By Nikhila Natarajan
New York– With five days to go for the US election and a week out from the final presidential debate, it’s raining polls and the needle isn’t moving wildly in national numbers although Democratic challenger Joe Biden is ticking up in battlegrounds where the virus is surging.
A total of 16 national polls that dropped after the second and final Trump – Biden debate show the average has moved only 0.5 pts.
A RealClearPolitics poll of polls (post debate only) puts Biden ahead by 7.5 pts nationally.A granular view shows Rasmussen is the only one in that list betting on Trump ahead by 1 point. FiveThirtyEight national average puts Biden out front by 9 pts.
Overall, the national polls, discounted heavily by now, are steady. The shiny object – battleground states – are running close, Trump is playing defence in many of the states he won by a hair’s breadth in 2016.A
Biden’s leads are inching up in states where the virus outbreak is getting worse – and some of those states are must-win for Trump. Like Wisconsin for instance. Trump trails Biden there by 6 or more points in an average of seven polls released in the second half of the month.
Two parallel worlds co-exist in the US. The country has just hit a record for coronavirus infections – 80,000 in a single day and on the other side, the White House has declared victory over the virus, in a press release this week.
Technically, there’s still two more days to go for any ‘October Surprise’, Joe Biden has stayed on message and Donald Trump is being – well, Trumpian.
In a final, frenzied push to get out the Republican vote, Trump is painting an ominous picture of America if Biden takes the White House.
“He’ll bury you in regulations, dismantle your police departments, dissolve our borders, confiscate your guns, terminate religious liberty, destroy your suburbs,” Trump has been warning his base as he returns to his favourite closing pitch: The coming apocalypse.
Trump’s most direct path to re-election cuts through Florida and Pennsylvania. With large swathes of the US electoral map spoken for, it comes down to a handful of well known battlegrounds and toss up states that could tip the 2020 race. The pollster industry view is that Trump must carry at least one of the three rustbelt states he won in 2016: Pennsylvania, Wisconsin or Michigan to stay in the game.
According to The Cook Political Report, Republicans have 125 electoral votes in the Solid, Likely and Lean categories and would need 123 (100 percent) electoral votes from the toss up states to get to the finish line of 270 electoral votes. (IANS)