“Biden Opens Up Largest Polling Lead of the Year Over Trump …” Bloomberg News

July 16, 2020

I’m sure by now you have heard how Biden is extending his lead in the latest polls. The media has blasted that headline on every website and newspaper in the country. Although Bloomberg’s headline is correct, it’s not the whole story, which I think is even more interesting.

In the Chart below, we see how Biden’s net lead over Trump has increased over the past seven months.

Each bar represents the monthly average of all public polls with the trail ballot question between Biden and Trump. In January, Biden’s lead was 5%. By June it had increased to 12%. Statistically, that’s an 82% increase in six months.

Now let’s look at Biden’s and Trump’s share of the two party vote in the same time period in the chart below.

Biden Monthly Percent = Blue Line / Trump Red Line

Biden’s average percent in January was 49.8%% and his average in July was 49%, a 0.8% difference in seven months. Yet his average lead over Trump increased to 12%. In the chart above, notice the blue line (Biden) moves steadily along the 49% line, and takes only minor deviations from that line.

So how did Biden’s lead increase to 12%? The answer is that his numbers didn’t change but Trump’s declined, increasing Biden’s net gain even though his share of the vote hardly changed at all. In other words, there are not more for votes for Biden but less for Trump.

So where did all those votes go? They go where all voters go when they can’t make a decision: the undecided/don’t know category.

What does that mean? Simply put, these votes are now up for grabs by either candidate, but I would rather be Biden than Trump at this point. Some of these voters may not vote at all, which means they are contributing to Biden’s victory anyway.

If you are a Biden supporter, don’t go out and party just yet (bars are closed anyway). There are the Conventions and debates still ahead. Research suggests that many voters don’t start making up there mind until after labor day. The finish line is still a ways to go…Be safe.

By Jim Kane

Jim Kane is a pollster and media advisor, and was for fifteen years an Adjunct Professor of Political Science at the University of Florida. Kane is founder of the polling firm USAPoll and served as the Director of the Florida Voter Poll. His political clients have included both Republican and Democratic candidates, including the Republican Party of Florida, and both the Sun-Sentinel and Orlando Sentinel newspapers. At the University of Florida, Professor Kane taught graduate level courses in political science on Survey Research, Lobbying and Special Interest Groups in America, Political Campaigning, and Political Behavior. In addition to his professional and academic career, Jim Kane has been actively involved in local and state policy decisions. He was elected to the Broward County Soil and Water Conservation Board (1978-1982) and the Port Everglades Authority (1988-1994). Kane also served as an appointed member of the Broward County Planning Council (1995-2003), Broward County Management Review Committee (Chair, 1990-1991), Broward County Consumer Protection Board (1976-1982), and the Broward County School Board Consultants Review Committee (1986-1990).

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