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Despite a number of poll numbers that predict Donald Trump will lose his reelection bid, one political scientist says the president has a good chance of winning a second term.
Helmut Norpoth, a political science professor at Stony Brook University–who forecasted Trump’s 2016 win eight months ahead of the election and has accurately predicted 25 out of 27 elections–said on Fox News’ The Ingraham Angle that Trump’s reelection chances are above 90 percent.
“The key to the November election is the primaries,” Norpoth said, adding Trump won Republican primaries quite easily while presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden had difficulty winning delegates. “On balance, a stronger performance in primaries gives Donald Trump the edge in November.”
Norpoth cited Biden’s fourth-place finish in the Iowa caucus and his fifth-place finish in the New Hampshire primary as among his reasons for his forecast.
“The terrain of presidential contests is littered with nominees who saw a poll lead in the spring turn to dust in the fall,” Norpoth told Mediaite. “The list is long and discouraging for early front runners. Beginning with Thomas Dewey in 1948, it spans such notables as Richard Nixon in 1960, Jimmy Carter in 1980, Michael Dukakis in 1988, George H.W. Bush in 1992, and John Kerry in 2004, to cite just the most spectacular cases.”
In the weeks leading up to the 2016 electron, Trump trailed former Democratic presidential nominee Hilary Clinton in nearly every poll and still won the presidency.
The polls have read much the same way in 2020. According to RealClearPolitics, a number of polls have forecasted that Trump will be a one-term president and giving Biden a slight lead heading into the November election.
The Hill/HarrisX national poll released on Wednesday has Biden leading by 4 percent over Trump, while an Economist/YouGov survey gives Biden a lead at 49 percent to Trump’s 40 percent.
However, Norpoth said the COVID-19 pandemic that has gripped the U.S. and the world and led to a near-economic meltdown, could swing the election to Biden if Trump’s approval rating drops significantly.
“Where I would expect the pandemic to have an affect is on the approval rating of the president, and I don’t see any dent in Trump’s approval rating,” he said. “Unless his approval rating collapses, I don’t think this will have much bearing on my forecast.”
Norpoth said if Trump is able to refrain from commenting or tweeting about political opponents and instead focus on the continued economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, he stands a good chance of winning a second term.
“He had some strong points that gave him that big win in the primaries, and I think that he has to take advantage of that,” he said. “I think that anything that distracts from that will not be good for him.”
Newsweek reached out to the Trump campaign for comment, but did not hear back before publication.
Michael Novakhov – SharedNewsLinks℠
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