Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Anatomy of an Impending Trump Political Catastrophe: Pennsylvania

In the 538 poll averages, Trump is behind in all of the three Rustbelt states key to his 2016 victory: Michigan (10.7 points), , Pennsylvania (8.0) and Wisconsin (8.1). Let's take a look at the currently closest of the three, Pennsylvania.
Rhodes Cook provides an-depth look at the state of play in PA, rounding up a ton of great data about the state's politics and recent trends. I can also benchmark current Democratic performance against targets that I set for Democrats to take the state back when I published Path to 270 in 2020 report last November.
"For the Democratic candidate, one approach would be to simply rely on the demographic changes just outlined and hope voting patterns from 2016 remain the same. If that were the case, the Democrat would carry Pennsylvania by around half a percentage point.
But this strategy would be very risky. Democrats will clearly attempt to change these voting patterns in their favor. One goal might be to increase Black turnout back to its 2012 levels. This would be helpful but would not add much to their performance, since Black turnout declined only marginally in Pennsylvania in 2016 and was actually still slightly above white turnout in that election. Returning the margin among Black voters back to levels attained by President Obama in 2012 would be more helpful but would add only a percentage point to the Democrats’ projected margin. Widening the Democrats’ margin among white college graduates by 10 points would be more effective, adding 3 points to potential Democratic 2020 performance.
But the goal with the most potential impact would be to move some white noncollege voters—particularly white noncollege women, among whom Clinton ran 25 points better than among their male counterparts—away from Trump. Shaving 10 margin points off Trump’s advantage among white noncollege voters—thereby bringing the Democratic deficit close to what it was for Obama in the state in 2012—would boost the Democrats’ projected margin by as much as 5 points. Even achieving half that goal would give the Democrats a several-point cushion in the state."
How's that looking? Well Biden isn't yet there on the PA black vote but boy is he hitting his targets in the rest of the electorate. In the Nationscape data since April 1, he is shaving not 10 but almost 20 points off of Trump's margin among white noncollege voters (from +30 to +11) and has more than doubled the Democratic margin among white college voters (from +9 to +21).
Definitely a catastrophe in the making.
States of Play: Pennsylvania By Rhodes CookIn: 2020 PresidentPosted June 29, 2020 Dear Readers: As we’ve stressed throughout this election season, the president isn’t picked by national polling or the popular vote, but rather by the individual states — successful presidential nominees must cob...

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