President Trump’s reelection odds & the state of the Presidential race
Bottom Line: Coming into the Presidential Election cycle the odds were on the side of Donald Trump winning reelection. Why?
- 65% of Presidents who run for reelection win
There is a clear incumbency advantage. There are other numbers that come into play, based on a president’s approval ratings as we close in on Election Day. A Presidential reelection bid is first and foremost a referendum on the incumbent President. History has shown that if people are generally satisfied with the performance of the President – they'll vote to stay with him. That necessarily makes the relevance of the challenger a secondary consideration. In this story I've taken the historical approval ratings of incumbent presidents running for reelection and tracked the outcomes of those elections. In so doing I’m able to project historical reelection odds for President Trump based on his current ratings.
Here’s where we stand as of today:
- 37% based on a 45% average approval rating with likely voters
It’s a good news/bad news conversation for President Trump this week. The good news is that his recent dip in average approval stopped last week when he was sidelined with COVID-19. Also, aggressively getting back out on the campaign trail as he has this week has the potential for upside which isn’t yet reflected in most approval polling. The bad news is that he’s still below the magic number of 47% with a little over two weeks to go before Election Day. The key number to watch as we advance towards Election Day in approval polling is 47%. Incumbents with at least a 47% approval rating win reelection. Sitting just below that level leaves the President as a slight underdog if the election were held today. This is reflected in the betting odds as Biden is now being priced with a 65% chance of winning this week.
That takes us to this week’s takeaways.
For Biden: Can he avoid the obvious issues presented by the Hunter Biden email revelations? Yes, almost all mainstream news media has avoided covering the topic, however anyone with an ounce of integrity knows Hunter Biden wasn’t placed on the board of Burisma because of expertise in Ukranian Energy. Truly undecided voters are few and far between but one of the reasons cited by some who seemingly might break for Biden are those who are said to be seeking greater integrity/decency from their President. There’s clearly nothing honest, decent or legal about using the office of the Vice Presidency to get your son high paying positions within corrupted foreign entities in return for eliminating the adversaries of the corrupt foreign entities.
For Trump: His return the trail has given his campaign much needed energy just as we hit crunch time and head down the homestretch of the campaign. This is important for multiple reasons. His rallies are effective at rallying his base and often lead to greater grassroots engagement. Also, many non-Republicans have been known to attend the rallies. Perhaps most importantly though – President Trump is at his best when he’s able to read his audience and connect with them directly. Making his closing case directly to people across the country was successful four years ago in swing states he wasn’t given a chance to win and could be the difference this year as well.
To be continued...