Yet, it continues to be clear that the national polling will continue to overstate Biden’s edge. An examination of the state polls shows a race that, while not a tossup by any means, is closer than the national polls would indicate.
Biden’s true lead (or true margin), however, is closer to 5 points. What do I mean by that?
Remember, the only thing that ultimately matters is winning 270 electoral votes in the Electoral College. To understand how easy a path each candidate has, you have to look at the state level polling.
In other words, the true margin (or the margin in the state that puts Biden over the top in the Electoral College) is 5 points.
Now, we obviously don’t know what the exact difference between the popular vote and the true margin will be in 2020. But a difference almost always exists, and it’s quite likely that this cycle it will favor Trump.
History indicates, as does the current math, that Biden’s lead should only be considered pretty safe if he wins the popular vote by at least 5 points. Right now, the polls indicate that he will.
It wouldn’t take much, though, to shift the race so that Biden’s national lead is less than 5 points, which would mean the true margin would be in the competitive territory.