The American election is in 62 days. November 3, 2020.
By now many of you might have thought the race is sewn up for Joe Biden and the Democrats. It’s what I’ve been thinking based on hearing about national polls stateside but a closer look makes me think this race is far from over.
You don’t have to take my word for it, listen to Michael Moore. The documentary maker is far from a right wing partisan, he wants Trump out of the White House but as he was tweeting just a couple of days ago, he’s worried.
Michigan is important because although it mainly leans Democrat it can be a swing state. Trump won it in 2016, the first Republican to do so since George H. W. Bush in 1988.
Michigan is one of the “battleground states.”
By contrast, Massachusetts is not a battleground at all. They are voting Democrat all the way when it comes to the White House. One poll released last Friday showed Joe Biden beating Trump 68% to 30% support.
Not that it matters, Biden is winning handily and whether he wins with a 38 point gap or a 2 point gap, he will win all 11 of the electoral college votes in Massachusetts. Trump has his own states where he has a commanding lead, though maybe not by 38 points.
So while Biden can count of Massachusetts, New York and California and Trump can count on Missouri, Louisiana and Utah, they both need to win in places like Michigan.
Or maybe Wisconsin.
As I write there has not been a poll from Wisconsin posted to the website of poll tracker Real Clear Politics since August 23. That poll had Biden leading by 5, the poll before had Trump up by 1.
That was before the worst of the riots and unrest.
It’s even in the Times!
This story from the New York Times was on their front page print edition last Thursday. It was above the fold, the most coveted piece of real estate in a broadsheet newspaper.
The Times wanted people to see this.
Chaos is Donald Trump’s friend right now in that it pushes votes in his direction. The Democrats as a whole, rather than Joe Biden individually, have had a hard time distancing themselves from the protests when they turn violent.
I understand that Biden has denounced the violence but his party has also latched onto the movement behind the protests that too often end as riots. If this keeps up then Biden will wear it.
Finding a winning coalition
Trump doesn’t need to win over those voters in Cambridge, Massachusetts who would never contemplate voting for him. He has to win over voters in Kenosha, Wisconsin who don’t like what has happened in their town.
He needs to win over voters in the other battleground states such as Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio or North Carolina.
Neither man will win the White House by winning over the whole country. America is too divided for that.
What they have to do is find their winning coalition county by county, state by state.
Anyone declaring this thing over isn’t paying attention to what is happening on the ground.
One final thought, as Michael Moore also pointed out on Twitter, Biden’s lead in several swing states is lower than Clinton’s was at this same point in the campaign four years ago.
She had a 97% chance of winning according to the experts.