The Candidates’ Market Report
Almost all major polling gives Joe Biden the edge over President Trump in the upcoming election. These are national polls that tally the numbers based on who is going to vote for which candidate. However, it’s worth remembering that not only did the same polls give Hillary Clinton a better than 90% chance of winning in 2016, but also, they are only indicators of the popular vote. Media outlets appear less keen to talk about what’s going to happen with the Electoral College vote.
Out of the top six most populous states in the U.S., California, Texas, New York, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Illinois, three voted for Hillary in 2016. Those three states have a population of around 70 million people; that’s more than 20% of the entire American population (compared with 56 million in the states that voted Trump). The latest polling certainly seems to indicate that almost any Democratic Party candidate could win the popular vote, but that’s not how elections are won.
This election will come down to the all-important swing states and their precious Electoral College votes. It’s curious that so little attention is being paid to these states.
This Week’s Major Players
- Donald Trump – 46% ( – 3% )
- Congress – 24% ( no change )
What the Gamblers Say
As with most things, if you follow the money, you can’t go too far wrong. This is a selection of the odds for key races and events.
Democratic Party Nominee:
- Joe Biden – 1/8
- Hillary Clinton – 8/1
- Andrew Cuomo – 25/1
- Michelle Obama – 33/1
- Bernie Sanders – 40/1
- Kamala Harris – 75/1
Yet again, no one is putting money down on a change in the Democratic nominee status quo. Recent polling by Rasmussen shows that just 54% of likely Dem voters want Joe Biden to be their eventual candidate. There could be a couple of reasons for this. First, voters don’t think he has a chance to beat President Trump. Second, voters just don’t have any enthusiasm for the former vice president.
This lack of enthusiasm could spell real issues at the ballot box. How keen would potential voters be to stand in the cold for hours on end for a candidate about whom they are merely lukewarm? And, of course, all those activists who work to get the vote out may not see Biden as worth a solid investment of their time.
We are seeing quite a bit of fire in the media on behalf of Biden, but grassroots activism for the apparent nominee appears to be taking place only in states that are solidly blue. Without a major outreach program to swing states, it is highly unlikely that Joe Biden will get anywhere near 270 Electoral College votes.
Biden’s Running Mate
- Kamala Harris – 7/4
- Amy Klobuchar – 9/4
- Elizabeth Warren – 6/1
- Val Demings – 9/1
- Gretchen Whitmer – 9/1
- Michelle Obama – 10/1
- Stacey Abrams – 14/1
Swing State Odds
Certain states hold the keys to power in 2020. The following are the ones that President Trump needs to do well in if he intends to serve another four years. As Liberty Nation’s Tim Donner puts it:
“Florida, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin – he must win Florida and two of the others to squeak by. In fact, if he wins the 27 other states he won in ’16, he could win just one of Pennsylvania, Michigan, or Wisconsin and still win with exactly 270 electoral votes. On the other hand, Virginia and Colorado will be telling – both swing states Trump lost in ’16. A true bellwether is probably Minnesota, which he lost narrowly and is going after hard this time. Through all of this COVID stuff, I will stick with my prediction of 350 electoral votes or more, at least for now.”
The odds of each party winning the following states:
- Florida: Democrats – 4/6; Republicans – Even
- Arizona: Democrats – 4/7; Republicans – 11/10
- Michigan: Democrats – 1/3; Republicans – 15/8
- Wisconsin: Democrats – 4/7; Republicans – 11/10
The Democratic National Convention has been postponed and is expected to begin on August 17.
Head over to Liberty Nation’s Primary Tracker for all the latest results, odds, and polls.
- Donald Trump – 10/11
- Joe Biden – 6/5
- Hillary Clinton – 20/1
- Andrew Cuomo – 40/1
- Mike Pence – 50/1
- Michelle Obama – 50/1
- Bernie Sanders – 66/1
Very little change in the presidential polling this week, and no movement for the top two contenders. Trump remains in the lead with Biden close behind. An interesting fact emerges that 55% of voters “think” Donald Trump will win the November election. Historically, asking who voters think will win rather than asking who they will vote for has been a far better predictor of final outcomes. This figure could be due to a certain amount of over-correction based on previous polling, but it could also point to that dangerous lack of enthusiasm from which Biden appears to be suffering.
Across the board, Trump is polling better in swing states than he is nationally, and the reverse is true for Joe Biden. Being limited to basement broadcasts, the challenger is not out on the stump at key locations, and this could damage him immensely come voting day. Trump, on the other hand, has now made three visits to Michigan in the last six months.
Donald Trump and the Electoral College:
Number of Electoral College votes awarded to Trump
- 251 – 269 = 3/1
- 270 – 275 = 6/1
- 276 – 280 = 7/1
- 281 – 290 = 9/1
- 291 – 300 = 12/1
- 301 – 315 = 12/1
- 316 – 330 = 14/1
- 331 – 350 = 16/1
Make sure to check back next week for all the numbers that count.
Read more from Mark Angelides.