The thing that most people still don’t get about the 2016 election is that the polls were correct. The final polling averages had Clinton up four points over Trump. Clinton ended up beating Trump by two points, which was within the margin of error – it just wasn’t enough for her to win the Electoral College.
That comes as little consolation about the fact that we’ve been stuck with Donald Trump for the past four years. But it means that the whole “Don’t trust the polls because they were wrong in 2016” narrative is total nonsense. In reality, 2016 was yet another reminder that the polling averages usually end up being correct within the margin. This brings us to 2020, which as it turns out is an entirely different election than 2016 from a mathematical standpoint.
Clinton led throughout 2016, but was always a fairly close race – with the exception of the brief window of time between the Access Hollywood tape (which gave Clinton a boost) and the Comey letter (which completely erased that boost). Here’s the thing about 2020: at no point has it been a close race. Joe Biden’s lead in the polling averages has been eight points all along, which in modern presidential election terms is a blowout. That eight point margin hasn’t budged all year – until now.
Recent events, from Trump’s tax returns, to his debate flame out, to giving himself coronavirus, to his hospital antics, have allowed Joe Biden to expand his lead in the polling averages from eight points to ten points. And once the rest of the major polls have finished being updated over the next few days, it won’t be surprising if it climbs a bit higher than ten points.
If the polls are wrong in 2020 in the exact same way that they were wrong in 2016, then Biden will win the popular vote by eight points, which will give him an Electoral College blowout. It’s a large enough margin that even cheating and suppression efforts won’t matter.
Of course this does not mean the election is over. Not by any means. But if we spend these final three weeks putting in the work required in terms of voter turnout, then Joe Biden will win. These numbers are devastating for Donald Trump, because it means there’s no course of action he can take to win. All he can do is hope that we don’t bother to turn out and vote. Let’s crush his hopes.
1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (197 sites)