How Trump lost his Electoral College edge to Biden

Not only has Trump's Electoral College fortress crumbled like one of his mismanaged businesses, but Biden might just be building one of his own

President Trump and Joe Biden.
(Image credit: Illustrated | Getty Images, iStock)

The idea that President Trump possesses an enormous Electoral College advantage in November's election has become an article of faith among thinkers across the political spectrum. Democrats have mostly thought about November's election in terms of how many more extra points of the popular vote they'll need order to actually win the election, while the president himself has for more than three years now pursued a disastrous and alienating governing strategy premised on the idea that he shouldn't even try to win a national majority. But what if Trump's Electoral College fortress has crumbled, and it is former Vice President Joe Biden whose fortunes are now enhanced by this bizarre and antiquated institution?

Some of the Democrats' renewed Electoral College freakout can be traced to New York Times analyst Nate Cohn. In July of last year, he wrote an article in which he claimed that Trump's "advantage in the Electoral College, relative to the national popular vote, may be even larger than it was in 2016." In that widely shared piece, which caused panic attacks in Democrats across the country, he argued that the Democratic candidate could win the national popular vote by as many as 5 points — more than double Hillary Clinton's margin in 2016 — while still losing the Electoral College to Trump.

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