Biden’s advantage in the average of all polls has been consistent and most polls (unlike Ipsos) have it with over 50% of the vote.
What’s the point: One of the most interesting phenomena of this campaign was seeing analysts, pundits and voters grappling with what happened in 2016. The poll suggested that Trump would lose to Hillary Clinton, and he of course won in the Electoral College.
A response to current data and this comes from Jim Vandehei of Axios. He says the conventional wisdom that Trump cannot win is wrong.
The result of 2016’s result for this cycle is that the general public does not buy the poll showing Biden clearly ahead. They think Trump is going to win.
A Pew Research Center poll released earlier this month shows very well what’s going on. The poll pushed Biden 8 points above Trump, which is very similar to the average and the Ipsos poll discussed earlier.
Yet the same poll found that Americans believed with a 51% to 46% margin that Trump would beat Biden in the election. (Among voters, there was a narrower 50% to 48% gap in Trump’s favor.)
The poll says voters believe the race will go to Trump or the ballot is wrong.
Interestingly, the poll was self-administered via the Internet with no live interviewers, so it’s not as if voters who said they voted for Biden had reason to give what they might perceive to be the most socially answer. desirable (i.e. not voting for Trump).
Despite this, some voters believe the ballot is closed.
Another question about the idea of potentially hidden Trump voters shows something similar to the Pew poll. With a 5-point margin, voters in an August poll by Fox News said they believed more of their neighbors were voting for Trump rather than Biden. Biden was ahead in the horse race by 7 points in the poll.
See the 2020 presidential poll
The poll of who voters think he will win is a marked reversal of what happened at this point four years ago. Voters believed Clinton would win by a 62% to 28% margin in a Quinnipiac University poll in mid-August.
Yet the horse racing poll at the time actually had Clinton ahead of the average by less than Biden is currently up.
And, as I noted earlier, voters overwhelmingly believed that Clinton would win at the end of the 2016 campaign.
See the 2020 presidential poll
The fact that conventional wisdom was wrong in 2016 clearly had a big effect on people’s perceptions and not necessarily in a good way.
A plurality of Americans believed Republicans would retain the House in 2018, even though polls suggested otherwise. They were blown away.
Today, there appears to be a continued overcorrection of Trump’s odds in 2020. Not only do more Americans think Trump is going to win, but the betting markets have Biden only as a nominal favorite.
Neither of these interpretations of the data is likely correct. Trump could very well defeat Biden, but that’s not the most likely outcome.
While it is good to interpret survey data and recognize that it only captures a moment in time, it is good to ignore it altogether, this is not the correct answer.
Fortunately, most of the analysts I know do nothing of the sort. They recognize that Biden is a favorite, but recognize that it is possible that Trump could win.
Whether Trump’s luck decreases or increases over the next few weeks will largely depend on whether the race changes by convention.
Keep in mind that mail-in ballots will start sending out to North Carolina later this week, and many people will be voting by mail this year.
If Biden continues to hold a clear advantage in the polls over the next few weeks, Trump’s chances will start to decline dramatically.