Can Trump pull another 2016 upset? The data says no chance

The polls are not looking good for Trump five days out (REUTERS)Five days out from the election and the stage seems set for a reset of the American experiment under a President Biden. At a similar point in 2016, warning lights were flashing for a Trump upset over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Now, it seems to be all systems go for a 2020 Democratic “blue wave.” Flashback to where the race stood five days out, on November 2, 2016:  According to RealClearPolitics, Hillary Clinton then had an aggregate lead of 1.3 points in the national vote (she won by 2.1 points, but of course lost in enough states to lose the Electoral College). In the no-toss-up map, Clinton held a slim 66-point lead (up from eight the day before) in the race to the 270 votes needed to secure the presidency in America. In the battleground/toss-up states according to RCP (Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida), Clinton had a 1.8-point lead but was actually losing two of them — Ohio and Florida. The Senate map without toss-ups being counted to the party leading in the polls was 51-49 in favor of the Republicans (they ended up winning 52-48). The generic house race was 3.0 points in favor of the Democrats. Over at FiveThirtyEight at this point in 2016, the picture was similar. With polls weighted for quality, Clinton led in the national race by 2.9 points (and was given a 66.2 per cent chance to win)  and the generic ballot was 3.1 points in favor of the Democrats. The big difference: the Senate was viewed by FiveThirtyEight as having a 64.3 per cent chance of being controlled by Democrats. How does that compare to right now? Biden’s lead and the lead for the Democrats in the Senate and House is much more robust. RCP has Biden with a 7.7-point lead and this is with many higher quality polls being paused so that they can instead provide a final forecast. That’s nearly six times greater than at this point in 2016. The site’s 2020 “no toss up” map gives Biden a lead of 152 electoral votes, more than twice the expected 2016 margin. And the Senate is forecasted without tossups to be the inverse of 2016: 51-49 in favor of the Democrats. The House generic vote according to RCP is nearly three times as large as in 2016: 8.4 points. Story continuesThe data is similar according to FiveThirtyEight. Biden is 89 per cent to win, more than 20 points higher than in 2016, Biden’s weighted polling average is three times greater (9.0 per cent), the chance of Democratic control of the Senate is higher (77 per cent compared with 64.3 per cent). Their generic House ballot now is 6.9-points in favor of the Democrats versus 3.0 then. “Biden’s advantage is much bigger than Clinton’s was at this point. This race in ’16 was tightening,” says MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki. “If you want to compare 2020 and 2016 over the last week, keep an eye on this difference in the national polls.” The latest highly respected Monmouth University poll was cited by the New York Times’ election expert Nate Cohen as a very troubling sign for Trump, who is trailing once reliably red Georgia by four points. And Texas, the second-largest Electoral Vote prize at 38 votes that has not voted Democratic for president since 1976, has been put by the non-partisan Cook Political Report into the toss-up pile. But there are some pollsters who remain bullish on Trump’s chances, mainly because they show a much tighter race than the aggregate. â€œThe race will be very close,” says Raghavan Mayur, director of the Investor Business Daily/TIPP poll. And Trump “may” be re-elected. He says that enthusiasm for Biden is less than it was for Clinton. But the real question is how enthusiastic anti-Trump voters are to see him lose. Read moreHere’s what pollsters have to say about the 2020 US electionThe latest 2020 US election betting oddsBiden takes four-point lead in Florida – follow live

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