According to various media reports, former Vice President and Democrat Party’s presidential candidate Joe Biden is leading in the polls. If reports are true, then it could indicate electoral headache for President Donald Trump. But is Joe Biden Truly leading?
To understand the current electoral statistics better, I decided to look at the various reports. I will present a few here.
On July 2, 2020, Politico published a news headline: “Poll: Biden maintains double-digit lead over Trump.” Rewind back to around the same time four years ago. On June 29, 2016, Politico had published a news article with the following headline: “Battleground bloodbath: Clinton leads Trump in 7 swing states.” Not only that but there was another report on June 14, 2016, by Politico: “National poll: Clinton lead grows over Trump.”
New York Times, late last month, presented some promising news for the Biden campaign, when they wrote: “Biden Takes Dominant lead as Voters Reject Trump on Virus and Race.” Flash back to four years ago, when on June 20, 2016, New York Times published the headline: “New Poll Shows Hillary Clinton Holding Edge on Donald Trump.”
The popular website FiveThirtyEight, followed by so many political analysts nationwide, posted the following on June 18, 2020: “Our New Polling Averages Show Biden Leads Trump By 9 Points Nationally.” This is the same website that, exactly four years ago, predicted a grim future for Donald Trump prior to the 2016 general election when they wrote: “Donald Trump Has A 20 Percent Chance Of Becoming President.”
However, FiveThirtyEight also acknowledged the core truth about polling, when they published an article on June 25, 2020, that there are “131 days” left until the general election, which is “an eternity in politics.”. But then they continued to report on their predictions, contained under the headline: “Why Biden’s Polling Lead is Different From Clinton’s In 2016.”
The Washington Post, last month, reported results from the Marquette University Law School Poll that showed Biden leading Trump 49 percent to 41 percent. We must not forget what the Marquette University Law School Poll found back in June of 2016. At the time, the poll concluded that Hillary Clinton had 42 percent of support and Donald Trump had 35 percent.
The list goes on. Once again, just as in 2016, there are reports after reports that claim that Joe Biden is leading, and that Donald Trump is falling behind. It appears that it is 2016 all over again, when we heard that Hillary Clinton was leading, and that Donald Trump could never become the president.
As citizens, we must be well-informed, and so we should read various media reports as well as use our own analytical capabilities. We must not trust everything that is published. In 2016, even leading up to the day of the election, political pundits and media personalities were almost certain, and portrayed the same to the people of America, that Hillary Clinton would win and that there was no chance that Donald Trump would ever be in the Oval Office. Now, analysts are painting a rosy picture of Biden’s election chances, in spite of the candidate’s gaffe-filled campaign and lack of a solid campaign message.
As a policy analyst, I pay close attention to statistics and data. However, as recent history has taught us, the polls cannot always be trusted with regard to the U.S. general election, particularly when Donald Trump is on the ballot. Anecdotally, I know that there are many hardcore Trump supporters – the part of the “silent majority” – who do not answer polls, do not hold up banners and signs, do not go on a social media frenzy over politics, but they go and vote and they vote decisively at the polls for conservative candidates up and down the ballot. If all those people come out and vote for Donald Trump again, all the reports of Joe Biden’s lead would be proven wrong, just as reports of Hillary Clinton’s likelihood of becoming president were proven wrong in 2016. Only time will tell.