How Trump has broken the 2020 election polls
What’s the point: The polls clearly show that Biden is ahead and by a larger margin than Hillary Clinton was on the eve of the 2016 election. You might think that would make people believe that Biden is more likely to win, even if it were far from a certainty.
Yet, the evidence suggests that Trump’s surprising 2016 victory has warped people into believing that Trump has some magic up his sleeve. They don’t believe he will lose.
An average of recent polls finds that a majority of voters (about 55%) believe that Trump will defeat Biden in the election. Trump’s edge on this question has remained fairly consistent over time.
Now, it seems Americans have probably overreacted to the 2016 result. They don’t trust the numbers that are in front of them. Americans think the polls are underestimating Republicans.
This 2018 poll marked the first time that Americans incorrectly forecasted who would win the House. Americans had previously correctly called every other House election and flip of the chamber in the years Gallup polled (1946, 1948, 2006 and 2010).
For 2020, it seems that Americans are continuing to think that the polls are underestimating Republicans. That may be the case, but it seems like a bad bet given that polls did pretty well in 2018.
Trump’s a politician, not a magician.
CORRECTION: The story has been corrected to reflect that Hillary Clinton was the Democratic nominee for the 2016 election.