Amid the protests following the police killing of George Floyd and the ongoing fight against the coronavirus pandemic, something very important has been overlooked: President Donald Trump is now a decided underdog to reach the 270 electoral votes he needs to win a second term in the fall.
A series of polls in swing (and not-so-swing) states released Wednesday make this reality plain.
The last Democrat to win Arizona at the presidential level was Bill Clinton in 1996. In Texas, no Democrat since Jimmy Carter in 1976 has carried the state in a presidential race. Ohio was one of the swingiest states in presidential races at the start of this century but moved heavily toward Trump in 2016, as he carried it by 8 points. And Wisconsin is widely seen as the most likely state that Trump flipped in 2016 to again support him. (Polling in Pennsylvania and Michigan — two other longtime Democratic states Trump won in 2016, suggests he is behind Biden at the moment.
As of today, Biden has more ways than at any point in the campaign to date to get to 270 electoral votes. And Trump has fewer.
Could that change? Of course! In the summer of 2016, the electoral map looked like Hillary Clinton would roll to a win over Trump. Heck, it looked that way all the way into the fall.
The election isn’t today. Trump will run a well-funded — and likely vicious — campaign that seeks to paint Biden as out-of-touch on every issue — from immigration to China to race. And as the last few months have reminded all of us, events can and do intervene to change what we think we know about the November election.
All of that is true. None of it changes the fact that Trump is looking at an increasingly difficult electoral map today, with little suggesting a major change is coming anytime soon.