Apr 22, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Trump's map edge: Biden has tougher path to victory, veteran Dem adviser says

Swing states that are expected to decide the 2024 presidential election
Data: Cook Political Report; Map: Axios Visuals

Just over six months from Nov. 5, longtime Democratic adviser Doug Sosnik tells Axios that while either candidate can win, President Biden has the narrower, tougher path to 270 electoral college votes, for three reasons.

Why it matters: Biden has been rising in polls since the State of the Union address. But Democrats continue to sweat their chances in the state-by-state math that determines U.S. presidents.

  1. The electoral college favors Republicans: The last two Republican presidents were first elected despite losing the popular vote.
  2. Biden can no longer count on carrying Michigan, which voted overwhelmingly Democratic in the past three election cycles.
  3. Biden's 2020 victories in the Sunbelt battleground states — Arizona, Nevada and Georgia — were due to his overwhelming support from young and non-white voters. Polling shows Biden has suffered a significant erosion with these voters during his presidency.

Sosnik maps (literally) various road-to-270 scenarios for Biden and former President Trump in an interactive N.Y. Times op-ed, and warns Dems about Minnesota:

"Recent polling shows Mr. Biden with a narrow lead in Minnesota, a state that usually votes for Democrats for president. While it is mathematically possible for Mr. Biden to win without carrying Minnesota, it is unlikely he will be elected if he cannot carry this traditionally Democratic state."

The bottom line: "My analysis of voter history and polling," Sosnik writes, "shows a map that currently favors Mr. Trump, even though [new abortion restrictions] in Arizona improve Mr. Biden's chances."

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