New Delhi: Almost all pollsters in the US say that Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden is “way ahead” of President Donald Trump, but in the midst of all this, data indicates that Trump’s approval ratings are the same as 2014, said ThePrint’s Editor-in-Chief Shekhar Gupta in episode 608 of ‘Cut The Clutter’.
Looking at data from RealClearPolitics, a US political news site, Gupta said that Trump has had the most consistent approval rating in the history of American politics. These are the Trump loyalists who are his core vote base.
However, the US is a two-party system and to win, a candidate needs to cross 50 per cent votes.
And 10 per cent of these are all undecided voters. Thus, there could be many Trump voters, who are shy of admitting that they are his supporters and are not telling pollsters, which is a third trend that has emerged this US elections, explained Gupta.
Polls can be wrong
Gupta further noted that in a debate on fivethirtyeight.com, a polling platform, popular pollster Nate Silver said that one should approach these polls with caution because in 2016, all pollsters predicted the wrong result. They had said Hillary Clinton would win but Donald Trump won instead.
Currently, the polls predict that Biden has an 89 per cent chance of winning the presidency while Democrats have a 77 per cent chance of winning the Senate — the upper house of the US Congress.
However, Gupta noted that sometimes when everyone agrees on an outcome, a herd mentality develops and the actual result is diametrically opposite.
Silver also pointed out that Trump has more than a 10 per cent chance of winning, which was not zero, therefore, through some permutations and combinations Trump could still win and prove everyone wrong, especially when one takes into account the “shy Trump voters”, Gupta said.
Three important election trends
In his debate, Silver also identified three important points in these elections. One, nothing has changed in the news cycle in the past 10 days to shift public opinion towards Trump. Two, about 60 per cent of the total voters, who voted in 2016, have already cast their ballots in the US and according to data, more Democrats voted early than Republicans.
According to estimates, 47 per cent Democrats and 30 per cent Republicans had registered to vote till Friday, while 23 per cent were unaffiliated voters.
And finally, the race in battleground states like Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Florida, where most voters are undecided, was tightening.
Gupta noted that tightening did not mean narrowing. In some battleground states, like Michigan and Wisconsin, Biden was much ahead.
In the US election system, to become president, a candidate needs more than half of the total electoral college votes. Therefore, 275 votes of 538 total votes.
Some states were already decided like California and New York for the Democrats and other red states for the Republicans. But these battleground states like Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Arizona comprised 91 electoral votes — and had the potential to swing the election.
Gupta referred to an article in the Wall Street Journal, which said that only Donald Trump can ensure that he is the fourth incumbent in a century to be fired after a single term.
And thus, 3 November is a test of whether Trump can defeat himself or not, he noted.
Watch the latest episode of CTC here: