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Sunday, April 18, 2021

Poll tracker: Trump’s lead shrinks ahead of next week’s debate

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Probability of Trump losing: 5%

Probability of Biden losing: 7%

Your edge:

Probability of Trump being the first president to win two consecutive elections (1904-05) by larger margins than when he won, as governor of New York (20.3%) in 1932, has fallen from 57.2% in August to 51.3% in October.

Probability of Biden losing

The probability of Biden losing is boosted by recent polls, the last two of which show him neck-and-neck with Trump. The most recent is by the Quinnipiac University/USA Today national poll, which shows Trump ahead by a 49-45 percent margin. Obama led Romney by 10 points in 2012.

What to watch

You might also want to pay attention to the vice presidential debate, which also takes place on Wednesday. The winner might not get much room to announce Trump’s defeat, though Biden is believed to have more self-confidence than Trump. (Kellyanne Conway, the president’s pollster, suggested that she was surprised that Trump “doesn’t take the bait” of Biden-style attacks.) Here’s hoping for some more witty one-liners.

Biden-era coughs were mentioned during the vice presidential debate last week — which only really made Donald Trump smile.

Most dangerous soundbite?

It came from Trump as he tweeted about the terrorist attack in New York. He wrote: “This could be one of the purest forms of hatred — living by killing. Do not be alarmed!”

Most powerful “me too” moment?

It was Biden who was playing a double standard this week when he berated Trump for not bringing up “the Jeremiah Wright issue” in the debates. If he wanted to target Trump’s history, he could have mentioned his long-time pastor Jeremiah Wright, who praised “the illustrious jihadi” Osama bin Laden.

Most ardent booster of Hillary?

The most devout Trump fan is maybe Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. Dorsey took to Twitter and sent more than 1,500 tweets about Hillary Clinton over the past month. But his favorite one so far is Trump’s claim that “I am the only one who can beat Hillary.” (In the year ahead, his favorite topic is the bad press he’s received.) He also brought up President Obama’s birth certificate during the first presidential debate.

Weakest:

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