Speed Reads

2020 predictions

Why Biden's general election lead is likely narrower than national polls suggest

Former Vice President Joe Biden has a consistent lead over President Trump when it comes to 2020 national polls. But they aren't the best way of predicting what'll actually happen in November.

In nearly every 2020 general election poll taken so far, Biden has come out on top, ending up with a six percentage point lead over Trump on average. But national polls fail to take the nuances of the electoral college into account, and once they're factored in, Biden's lead is a lot narrower than it seems, Nate Cohn lays out for The New York Times.

When it comes to turning the tides from the 2016 election, Biden has attracted white voters with a college degree, as polling demographics show a similar or greater percentage back him as did Hillary Clinton. But Biden has so far failed among the demographics he needs to win over most: white voters without college degrees. They largely switched from voting for former President Barack Obama in 2012 to Trump in 2016, and haven't shown signs of going blue again, Cohn explains.

Biden does have an "expected" advantage among non-white voters, Cohn writes. But Trump "appears to retain his relative advantage in the disproportionately white working-class battleground states that decided the 2016 presidential election," Cohn continues, and "it raises the possibility that Democrats could win the most votes and lose the White House for the third time in six presidential elections." Read more at The New York Times.