A Must-Win State for Biden Is Now Veering Into Trump Landslide Territory


Joe Biden thinks this race is a toss-up. That’s his line when ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos interviewed him, and it only exacerbated the ongoing issues with the president, his messaging, and his overall re-election effort. It’s simply false, much like the lie that got blown up recently about his trip to the neurologist—a narrative that has gone through more surgeries than a transgender person. Yet, it’s the president’s deep denial that anything is wrong and that his June 27 debate with Donald Trump, universally seen as a disaster, would pass. 


It hasn’t. Biden admits he was terrible but didn’t lose because Trump didn’t gain ground. Yes and no on that front—by losing supporters, Joe, that’s Trump’s gain. And the national polls aren’t the best gauge either. I understand this camp uses it because it’s the only good news this campaign can ship off to donors. Even in those polls, Biden is trailing Trump. Biden was already losing to the former president pre-debate in the battleground states. It’s even worse now. Amy Walter of the Cook Political Report did a deep dive into the main swing states and found what we’ve already known—that Biden is heading toward an Electoral College wipeout if these numbers hold. In short, six key states have become more Trump-friendly, but Biden thinks he can still win with one-third of brain capacity. 

Wisconsin is the only state where things seem close between the two candidates, whereas Pennsylvania should induce extreme panic among Biden staffers. It’s the state most likely to flip out of the must-win trio, including Michigan and Wisconsin. Biden must sweep. One loss and the game is over. With Pennsylvania gone, it’s truly over. Trump added to his lead over Biden by between four and ten points based on private polling by Democrats and Republicans. 

Walter added that the spotlight on Trump’s woes has been severely reduced due to the recent Supreme Court rulings on immunity and the January 6 charges concerning obstruction of an official proceeding via the Fischer decision. Biden now will be subjected to constant and aggressive reporting about his health, one where Democrats in down-ballot races may be getting a taste of what Republicans went through when the media chased down GOP lawmakers for comments about Trump’s social media activity. Democrats will be haggled about Biden’s mental fitness and whether he should drop out: 



The week before the June 27 debate, according to the RealClearPolitics two-way national average, Biden trailed Trump by just over a point. Today, Trump leads the national vote by three points. 


Post-debate, there’s been only one public nonpartisan survey of battleground states released. The Bloomberg News/Morning Consult tracking poll of those six battleground states plus North Carolina, found Trump ahead of Biden by two points, 47% to 45%, “the smallest gap since the poll began last October.” 

However, private polling from both Democratic and Republican sources finds Trump gaining a bit of ground — or holding steady — in the battleground states. In one set of surveys shared with me, Trump expanded his lead in Pennsylvania from four points to 10 points. A just-released AARP poll in Wisconsin found Trump ahead of Biden by five points, 50%-45%. Wisconsin has been one of the few states where Biden has managed to keep the race very close. 

It’s also true that the concerns being expressed by the so-called ‘elite’ class have been baked in with many voters. Biden’s anemic job approval rating isn’t just about his performance on policies like inflation or immigration; much of it is driven by worries about his age and stamina. And yet, many of those frustrated voters (a.k.a. “Meh” voters) were supporting Biden pre-debate and have not necessarily flocked to Trump post-debate. 

However, given our closely divided electorate, even a small two-point shift is significant. For example, if Trump were to win the national popular vote by three points, it would be a seven-point improvement from his 2020 showing. In other words, any state or district that Biden carried by eight points or less would be competitive. 

As such, it’s hard to justify keeping states that Biden carried by less than eight points, like Minnesota, New Hampshire and Nebraska’s 2nd District, in Likely Democrat. They now move to Lean Democrat. 

It’s also clear that Trump’s outside-the-margin leads in states like Arizona, Georgia and Nevada are currently safe, leading us to move all three from Toss Up to Lean Republican. 

That leaves three states in the Toss Up column: Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. At present, Pennsylvania is the most vulnerable to a flip toward Trump. Biden has trailed in polling there since the spring by anywhere from 2-3 points. Since the debate, however, public and private polling has shown Trump opening up a bigger lead. Pennsylvania is also the only state in which Trump’s SuperPAC, MAGA Inc., has spent substantially on advertising. According to data from AdImpact, between January and May, the SuperPAC has spent over $10 million on advertising in the state. 


Walter on voter enthusiasm: 

For months now, polls have shown Republicans with an enthusiasm advantage. In addition, the Cook Political Report’s May Swing State Project poll, conducted by BSG and GS Strategies, found that 18% of Biden’s 2020 voters in the seven key battleground states were uncommitted to him this time around. 

One thing that set the uncommitted voters apart from Biden loyalists was the fact that they don’t think this election matters all that much. While 83% of Biden loyalists say this will be “more important than other elections in their lifetime,” just 56% of defectors feel similarly. Moreover, just 58% of these potential defectors think it is “very important” that they vote this year, compared to 85% of committed Biden voters.

The Biden team has argued that though these voters may be disengaged now, once they are made aware of the high-stakes of this election, they will ultimately turnout for the president. However, Biden’s weak debate performance calls into question whether he can effectively deliver that message to these already disenfranchised and skeptical voters. 

Walter also said that Harris isn’t a riskier bet than Biden, but there are no advantages to her taking the top spot on the ticket either. There’s nothing to suggest that she’s a better candidate. Like Joe, she’s also unpopular and tends to wither when under the spotlight for too long. This woman’s campaign faded before Tom Steyer’s in the 2020 primaries. She’s not well-liked by voters, and she’s been a trainwreck in public events. Also, like Biden, she cannot deviate from the script or talking points. Trump’s main goal: getting Biden’s former supporters to stay home on Election Day: 


National polls taken in the wake of the June 27 debate suggest that unaffiliated voters haven’t flocked en masse to Trump, but they’ve defected from Biden. Meanwhile, partisans have barely moved. In other words, Trump’s ceiling remains somewhat firm. But, Trump is still running stronger than he was in 2020 with traditionally Democratic constituencies like Black and Latino voters. He doesn’t need to move many of these voters into his camp to flip those Sun Belt states back into the red column. Moreover, Trump doesn’t need to win over disappointed or disillusioned anti-Trump voters; he just needs them to stay home. 

Hence, why has the former president allowed the Democrats to do all the heavy lifting when it comes to ripping apart Biden and creating fractures within the base over the fallout from the June 27 debate? This discipline is a new development, one that Democrats probably weren’t expecting and are finding frustrating since the former president is offering no relief to the beleaguered leftist party. So, on both counts, Biden is wrong and looks absurd when saying that Trump didn’t gain anything and that this race is a toss-up. We’re looking at a very good night for Republicans if this holds. Biden may want to stop talking about the debate and move on. Sorry, there are too many questions about your fitness, especially since you and your staff can’t explain these trips to a neurologist specializing in Parkinson’s Disease.