At the time of this writing the RealClearPolitics average shows him behind his Democratic challenger, former Vice President Joe Biden, by nearly 10 points. This lead emboldened Biden to tell a group of supporters on Saturday that the only way he could lose was through polling place “chicanery.” Why, then, do most Americans believe Trump will win? Survey after survey has found that, regardless of which candidate they support, a majority of respondents predict a Trump victory. Yet another confirmation of this phenomenon is available in a recent Gallup poll.
According to the Gallup survey, “56% of Americans expect Trump to prevail over Biden in the November election, while 40% think Biden will win.” This includes 90 percent of Republicans, 56 percent of independents, and 24 percent of Democrats. This is not the first time Gallup has polled voter expectations: The polling firm asked Americans for their predictions in every election year from 1996 through 2012: “In each of these polls, Americans accurately predicted the winner of the popular vote.” This is a far higher accuracy rate than many pollsters can claim, and it obviously raises the following question: “What does the general public know that the pollsters don’t?”
Gallup provides a crucial piece of the puzzle by posing this question to registered voters: “Would you say you and your family are better off now than you were four years ago, or are you worse off now?” The percentage who said they are “better off” after four years of the Trump presidency was far higher than it has been for the last two incumbents. When President Obama ran for a second term in 2012, only 45 percent of voters said they were better off than they had been four years earlier. When President Bush ran for re-election, 47 percent answered that they were better off. When asked the same question about Trump’s first term, 56 percent said they were better off:
During his presidential campaign in 1980, Ronald Reagan asked Americans, “Are you better off today than you were four years ago?” Since then, this question has served as a key standard that presidents running for reelection have been held to. Read more…