Despite raising a lot of money neither candidate has the 270 votes needed for an Electoral College victory. Biden currently leads Trump 185 to 125. The lean democrat and lean republican states, if they went for Biden (Dem) and Trump (Rep), do not put either of the candidates to the 270 votes needed to win. With those states, if these states went for their respective party’s candidate, Biden has 238 votes to Trump’s 186 votes.
There are currently 114 votes that are considered swing or a toss up at this point in the election. Considering the dynamics as they currently exist the following appears to be true:
1. As usual, it is the swing or toss up states that will dictate the Electoral College winner.
2. Therefore, both Biden and Trump must appeal to voters in the swing/toss up states to win the election.
3. Traditionally, to appeal to those voters it means a candidate must move from the liberal or conservative side to more of a middle ground approach to win. The candidate’s message needs to appeal to those voters to convince them to vote.
4. Trump’s current conduct appeals to his base. Right now, even if that base votes for Trump, he cannot achieve an electoral victory. He needs 84 of those swing state Electoral College votes to win. That is substantially more than a majority of those electoral votes requiring him to appeal to more swing state voters.
5. Biden needs 32 Electoral College votes from the swing states. It is easier for Biden to move to the middle than Trump. Right now, Biden has more appeal than Trump in the swing/toss up states meaning he has the advantage to achieve that Electoral College victory.
6. Consider the following current swing state by state analysis:
Wisconsin: Biden has a lead 51% to 43%. Wisconsin has 10 electoral votes.
Pennsylvania: Biden has a lead 50% to 44%. Pennsylvania has 20 electoral votes.
Florida: Biden has a lead 50% to 45%. Florida has 29 electoral votes.
Arizona: Biden has 51% to 44%. Arizona has 11 electoral votes.
With these states, Biden receives 70 electoral votes. If Biden holds on to the leaning Democratic states and the swing states where Biden currently leads, he will have 308 electoral votes. Therefore, under this scenario, Biden wins the presidency.
Of course, all of this is based on current polling. Polling is a snapshot in time, so between now and November 2020 things will change.
Polling numbers are from Real Clear Politics as of July 1, 2020.
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