WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – Polling is going in the wrong direction for President Donald Trump in the final month before the General Election, and modeling based on that data suggests we could see a sizeable Electoral College win for the former Vice President.
The poll watchers at FiveThirtyEight run computer models based on polling data to plot the potential range of outcomes based on the polling averages. Less than a month ago the firm said Trump was likely to win 23 out of 100 times in their simulation of over 40,000 vote totals. But since Biden has built a 10 percent national polling lead – as of Monday – that Trump upset probability was down to 13 in 100. By contrast, Biden has around a 30 percent chance of winning Texas, according to the firm.
A loss in Texas would likely create a lopsided Electoral College outcome. Texas’ 38 electoral votes turning blue would likely mean Trump had also fallen in Florida, which polling suggests is already leaning toward Biden, though narrowly. Such a swing in high population states could spell a 200 plus elector win for Biden. It’s not the most likely scenario, but it has become more plausible as polling support slips for the incumbent president.
Skeptics may point out that Hillary Clinton held a large popular lead in early October of 2016 only to see it shrink before the November election.
Few likely election scenarios tested by FiveThirtyEight and others show Trump claiming both a popular vote and an Electoral College victory in November. A far more likely scenario is something similar to 2016, where the president would edge close enough that he would be able to cross the 270 vote total needed in the Electoral College while again losing the popular vote, likely by millions of ballots. But most pundits say Biden’s lead is wider than Clinton’s was at this point four years ago, and that both the national and state polls would likely need to shift heavily toward Trump over the three weeks for the odds of an upset to match 2016.
Through the summer the race had remained relatively stable. Trump hadn’t climbed above 44 percent support since April, according to Real Clear Politics’ average of the national polls. The former vice president had lingered around 49 percent range from May through September but has climbed near 52 percent in recent days since the first debate and the president’s coronavirus diagnosis.