New Piece Claims That If Polls Are As Wrong As They Were Four Years Ago, Trump’s In For A Yuge Victory
(Tea Party 247) – Do you remember what the polling situation looked like at this point in the 2016 presidential election? The vast majority of the polls that were conducted had Hillary Clinton defeating Donald Trump by a very large margin.
In fact, the New York Times actually gave her a 90 percent chance of taking the White House that night. Well, we now know those polls were all pretty much worthless. Almost all of them were wrong. Hillary indeed lost, by a sizable chunk. A few blue states flipped red, which wasn’t something anyone saw coming.
This should have shaken everyone’s faith in polling, and it has to some degree, but a lot of the polls right now have Biden ahead of Trump. But could this all be setup for a repeat of 2016?
If the average poll is 100% accurate, they project Biden winning 353 electoral votes to Trump’s 185. For reference, the Times predicted that Hillary would win 347 electoral votes to Trump’s 191 by this exact same logic in 2016.
But what if we take the average poll at face value, and then subtract the difference of how much they were off by in 2016? In that case, Trump could be reasonably expected to win 278 electoral votes to Biden’s 260. (And given the Times’ track record with these kind of projections, Trump would probably lead by more).
Rasmussen Reports was the most accurate pollster during the ’16 cycle, despite common accusations of Republican bias. Rasmussen had Hillary Clinton up 1.7 points over Trump on election day 2016, and Hillary ended up leading the popular vote by 2.1%. The average pollster in the Real Clear Politics Average had Hillary up by six points, meaning the average poll was off by roughly 4 percentage points in the 2016 election.
Today Trump hit his highest approval rating in the Rasmussen Poll at 53% (the highest point year), and their most recent presidential race poll had Trump taking a 47-46 lead over Biden. That’s not as quite a slim lead as it may look.
Because of how Trump is performing this far in key battleground states, Biden could need a 3-4 point in the popular vote just to have a greater than 50% chance of winning in the electoral college. Even if Biden leads the popular vote by a point there’s still a 94% chance Trump would become President, and the figure is 78% in Trump’s favor if Biden leads 1-2 points. This is because the distribution of where support is located matters. Biden picking up additional support in a state like California may boost his poll numbers overall, but it will make no impact on his odds of winning the national election because there’s never any doubt the Democrat is going to win California’s electoral votes regardless.
Chance of a Biden Electoral college win if he wins the popular vote by X points:
0-1 points: just 6%!
1-2 points: 22%
2-3 points: 46%
3-4 points: 74%
4-5 points: 89%
5-6 points: 98%
6-7 points: 99%
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) September 2, 2020
But what if pollsters have gotten their act together and are more accurate now? That’s probably unlikely. That means we are indeed likely to see another “upset” — which is anything but for those of us with our fingers on the pulse of what normal Americans think and believe politically — this time around against Biden.
So, while we can’t simply rest easy until November, we shouldn’t let the poll numbers dictate too much how we feel and the efforts we put in to fighting to ensure Biden doesn’t take the White House.