In a new Op-Ed for CNN, Chris Cillizza argues President Trump is facing the prospect of a landslide loss.
His analysis is mostly based on recent swing state polling.
The surveys, conducted by The New York Times and Siena College, show Trump trailing former Vice President Joe Biden by double digits in Michigan (Biden +11), Wisconsin (Biden +11) and Pennsylvania (Biden+ 10) and by mid-single digits in North Carolina (Biden +9), Arizona (Biden +7) and Florida (Biden +6).
Trump won every one of those states in the 2016 election. Switch them from red to blue and you can quickly see just how bad hings look for Trump at the moment.
Give Biden those six states — Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Arizona and Florida — and keep the rest of the 2020 map just as it was in 2016, and the Democratic nominee has 333 electoral votes to just 205 for Trump. That would be a larger Electoral College margin than President Barack Obama won with in his 2012 reelection.
But even that doesn’t capture how dark things could get for Trump. Consider:
* A Quinnipiac University poll
in Ohio released Wednesday showed Biden at 46% to Trump’s 45%. (A Fox News poll
released in early June showed Biden at 47% to Trump’s 45%). If Ohio went to Biden, he would be at 351
* A Des Moines Register poll
earlier this month put Trump at 44% and Biden at 43% in Iowa. Give Biden Iowa and he’s at 357
* A Quinnipiac University poll released at the start of this month had Biden within a point of Trump in Texas. If Biden managed to win Texas, he’d have 395
electoral votes, the largest electoral vote haul since George H.W. Bush beat Michael Dukakis in 1988 with 426 electoral votes
Now, to be clear: It’s very unlikely that Biden wins all 9 of those states. Texas last went for a Democratic presidential candidate in 1976, when Jimmy Carter carried it. Ohio and Iowa went to Trump convincingly in 2016 and Republicans held steady there in 2018 — winning the governorships in both.
But what these recent spate of poll numbers make clear is that all of these states are very much in play.
So, I don’t think Biden is going to win Texas but a) Trump will have to spend money (lots of it) on TV ads to lock the state down and b) polling suggests that there is a path for Biden in the Lone Star State.
Plus, Biden doesn’t need to win Texas. Or Florida. Or Ohio. Or North Carolina. Or even Arizona. If Biden wins only Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania — and holds the rest of states Hillary Clinton won in 2016 — he wins the White House with 278 electoral votes. Anything beyond those three states, which have had, prior to the 2016 election, a long history of supporting Democrats at the presidential level, is gravy.
What the current landscape suggests is this: There’s a very credible chance that Biden crests 330 electoral votes on November 3. Which, in a political world as polarized and bifurcated as this one and against a sitting incumbent president, would, to my mind, qualify as a landslide.