Joe Biden has a run in the polls, Donald Trump could suffer a bitter defeat on November 3rd. But even for the president there are still several ways to victory. Three scenarios for the outcome of the US election.
Three scenarios for the outcome of the US election
There are only a little more than 40 days until the US presidential election. In some states, voters are already starting to cast their votes – and Donald Trump is still well behind his challenger Joe Biden in the polls. Its lead was bigger, around nine percentage points. But on average in all national surveys, Biden is currently still a good six percentage points more than Trump.
It is well known that whoever is ahead in the absolute votes does not necessarily win the election. We remember: in order to become president, a candidate must win a majority in the electoral college through victories in the individual states, which ultimately determines the head of state. The majority in this body is 270 votes. Trump was able to win against Hillary Clinton in 2016, although he had a total of a few million votes fewer than her.
This is exactly where things get complicated: As the Trump victory in 2016 shows, the mood in the States is difficult to pin down. The results of new voter surveys come onto the market every day in the USA, also from the all-important federal states.
In principle, the national surveys are often more reliable than surveys in individual states. At the same time, the surveys from the states can show the direction in which the political mood is developing. Some survey institutes also assure that they improved their methods after the 2016 election. That gives hope that the polls from the states are more precise today than they were four years ago.
The campaign teams define “safe” states for themselves, which they assume will definitely win. Then there are the “reasonably safe states” and finally the so-called battleground states, ie the states that could tip in one direction or the other. Roughly speaking, there are currently around a dozen states. The election campaign is focused on them.
With the existing surveys, different scenarios for the outcome of the election on November 3rd can be played out. Three of them are particularly interesting.
Scenario one: the blue wave
In this scenario, Biden would win the same states that Hillary Clinton secured in 2016, such as reliable Democratic strongholds such as California and New York. In addition, he would recapture old strongholds of his party from the “rustbelt” that Trump won in 2016: Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin. If you then also add the “Battleground State” Arizona in the southwest, that would be 289 votes in the electoral committee.
Scenario two: the Trump triumph
The scenario of an overwhelming victory for Donald Trump is still not ruled out. For example, because a lot of the polls in the states are wrong. Or: Trump has succeeded in changing mood in important countries in recent weeks, for example through convincing appearances in the TV duels with Biden.
In the Trump triumph scenario, the president would repeat his 2016 election victory and gain additional states. Trump and his people are targeting New Hampshire and Minnesota in particular. Clinton was barely able to defend either state against Trump in 2016. There is a fairly high proportion of white non-college voters, Trump’s core electorate.
Can a “red wave” succeed? Yes, with a lot of luck. Is it very likely? Probably not.
Scenario three: A rather narrow victory for Trump or Biden
This scenario currently appears particularly plausible. Here one would assume that both Trump and Biden can win some states from the pot of “battleground states”. Both could also conquer states where no one expected this. It would be the chaos scenario.
Each of the 50 states has only one vote. So if a state, say Texas, has more Republican MPs than Democrats, that state will likely vote for Trump, and so on. At the moment, according to this bill, the Republicans hold the required majority of 26 votes. This would probably also be the case in the new House of Representatives. Trump could stay president.