With each passing day, the feeling grows that Joe Biden is heading inexorably towards the presidency of the United States. According to the latest polls, he has a 17-point lead over Donald Trump, a significant lead just over two-and-a-half weeks until election day, Nov. 3.
According to Fivethirtyeight, one of the most important sites dedicated to statistical analysis, Biden currently has a 87% chance to win the presidency.
While all this paints a bleak picture for the current president’s chances of reelection, it must be remembered that Trump has experience when it comes to uphill battles. Without going any further, in 2016, he faced a similar scenario, as the whole world predicted a Hillary Clinton victory.
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has a comfortable lead in the polls. Photo: AFP
And we already know how that ended.
In fact, an analysis published in the Columbia Journalism Review this Thursday warns in a huge headline “We Won’t Know What Will Happen on November 3 Until November 3” (We won’t know what will happen on November 3 until November 3), alluding in part to the mistake made in 2016, when the mainstream media predicted that Hillary Clinton would win.
That said, it must be clarified that the events that could twist the race in favor of the current president sound at this point as quite unlikely. However, not everything is said, and the British medium of the BBC compiled some scenarios that could turn the matter around.
Here are five reasons why Donald Trump could still win the US presidential election.
1. A dramatic revelation
It was in October 2016, just 11 days before the election, that FBI Director James Comey announced that he would investigate the accusation made against Hillary Clinton that she had used an unsecured email server while he was Secretary of State for Barack Obama.
The news fell like a glove to the Trump campaign, which crushed to exhaustion that the Democratic candidate was someone who could not be trusted. It is impossible to know how much this fact weighed, but there is no doubt that it was a weight factor in the result.
Looking ahead to the 2020 elections, unpleasant revelations So far they have mostly come from Trump’s side: his tax returns and the COVID-19 outbreak at the White House appear as the worst news in recent weeks.
On Biden’s side, in recent days a note emerged in The New York Post where the appearance of evidence linking the candidate’s son was mentioned, Hunter Biden, with a lobbying campaign of a Ukrainian energy company.
Although the Republicans seek to give this fact a maximum severity, the truth is that so far it does not seem to be taking off in a way that could cause a change in the trend.
Joe Biden in the last debate heading into the election, which was actually a meeting with voters. Photo: AFP
2. Wrong surveys
Another of the salient data of the 2016 elections was how practically nobody could predict the triumph of the current president. Practically from the first moment the Hillary Clinton and Trump campaigns were launched, the numbers favored the democrat, and only collapsed when the results themselves contradicted them.
From that situation, a couple of conclusions can be drawn that can be used now. First, that a country where the presidency is not decided by popular suffrage, leadership in intention to vote at the national level does not mean much.
What matters are the differences in each state, and for the pollsters, it is difficult to predict who will vote, since it is not required. In the case of the 2016 elections, for example, it was later learned that consultants underestimated the number of white voters with no college education who would support Trump at the polls.
On the other hand, there will be a record number of votes by mail due to the pandemic. In this sense, the votes that have not been cast correctly run the risk of being annulled, something that can play against Biden, since Democratic voters are the ones who have opted for this modality the most.
However, all the experts assure that the great difference in favor of Biden should be enough so that these questions do not affect him.
3. A twist in the debate
One of the Republicans’ bets is that Biden’s supposed cognitive decline, something about which the Trump campaign made a central theme of its strategy, stay in sight of all during the debates.
However, the data so far seem to indicate that what happened was the opposite phenomenon. Trump’s chaotic performance in the first debate did not sit well with women who are mothers and live in the suburbs, a key demographic for re-election aspirations.
After refusing to move the second debate to virtual mode, a decision based on fears generated by his COVID-19 infection, Trump had his last cross with Biden on Thursday. Remains to know the conclusions drawn by voters from this episode, but the first data indicate that it would not modify the scenario.
4. A landslide triumph in key states
As mentioned above, the key in an electoral system based on an Electoral College is not the number of votes one garners at the national level, but the difference I make in each state.
In 2016, Trump also lost the popular vote, but managed to garner enough voters to succeed.
While states where Trump won in 2016, like Wisconsin and Michigan, seem out of reach, if he wins victories in Florida and Pennsylvania, for example, it is possible that gather the voters needed to reach 270, the magic number that decides the victory in the Electoral College.
5 a rival mistake
The Biden campaign has so far been a perfectly oiled machine. Either by design, or by the forced circumstances of the pandemic, the candidate will limit his public appearances, which has given fewer chances to the appearance of “furcios”.
The coalition supporting Biden is diverse: from moderates and ethnic minorities to liberals and members of the working class. In this sense, everyone’s interests are not always aligned.
The Democratic candidate is expected to do some acts heading into the final leg of the campaign, and the hope of Trump and his team is that Biden screw up at some point, which would give them a (small) window to discount the advantage and, perhaps, turn the situation around.
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