New Data From the Cook Political Report Is a Gut Punch to the Biden Campaign

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

For months now, analysts have considered the 2024 presidential election between Donald Trump and Joe Biden a toss-up because national polling has generally shown the race to be within a couple of points. As it stands right now, Trump has a 3.3-point lead in the RealClearPolitics national average.

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The Electoral College, however, is a different story. While Trump generally had the lead in the battleground states, his lead was sometimes razor-thin. For example, Trump and Biden were tied in Wisconsin before the debate. Now, Trump has a 2.2-point lead in the RCP average for the state — his highest lead during the campaign. Biden's position has become worse all around, and a new update from the Cook Political Report is absolutely devastating for Biden.

"The notion that the presidential [race] is a Toss Up was a stretch even before the debate," Dave Wasserman of the Cook Political Report wrote in a post on X/Twitter. "Today, Trump has a clear advantage over Biden and a much more plausible path to 270 Electoral votes."

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"That leaves three states in the 'toss up' column: Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin," Amy Walter explains in the report. "At present, Pennsylvania is the most vulnerable to a flip toward Trump. Biden has trailed in polling there since the spring by anywhere from 2-3 points. Since the debate, however, public and private polling has shown Trump opening up a bigger lead."

She added, "But we want to see some more post-debate polling in the battleground states before we shift these three midwestern states."

That shift could be inevitable. Some polls put Trump's lead in Pennsylvania, a must-win state, by double-digits.

During an appearance on Jen Psaki's MSNBC show, Walter also pointed out that there has been a significant shift of six points toward Republicans since 2020. This shift has put more states that were once close or leaning Democrat into play for the upcoming elections.

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Based on the Cook Political Report's assessment, Trump now has 268 electoral votes in his column, compared to Biden's 226, once again creating the scenario where Biden would have to win Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin to get to 270, while Trump would only have to win one of them. Considering how many blue states have come into play recently, it's hard to see how he could pull that off even if the debate never happened.

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