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:
- 40% based on a 46% average approval rating with likely voters
It’s a good news/bad news conversation for President Trump this week. The good news is his average approval rating is up a point this week to 46%. The bad news is that he’s still below the magic number of 47% with a little over a week to go before Election Day and record numbers of early votes already having been cast. 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: What now? With the debate over does he lay low attempting to avoid questions pertaining to his alleged use of his son Hunter as an operative within foreign interests? Does he do what every other Presidential candidate usually does to hit as many swing states as possible? Has he decided to just let Barack Obama do that instead?
For Trump: He has momentum heading down the homestretch just as he did four years ago. It’s remarkable how similar the polls and the political landscape look right now compared to back then. On that note, I’d do exactly the same as he did four years ago. Hit every swing state hard, leave it all out on the trail and watch the Election night returns with an eye on retiring in just over four years.
To be continued...