Election Update – September 29, 2020

Is It A Stable Race, Or Is The Bottom Falling Out For Trump?

With only a little more than a month to go before the election, Biden still appears to be in the driver’s seat. Though there were some grumblings about a tightening race mid-month, latest national polls still have Biden around seven points ahead of Trump, and leading in most of the swing states.

Notably, polls in two battleground states released this week already show Biden ahead comfortably in Pennsylvania and slightly in Georgia.

Last week, I noted that Pennsylvania was teetering on the edge of a Tossup status, but two recent polls showing Biden up 9 (49-40 in NYT/Siena and 54-45 in ABC/WaPo) tell me Biden is still ahead there, and flirting or over the 50 percent margin. I think he’s on sturdy ground there providing there isn’t any guffaw with absentee ballots or Trumpers with guns storming Philadelphia polling places.

I have moved Maine’s 2nd District to Lean Biden because of polls showing Biden ahead and showing a commanding lead for Democratic Rep. Jared Golden. With instant runoff voting in place for the presidential election, its likely Biden will be able to even narrowly win here. Though Trump won the district by 10 in 2016, he only got 51 percent of the vote. If third party votes had gone to Hillary Clinton, he only would’ve won the district by 2, so that ten point win overestimates his support here I think. Having said that, I don’t think Biden wins Maine 2nd by more than 5, and he could absolutely still lose, but I am moving it to Lean Biden anyway. A reminder that Al Gore only won the district, which includes most of rural Northern and Eastern Maine and cities of Lewiston, Bangor, Caribou, by 2 in 2000, so the district has historically been competitive.

The Tossups remain Florida, Ohio, Iowa and North Carolina. George also remains a tossup, although two recent polls by Quinnipiac and Civiqs both show Biden leading by 3, by the same 50-47 margin, so it bears watching whether or not Georgia is slipping away from the Republicans. The Atlanta suburbs are trending blue fast and we could have reached a tipping point there.

Texas remains Lean Trump as several polls there show the race tied or with a low-single digit Trump lead. I think he still wins there, but the margin will be small and that will put the state in dangerous territory for the GOP going forward.

36 days to go.

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