US Election 2020 Predictions : The US Presidential election is underway with more than 50% of voters having already voted. With 4 days still to go before we have a clear idea on the next president, here are 5 reasons why we think Biden will be the next President
Reason 1 : Trump Approval Ratings
45% of the voters approve of President Trump while 53% donot not approve of the President. In 2012, Obama ended with 50% approval rating according to realclearpolitics. President Bush on the other hand ended with an approval rating of 49.5 in 2004.
Reason 2 : Trump Botched up COVID
Just before the mid-term elections in 2018, Trump enjoyed an approval rating of about 44%. By Late Feb 2020, this was much higher at 46% with those who disapproved of Trump at just 50%. The drop is due to how the President handled COVID. Leadership is often tested when there is a crisis and Trump has come across as a COVID denier. While Trump Loyalists may find this acceptable, most voters who understand the COVID threat did not find such behavior acceptable. When it came to the biggest crisis in the last 4 years, Trump was found wanting. Now, while the economy is on the mend, the damage had already been done with more than 200000 deaths in the US.
Reason 3: Likeability
Joe Biden has a natural charisma which can be seen in his speeches and his personality is completely opposite to that of President Trump. While Trump takes unfiltered direct jabs at his opponents as well the media, oftentimes angering others, Biden, on the other hand, has a very assured and calm way of dealing with dissenters. His general likeability can be seen in a a recent poll. According to that poll Joe Biden’s net approval rating at this point is -1, whereas around the same time in the 2016 election cycle Hillary Clinton's net approval was -17. So in 2020 Trump is facing an opponent who is well-liked throughout the country as compared to his previous opponent.
Reason 4 : Small Margins - Big Victory
It is fair to be sceptical of Biden's lead in the polls because the polls had Hillary in the lead as well. But the fact is several factors suggest Biden is better placed than Clinton to take the White House. Firsty, given the poor approval ratings, Biden needs small swings in 4-5 states to win the 2020 election
Michigan it is 0.23%
Pennsylvania it is 0.72%
Wisconsin it is 0.77%
These 3 states have 46 electoral votes and should Biden win them, it is game over.
So even if the polls are wrong, small swings can move the election in favour of Biden
Reason 5: It is the economy stupid!
In October 2016, 247000 were unemployed while 4621840 were employed
In September 2020, 416524 were unemployed while 4474192 were employed.
Trump won this state by 11000 votes
In North Carolina
In October 2016, 248985 were unemployed while 4641160 were employed
In September 2020, 356952 were unemployed while 4558033 were employed.
Trump won this state by 180000 votes
In October 2016, 347556 were unemployed while 6099457 were employed
Trump won this state by 54000 votes
While employment numbers have improved by 10% over the last 1 month, Michigan would still be left with 50% more unemployed than the same time in 2016, North Carolina with 40% more unemployed and Pennsylvania with 20% more unemployed than 4 years ago. These are not great numbers for a President seeking re-election.
US Election 2020 Predictions : What do the Polls say?
At the national level Joe Biden is leading by 7 points with a predicted share of 51.3%. If one considers the worst polls of the last 4 elections, Biden would probably end with 48.4%, 0.2% higher than Clinton. Trump is at 43.5% and if we give the President the benefit of the worst polling, he would end with 46.4%, 0.4% higher than 2016
In Pennsylvania, Biden leads by 3.7%. Clinton led by 2.1%. Assuming the same level of error, Biden will win by about 1%
In Michigan, Biden leads by 6.5%, Clinton led by 3.6%. Assuming the same level of error, Biden would be win by 2.6%
In North Carolina, If one were to apply 2016 over estimations on both Biden and Trump's current forecasts, the election would be too close to call. So far vote turnout has been 91% of 2016 tally and Democrat registered voters are ahead by 2.4% indicating a great chance this state will also flip in favour of Biden.
With two states most likely to switch and one more state with a good probability of switching, one can predict that Joe Biden has a good chance of becoming the next President. Of course, if the aggregate polls are correct, Biden would win the 2020 election far more comfortably.