But as we have learned in 2016 (and 2000!), the only number that really matters is the Electoral College.
Unfortunately for Trump, his chances of getting to the 270 electoral votes he needs to win a second term are looking, at least for the moment, quite low.
In the course of the last week, two major political prognosticators — Amy Walter at the Cook Political Report and Nate Silver of 538 — have released an update that looks at the electoral map. And the image of the painting of Trump is disastrous.
“With a little less than five months until the election, the President Trump is a serious underdog for re-election,” wrote Walter, who puts 248 electoral votes firmly or leaning to Biden and 204 solidly or leaning in to take it away.
“On the whole — assuming that the states that have not been surveyed go the same way as they did in 2016 — Biden leads in states worth 368 electoral votes, while Trump led in states totaling 170 electoral votes,” he wrote.
To be clearNeither Walter nor Silver (nor I) say that the election is complete or that the Asset can not win. Indeed, while Silver suggests there is a possibility that Biden could win in a “landslide” if all the toss-up states to go to him, ” is, therefore, an Asset Electoral College victory, according to the manner in which the race moves between now and the month of November.
But what they are say, is that for the moment, the electoral map is very Biden’s favor. Not only are Democratic states that Trump won in 2016 such as Michigan and Pennsylvania looking likely to return to the Democratic column in 2020, but the former Republican strongholds like Arizona, North Carolina, and maybe even Texas appear to be genuinely playing for Biden.
All of which gives the presumptive Democratic nominee, as Walter rightly notes, multiple paths to the 270 electoral votes he needed to be the 46th president.
The paths of do still exist for Trumpet, for the most part, including the holding of two of the three states of the Belt of the Rust (Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin) and the maintenance of the status quo elsewhere on the map.
But there are far fewer paths for Trumpet than for Biden. And each week that goes by in the end, the number of good electoral map options for Trump continues to shrink.
The Point: The best news for Trump is that on the Day of the Election is still far away. If the election were held today, he would lose convincingly in the popular vote and the Electoral College.