We are at the point where the poll numbers could change all the time. And what you see in at least one of these polls is that Donald Trump has been making things tighter between himself and Joe Biden.
Right now the folks at BetOnline have Biden listed as the -190 favorite, with Trump priced at +165. What this translates to is an implied probability of 64.3% for Biden, and a 37.7% probability for Trump. Do you think the incumbent president has a better chance than that?
An IBD/TIPP poll updated on Monday has Biden holding a lead of 48.8% to 45.6% in the popular vote. This represents a two-point gain by Trump in a little over a day.
In the Northeast Biden has a comfortable lead. But Trump is ahead in the South, which was expected to be a Republican stronghold.
The battle for the independent voters is a key, without a doubt. And Trump holds a 45.6% to 43.6% lead, according to this IBD/TIPP poll. He is also ahead 46.8% to 44.6% among Hispanics.
Maybe you aren’t familiar with this particular poll, because it is not one that a lot of outlets talk about. However, it deserves respect because it is one of only two national polls that forecast a Trump victory in 2016.
And then there is the matter of the difference between what certain national polls may say and what Trump’s internal polling indicators. When one sees media outlets such as CNN or NBC get involved with polling, one might assume that there is a certain bias associated with them. Such may have been the case four years ago. And while Trump’s own campaign is naturally biased, his polls revealed more truth than what the public was being shown.
That’s a factor here.
Many Trump voters may actually be apprehensive about advocating for their candidate. So they may not be so quick to give their opinion. The assumption is that when someone is being called to participate in a poll, since they’re a registered voter, the pollster has an idea of who that person is. There may be a reluctance to talk about issues like safety and looting and rioting and Antifa and Black Lives Matter, while liberals and/or Democrats aren’t as shy at expressing their hatred of Trump. Let’s be honest about that.
And when you hear about the concept of a “silent majority,” that’s what they’re talking about.
When it comes down to it, the big factor is how Trump is going to perform in the battleground states. The numbers, as we mentioned, change all the time, but things may be pretty tight in all of these.
There are states that are going to be in the Trump column and others that are going to be in the Biden column. That is pretty much a given. But the ones up for grabs will decide it.
Let’s take a look at a few:
FLORIDA (29 electoral votes)
BetOnline Odds: Trump -160, Biden +130
(all these expressed as “Republican and “Democrat”)
This is what Trump touts as his “home state.” According to a RealClearPolitics (RCP) composite poll completed over the weekend, Biden was holding a 48%-47% lead. Trump won this by 110,000 last time, and he did that even though Hillary Clinton had a lead in most polls. Hispanics will be a factor in the southern part of the state; this includes many Cubans, old and young, who distrust Democrats going all the way back to John F. Kennedy and the fumbled Bay of Pigs invasion.
MICHIGAN (16 electoral votes)
Election 2020 Odds: Biden -260, Trump +200
According to the RCP poll, Biden is leading by six points (50%-44%). If you recall, this is where Trump came through the back door with a late rush to steal it from Clinton in 2016. It’s an industrial state, and Trump continues to preach about business and jobs, while the Democratic focus seems to center around the dangers of COVID-19 and the virtues of social distancing, which hurts business. That may help Trump’s cause. This is where he’s going to have to do well among African-Americans.
WISCONSIN (10 electoral votes)
Trump-Biden Odds: Biden -290, Trump +230
This was a real surprise last time, as it broke late for Trump. Biden is a 50%-44% leader in the RCP poll. There is said to be far fewer voters who are undecided – or uninterested – than last time. This doesn’t look real good for Trump, but we wonder whether the fallout of rioting and violence after the Jacob Blake police shooting will win over some voters who may not be saying so.
MINNESOTA (10 electoral votes)
Election 2020 Odds: Biden -400, Trump +300
This may be the most intriguing state of them all. Trump lost Minnesota by 45,000 votes in 2016. But a lot has happened since then, as we know.
Joe Biden is ahead 48%-43% in the RealClearPolitics poll. But there are a lot of things that could affect this result, and they may not have been the subject of conversation between pollsters and registered voters.
The dynamic created by the police murder of George Floyd and the destruction of Minneapolis will have a very real effect. Unquestionably there are some citizens and business-owners who are rightfully scared. That may work in favor of Trump, who wanted for the beginning to restore order to the beleaguered city. At the same time, he refused a request for federal money to the tune of half a billion dollars to clean things up, and that may work against him.
So what happens in the end? This may be a difference-maker that comes out of nowhere.
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