Despite a pandemic that has claimed more than 150,000 lives. Despite a prostrate economy that has shrunk faster and more precipitously than any other time in history. Despite riots, demonstrations, and a hysterical minority that wants to cancel everyone who has ever disagreed with them — even if they died hundreds of years ago.
Despite a conscious choice by most in the media to not just report the news, but advocate for one candidate and actively work against another. And despite the most rabid, frothing political opposition at any time since the Civil War, Donald Trump remains within striking distance of Joe Biden just less than 90 days out from the election.
Yes, Trump is behind, especially in states he absolutely must win to recapture the White House. But reading about the election over the last few weeks, you would have thought that Biden was a lock to win, that Trump was falling, falling, falling, and didn’t have a ghost of a chance to win. Might as well cancel the election to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and declare Biden the winner.
But that was always spin. And it presupposes that the American people are still gullible enough to believe everything they read.
In truth, Biden would get more than 300 electoral votes if the election were held today. But no one is voting today. And what the electoral map will look like in 30 days, no one can say.
What’s true at this moment is that Trump is behind significantly in Michigan, Florida, and Pennsylvania. Those are “must-have” states for Trump. It is very close in Ohio, Georgia, and Texas, but Trump has small leads. In Georgia and Texas, Trump is expected to widen his lead before Election Day. Ohio is a toss-up. Ohio has always been a toss-up so nothing new there.
The bottom line is that the gap in most other battleground states will surely close, and close quickly. This race was never going to be a Biden landslide and despite the unprecedented campaign of Trump-hate by powerful media and internet interests, the president has a fighting chance to win re-election.
His position is no longer deteriorating. A look at the polls shows that even as coronavirus cases and deaths rise, Trump remains within striking distancing of Biden.
An Iowa poll out Wednesday from Monmouth University makes the point well. Trump comes in with 48% to Biden’s 45%, a 3-point margin and a result within the poll’s margin of error. Trump won Iowa by more than 9 points in 2016. That equates to a 6-point swing toward Biden from the 2016 result, which is good for the Democrat. However, that’s not better (and perhaps a touch worse) than you would have seen earlier this summer.
A Des Moines Register poll from the state in early June gave Trump 44% to Biden’s 43%, another result within the margin of error. This poll, however, was a swing of 8 points from the 2016 result.
The way the media has been portraying the race, you would think it a wonder that Trump is close anywhere. But Iowa is an excellent bellwether for this election because Trump will not win without his base of support in the Rust Belt. As long as he’s competitive there, he’s in it.
It’s still an uphill battle for the president. He dug himself a hole and has to climb out of it. But it certainly isn’t an impossibility, and running against a weak Democratic candidate makes Trump’s potential comeback a lot easier.