As we trudge through the back half of this miserable year, slowly counting the days until COVID-19 is no longer a reality, but rather a memory, we are halted by one seemingly insurmountable obstacle. The months leading up to the 2020 election garnered attention from everyone; some say more so in this year than in past election years. All it took was finally having two candidates whose personalities and actions resemble the majority of the American people. While the most recent presidential debate was agreed by many to be the political equivalent of a dumpster fire, it somehow still feels necessary to analyze statistics, and attempt to accurately predict the winner of the election. While it’s completely impossible to know who will win, there is no doubt that Former Vice President Joe Biden has a significantly higher chance of doing so.
Ten months ago, President Trump seemed to have the election in his favor. While his typical antics haven’t once ceased since the start of his political career, the economy was doing well, unemployment was relatively low, and the Democratic Party was unable to unify behind a single candidate. However, things have drastically changed. A lot of this can be blamed on his handling of the global pandemic. While his continuous downplay of the Coronavirus hasn’t hurt him as many would expect, testing positive for the virus sure did. According to CNBC, “Democrat Joe Biden opened his widest lead in a month in the U.S. presidential race after President Donald Trump tested positive for the coronavirus, and a majority of Americans think Trump could have avoided infection if he had taken the virus more seriously” (cnbc.com).
It should be no surprise that this hurt his popularity. Trump continuously downplays the severity of the situation, and while it would be counterproductive to terrify 300 million people, Trump’s tactic is equally as detrimental. It only made him look like a fool when he could have easily avoided contracting the virus by wearing a mask and social distancing. “Trump definitely could have lowered his chances of getting COVID-19 if he had just taken it a little more seriously,” said Senior Austin Manning. Biden hasn’t exactly proposed a million dollar idea for ending the pandemic, but at least he is projecting a better message by taking more precautions, and many undecided voters have taken a liking to that.
Trump may have a vocal following, but statistics may indicate it is not as large as many are held to believe. According to the BBC, Biden has been ahead of Trump in the national polls since the start of this year, hovering around the 50 percent mark for most of the time (bbc.com). Biden should consider this promising, considering Hillary Clinton narrowly edged Trump in the national polls prior to the election. While it may seem as if this election is a narrow fight, Biden has a much larger group of people who support him.
Despite Biden leading Trump nationally, most people are quick to point out that Clinton was much more popular last election. Every election, it always ends up being a fight for the swing states, or states that are heavily divided. This is where Biden separates himself from Trump. Biden is leading in all but one of the swing states. He is also winning by a wide margin in many of these states, including Florida, Arizona, and Michigan (bbc.com). Clinton’s loss simply doesn’t discredit the polls. Clinton performed relatively well, winning the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes (bbc.com). What many analysts didn’t account for was the swing states. Trump had pivotal wins in Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Arizona, which propelled him to the 270 Electoral Votes necessary to win the election. Currently, polls suggest that Biden is outperforming Trump in all four of those states. Trump may have a devoted following, but with minimal popularity in the swing states, he will have a difficult time winning the election.
Overall, it is very evident that Biden has an edge over Trump in this election. As of now, the American people favor Biden. He also holds a large advantage by leading in almost all of the swing states. Biden may not always exhibit presidential behavior, but neither does his competitor, and in a year full of unwelcome surprises, anything is possible. He surely isn’t guaranteed to win, but he should at least feel confident in his chances of doing so.