Dueling poll numbers and grounds for optimism

A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finds that Joe Biden leads President Trump nationally by 10 points, 52-42. The poll also finds that the race is somewhat tighter in 12 states the pollsters identify as “swing states.” Even so, if these poll numbers reflect the true state of the race, Trump has almost no chance of winning.

On the other hand, a new poll by Democracy Institute/Sunday Express has the popular vote split evenly, with Trump nominally ahead by 48-47. In the “swing states” including Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, Trump leads 49-45 according to this survey.

The Democracy Institute poll is an outlier, for sure. However, it correctly forecast Brexit and Trump’s 2016 upset victory.

Patrick Basham, the Institute’s director, had this to say (among other things) about why his poll yields radically different results than polls by mainstream outlets:

With most of the mainstream polls – New York Times, CNN, the university polls – a fundamental assumption is that the electorate – aka turnout – will be much, much larger than 2016. 10-30 million more, that’s 25-30% larger. That makes it essential that polls capture many, many more Democrat voters. . . .

The Democracy Institute – along with Zogby and Trafalgar Group – those of us who find a very competitive race see turnout very similar to 2016.

Speaking of turnout, I noticed this tweet from Larry Schweikart regarding the key state of North Carolina:

D lead down now to +265,000 (led in 2016 by 310,000, lost by 3.2 points).

Black share down to 19.4% down from 22 in 2016.

Finally, I take heart from the Des Moines Register’s latest poll of Iowa voters. It gives Trump a seven point lead over Biden, 48-41. In September, the same outfit had the two candidates even at 47 percent.

I’m no expert on the upper Midwest, but if Trump has a seven point lead in Iowa, there’s a decent chance he’s ahead now in Wisconsin and Minnesota. On the other hand, if he and Biden were tied in September, there’s a good chance Biden was ahead in Wisconsin and Minnesota back then, when votes were already being cast.

I think Trump needs a big turnout on Tuesday. If he gets it, and assuming there isn’t a massive amount of fraud, John’s prediction during our show Friday night of a Trump victory (with which Steve concurred, but Scott and I did not) may come true.

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