The Iowa Poll released Saturday night showed Democratic Senate candidate Theresa Greenfield with major momentum.
Forty-six percent of likely voters would vote for Greenfield if the election were held today compared to 43% who would vote for Republican Sen. Joni Ernst -- a within the margin of error advantage for the challenger.
While it's still early and things could change, this Iowa poll, conducted by Selzer & Co., is the latest state survey for either the race for the White House or Senate to show a clear shift toward Democrats since protests began nationwide following the death of George Floyd at the hands of a white police officer.
These state polls in aggregate suggest that the movement toward former Vice President Joe Biden seen in the national polls is funneling down to the state level.
As previously done, I gathered all the telephone state polling that called cellphones. This time I limited my data set to surveys conducted after the protests began. Then I compared the result of those questions to the 2016 presidential vote in the state. In total, we're looking at 11 questions that asked about either the presidential or the Senate race in any particular state.
The Democratic candidate is running ahead of Hillary Clinton's margin by an average of 10 points. Although the sample size is small, the average overperformances were within a point of the 10 point average when examining the Senate and presidential races as distinct groups. When a similar calculation was made about a month ago, Biden was doing about 5 or 6 points better than Clinton on average in the state polling.
The latest state polls imply that Biden has a double-digit advantage nationally given that Clinton won the popular vote by 2 points. These state polls are in sync with the national polls that show Biden's lead at 10 points.
Importantly, many of these polls have been conducted across states that are the heart of the 2020 battleground. States like Arizona and Wisconsin are included in this group. Polls have also been conducted in states that Biden would like to win, but aren't must wins for him, such as Ohio and Texas. Crucially, these are demographically distinct states in different regions of the country indicating that Trump is losing ground in a lot of different places.
All together, it's the latest evidence that Trump cannot count on the electoral college to save him. The leads that Biden is earning right now are well outside any potential polling miscue like the one that occurred on the state level in 2016. The former vice president, simply put, is well ahead of Trump at this time.
It's finally settling with voters that Donald Trump considers everyone expendable as far as maintaining his grip on power, the elderly and immuno-compromised with COVID-19, the working class and tens of millions of unemployed with the Trump Depression, and anyone who disagrees with him on racism as shown by his willing to use the military against Black Lives Matter demonstrations across the country.
Nearly everyone falls into at least one of these three categories, and they are finally, finally realizing that the problem is the Republicans who continue to enable Trump's immorality time and time again.
They want them all gone.
Four years ago the last-minute break of "I hate both of them but I have to vote for one of them" voters to Trump sealed the fate of the country. This time that choice has been made months in advance, and it's to see the GOP wiped out.
Trump's people know the 2018 blue wave is a 2020 blue tsunami this time, and very few Republicans will survive.
In the characterization of one source close to the president, a chunk of the re-election team focuses on proving to the president that his “dumpster-fire numbers” aren’t as bad as they seem, or reinforcing Trump’s conviction that pollsters get it wrong “all the time.
But not everyone on Team Trump is buying the spin. In fact, efforts to pacify the president about the polls and his campaign’s position ahead of November have been undercut from within, with several key advisers making personal entreaties to Trump in the past few weeks to try to convince him that he should not brush off the numbers, even unpleasant ones that comes from news organizations such as CNN.
“I have told the president that the numbers are real and that I believe he can and will win, but that right now it looks bad,” said a Republican who recently spoke to Trump. “He said, ‘Come on, don’t you know that’s all fake?’ But in a lot of these internal numbers [that I’ve seen], we’re way down right now.”
“Something needs to change,” the Trump ally added.
This person wasn’t the only one sounding the alarm over the past month. Two other sources who’ve spoken to the president lately—one of whom is a senior administration official—said that when the topic of polls came up they advised Trump that the surveys on swing states and key demographics seemed bleak. Both said they were concerned the president wasn’t taking them as seriously as they had wished.
Outside the campaign, a belief has grown that the Pollyannaish advisers surrounding the president—and who are feeding him news that won’t puncture his feel-good bubble—are doing a disservice to both their clients and their professions.
“There are a few pollsters who are bought and paid for, and they will tell you [the client] what you want to hear,” Frank Luntz, a famed-GOP pollster and Trump-skeptical conservative, said, without naming names. “There are pollsters [for whom] if the check is big enough, the lie will be big enough.”
“I don’t envy those who have to tell Donald Trump what he doesn’t want to hear,” Luntz continued. “I’ve met him several times, I’ve met Biden several times. I would rather present bad [polling] information to Biden than Donald Trump. Presenting bad information or tough information to Joe Biden, you’ll break his heart, if you present tough information to Donald Trump, he breaks your arm.”
I'm perfectly fine with this arrangement. Biden has to win by double-digits to keep Trump from doing something catastrophic and to keep his dirty tricks from being enough to steal the election. But I worry about what Trump's October Surprise this time around will be. He won in large part thanks to James Comey in the last two weeks.
What will happen this time around and what will the sheer scope of it have to be to overcome a pandemic that has killed 115,000, an economic depression, and the largest civil rights movement since the 60's?