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Trump Crushing Biden in Battleground America

Trump supporters should wish the election was today.

There was a wide range of reactions – hopefulness, skepticism, and scorn more or less cover the waterfront – when Liberty Nation suggested four weeks ago that Donald Trump could be on track to win the 2024 presidential election in a landslide.

The piece was speculative based on Joe Biden’s tanking approval on almost every issue, and Trump’s slowly growing lead in national and battleground states surveys. On that date, January 5, Trump was leading by two points nationally and on top – about half within the margin of error – in most of the pivotal swing states that will ultimately decide whether the 46th president remains in place, or the 45th becomes the 47th.

New banner Memo - From the Desk of Senior Political Analyst Tim Donner 1But unlike widespread opinion in political circles, even in that piece opining that Trump could win big, nowhere was there speculation that Trump’s lead would grow as far as it has, as fast as it has. So, you say, what does the data show? Well, thanks to an outlier poll from left-of-center Quinnipiac showing Biden ahead by six points – he had won only four of the previous 21 polls, all by one point – Trump is ahead by 2.5% nationally despite finishing ahead by five points or more in four recent polls. But the real story is to be found in the seven states that will undoubtedly swing the election.

Trump Up Big in Battleground America

As steep a fall as Biden has suffered in recent weeks, the poll of swing states fresh off the presses from Bloomberg on Wednesday, January 31, is utterly devastating to the Democratic cause. It shows Trump winning big over Biden in all seven crucial swing states by growing majorities, most outside the margin of error. He is running away by ten points in North Carolina, the only one of the seven swing states captured by Trump in 2020, and then by less than two points. But it’s in the six pivotal states won by Biden last time where the prospect of a decisive victory or even a landslide for Trump enter the realm of possibility – or, “if the election were held today” probability.

This most recent survey finds Trump leading Biden by eight points in Nevada and Georgia, five points up in Michigan and Wisconsin, and three points ahead in Pennsylvania and Arizona. That adds up to an average commanding lead of six points in the states that will decide the election. But when declared outsider candidates Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Jill Stein, and Cornel West are added to the mix, Trump’s average lead in those battleground states grows even further, to eight points.

GettyImages-1972878441 Joe Biden

Joe Biden (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

So, how would this translate to the Electoral College if the election were held today? Trump would win at least 77 more electoral votes than in 2020, well more than the 270 needed for election, and exceed the 306 he received in his winning campaign in 2016. But the continuing and seemingly irreversible decline of the incumbent will undoubtedly send ripples throughout the entire electorate, which could also put some other light-blue states in play, such as Minnesota, Virginia, Maine, New Hampshire, and New Mexico. Then we are talking landslide.

Trump won one election and lost another by identical margins in the Electoral College. In each case, no more than 50,000 votes in three states determined the winner. And yet, at no time in the entirety of either the 2016 or 2020 presidential campaigns – or in the final tally – did Trump ever hold a lead in the popular vote. But now, he is running away in almost every battleground state.

Trump in the Here and Now

Yes, if the election were today – not yesterday, not tomorrow, and not in six months – Donald Trump would win both the popular and electoral votes. Of course, nine months out, this data has to be taken with something of a grain of salt. Trump did just win two big victories in the first two Republican presidential contests, so his bump could be in part because of the headlines, victory building upon itself and feeding the narrative of Trump’s inevitability. But at the same time, Biden’s decline is impossible to dismiss. And Trump is desperate to reverse the image of himself as a loser because of the last three election cycles (2018, 2020, 2022), and not just because Trump’s entire political legacy depends on it, but because winning has been at the heart of his appeal from the moment he descended that golden escalator. Remember eight years ago, when he declared that the country would be winning so much when he became president that they would beg him to stop?

Absent a health emergency, Donald Trump will be the GOP presidential nominee. But he must restore his brand, and two early intraparty victories in tandem with driving a bunch of experienced candidates out of the primary race is a good start. Building the commanding lead described herein over his enfeebled opponent is another big step. But only a triumph in November – by any margin, from a nail-biter to a landslide – will restore the legacy he hopes to leave for posterity.

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