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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

Updated Dec 7, 2020 - Politics & Policy

The top Republicans who have acknowledged Biden as president-elect

Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Some elected Republicans are breaking ranks with President Trump to acknowledge that President-elect Biden won the 2020 presidential election.

Why it matters: The relative sparsity of acknowledgements highlights Trump's lasting power in the GOP, as his campaign moves to file multiple lawsuits alleging voter fraud in key swing states — despite the fact that there have been no credible allegations of any widespread fraud anywhere in the U.S.

Collins helps contractor before pro-Susan PAC gets donation

Sen. Susan Collins during her reelection campaign. Photo: Scott Eisen/Getty Images

A PAC backing Sen. Susan Collins in her high-stakes reelection campaign received $150,000 from an entity linked to the wife of a defense contractor whose firm Collins helped land a federal contract, new public records show.

Why it matters: The executive, Martin Kao of Honolulu, leaned heavily on his political connections to boost his business, federal prosecutors say in an ongoing criminal case against him. The donation linked to Kao was veiled until last week.

How cutting GOP corporate cash could backfire

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Companies pulling back on political donations, particularly to members of Congress who voted against certifying President Biden's election win, could inadvertently push Republicans to embrace their party's rightward fringe.

Why it matters: Scores of corporate PACs have paused, scaled back or entirely abandoned their political giving programs. While designed to distance those companies from events that coincided with this month's deadly siege on the U.S. Capitol, research suggests the moves could actually empower the far-right.

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