- National presidential head-to-head: Biden 51.9%, Trump 43.9% (Biden +8)
- State-level presidential head-to-head:
- Biden leads: CO, FL, MI, MN, PA, WI
- Trump leads: IN, MO, SC
- Within the margin of error: AZ, GA, NC, OH, TX
- National presidential favorability (net): Biden +6, Trump -11
- Senate elections:
- Democrat leads: CO, MI, NC
- Republican leads: AL, KY, TX
- Within the margin of error: AZ, GA, SC
Let’s start from the beginning. I took the Lichtman Keys and created the Kyle State Keys. It’s a combination of Professor Lichtman’s National keys and my own to make it pertinent at the state level.
The 12 questions. Remember a true favor the incumbent
- In the last election, 2018, in the House of Representatives, the Democrats lost more seats than the Republicans.
- The governor of the state is from an opposing party.
- The incumbent won the state in the last election.
- The incumbent has a lead in the polls (this must be within the margin of error; if tied, this goes to the incumbent)
- The Economy of the state, measured by the growth rate of real GDP at the state level, is positive for the last two consecutive quarters.
- Average per capita personal income (state-specific) during the incumbent’s time in office exceeds the average of the past two Administration’s average.
- The incumbent’s job approval rating is higher than their disapproval rating
- Even though protests are going in the US, it has not affected every state. The state has been relatively quire and has not deployed the National Guard or other large law enforcement elements.
- The Administration deserves credit for making the extent of the outbreak better. A majority of the population believes the President has done a good job handling the CV outbreak. Split decisions go toward the incumbent.
- The incumbent-party candidate is considered favorable, inspiring, and trustworthy.
- The challenging-party candidate is deemed to be unfavorable, uninspiring, and not trustworthy.
- The incumbent party has more registered voters than the challenging party. Did the incumbent win the state in the last election for states that do not require voter identity?
What are the changes?
Florida, Trump’s favorability has increased as Biden’s has decreased. For the first time in the last nine months, Trump’s approval rate is greater than his disapproval rate.
Why the change? I think it is several things—first, the rallies and the full blitz in Florida. Second, I believe that most American’s are in pandemic fatigue. If they do not know someone who has suffered from COVID, then it is not as bad as some say. Since Europe has a big spike, it appears as if their mitigation strategy has been unsuccessful. In Florida, Trump’s handling of the pandemic has polled better than in other places. My analysis is the handling of the pandemic and job approval rate cannot be separated. The constant visual news of the rallies and the view of maskless rallies makes the appearance of things every day. Therefore, Trump’s lack of action and lack of a plan is, in some way, a strategy and action.
Florida, President Trump again has six keys true and six false. Given all ties go to the incumbent, Trump gets Florida. However, if Biden would win Florida, Trump’s path to 270 is all but gone.
In Maine, Congressional district 1 is solid for Biden. In Congressional 2, they are essentially a tie. However, with all the other keys, Biden will carry Maine.
Iowa has been another state that has teetered between President Trump and the former Vice President. Due to a lack of polling data, the key for who is in the lead was difficult to assess. However, since Iowa is a battleground state, there have been several polls over the last week. President Trump is either tied or in the lead. Since all ties go to the incumbent, this key switched to Trump. There are a few other keys that favor the incumbent.
Even though Democrats surged in registration in 2018, the latest data shows 642,827 registered Republicans to 618,388 Democrats. More than any before, this election has shown that Republicans are going to vote for Trump or not vote, thus the edge for President Trump.
Second, when polled, Iowans believe that President Trump has done a good job handling the pandemic. Last week I was in Iowa, and from my observation, Dana and I were the only ones wearing masks. No one said anything to us, but it appeared as if their lives were going on as usual.
The last key that favored President Trump is that Biden does not survey well regarding favorability. I don’t know if it was because of negative Trump ads, his son Hunter Biden, or a constant social media feed that showed negativity toward Biden. Either way, he polls awful, and the final key for President Trump.
This gave Trump six true keys and six false keys; all ties go to the incumbent; therefore, Trump will pick up Iowa.
In North Carolina, in the last five days, Trump has surged. Again, it’s the constant rallies, social media, and news coverage that has helped the campaign. North Carolinians, like Floridians, are suffering from pandemic fatigue and are rating Trump’s coronavirus response higher than they have over the last few months. Oddly, Trump’s assertion that there will be a vaccine in the next few weeks, and it will instantly cause the virus to go away, resonates with them. Trump and Biden are tied in the polls, but given my other keys, President Trump has a 7 to 5 lead and will carry North Carolina.
Nebraska almost mirrors North Carolina except that they still do not give Trump high job approval ratings. Last week when I was in Nebraska, my unscientific yard sign survey supports a Trump victory outside of the Second Congressional District. His lead in the rest of the state will yield him four of the five electoral votes.
Lastly, Texas. Texas is a very close call. Trump gets six true and six false for the keys. However, I reluctantly follow the tie rule and give Trump Texas. There is going to be a lot of litigation in this state. Some of which will have proper legal footing; other is straight voter suppression. The Trump Campaign is very concerned with Harrison County (Houston) and will do everything possible to limit voting from that area.
Florida will be one of the states that is called early. They have been doing mail-in voting and early voting for a while, and since the Gore v Bush era, they have significantly improved their processes. With a significant portion of their population already voting, having a pretty even split of Republicans and Democrats voting early, the Trump Campaign will not challenge the mail-in votes without significantly impacting their numbers. If Biden wins Florida, Trump’s road to 270 is almost extinguished. If Trump wins Florida, his odds increase but still are not enough to overcome his deficiency. Looking at my map, I have Trump winning Florida. With a greater number of Republicans voting in person and a Florida win, President Trump is going to call for Biden to issue a concession speech. Hopefully, Biden will have patience and not be forced into an early concession.
The problem will be if it comes down to Pennsylvania. Seven counties are not going to start counting mail-in votes until Wednesday morning. This will take time to certify and may be overcome by patience.