End this long national nightmare. GOTV
Republicans have a slim, three-seat majority in the Senate that they’re trying to hold on to in November. And they are in for a battle to do it: There are 13 chances on this list for Democrats to flip Senate seats and just two for Republicans.
Democrats’ path to the majority is to net at least four Senate seats or net three and win the White House to get the majority, but that requires going through some Republican-leaning states.
More likely to flip than not: Alabama, Colorado and Arizona
Toss-ups: North Carolina, Maine, Iowa, Georgia, Montana
Could flip under the right conditions: Georgia, Michigan, South Carolina, Texas, Kansas, Kentucky, Alaska
— MeidasTouch.com (@MeidasTouch) September 12, 2020
Public polling for the presidential election shows tight races, with former vice president Joe Biden ahead in North Carolina (1 percentage point), Florida (2.4), Texas (about 1 point) and President Trump ahead in Georgia (by less than 2 points). Before going further, let’s appreciate what rotten results these are for Trump. He is performing much worse than any GOP nominee since 1976. (It would be as if Biden had not nailed down Connecticut.) In Georgia, a Republican has not done this poorly since 1992. For Trump to be struggling with what should be slam-dunk states at this stage in the race is a sign for him and his supporters that something is really wrong.What is even more remarkable is that Biden does not remotely need to win any of them. That he is even competitive in these states suggests he is running well above Hillary Clinton’s 2016 performance. He could lose all of them and still not break a sweat in winning the electoral college.
— Rachel “The Doc” Bitecofer 📈🔭🍌 (@RachelBitecofer) September 15, 2020
One way to test for hidden Trump voters is to compare Trump’s support between live interview polls and anonymous polls like those done by YouGov, which are anonymous and online- where no one can judge you. People have no need to hide from online or automated polls. But like in 2016, there is no difference in Trump’s level of support via these two data collection methods and often, Trump overperforms on live telephone interviews, which really undercuts the “hidden voter” hypothesis.
So, after a summer of preventable death at an inconceivable scale, social unrest, and social awakening, it’s the same as it ever was: an election cycle that from the top of the ballot, to the bottom, will be wholly defined by Donald Trump and the deep fear (or love) he inspires within dueling coalitions of the electorate.
And what about the swing states? The refrain of “there’s the popular vote, and then there’s the Electoral College” has become like nails on a chalkboard for this analyst, because it doesn’t mean what people think it does. Yes, it’s true that we don’t have a national election, we have 50 state elections, and that the Electoral College decides the presidency. It’s also true that the Democrat’s voter coalitions are not as evenly, or ideally, distributed as the Republican Party’s coalition. But, as was revealed in the 2018 midterms, Democrats did not need to win the popular vote by 11 points to retake the majority of the House of Representatives at just 23 seats. They won 40 seats at just over an 8 point margin. Likewise, there are some misconceptions as to how favorable the Electoral College currently is to the GOP, largely powered by the misunderstanding of exactly how Donald Trump won in 2016, and conversely, how Hillary Clinton lost.
This is important to understand because these midwestern states, at least not as of 2016, did not display signs of realignment often described by the media. If they had, angst about permanent or enduring dealignment between the popular vote and Electoral College would be appropriate- and the northern components of the region could get there someday, as some parts of the southern Midwest, like Indiana and Missouri did.
In this cycle though, disunity between the popular vote and the Electoral College is unlikely. The Republican Party’s “small tent” strategy of appealing primarily to white voters and using voter suppression strategies to mitigate the damage is likely to keep Trump’s share of the two-party vote share low, well below 50%. To win, the Trump campaign needs to replicate 2016- they need to drag the winning two-party vote margins in the swing states to “plurality” vote shares: something below the 50% mark. Based on Trump’s polling, which is consistently stuck at 46-47%, well below. Then they must subtract from Biden enough votes that his ultimate two-party vote share ends up even lower than Trump’s- as what happened to Clinton. This can only happen with another round of atypically high third-party and write-in balloting. This time, polling data makes no suggestion of the voter sentiments that drove 2016’s high defection rates. Not only are voters much more likely to choose either Biden or Trump, the percent indicating undecided is already low- the complete opposite of the conditions everyone should have seen plainly heading into 2016.
“You’re not mopping fast enough. (Laughter) That’s a socialist mop. (Laughter and applause) Grab a mop — let’s get to work.” – Barack Obama (2009); “Soyez réalistes, demandez l’impossible!”