Closing In: Polls Show Tight Presidential Race in Florida and Texas
It was not that long ago that you heard Democrats treating the outcome of the 2020 election as though it were a foregone conclusion. Joe Biden was far ahead in national polls (which are meaningless when it comes to predicting the outcome of the Electoral College, but the media loves to focus on them anyway), and, much more importantly, he held a sizable advantage in most of the key swing states.
But after a summer of “love” that has touched Minneapolis, Kenosha, Seattle, Portland, and many other cities, an economic bounceback, and clear indications of Biden’s diminishing mental health, things are starting to turn around.
Florida and Texas remain tight battlegrounds in the presidential election, according to CBS News Battleground Tracker polls released Sunday.
The current margin in both states is 2 percentage points, with Democratic nominee Joe Biden up by 2 in Florida and President Donald Trump up by 2 in Texas. Trump won both states in 2016; no Democratic presidential candidate has won Texas since Jimmy Carter in 1976.
In both cases, the leads were within the margins of error for the polls (3.7 points in Florida, 3.5 points in Texas). The polls were conducted by YouGov from Sept. 15-18 of 1,220 registered voters in Florida and 1,161 in Texas.
Also Sunday, an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showed Biden ahead of Trump nationally by a margin of 51 percent to 43 percent.
In 12 battleground states — including Florida but not Texas — Biden’s lead was 51 to 45.
Now we’ll grant that nothing written above is really cause for breaking out the champagne, but it does show that this is not going to be the runaway victory that Biden supporters were predicting earlier this year. Trump is ascendant, and we expect that his competitiveness will only grow. The debates are almost certain to put him ahead of Biden, and an open Supreme Court seat is undoubtedly going to motivate conservatives more than it will liberals.
Predictions are fairly useless when it comes to our modern political age – Trump has taken everything the “experts” knew about the American electoral system and turned it upside down. This phenomenon is, if anything, even more present in 2020 than in 2016. The pandemic and the racial justice protests/riots have turned this into one of the most unpredictable, uncertain years in modern American history. Put that together with the shaky infrastructure of a mail-in vote, and the only safe prediction is that literally anything could happen.