Narratives Get Busted as Trump Is Now Closer In the Polling Averages Than 2016

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Anyone that reads my articles knows I’m a bit of a natural cynic. That’s not necessarily bad in politics, but it’s not always an asset either. I’ve certainly gotten my share of ribbing in the comments over it, sometimes deservedly so. When I look at the 2020 race, my first impression is that Trump’s last debate performance hurt him and that Biden is in a decent position to win the race. Yet, I’ve also noticed that things are starting to look a lot like 2016, especially on the state level, which is the most important, yet most ignored part of the horse race given the media usually focus on shock “Biden +10 nationally” polls.

Now, those 2016 flashbacks are growing stronger. Eddie Zipperer of The Daily Caller put out a thread this morning which busts a lot of the narratives proclaiming Joe Biden to be inevitable. In fact, Trump is in a better position today in 2020 than he was on this same day in 2016. That seems rather important to me.

Note that the number on the Clinton graphs are the final average, not the average Zipperer is citing, which is on this specific day in 2016. In other words, yes, the race tightened further, but Trump was in worse shape two weeks out then than he is today.

I’ll mention that Trump actually trailed in Wisconsin by over 6 points on election day as well. The polls never even narrowed there, yet he won the state. It’s also astonishing to see that Trump was down -12 in Michigan at this point in 2016, yet he charged back and won that state as well despite the average resting at around 4 points by election day.

In other words, this race is far, far from over. Further, Trump is setup well to capitalize in the next debate. Recently, he gave an interview to Fox and Friends where he did not complain about the fact that the moderator will be able to mute his mic. Instead, he noted that letting Joe Biden talk will be worse for him because he can’t keep his train of thought. That’s a very smart play by Trump. At this point, everyone knows who he is. He doesn’t have to prove himself on the debate stage. All he has to do is let his opponent be the story. The best thing in the world Trump can do on Thursday is sit back, let Joe talk in word salads, and then calmly go after him during his two minutes per segment. He should and will bring up Hunter Biden as well, and this new format will benefit Trump when he does. If Biden tries to interrupt, it makes him look bad.

Everything is in front of the President right now. There are also good signs involving early voting numbers, though you should always be highly skeptical of drawing conclusions from those. But it is possible, perhaps even probable that the “shy Trump voter” is a real thing and that Republican turnout is going to be massive. Buckle up because it’s going to be a ride, and it doesn’t end on election day thanks to liberal judges letting states count votes weeks after the fact.

(Please follow me on Twitter! @bonchieredstate)