A poll released this past Monday — conducted by the left-leaning New York Times in partnership with Siena College — is giving Democrats tremors.
It shows that President Donald Trump is more than competitive in the battleground states that he must win to secure re-election to the White House in 2020.
Factoring in margins for error, the electoral advantages of incumbency, and the consistent conservative undercount in survey research that produced the unforeseen-by-most-pollsters Trump 2016 victory, the president might not only win in states like Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Florida — he might increase his margins over his first general election numbers.
The other states polled were Wisconsin, Arizona, and Michigan.
Nearly 3,800 voters were surveyed.
Then, adding in the extreme bias of a publication like The New York Times — from management on down, the admitted and publicly overt mission is to get Trump — the early picture becomes bleak for any 2020 Democrat hopeful, with the possible exception of former Vice President Joe Biden.
Biden fares better than others because he is not seen as a hard leftist but as a cultural and economic moderate. If he is pulled to the hard Left later in the primaries, or must throw out political raw meat to secure leftists’ loyalty in the general — then he would pay for it severely in the states noted above.
The poll has Biden taking four of the above states, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) three (hence the bias, as a Sanders victory in any of them is very unlikely on the face of it), and Sen. Eizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) beating Trump solely in Arizona.
That’s where the bias is clearest. No legitimate analyst would call Arizona for Warren at this point.
It would take a major meltdown of Trump, the national GOP, and the state party for that to transpire. However, The New York Times says it will happen. as of Wednesday, at least.
Do the math — and it becomes apparent The Times is very possibly clutching at straws.
In the poll, all of the Dems lost to Trump in North Carolina, a state that is a major Democrat target.
To make matters worse for the Dems, even Biden’s theoretical victories were almost all within the margin of error.
New Times/Siena polls show Trump highly competitive in the six closest states carried by the president in '16:
Biden+2, Biden 46 to Trump 45
Even, Sanders 45, Trump 45
Trump+2, Trump 46, Warren 44
— Nate Cohn (@Nate_Cohn) November 4, 2019
It also must be remembered that any poll showing the president behind in the national vote is largely irrelevant, as the election is decided by the Electoral College.
That’s how Trump won in 2016 (he received 304 electoral votes, compared to Hillary Clinton’s 227) — but he lost the popular vote by some three million votes.
The Dems can run up big numbers in a raw vote because they command the loyalty of most people in America’s teeming urban centers.
But after a state like New York or California is won by the Dems — as it inevitably will be and early — the millions of votes over the win margin are completely meaningless because they won’t count toward extra Electoral College numbers.
Hence the consistent genius of the Founders.
It’s as if they somehow knew a Sen. Elizabeth Warren would one day exist.
Unless large trends shift dramatically, next year’s presidential race will be won by small margins — perhaps in the vicinity of 5,000-10,000 in each of the battleground states — that will tip the Electoral College to the victor.
As of now, Donald Trump is by no means guaranteed re-election a full year prior to Election Day. Yet he is far from being counted out, or even currently at a marked disadvantage, as well.
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