Trump’s path to victory will probably depend on defining Biden through negative advertising. What is far from clear is whether it will work.
All said, 69% of voters have a very good or unfavorable view of the President.
Now, compare Trump’s figures with Biden’s numbers this year in the same poll. Relatively low 46% (compared to Trump) say they have strong opinions about Biden. Damaged, that includes 18% very profitable and 28% very unprofitable.
In other words, voters are 23 points less likely to have a stronger position at Biden than at Trump. There is far more room to bring down Biden than to increase Trump.
In other words, Trump’s campaign strategy makes perfect sense.
However, something that makes sense and something that actually works are two very different things.
The fact that so many voters have a strong view of Trump can tell us something about the course of this race going forward. Biden’s 6 point advantage in the polls is quite stable. There is no guarantee that the poll will remain that way, but history shows that it is very good.
Since 1980, elections in which results have dramatically differed from the current polls tend to occur when the opinion of the old president is not strongly held. The two incumbent elections (1980 and 1992) where the difference between the current poll and the results is greater than 5 points is where only about a third (33%) of voters have very good or unfavorable opinions from voters. incumbent.
Now, look at elections where the power of opinion about the president looks the most like this: 2004 and 2012. They were the only ones before this election where more than 50% had strong opinions about incumbents at the moment. The election saw the smallest shift (3 and 2 points, respectively) between the current poll and the results.
Trump, of course, is trying to avoid polls remaining stable by shifting focus to unclear Biden. Again, that’s not a bad idea. But while Biden’s opinions are less powerful than Trump’s, they are strong enough relative to past challengers. No other challenger (including John Kerry in 2004 and Mitt Romney in 2012) since 1980 has had many voters who gave them very favorable or very unprofitable ratings.
That is, it will be easier to move opinions about Biden than Trump, but that does not mean that it will be simple or even effective.