Dem 51
image description
GOP 49
image description

Poll: Trump Would Get over 300 Electoral Votes If Election Were Today

Democrats love worrying, and now they have something to worry about. Those national polls that show somebody at 44% and somebody else at 42% don't matter. It's the electoral votes that matter. That's why we started this site in the first place.

Now, a new Siena College poll sponsored by The New York Times shows that if the election were held today, Donald Trump would win Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin and get over 300 electoral votes. A whopping 71% of the voters said Biden is too old, and that includes 54% of his supporters. There is not a lot Biden can do about that. Only 39% felt that way about Trump, even though if he won, he would be the oldest president ever inaugurated. But no one seems to notice that.

Swing state voters trust Trump over Biden on the economy by an enormous 59% to 37%. Among voters under 30, the two are tied, a huge shift from 2020.

However, it isn't hopeless for Biden. The crosstabs show where the problems lie and knowing that is the first step to dealing with them. He has taken a huge hit among nonwhite voters under 45, down 33 points compared to the 2020 election. With whites under 45, it is a 13-point hit. Thus Biden's first task is to address younger voters. Many of them don't follow politics and don't understand that Biden never had a functional majority in the Senate, greatly limiting what he could do. He also had to deal with a hostile Supreme Court (e.g., on student loans). Young people are much more likely than old people to say: "I was expecting you to do X and you didn't do X, so I am holding it against you." Older voters have seen presidents come and go and know it is really hard to get anything done unless the president has huge majorities in both chambers of Congress.

The consequence of Biden losing support among nonwhite voters and younger voters is that he still has a decent chance in the northern battlegrounds of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, which have older, whiter electorates. If he can hang onto these, he can lose Arizona and Georgia and still win. These data suggest a strategy of focusing on these northern states, rather than the Sun Belt states.

If the poll is right it would reverse a long-standing trend of younger and nonwhite voters voting Democratic. But a year is a long time and, well, stuff happens. How would a Trump conviction play out? What about the two ongoing wars? Also, many voters are double haters. Can Biden convince them that he is the lesser of two evils by highlighting some of the things Trump has said and done? Note that Trump is already campaigning hard and Biden is not. Things could change once he gears up and starts talking about his many achievements (infrastructure, chips, lower drug prices, getting inflation way down, etc.). Most people have never heard of any of these. Biden needs to work on that. He could also try to blunt the age issue by talking much more about Trump's age, his diet, and his health. Also, a video putting together a dozen of Trump's flubs could give the impression that The Donald has lost it.

Oh, and polls sometimes are way off. Remember the predicted red wave in 2022? Nevertheless, this poll certainly gives Biden something to think about.

Yesterday, former Barack Obama senior adviser David Axelrod threw some wood on the fire by suggesting that Biden drop out. In reality it is too late for that and the resulting free-for-all would cook the Democrats' goose. Axelrod knows very well how long it takes to set up a campaign and there is not enough time left. If he had said this in June, there would have been time for the free-for-all. Now that ship has sailed. There is one thing Biden could do, but he won't: Replace Kamala Harris with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI). That would make a lot of people less queasy about what would happen if Biden dies in office. But Harris would never play ball so Biden can't do it. Also, Black women would not appreciate it. If Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA) had appointed Harris to the Senate after Dianne Feinstein died, that would have gotten her off the ticket gracefully, but he didn't and now it is too late. (V)

This item appeared on Read it Monday through Friday for political and election news, Saturday for answers to reader's questions, and Sunday for letters from readers.                     State polls                     All Senate candidates