Could a very small group of voters decide the 2020 presidential election? For the moment, consider this:
“A recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll revealed that just 13% of voters say their vote is up for grabs in the presidential election. That is compared with 50% who say there is no chance they will support President Trump and 37% who say there is no chance they will support presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
The up-for-grabs or persuadable voters are people who said that they currently don’t support either Mr. Trump or Mr. Biden or that they back one candidate but still might vote for the other. The small size of that group underscores the divisions in the nation’s politics. Still, they could have an outsize impact on the results. For Mr. Trump, who had 40% of support from all registered voters in the poll to Mr. Biden’s 51%, winning them over is one pathway to close the gap.
‘Right now, Trump’s down 11 points. This is a group he’s got to run the table with. He’s got to win all of them,’ said Democratic pollster Jeff Horwitt, who worked on the survey with Republican Bill McInturff.” The Wall Street Journal
Neither Biden nor Trump will win all of these voters making the fight for the majority of this voting group key to victory. The candidate winning the majority could win the election. However, there is one important point we want to make…
In 2016 Clinton won the popular vote. Donald Trump won the electoral vote and the Oval Office. What the Wall Street Journal report does not tell us is where this 13% comes from…is the 13% from key states needed to win an electoral victory?
“The Journal/NBC News poll surveyed 900 registered voters July 9-12. The margin of error was plus or minus 3.27 percentage points.”
Therefore, we do not know what difference this 13% makes on the electoral vote and the votes needed from key states to win the Electoral College.
The Wall Street/NBC poll is a national poll taken without an analysis of voter’s feelings on a state by state basis. Therefore, unless we know how this data plays out in key states needed to win the Electoral College, we really cannot predict this poll’s impact on the election. It is, however, an interesting data point that the candidates need to consider in developing a message that resonates with key voters who could change their minds in November. What candidates need to know is how the “flip flop” voter numbers in the key states needed to win will impact the electoral votes to win the presidency.
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