Presidential: Will Trump be able to do well as in 2016?

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Donald Trump loves to remind that in 2016, almost everyone told him that he would never win the US presidential election. Today, convincing the skeptics that they are wrong and that there is a chance on November 3 is just as difficult.

Unpopular president

Pollsters are more cautious than four years ago, with variables particularly unstable.

Several factors are blurring the lines: a pandemic that has killed more than 170,000 people in the United States, an economy in crisis, a summer of protests against racism and police violence, and a Democratic rival, Joe Biden, who never leaves. that rarely his Delaware home due to the coronavirus.

Despite this volatility, observers agree that Mr. Trump, as in 2016, has no chance of winning the popular vote.

The Democratic strongholds of California and New York alone give the opposition millions more votes. And Donald Trump is an unpopular president, with a popularity rate of around 40%.

But US presidents are ultimately chosen by an electoral college, not by the number of votes nationally.

And in 2016, Hillary Clinton might have won almost three million more votes than him, she lost the Electoral College – by far.

The Democrat had only obtained 227 delegates, compared to 304 for Trump.

Reversing the trend?

Donald Trump often claims he has private polls showing he is well placed for a second term.

The latest national public polls average puts it at around 43%, compared to 51% for Biden.

And the model of The Economist, which is updated daily, gives Mr Biden an 88% chance of winning the presidency.

He also predicted the decisive number of 343 delegates, against 195 for his rival (only 270 are required to win).

Other factors must obviously be taken into account.

Republicans say they are optimistic about an economic recovery that could give them momentum, as well as the discovery of a vaccine against the coronavirus.

Others raise the possibility that Joe Biden, known for his blunders, self-sabotages.

Even less predictable: possible foreign interference, such as Russian attempts in 2016 to destabilize M’s Clinton and help the Trump camp.

For Allan Lichtman, a history professor who has developed a 13-point method for predicting election results – infallible since 1984 – none of this can save the incumbent president.

“Even a better economy probably wouldn’t change,” he said. “We have a recession in the middle of an election year and growth that has been so negative that one more quarter is unlikely to reverse the trend.”


The states vested in Mr. Trump are far from sufficient to secure the 270 delegates needed for victory.

As almost always, the election should therefore be played in a handful of large key states, and possibly in a few smaller states.

“We need to win either Wisconsin or Michigan or Pennsylvania to win again,” Trump campaign official Bill Stepien told reporters. “If we win any of these three states and the states the president won in 2016, Joe Biden is going to stay in his basement.”

Political science professor David Barker explains that the president needs to keep nearly all of the key states that enabled him to win in 2016: Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Florida, North Carolina and ‘Ohio.

“He could lose one of those states and it could be okay, but not two,” says the professor at American University.

However, according to current polls, Joe Biden is leading in all these battlefields, and even threatens his rival in Texas, which Mr. Trump had won hands down in 2016.

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