By James Carville
In 2016, Donald Trump got just over 46 percent of the vote, aided by Russia’s hacking and disinformation campaign, Jim Comey’s oh-so-necessary letter about Hillary Clinton’s email server and a tepid Democratic endorsement from Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Yet even amid Clinton’s tornado of negative coverage, Trump lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million, winning the Electoral College by a freakish fraction of votes spread across three states.
Since Trump was inaugurated, we’ve won governor's races in all three of those states — Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. We elected the first Democratic senator from Arizona in decades.
Suburbs across the country have shifted against the president and in 2018, Democrats stormed to the majority in the House of Representatives by the largest voter margin in U.S. history.
Now, it feels like the majority of people who believe Trump can win again in 2020 are Democrats, for better or for worse. And yet, Trump’s approval rating has never once peaked above 50 percent, even before Covid-19 — the only president to fail to reach that level since polls have measured presidential favorability.
And now, because of his gross mishandling of the worst pandemic we’ve seen in a century, he has reduced his base support even further.
As a result, I predict we will see a majority unite against him in a way not seen since Ronald Reagan’s 1980 presidential election. I have never been more certain of something in my life.
So, quell your fears, bed-wetting Democrats: 2016 is not 2020.
Urge your like-minded friends, family, and associates to vote. A study showed that that is ten times more effective than some stranger knocking on your door to get out the vote. (According to my field coordinator at a political PAC where I worked, altho I don't have the source.)
Tell them why this election is important to you personally. Ask about their plan for voting - when, where, how, transportation, finding the time, etc.
Moreover, at this point 4 years ago, Clinton's national lead was 5.9%. Biden is currently almost 9% in the average of national polls. That translates to a huge difference in the electoral college.
I saw (but can't find the link) a weighted scale for what a lead in the popular vote translates to as your odds of winning the Electoral College. A 3% lead (Hilary Clinton's margin of victory) came out to only a 22% chance, because of the way population is distributed and the weighting of electoral votes toward states with smaller populations. But as more and more people vote for you, the distribution matters less, since you take more states.
If Biden can manage a 7% win by popular vote, this chart predicted a 90% probability of winning the Electoral College.
If he can maintain his current 9% lead, that's almost a sweep. Biden's even leading Arizona, which was unheard of for a Democrat in the last 40 years.