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Biden Leads Trump ahead of Tomorrow’s Debate. The Polls Give Trump Little Hope…

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There are less than 2-weeks remaining until the 2020 U.S Presidential Election and Joe Biden holds onto is lead.

4-years ago, it was Hillary Clinton embroiled in scandal. This time around, U.S President Trump is on the wrong side of the dirt-digging.

News of Trump having a secret bank account in China came following Trump’s assault on Biden and his alliance with Trump’s apparent enemy #1.

Adding to Trump’s woes, with time rapidly running out, is a 2nd wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is hitting Europe and the U.S.

The U.S President would have been hoping for a pre-Election COVID-19 vaccine. Barring a miraculous 11th hour vaccine, however, Trump could bear the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic across the U.S.

At a time when Trump needs to be narrowing the gap, Biden has solidified his lead, based on the latest polls.

The Latest Polls

Trump’s recovery from COVID-19 is now a distant memory, as the markets and voters look ahead to Friday’s debate.

The polls also failed to give Trump upside following his hospitalization and speedy recovery.

Based on the latest FT’s interactive Calculator and polling data, Biden has seen his lead solidify in the last week.

The Challenger

The FT Poll Tracker projects Joe Biden to win the U.S Presidential Election with 279 Electoral College votes.

This is unchanged since a rise from 255 projected votes back on 23rd September. Of significance, from the latest projection is the breakdown of Biden’s projected haul.

Biden has seen the number of solid Electoral College votes rise from 194 as at 14th October to 207 as at 21st October.

While the increase may be minor, is also significant as it suggests that the Democrats are gaining further traction on the campaign trail.

The 13 Electoral College vote increase came from Virginia becoming a solid blue in the last week.

Of the 72 Electoral College votes to lean in favor of Biden, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin are 3 of 8 swing states and account for 46 of the 72 votes.

The other swing states are Arizona, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, and Ohio, all of which are currently sitting on the fence. These account for 79 Electoral College votes.

When looking at the fence-sitters, Trump has slender leads in Iowa (0.2 pp) and Ohio (1.7 pp) based on rolling 14-day averages.

By contrast, Biden has reasonable but not significant leads in Arizona (2.9 pp), Florida (2.3 pp), and North Carolina (3.3 pp).

Simply considering the Biden momentum and Trump’s loss of Ohio back in September, it all favors a Biden victory.

Incumbent Trump

For the U.S President, the FT projects a haul of 125 Electoral College votes. This is unchanged since a fall from 143 votes projected as at 23rd September.

While Biden has seen his solid vote count rise, the FT projects Trump to currently hold 83 solid votes. This is unchanged over the week, while down from 86 solid votes projected on 7th October.

Electoral College votes leaning towards Trump have also held steady at 42.

The bad news for U.S President Trump is that he still does not have a single swing state in his favor.

The Toss-up States

We’ve not seen movement here in recent weeks. The number of states sitting on the fence has remained unchanged and account for 134 Electoral College votes. Back on 23rd September, the fence-sitters had accounted for 140 Electoral College Votes.

5 of the states sitting on the fence are swing states and account for 79 Electoral College votes. And there’s Texas, with 38 Electoral College votes to also consider.

For Trump, however, even with all of the “Toss-Up” States voting in his favor, he would still fall short of 270.

That continues to, therefore, support the market’s expectation of a Blue Wave and for the democrats to control both houses.

Political Deadlock

One area of concern, however, is Trump’s willingness to concede. Based on the current projections, if Trump were to win all of the “Toss Up” states and his leaning and solid votes, he would win 259 votes. Biden would win the election with 279 votes. Trump would most likely then contest the outcome of the Election and make further attempts to discount postal votes.

Any political uncertainty and deadlock would be a major issue for the markets in the weeks and possibly months ahead…

News of Iran and Russia looking to influence voters this week could give Trump another reason to contest the outcome. That is assuming of course that Biden doesn’t run away with it, which is quite plausible.

Whether Iran and Russia influence, there is no guarantee that Biden will run away with the Election.

As we saw back in 2016, Hilary Clinton had it in the bag only to lose it on the day.

There are a number of factors that can influence the outcome and swing the result in Trump’s favor.

The number of people who actually cast a ballot could vary significantly, which would materially influence the outcome. There are also voters who switch sides at the last minute or may have lied in surveys.

The Final Presidential Debate

With the U.S President trailing, but not out of the race, Thursday’s debate could prove to be decisive.

This time around, the microphones will be muted to allow candidates to begin their responses to questions. For the U.S President, it means that he will not be able to try to throw Biden off balance.

For Biden, playing it safe on Thursday would make sense, with Trump needing to win the debate to influence voters.

Last time around, Trump’s tactics backfired, so it will be interesting to see if he adopts similar tactics this time around. The opportunity to interrupt has been curtailed but, with Trump, anything is possible.

This article was originally posted on FX Empire

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