In a new Op-Ed for TheHill, Joshua Sandman, a political science professor at the University of New Haven predicts Trump will defeat Joe Biden in November even if he loses the popular vote as he did against Hillary Clinton.
Sandman has been studying the American presidency for five decades.
The ongoing chaotic mismanagement of the coronavirus crisis would seem to jeopardize President Trump’s reelection prospects; however, an analysis of the Electoral College vote puts Trump in a favorable reelection position.
My projection gives Trump 249 and Joe Biden 248 electoral votes. Three states — Arizona (11 electoral votes), Pennsylvania (20 electoral votes), and Wisconsin (10 Electoral votes) — are toss-up states. Trump won all three in 2016, and he has a good chance to win these states again in 2020.
Several factors work in Trump’s favor. First, former Vice President Joe Biden’s debating and campaigning performances have ranged from inarticulate to incoherent. Also, his expressions and tone of speech focus on the past and do not resonate with younger voters.
Second, despite an endorsement from Bernie Sanders, the especially fervent Sanders supporters will not vote for Biden. They are driven by issues and ideology, not loyalty to Sanders personally. They see Biden as no different from Trump — another part of a corrupt establishment that has fought change and fostered inequality. In fact, Sanders, by pushing Biden to embrace his leftist/Socialist agenda, drives moderate voters away from the Biden camp.
Third, the actions of the vice president’s son, Hunter Biden, will continue to haunt the Biden campaign. His acceptance of a lucrative Board of Directors position at a Ukrainian utility company, without any evident qualification, and various business relationships with China while his father was vice president was a gross ethical lapse and miscalculation.
It is apparent even to the most loyal Biden supporters that the main reason for Hunter’s selection was an attempt to curry favor with the vice president. There is no evidence that this ever occurred. But the impropriety of Hunter’s behavior is clear. The Trump campaign has already and will continue to hammer away at the Hunter Biden issue.
Fourth, Trump maintains the loyalty of his base — the white working class and non-college-educated Evangelical Christians and social and cultural conservatives. His support among white voters is especially strong in Mid-Western, Southwestern, Western, and Southern battleground and competitive states, such as Florida, Iowa, Ohio, North Carolina, Nevada, Minnesota, and Michigan.
Further, polling shows a consistently high level of support among traditional Republicans. Most of his supporters see criticism of Trump’s handling of the virus crisis as part of a continuing media and partisan effort to hurt the president.
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