Nate Silver, the popular statistician and data geek who publishes his predictions for political outcomes throughout the country has released some new findings for the November Presidential Election and the news for Team Biden isn’t great. In fact, they are downright bad.
You'll sometimes see people say stuff like "Biden MUST with the popular vote by 3 points or he's toast". Not true; at 2-3 points, the Electoral College is a tossup, not necessarily a Trump win.
OTOH, the Electoral College is not really *safe* for Biden unless he wins by 5+.
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) September 2, 2020
In 2016, Clinton won the national popular vote by just over 2.8 million votes or 2.1%. Her enthusiasm rating was just 12 points behind Trump at this same time in the election (early September) in 2016. Polls found that of Trump’s base, 58% were enthusiastic about voting for the now-current-President versus just 46% of the same voters for the now-defeated Clinton. In other words, despite the majority of her voters being less-than-enthusiastic about showing up to vote for her, she still won the national popular vote by 2.1%.
This is where the bad news for Biden comes in. Currently, Biden’s enthusiasm score trails that of the President by 17 points. Of the President’s supporters, 65% are enthusiastic about voting for him, a seven-point increase from his 58% at the same time in the race in 2016. Biden, on the other hand, enjoys a 48% enthusiasm rate, up just 2% from his 2016 predecessor.
This simply means that Trump enjoys a much stronger support from his base than does Biden his. If history is any indicator, Trump will likely do better against Biden in 2020 than Clinton did in 2016, at a 2.1% margin of national vote victory. If we apply that to Nate Silver’s data, Biden would only have about a 22% chance of victory against Trump come election day.
The other issue is that enthusiasm will continue to drop for Biden as the sharks begin circling the flailing candidate during the march toward Election Day. How long before the talk of “we should have nominated someone else” will start is unknown but it is important to realize that Biden risks driving Middle America further into the Trump column as Biden continues to respond to Trump as opposed to blazing his own trail of narrative.
Biden has a hard road ahead of him and as the days pass, Trump an easier one. While we still have a lot of election to get through, early data suggests we are headed for four more years of Trump.