Aug 31, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Inside Biden's edge

Illustration of Biden 2020 and Trump 2020 pins in the shape of a piechart

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Cook Political Report's Amy Walter shows, in a piece that's well worth your time, that President Trump is trailing "not because he's losing his 2016 base, but because he has never expanded beyond it."

By the numbers: Walter dug into the most recent national poll from the Pew Research Center (7/27-8/2) and compared it with their post-election poll in 2016 that uses official voting records.

  • Whereas Trump has roughly held his share of the vote across all segments of the electorate, Joe Biden is performing significantly better than Hillary Clinton with nearly every demographic group.

Between the lines: The article has a nifty tool you can play around with to compare Biden's performance against Trump across key demographic groups to Clinton's performance against Trump in 2016.

  • Walter's analysis shows that Biden performs better than Clinton among older voters, younger voters, white voters, college and non-college educated voters, men, women, Democrats, Republicans and Independents. Clinton, meanwhile, was slightly stronger with Black and Hispanic voters.

The bottom line: Many of these new votes are coming from people who voted third-party in 2016.

  • "According to the Pew July survey, voters who didn't support either major party candidate last election are now breaking decidedly for Biden — 55 percent to 39 percent.
  • 'This group of non-Trump/non-Clinton voters doesn't get the attention of Obama-Trump voters or suburban moms, but they are a not-insignificant portion of the electorate."

What's next: Trump's competitiveness "will come down to whether he can deepen his base," Walter writes. "That means turning out a higher percentage of his base vote and hoping that Biden and Democrats fail to meet that same level of enthusiasm with their core constituencies.”

Go deeper