden’s the only candidate besides Nixon ‘72 & Reagan ‘84 to avg above 50% at this point. https://t.co/Ddoh5sUR11— Geoffrey Skelley (@geoffreyvs) June 25, 2020
Awesome! But what does it all mean?!
Obviously, there are still concerns, like: What happens when Joe Biden starts to talk? Out loud. Where people can hear him? Hopefully, nothing, because Biden gaffes are NOT THE SAME AS VOTING FOR AN AUTOCRATIC SUPER VILLAIN BIGOT. There’s still the matter of running mate, too (and Tammy Duckworth — who is fantastic — has been added to the list and is being vetted). Biden’s got to thread the needle here, and hopefully please moderates, progressives, and Black voters without alienating those independents and conservatives that have jumped Trump ship.
However, the biggest concern continues to be delegitimizing the election. Trump has continued to cast aspersions on the mail-in ballot process, and that could prove very dangerous. People casting ballots via the mail is probably going to be the predominant way that votes will be cast this November, especially as virus cases are spiking again.
Here’s where it could get very dicey: What if Trump pulls out a narrow, Electoral college win based only on in-person votes on election night, but is otherwise blown out once mail-in ballots are counted in subsequent days? That’s where Trump’s efforts to delegitimize mail-in ballots gets very worrisome, because that is a very possible scenario. Take, for instance, the Democratic primary in Kentucky this week. On election night, Amy McGrath had a lead so commanding from in-person ballots that I didn’t even think it was a race, despite the fact that no one was calling it. That race, however, turned around real quick when mail-in ballots from the cities started arriving:
In other words: 14 points is not enough. In 2020, against Donald Trump? Fourteen points is within the margin of error.