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Joe Biden speaks at an outdoor Black Economic Summit in Charlotte yesterday. Photo: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Joe Biden or President Trump could win the election narrowly — but only one in a popular and electoral vote blowout. 

Why it matters: A Biden blowout would mean a Democratic Senate, a bigger Democratic House and a huge political and policy shift nationwide.

  • The reason this scenario is worth reflecting on is both the consequences, and because campaign advisers in both camps see it as a possibility. 

Polls show the path for Biden is quite plausible: He is winning in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, and essentially even in Florida — all Trump states in 2016.

  • And remember: Trump lost the popular vote by 3 million last time to a much more unpopular Democrat, Hillary Clinton. 

Biden, thanks in part to changing demographics, is running close or better in red states Texas, Georgia, Arizona, Iowa and North Carolina.

  • In 2018, Democrats saw record turnout, especially among women. The early requests for ballots in key states suggest the enthusiasm persists at record levels. 
  • Democrats are raising money like rich Republicans — and, in fact, have a lot more than Trump and his allies, even though they are out of power.

Between the lines: The N.Y. Times' Nate Cohn puts it this way: "[A] Biden landslide is just as real a possibility as a Trump victory."

  • "If Mr. Biden outperformed today’s polls by just two points, he would be declared the winner early on election night and have a good shot at the largest electoral vote landslide since 1988."

The bottom line: Trump has few paths to the presidency if he loses Florida or in the upper Midwest. His team believes Minnesota is a state he lost that he could now win, but polls suggest otherwise. 

  • So, once again, his best and maybe only chance is to lose the popular vote and replicate razor-thin wins in the same states as last time. 

Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
Jan 1, 2021 - Politics & Policy

McConnell slaps back Trump — repeatedly

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell departs the Capitol on Dec. 11. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

It took four years and an election defeat. But someone with real power inside the Republican Party is standing up to — and swatting back — President Trump: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Why it matters: This is a preview of the power struggle that will define the Republican Party in 2021.

Mayors feel powerless to reduce homelessness

Expand chart
Recreated from 2021 Menino Survey of Mayors; Chart: Jacque Schrag/Axios

America's mayors know their constituents hold them accountable for homelessness, but many don't feel they have the tools or power to fix things, a brand new survey says.

Why it matters: While homelessness has become more acute during the pandemic, city leaders say they lack the money, staff or political support needed to make a meaningful difference.

Ina Fried, author of Login
2 hours ago - Technology

Microsoft to buy Activision Blizzard

Microsoft

Microsoft announced Tuesday it plans to acquire video game giant Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion in cash.

Why it matters: The move comes as Activision Blizzard has faced a wave of accusations of workplace harassment.