Conventional wisdom is that the 2020 race is all but over. Yet Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon noted that the race for the White House is “a lot closer” than expected. Despite a ground-breaking fundraising month of $383 million and a double-digit national lead over President Donald Trump, Dillon declared on Twitter on Wednesday night that there is “still a long way to go” in terms of landing a spot in the Oval Office on Nov. 3.
“Early voting is already underway in many states,” Dillon said. “Millions of voters have already cast their ballots. But there is still a long way to go in this campaign, and we think this race is far closer than folks on this website think. Like a lot closer.”
“The next few weeks are going to be hard,” O’Malley Dillon added in the same thread. “I tell our team every week that ‘we can do hard things.’”
According to FiveThirtyEight’s general election polling average, Biden has a 10.4 percent advantage over Trump as of Thursday, a lead that’s climbed since the beginning of October after the chaotic first presidential debate. But a new general election poll released Thursday indicated that Biden’s current advantage is down three percent compared to the same poll from just two weeks ago.
At the same time in 2016—when there was less than one month until Election Day—then-Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton held roughly a six percent lead over Trump—a margin that also steadily spiked during the month of October. But, of course, Clinton lost the Electoral College even after polls brutally swayed the public into thinking she would win the election.
Compared to 2016, battleground states are polling better for Biden’s election bid and worse for Trump. The former vice-president has maintained a wider margin over the president in swing states than Clinton achieved, hinting that Biden’s election chances are stronger than the former secretary of state’s from four years ago.
Biden’s overall swing state leads are small, but remain the largest in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, as his margin in all three states hasn’t been below four percent since June, according to FiveThirtyEight’s polling averages from each of the states. In more competitive battleground states like Florida, North Carolina and Arizona—states that Trump won in 2016—however, Biden’s advantage has hovered around two to three percent.
Poll analysts have suggested that the country could see a repeat of the 2016 election results, with Biden losing the electorate vote, but winning the popular vote, which would grant Trump a second term in the White House. Will it be deja vu all over again in November?
Rachel Bucchino is a reporter at the National Interest. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report and The Hill.