Today is five days until the general election in America.
In July, I wrote a blog examining the state of the race with 100 days until the election. With just five days to go, I’m going to revisit what the leading political handicappers say now that we are at the beginning of the end of this campaign.
In Cook’s ranking, 290 Electoral College (EC) votes as solid, likely, or lean Democrat, 123 EC votes are toss-ups, & 125 solid, likely, or lean EC votes for the Republicans. 270 are required to win.
In Sabato’s ranking, 290 Electoral College (EC) votes as solid, likely, or lean Democrat, 85 EC votes are toss-ups, & 163 solid, likely, or lean EC votes for the Republicans.
270 to Win’s is the same as Sabato’s.
There are a few notable shifts here. Cook Political Report has moved Texas to a toss-up (it last voted for a Democrat for president in 1976). In all of the analyses, Arizona has gone from a toss-up to Lean Democrat, Iowa/Ohio have gone from Lean Republican to toss-up, and Florida is now back to toss-up. The moving of Florida to toss-up isn’t too surprising given that, historically, recent election results have always been close in this state.
The movement of Arizona/Iowa/Ohio is more notable, however, as President Trump won Arizona by 3.5 points, Iowa by 9.4 points, and Ohio by eight points in 2016. The shifting demographics of Arizona put the state within striking distance in 2016, and if Trump’s support is collapsing there, it bodes well for Joe Biden in other areas across the Sun Belt (Florida, Georgia, North Carolina). If Iowa/Ohio are also trending away from Trump, it doesn’t bode well for his political fortunes given that so many of the demographics of these states (with wide swaths of white, working-class, & rural voters) match his political base. This would also put Biden in a good position to rebuild the blue wall of Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin if Trump is doing poorly in Iowa/Ohio.
With just a little over 100 hours to go, I would rather be in Biden’s camp than Trump’s. But it could be awhile before we definitively know a winner if the count is close in several swing states – & just as I wrote 95 days ago, Trump could use this period of uncertainty to sue his way to a victory by forcing states to prematurely stop counting ballots a la Bush v. Gore.
If the count is not close, however, this argument becomes more difficult. Which is why we need as big of a win as possible not just for electoral certainty, but to completely and utterly repudiate Trumpism and everything it stands for. The bigger the win, the bigger a mandate Biden and the Democrats have to govern us out of this pandemic. Every vote counts and if you haven’t participated yet, make a plan to do so at https://iwillvote.com/.
This Week’s WTF Moment in Congress
(This moment was technically not in Congress, but it features a senator and because it’s five days before Election Day I’m going to let it slide)
Arizona GOP Senator Martha McSally is currently down in the polls against her Democratic challenger. At a Trump rally in the state yesterday, President Trump berated her and told her to hurry up and get on the stage with him. The things people will do to try and stay in power…
Why it has to be Biden (The Economist)
A Note for the Future
I want to thank all of you who have been reading the Fitz File. As Election Day is just a little over 100 hours away, I probably will not have time to do another post before the election (as I will be knee deep in both last minute get out the vote efforts and my own anxiety). This might make this the last post of the Fitz File because I pledged to write on this blog to cover the election. Thanks to you, according to Google, this blog has had almost 1,000 page views. Viewers from 27 states and the District of Columbia have all made at least one visit to the blog. Thank you to all of you who have been following this space over these past few months – this has been a great outlet for me during the pandemic.
I’m not sure what I will do with this space in the future or if I will continue blogging. But I encourage you to remain politically involved no matter who wins on November 3. Our country will still need help to recover from this crisis.