REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz

From the Center

Recent headlines show Biden ‘gaining ground’ against Trump – even surpassing him in some states. If one were to look at the RCP 2-way race 30 days ago, Trump was leading by 1.6 points. Today, he’s only ahead by 0.2 points.

One state Biden has taken the lead in is the (most) important, Pennsylvania:

So is the Biden campaign finding its legs? No.

Nationwide, Biden is losing supporters. He’s just losing supporters at a slower rate than Trump.

See the chart below, showing how support for Trump and Biden has moved on the two-way aggregate over the past 30 days:

In the last 30 days, nationwide, Biden has gone from 45% support to 44.4% support. I’m no rocket surgeon, but that’s a decline in support. One can say, "Biden has narrowed the gap with Trump," but based on the data, one could not say that "Biden’s campaign is heating up."

If you’re a Democrat, this isn’t a terrible thing though. Look, Democrats have a bunch going for them right now:

American sentiment on abortion favors the Democratic platform well more than the Republican platform (see 2022… or Ohio 2023… Or Kansas 2022).

The senate ‘tossup’ states: Cook still has Arizona listed as a ‘tossup’… when I look at RCP’s list of polling done in that state this year, I scratch my head wondering how this is still a tossup:

And Ohio (please note, Republicans, these aren’t my numbers, these are screenshots from RealClearPolitics):

And Montana:

And Nevada:

And though not listed by Cook as a tossup, but rather a ‘lean D’, Casey Jr. is doing great in Pennsylvania (and will be supported by the very popular Democratic governor there – all also good for Biden in that state).

Also, when asked, "Political Extremism and threats to democracy" is viewed as the most important issue facing the nation… Now, what people mean when selecting this as the most important issue is something I myself would have to do a lot of research on. However, on its face, Trump and MAGA voters seem to be in the news a bit more than Biden or the Democrats talking about ‘election denying’ and calling people ‘losers’ – I would think this is a point for Biden – or at least something he could use to his advantage… However, colleges are being uprooted by some wild protests right now, so maybe point Republicans?

Speaking of MAGA voters, one final thought on what Biden and Democrats have going for them: I’ve heard of Never-Trumpers, but I’ve never heard of ‘Never-Bidens’???

BUT – this isn’t all rosy for Democrats; I can’t tell you what a ‘Pro-Biden’ flag looks like, or a ‘Biden hat’, but I can tell you I see a lot of Trump flags and hats – point Republicans. Also, while Biden is losing slower than Trump, Trump is still ahead in the 2-way, 3-way, and 5-way ballots:

People say that Trump is in trouble because while Biden is out campaigning, Trump is stuck in Manhattan. I don’t know if I buy this. Sure, the trial doesn’t look good for him, and the juxtaposition of Biden campaigning on the issue of abortion in Tampa, while Trump’s on trial for sex-stuff in Manhattan looks odd. But barring Trump being tossed in jail, this is just a big news cycle that will likely be old news come conventions, let alone the election in the fall.

Speaking of – Yes, Biden is on the campaign trail, and Trump is stuck in Manhattan. But in 2020, didn’t Biden win while being stuck in his basement in Delaware whilst Trump was on the campaign trail? (great use of ‘whilst’). At least in Manhattan, Trump has national press coverage every night, and can host dignitaries to his home. . .Biden didn’t have that in 2020.

Also, “Republicans” passed some bipartisan legislation in the House recently, and Trump, moving from primary to general campaign, swerved to the middle to thank Johnson for the aid package. . . He also is veering to the middle on abortion, which is at least a step closer to the public’s sentiment on the issue, taking some of the sting out of the Democratic attack.

Bottomline – we still have 6 months until the election. The things we’re talking about today likely won’t be top-of-mind come November… Except Pennsylvania – whoever wins Pennsylvania is likely going to win the election.

What is apparent right now though: this election is no longer a race to gain the support of American voters, it’s become a race to lose supporters slower than your opponent. Which, kinda sucks when you think about it.  

Brett Loyd (Center bias) is the President Of The Nonpartisan Bullfinch Group. This article was first published on The Bullfinch Group website.