As November 3 approaches, many prognosticators are trying to convince Americans that former Vice President Joe Biden is a lock to win the presidency. Of course, they said the same about Hillary Clinton's chances in 2016 and it didn’t come to pass. Just as in 2016, there are tea leaves, if you will, indicating that President Trump will win again.
Here are ten of those tea leaves:
1. Pennsylvania Voter Registration
American presidential elections are decided by the Electoral College as President Trump and Joe Biden both know.
In 2016, Pennsylvania and its 20 Electoral College votes were key to President Trump’s victory. He won Pennsylvania by a slim 44,292 votes out of nearly 6 million. That November, the Democrats had nearly a 900,000 voter registration advantage over the Republicans. That number is now down to a 700,000 registration advantage and has narrowed by 100,000 in the last year.
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No one can logically say that improves the Democrats' chances to win Pennsylvania in 2020.
2. Florida, too.
In 2008, Democrats held nearly a 700,000 voter registration advantage and Barack Obama carried the state by 236,148 votes. By 2012 that advantage slipped to 558,272 registrations and Obama won there by 74,309 votes.
In 2016, Democrats had a 327,483 registration advantage and Trump carried the state by 112,991 votes.
Now the Democrats' voter registration advantage is down nearly 200,000 to just a 134,242 lead, which Politico called a “historic low.”
Obviously, the movement towards Republicans bodes well for the president.
3. Latinos for Trump.
Trump could well receive a historic level of support from Latino Voters in 2020. In Florida, a NBC/Marist poll had Trump leading among Latinos 50% to 46% over Biden, whereas, in 2016, Hillary won among Latinos in Florida 62% to 35%. That would be a 15% swing toward Trump if it held up on Election Day.
After the first debate between Biden and Trump, a Telemundo poll showed Trump winning the debate overwhelmingly 66% to 34%. Snap media polls tend to reflect the sentiment of their viewers. Thus, it is no surprise that CNN viewers said Biden won the debate. The fact that Telemundo viewers decisively picked Trump as the winner, along with polls like those cited above in Florida, portend Trump getting the highest ever Latino support of any Republican presidential candidate.
4. African Americans For Trump.
In September, according to polling done by Rasmussen, Trump’s approval rating among African Americans reached 45%. Keep in mind that President Trump only received 8% of the Black vote in 2016. If Trump received just 16% of the Black vote this November, let alone an even higher number, that would all but secure states like Michigan for Trump.
5. Biden the Tax Increaser.
Candidates who promise tax increases, or have a history of supporting tax increases, tend to lose versus those pushing for tax cuts.
President Jimmy Carter lost to challenger Ronald Reagan, Walter Mondale lost to President Reagan, Michael Dukakis lost to George H.W. Bush 41 and then 41 lost his reelection after his tax increase became a reality. George W. Bush beat Al Gore and then John Kerry.
Barack Obama promised to reduce taxes and he beat John McCain who was not a tax cutter. Obviously, President Trump offered tax cuts while running against, and beating, Hillary Clinton.
Joe Biden, on the other hand, is pushing for the largest tax increase in history.
6. Enthusiasm Matters.
As the New York Post has reported, “just 46 percent of Biden voters in a recent Pew poll said that they strongly support him, compared to 66 percent of Trump’s base.”
That is a 20 point gap. In 2016, Trump had only a 13 point gap over Hillary. That increase of 7% bodes well for Trump, not Biden.
7. Early Voting in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Ohio.
National polling from Pew Research indicates that “55% of voters who plan to cast their ballot in person before Election Day support Biden, compared to 40% who support President Trump.”
However, in the key battleground states of Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin the early voting indicates that “registered Republicans are returning ballots at about the same rate as registered Democrats.” The parties are even in Michigan, Democrats up 2% in Wisconsin and the Republicans up 2% in Ohio.
8. American Voters Are More Satisfied in 2020 than they were in 2016.
A new Gallup poll shows that 56% of Americans say they are better off now than they were four years ago. That could well be the telling in this case given that just four years ago marked the end of the Biden vice presidency. Why would voters return to Biden if they are happier now than when he was in office?
9. Party Identification.
According to Gallup, by the end of September, when the polling firm asked voters this question, “In politics, as of today, do you consider yourself a Republican, a Democrat or an independent?” the answer came back as follows: 28% said Republican, 27% said Democrat and 42% said independent.
That is meaningful because many of the polls giving Biden the lead appear to be sampling more Democrats than Republicans – sometimes by a wide margin. Also, in 2016, Gallup had Democrats up 32% to 27% but, as we know, Trump still won.
10. Voters Think Trump Will Win.
In the Trump era, there has been a lot of talk about whether Trump supporters feel free to tell pollsters that they are supporting the president's reelection. Some experts point to polls asking voters who they believe will win the election to be a truer indication of candidate support.
Once again this bodes well for President Trump as a “Gallup poll shows only 40% of Americans think Biden will win the election; 56% predict a Trump victory.”
So, who will win the 2020 presidential election?
We don't know yet and only time will tell but polls that say Biden is way ahead could be under-polling Republican participation like they did in 2016 when they said Hillary was up by 14% just a week before the election.
Stronger evidence of where voter sentiment lies is included in the tea leaves above.
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So, too, is the fact that Republicans have been working the door-to-door ground game in important states whereas Democrats have only just started to do so.
All of this indicates that President Trump may well surprise his doubters on November 3rd and win again.