Let’s set aside the NBC News poll that shows Biden up 14 points. Instead, look at the polling average. It has Biden up 8 points. In 2016, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by 2.1% and the polling average was Clinton head by 3.2%.
In 2016, there were multiple well funded third party challengers as well and Trump ultimately only won by 70,000 votes in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. If Biden is really ahead by 6 points, he has a lead that will be reflected within the Electoral College.
This is why, if you know where to look, panic is starting to set in with Republicans. The public polling now is reflecting internal Republican polling from last week. Multiple campaign strategists and pollsters from states as diverse as Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and even South Carolina are starting to see the bottom falling out.
Senior citizens, suburban women, and white men from up north are drifting to Biden. The President’s debate performance excited a portion of his base but alienated more. He has not grown his base nor done enough to offset it with Hispanic voters and black men.
We are less than thirty days from the election. The President is battling COVID-19 and unable to campaign. His best hope is that Mike Pence has a stellar debate performance and hits the campaign trail in lieu of the President.
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Time is running short. The President can mitigate the damage, if not for himself then for down-ballot races. But things are, at this moment, grim. That’s not my assessment. That is the assessment of professional campaign operatives in the GOP.
“But the polls were wrong” and “everyone got 2016 wrong” have become the fallback for many of the President’s supporters. It has become a by faith mantra. We could all be missing something again. We really could.
Right now, however, a lot of Republicans in the know are beginning to sound the tsunami warning.
How will we know it is for real? In about a week, if it is really real, you’ll start seeing the backbiting, blame game, and complaints happening publicly that are starting to happen privately. You’ll see an “every man for himself” approach to senate races and house races. You’ll start to see the rats fleeing the ship.
But wait, there are some things that can change the dynamic.
The President rebounding quickly from the virus and getting back on the trail.
The Amy Coney Barrett hearings allow Democrats the opportunity to overplay their hand.
The economic news could continue in a positive direction.
Joe Biden could flub the next debate, assuming there is one.
There is time, but there is also early voting.