It’s just like 2016 all over again:
While the establishment media appears comfortable predicting victory for the Democratic candidate for president, a series of polls from major swing states shows President Donald Trump has a slim advantage over former Vice President Joe Biden.
And just like 2016, most mainstream media outlets are ignoring them.
Two polls out of Florida, one by Rasmussen and the other by Susquehanna Polling for the Center for American Greatness, found the president ahead of Biden in the biggest swing-state prize on election night. Those polls, along with others that have shown the race tightening but with Biden still ahead, have tipped the RealClearPolitics polling average in the state, with its 29 electoral votes, to Trump as of Wednesday morning.
Both polls were within the margin of error.
In the Susquehanna poll, 400 likely voters contacted by telephone favored Trump by a 48 percent to 44 percent margin with a 4.9 percent margin of error. The poll was conducted between Oct. 23 and 25.
In the Rasmussen poll, conducted on Oct. 20 and 21, 800 likely voters polled via telephone and online found Trump with a 3 percentage point lead in Florida, 49 percent to 46 percent, with a 3.5 percent margin of error.
There was more good news for the president if you looked at the undecideds, as well.
“Factor in those who haven’t made up their minds yet but are leaning toward one candidate or the other, and Trump gains another point, besting Biden 50% to 46%,” Rasmussen stated in a news release Friday.
“Ninety-three percent (93%) say they are definitely going to vote, and Trump has a five-point advantage – 50% to 45% – among these voters.”
In Pennsylvania, meanwhile, another poll commissioned by the Center for American Greatness — this time carried out by InsiderAdvantage — showed the president with an almost 3 percentage point advantage, 48.4 percent to 45.5 percent. That’s again within the margin of error, 4.9 percent. The poll, conducted among 400 likely voters with interactive voice response as well as live cell phone interviewing, was conducted on Oct. 25.
The same poll showed Biden with a lead just two weeks ago, 45.8 percent to 42.6 percent.
“These results indicate a stark shift in the contest. Our last survey of Pennsylvania showed Joe Biden leading Trump by 3 points. But that survey was before the last debate,” InsiderAdvantage’s Matt Towery said in a news release.
“Since the debate, Trump has picked up support from younger voters, who, based on our prior survey, strongly oppose future lockdowns over COVID-19 spikes. Trump has also bolstered his lead among male voters by some 12 points.
“Biden continues to hold a 7-point advantage over Trump among female voters. It would be nothing more than mere conjecture to attempt to correlate Biden’s statements on energy and fracking in the last debate contest with the shift towards Trump in this survey,” he continued.
“However, Trump saw gains even among senior voters which have not been his strong suit this election cycle. That suggests that some issue or set of events has caused a late shift in the contest.”
Towery added that Trump had significant black support in the state, with 14.6 percent.
“In 20 years of polling, and as one who has polled Pennsylvania many times, I have never seen a Republican candidate consistently hold these type of numbers among black voters this close to an election. And this appears to be a developing trend in numerous states,” Towery said in the release.
Meanwhile, a Trafalgar Group poll among 1,076 likely Pennsylvania voters on Oct. 24 and 25 showed Trump with a slim advantage over Biden, 46.7 percent to 45.8 percent. The poll had a 2.97 percent margin of error and was conducted using a combination of methods.
If voters leaning either Trump or Biden were factored into it, Trump’s lead got slightly slimmer, 48.4 percent to 47.6 percent.
In the RealClearPolitics average, Biden still leads in Pennsylvania by 3.8 percentage points as of Wednesday morning. Both polls, it’s worth noting, involved conservative groups. However, it’s also worth noting that both Towery and the Trafalgar Group accurately predicted the 2016 election when most other outlets didn’t.
In Arizona, another state that’s historically been a Republican stronghold but which has shown Biden with a consistent lead this year, a Susquehanna poll for the Center for American Greatness again found Trump with a slim lead, again within the margin of error.
“The phone survey of 500 likely voters conducted October 19-22 showed Trump with 46.6 percent and Biden with 46.2 percent support, with a 4.3 percent margin of error. The poll also showed that Biden’s negatives in the states popped up to 49%. In the same poll at the end of September, they stood at 44% while his favorable rating declined to 39%,” the Center for American Greatness stated in a news release.
“There are others danger signs for Biden in the poll. When asked who they think will win the election regardless of who they prefer, just 37% of respondents thought Biden would win and only 19% think their neighbors are voting for Biden.”
The RealClearPolitics average in Arizona still shows Biden ahead in the state by 2.4 points.
In North Carolina, the Trafalgar Group found that Trump was up by 2.8 points, 48.8 percent to 46 percent in a poll conducted between Oct. 20 and 22. The poll, which using mixed methodology among 1,098 likely voters, had a 2.9 percent margin of error. Rasmussen, polling 800 likely voters on Oct. 20 and 21, had Trump with a 1-point lead, 48 percent to 47 percent. Biden holds a 0.7 percent lead in the state in the RealClearPolitics polling average.
All four states were carried by Trump in 2016. In the cases of North Carolina and Arizona, both were seen then as traditionally Republican states undergoing demographic and political shifts that were put into play by Trump’s polarizing nature as a candidate. The same thing is true in 2020, only this time it’s Trump’s polarizing nature as a president.
In the case of Florida, it was seen as a swing state — then as now.
In Pennsylvania, the state was seen as safely Democrat in 2016 but went for Trump because of blue-collar voters pollsters seem to miss. In 2020, it’s assumed Biden’s close ties to the state and his supposed greater resonance with working-class voters puts the state back into the Democratic column.
In all of these four states, Biden has held significant advantages — much like Hillary Clinton in swing states she lost back in 2016. These are also polls coming from pollsters who saw the same thing coming four years ago; then as now, they were written off as outliers because they either trend Republican (in Rasmussen’s case) or do polling on behalf of Republicans (in Trafalgar’s case). In the case of the polls commissioned by the Center for American Greatness, there’s the fact that a conservative organization commissioned them.
No one is going to question whether the assumptions that undergird most of the other polling — such as how the polls are weighted or whether or not they see hidden Trump voters among the electorate. The assumption among pollsters is that Biden is still well ahead and these outliers are just that — outliers.
We’ll start to see in a few days just how right everyone else really was, but the parallels should be striking enough to terrify Democrats.
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