WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — While many of the headlines talk about Democrat Joe Biden leading Republican incumbent Donald Trump in the presidential race, an analysis from the New York Times shows it’s very possible Trump pulls off another surprise victory in November.
You may remember polls in 2016 underestimated Trump’s support from working-class white Americans, particularly at the state level. And while pollsters have attempted to fix that issue by more heavily weighting education, it’s not yet clear if that will entirely resolve the issues of four years ago.
The Times notes Trump will “narrowly win re-election if the results differ from the current polls by as much (and in the same direction) as the 2016 results differed from the final polls.”
Again, we are looking here at state-level polls, and it’s worth noting that many of those same polls over-weighted Republican strength in 2012. And yet, there are many who believe that some Trump voters are reluctant to talk about their support and may not fully show up until election day.
One scenario presented by the Times shows Trump winning re-election by taking Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, Ohio and Arizona. If that happens, Trump would still need one more state to push him above 270 electoral votes. Analysts believe it would most likely be Pennsylvania where the president currently trails by around 5 points. Wisconsin and Michigan appear to be leaning more heavily toward Biden.
The Times notes with weeks remaining in the campaign, it’s very possible conservative voters who are dissatisfied with Trump will be swayed to vote for him over the open Supreme Court seat.
Even the above scenario with Trump winning the election has him losing the popular vote, likely by millions of ballots, as he did in 2016.
The bottom line: As we learned in 2016, you can’t definitively go by what you hear in the polls.