Two things that are equally true: 1) Donald Trump is so far behind in the polls right now that he’s currently on track to lose in a blowout so large that no amount of polling errors or cheating can make a difference. 2) There are still three and a half months until election day, and a lot can change before then. But that second one comes with something of an asterisk.
Yes, Election Day is November 3rd. But here’s the thing. Early voting starts, well, early. We’re less than two months away from the earliest of early voting. Why does that matter? Despite all the talk we hear about not getting complacent, the reality is that most voters love a winner. They like voting for someone they think is going to win anyway, because then they get to be on the winning team. When a candidate is heavily favored, they often win by more than that margin, not less.
If Joe Biden is still ten to fifteen points ahead by the start of early voting, we’re going to start seeing a lot of folks locking in their votes early. Even if some weird last minute fluke like the 2016 Comey letter ends up making this a closer race in the end, some of Biden’s bandwagon votes will already be in the can. The bottom line is that Donald Trump has about two months to turn things around before the votes against him start getting locked in.
I know what you’re already thinking: this didn’t help Hillary Clinton in 2016. But that was a very different election for a number of reasons. First, Hillary was never as far ahead of Trump as Biden is right now. Not even close. Second, the media spent most of the 2016 election pretending it was a close race, even during the long stretches where it wasn’t. This time around, due to the sheer size of Biden’s blowout lead, the media is regularly talking about how much of a lead and momentum Biden has.
Of course this all largely comes down to whether you go start putting in the work now on voter registration and voter turnout, in order to start locking in votes for Joe Biden as soon as early voting gets underway. Biden is on track to win – in a huge blowout – but no side ever wins an election without putting in the work required to win.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report