At both the national level and in the must-win swing states, the polls look grim for President Donald Trump’s re-election aspirations. While there are still four months to go until election day (and, as this year has proven, a whole lot can change in that amount of time), you couldn’t be blamed for being pessimistic about Trump’s chances. Yes, we overcame the polls in 2016. Yes, it’s difficult to believe that Americans would actually want to hand power to the Democrats after watching how they’ve handled the chaos and rioting across this country. But we have to admit: If you go by the polls, things aren’t looking great.
According to Mediaite, at least one professor’s election model still has Trump as the overwhelming favorite going into the 2020 race. Stony Brook Professor Helmut Norpoth’s “Primary Model” has correctly predicted the winner of every presidential election, save two, over the last 108 years. And Norpoth says that his model still gives Trump the nod in November.
“The Primary Model gives Trump a 91 percent chance of winning in November,” Norpoth said. “This model gets it right for 25 of the 27 elections since 1912, when primaries were introduced.”
Norpoth’s model depends on each candidate’s performance in the primaries to determine which way the general election will swing. It’s only two failures came in 1960 when JFK was elected and in 2000 when George W. Bush won the White House by the skin of his teeth. According to the professor, Biden’s weak showing in the primaries – particularly in Iowa and New Hampshire – does not bode well for his momentum heading into the race against Trump.
“The terrain of presidential contests is littered with nominees who saw a poll lead in the spring turn to dust in the fall,” Norpoth said. “The list is long and discouraging for early frontrunners. Beginning with Thomas Dewey in 1948, it spans such notables as Richard Nixon in 1960, Jimmy Carter in 1980, Michael Dukakis in 1988, George H.W. Bush in 1992, and John Kerry in 2004, to cite just the most spectacular cases.”
We’ll see. We know better, after 2016, to put too much faith into the polls. We’re sure that every survey company has updated their methods since then, but who knows if those updates were for the better. Could be that today’s polls are even further away from reality.
Given Biden’s “Sanders unity” platform he just released, we certainly hope that’s the case.