Cook Political Moves Six More States Toward Trump

No political polling organization is perfect, but when it comes to having a crystal ball that’s tuned in on American elections, the Cook Political Report has run up a pretty impressive track record. So when they post their most current analysis of shifts in voter tendencies, it’s typically worth paying attention. This week they delivered some additional bad news for Joe Biden and the Democrats. There is indeed some movement afoot among American voters and it’s almost all heading in the same direction, particularly in the swing states. They have moved Arizona, Georgia, and Nevada from their “toss-up” category to “lean Republican.” Additionally, New Hampshire, Minnesota, and Nebraska have shifted from “likely Democrat” to “lean Democrat.” (Daily Caller)

The Cook Political Report on Tuesday updated its projections for key swing states in the 2024 presidential race following June’s debate, and the changes signal that President Joe Biden may be in trouble.

One of America’s leading nonpartisan election and campaign watchers, Cook Political Report’s updates show that key jurisdictions — including crucial swing states like Georgia, Arizona and Nevada — are currently breaking for former President Donald Trump with about four months to go until Election Day. Cook’s updates reflect that some voters are leaving Biden behind in the wake of the president’s lackluster and disjointed performance at the June 27 debate against Trump, which has spurred significant questions about Biden’s mental acuity and ability to serve as president.

Tuesday’s updates included shifting Arizona, Georgia and Nevada from “toss up” states to “lean Republican.” Elsewhere in the country, New Hampshire, Minnesota and Nebraska’s second district have all moved from “likely Democrat” to “lean Democrat.”

Before breaking this down a bit more, it’s worth taking a quick look at the Cook Political Report’s history of accuracy. They have analyzed more than 10,000 elections dating back to 1984. Across that span of time, they haven’t hit 100% accuracy, but they aren’t far from it. In every district and state where they rated a race “Solid D” or “Solid R,” the candidate from that party won. Their success rate for “Likely” ratings for either party has come at a margin of more than 200 to 1. Even in the “Lean” category, they called races successfully for Republicans 444 out of 463 times. With Democrats, they nailed it 470 out of 512 times. In the “Toss-up” category, they split almost exactly down the middle. That’s not too shabby.

Assuming nothing else changes significantly between now and November (a big assumption to be sure), Donald Trump’s prospects in Arizona, Georgia, and Nevada have improved considerably. Joe Biden carried all three of those states narrowly in 2020. The sand is currently pouring out of Joe Biden’s electoral college egg timer and the Democrats don’t seem to be coming up with a roadmap to change that.

On the other hand, we can look at New Hampshire, Minnesota, and Nebraska and conclude that Biden can still carry them, if by a smaller margin, at least based on Cook’s analysis. We’ve actually seen some polls in all of those states showing Trump holding a slight lead or at least in a tie, but that’s not the entirety of the story. Even in the states that Biden eventually carries, if Trump can cut down his margin of victory, that will eat further into Biden’s popular vote count. If Donald Trump winds up winning this election – while it remains far too soon to begin counting chickens right now – the Democrats would love to be able to return to their old talking point about how the popular vote is the real indicator of the country’s preferences. But if Trump can manage to carry both the electoral and popular votes, no matter how small the margin may be, that talking point evaporates like dew on the grass on a warm summer day. It would be more of a symbolic victory, but an important one nonetheless. 

Of course, we can’t conclude this analysis without including one crucial caveat. Joe Biden could still flip the script and announce that he’s dropping out of the race or his party might possibly find a way to give him the boot. If we wind up with a new Democratic candidate, the entire picture could be flipped on its head in a matter of days. This will still be a tight race, no matter who the Democrats wind up running, so Republicans need to remain diligent and run up the vote as much as humanly possible.

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