Former President Barrack Obama joins Joe Biden on the campaign trail as the election enters the push towards the final weekend. Early voter turnout has been historic, even for an election that was expected to have huge amounts of mail-in and early voting. Over 70 million Americans have already cast their ballots, an eye-popping number when compared to prior elections.
In every state in the US, people have turned out in droves to have their voice heard. National polling suggests that Joe Biden leads his opponent, incumbent Donald Trump, but the election is still predicted to be close. High voter turnout tends to favor Democrats, in any event, making the historic early voting a positive sign for the Biden campaign.
In what could be a decisive move, Biden is spending the last week of the election trying to woo conservative bulwark states Georgia and Texas. Polling shows that Trump barely leads in each state, and victories for Biden in either state could be huge for the Electoral College. This aggressive stance of trying to win long-shot states contrasts with Trump’s strategy, where he is spending time in states like Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan.
Trump won those three states in 2016 by margins slimmer than one percentage point, making them critical pickups this year. Biden leads his opponent in all three of these states by margins that are greater than the polling errors from 2016 that showed Hillary Clinton in the lead. That is to say, even if Biden suffers a polling error of 2016’s magnitude, he is still likely to carry these critical battleground states.
Biden on the attack while Trump plays defense sums up the election effort in 2020 so far. The Democratic candidate surged ahead of Trump in both polling and fundraising over the summer, shellacking his opponent on issues ranging from the coronavirus to racial injustice protests.
Trump seems to be struggling to string together his closing argument in the days ahead of the election. A much-discussed controversy involving Biden’s son, Hunter, never materialized in quite the same way as Clinton’s email scandal from 2016. Biden’s warm compassion toward his son, who is a recovering addict, struck many viewers during the first presidential debate as a sincere display of earnest emotion.
Likewise, Trump’s attempts to drag Biden’s family into a mud-slinging match seems to have damaged his attempts to sway voters. Of course, opinion polls aren’t votes, and nothing is set in stone until the votes are actually tallied. There is still a week before Election Day, but Trump seems to be on the back foot, like he has been since the pandemic began.