The specter of the 2016 election looms high this year. Hillary Clinton held a commanding lead over Donald Trump in 2016, but she was defeated. If you listen to Trump talk about it — or any of his supporters — you might think that he won by a veritable landslide. But the truth is he won by a paltry 70,000 votes, which determined the electoral college. He lost the popular vote by an awe-inspiring three million votes.
So what do the polls say this year?
Well, they show similar margins. That will leave any Biden supporter with a sick feeling in their stomach. The truth of those polls is more complex, though. For example, pretty much everything you can imagine swung in Trump’s direction in 2016. There was a great economy, people were sick of practiced career politicians, the email scandal, Bernie Sanders dividing Democrats, and FBI Director Comey’s indication that there was “new evidence” only days before the election — evidence, which, by the way, turned out to be absolutely nothing.
When you consider all those factors working for Trump in 2016 — and the fact he only won by a mere 70,000 votes — you start to realize that it shouldn’t take much going wrong to result in a Biden landslide. And a lot has gone wrong! The coronavirus response is widely believed to be a disaster. Conspiracy theories related to Hunter Biden aren’t sticking. The economy is in shambles. Trump just managed to select his third Supreme Court justice, who could be key to overturning controversial laws like the ACA, gun rights, and even Roe v. Wade. But those are all factors that could turn the election against him.
Why is Biden’s team suggesting the race is much closer than it appears to be? First, we’ve seen that polls aren’t always indicative of a win. They’re being wildly more careful that Hillary Clinton was in 2016. Second, presidential races are almost always won by razor-thin margins, although we don’t always view it that way. So again, there’s reason to be careful. Third, this race will likely be determined by Democratic voter turnout, which the GOP is trying to suppress. Couple that with the fact that fewer people go out to vote when they think a nominee is a sure thing, and you might realize those comments are being made to ensure people continue to vote up until Election Day.
One reason to be hopeful of a Biden win is that almost all of these polls mean Biden wins even within the margins of error. But there is so much uncertainty, that we still cannot say for sure what will happen — especially since even Trump’s own supporters don’t believe he will concede if and when he loses.
You have the right to safety at the polling locations, but police aren’t allowed on site unless something goes wrong. If it does, you’ll have to rely on witness testimony if a case ends up in criminal or civil court. A personal injury attorney is the best source of information if you were attacked by another voter or the polling location was safe. This is especially important if the attack or accident prevented you from casting a ballot!