The thing no one gets about 2016 is that in the end, the polls were pretty accurate. The final polling averages predicted that Hillary Clinton would win the popular vote by four points. She won it by two points, which was within the stated margin of error. As it turned out, two points wasn’t enough to win the Electoral College. Small consolation. But the polls weren’t wrong, they were just widely misinterpreted and widely misreported.
This brings us to 2020, where the polls paint a very different picture. Clinton’s lead in the polls all along was fairly small – roughly four points – and while it occasionally grew larger, it always settled back down to the four point range. Biden’s lead in the polling averages has been a steady eight points all along. Recent events have caused it to swell to ten or eleven, but even if that doesn’t last, it’ll likely settle back down to eight points, which is not a number that Trump can easily overcome with suppression or cheating.
This in turn brings us to today’s new Quinnipiac poll. To be fair, Quinnipiac has been at the high end of the polling range in this election cycle. That said, Quinnipiac says Joe Biden is now up by a stunning seven points in Georgia, a red state. This comes on the same day that the WXIA-TV poll has Biden up by two points in Georgia. If Biden wins Georgia, it’s over for Trump. And if Biden even comes close to winning Georgia, it’ll point to a national trend in which the swing states will put Trump out of his misery.
These numbers are untenable for Donald Trump. Even if you factor in the two points by which the polls were wrong in 2016, or the stated three to four point margin of error on most polls, this isn’t going to work for him. At this point it’s simply a turnout election. If we turn out in the numbers that we’re telling pollsters we’re going to turn out in, we’ll win. Now let’s get to work on making a plan to vote, and on encouraging those around us to vote as well.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report