BY NIKHILA NATARAJAN
New York–On US election night that’s exactly 50 days away, there’s a very good chance Americans won’t know who won and Donald Trump, although down in the polls now in mid-September, is eyeing a path to an upset victory riding on steady support among Latino and Black voters in addition to his rock-solid white voter base.
Anxiety is rising that the Biden-Harris sway over Latinos and Blacks isn’t yet strong enough to stave off Trump’s reelection bid. A recent Marist poll in Florida shows Trump ahead with Latino voters by 50-46 per cent. Hillary Clinton led Trump by a 59 to 36 per cent margin among Latinos in the same poll in 2016 and Trump finally ended up beating Clinton in Florida by just over one percentage point.
In June this year, a CNN poll showed Trump’s support among Latino voters at around 33 per cent. That’s an improvement from 23 per cent at the end of 2016. Plenty of analysts are now openly saying the Biden camp needs to be concerned. Even among Blacks, Biden is still not polling at 90 per cent, which pollsters say is another benchmark metric for victory.
If Biden is victorious in the upper Midwest, he won’t need Florida to win the White House. But Trump’s road to a second term must go through Florida, a state that remains top of mind for the Biden-Harris camp.
On the home stretch, Biden-Harris lead in national polls by 7-8 points and in battlegrounds by a shade less than four points.
The Biden Harris ticket is favoured to win, according to a FiveThirtyEight analysis that simulates the election “40,000 times” and returns a sample of 100 outcomes. The FiveThirtyEight model puts Biden’s chances at 76 per cent and Trump’s at 24 per cent. This site lists more than 10 among 50 states as the “tipping points” where this election will most likely be won or lost.
Meanwhile, a RealClearPolitics polling average of top battleground states – Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Arizona – puts Biden at plus 3.7 points.
To win the Electoral College, Trump would need to beat Biden in 50 per cent of the following states: Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Florida, and Arizona. Right now, Biden leads in all these states with the upside in Florida and North Carolina at less than two per cent. Trump’s continuing support among Black and Latino voters threads through all these mathematical calculations.
Voters who spoke with IANS say the prospect is real that Trump will declare victory on election night even before hundreds of thousands of votes in key battleground states are counted due to the increased use of mail and absentee voting.
Trump has already described the yet-to-happen 2020 election as the “most inaccurate and fraudulent election in history” because of the expected uptick in mail ballots due to the coronavirus.
Against the grim backdrop of the world’s maximum coronavirus caseload and ongoing social unrest sparked by police violence against people of colour, the Trump campaign strategy in 2020 seems to be to deepen the cultural faultiness that led to his 2016 win. In crucial midwestern swing states, non-college educated voters were more than half of the electorate in Michigan and Wisconsin. Trump won both by a stunning margin.
In 2016, Trump’s call to white workers was about how they had been wronged by the immigration wave and how they must band together. In recent days, Trump has been ratcheting up his appeal to suburban ‘safety moms’, trying to evoke a sense of the loss of what he calls “law and order” from the public square. (IANS)