7 reasons Trump is probably freaking out about the election right now


Almost nothing is going right for Donald Trump's reelection bid.

There are just 27 days to go until Election Day, and Donald Trump finds himself in a historically bad position as he vies for a second term.

By key campaign metrics such as polling, fundraising, and advertising, Trump is running behind Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. And his time to change his fortunes is quickly dwindling.

Here are seven reasons Trump's odds of reelection look grim:

He's behind in national polls

Biden currently has a 9-point lead over Trump according to RealClearPolitics' polling average, a massive lead that would amount to a landslide victory if it held.

Biden's lead has steadily grown since the Sept. 29 presidential debate, during which Trump repeatedly interrupted Biden and ultimately refused to condemn white supremacy or commit to accepting the results of the election — a performance that polls showed voters detested.

At this same point in the 2016 cycle, Hillary Clinton had a 4.7% lead in the RealClearPolitics average, half of the advantage Biden now enjoys.

"Donald Trump is getting absolutely, completely crushed in the polls right now," FiveThirtyEight's Nate Silver tweeted Wednesday morning. "They point toward the biggest landslide since 1984."

He's behind in state polls

Of course, the election is not determined by the results of the national popular vote, but rather by votes in the Electoral College.

In 2016, Trump lost the popular vote by 3 million votes, yet still eked out wins in enough states to win the election.

In 2020, however, statewide polling shows Trump behind in enough states that he'd lose the Electoral College if the election were held today. Trump is behind in polling averages even in historically Republican states such as Arizona and Georgia.

In fact, if every state polling average is currently correct, Biden would win 375 Electoral College votes, according to the New York Times. That's far more than the 270 needed to win, and even more than the 365 Electoral College votes won by President Barack Obama in 2008 .

He's behind in the fundraising race

One of Trump's early advantages as an incumbent was that he had raised boatloads of cash and did not have a primary to spend it in, leaving him with a major fundraising lead.

Yet Trump's campaign squandered that advantage, blowing nearly $1 billion before the final stretch of the election.

Since winning the Democratic nomination, Biden has seen an explosion of fundraising. In August his campaign raked in $365 million — a historic monthly fundraising haul that was roughly $150 million more than the Trump campaign raised.

Biden has yet to release his September fundraising totals, but Bloomberg News reported that the total is expected to be more than $365 million, which would set yet another record.

He's being outspent on advertising

Biden's fundraising bonanza gave his campaign the ability to blanket the airwaves with ads to make his case to voters.

Politico reported on Wednesday that Biden is spending more than Trump in 72 of the 83 media markets in which both campaigns are currently active.

In fact, Biden is on the airwaves in such critical swing states as Iowa, New Hampshire, and Ohio, while Trump is not, according to Politico. He's even advertising in Texas, the historically Republican state where Trump leads by just 1.4%, according to FiveThirtyEight. Trump is not.

Television advertising is still an important component of a political campaign. Ken Spain, a former spokesman for the Republican National Congressional Committee, told Politico that Trump's inability to run ads in must-win states is a "troubling sign" for his reelection campaign.

Trump contracted the coronavirus, which could keep him off the campaign trail in a critical stretch

Trump tested positive for the coronavirus nearly a week ago, leaving him holed up inside and unable to hold his signature campaign rallies in the final stretch of the race.

According to the New York Times, Trump's campaign hoped that his battle with the virus would garner him sympathy from voters, providing him with the ability to align himself with the struggles of the more than 7.5 million people in the United States who have contracted the virus to date.

Trump's behavior before and since his diagnosis has not helped gain him sympathy.

Polls show the vast majority of voters think Trump is responsible for contracting the virus because he didn't take it seriously or follow the guidelines medical experts had laid out to prevent its spread.

He took a joyride during his hospitalization at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to wave to supporters standing outside, risking the lives of the Secret Service agents who were closed inside the sealed SUV they were forced to drive him in.

Trump was released from the hospital on Monday and upon returning to the White House removed his mask with. other people nearby to film what amounted to a campaign video, in which he told Americans not to be "afraid" of the virus.

A Morning Consult poll released Tuesday showed Trump's latest exhortation is not going down well, with 60% of voters saying he was wrong to say the virus is nothing to be scared of.

It's unclear whether Trump will even be able to attend the next presidential debate on Oct. 15, given his diagnosis.

If Trump continues to test positive for the virus, meaning he was still contagious, the Commission on Presidential Debates might not let him on the debate stage. Biden said Tuesday that if Trump is still contagious, he should not debate.

The focus of the race is now on the coronavirus because of his diagnosis

Ultimately, Trump's coronavirus diagnosis puts one of his worst issues of the election at the forefront.

More than 56% of Americans disapprove of Trump's handling of the virus, according to a FiveThirtyEight polling average.

Politico reported that the Trump campaign wanted to focus on anything else but the coronavirus and Trump's handling of it in the home stretch of the race.

"Folks are kind of like, 'What now? What does this mean for what we're trying to do here with 32 days left?'" a senior Trump campaign official said. "I don't want to say this hit us by surprise because we knew the risks. [Trump] wanted to campaign and be out there with the people, so we tailored the campaign to the president's wishes. This definitely changes our plans, though."

Time is not on Trump's side to turn things around

Yes, there are still 27 days to go until Election Day. And yes, anything can happen, as pundits like to say.

However, compounding Trump's woes is that early voting is taking place at a historic rate this year.

To date, more than 5.4 million people have already cast ballots in the 2020 election, according to a vote tracker maintained by University of Florida elections expert Michael McDonald. In 2016, just 75,000 people had cast ballots at this same point of the election, according to USA Today.

That means Trump will have to overcome his polling deficit by an even greater margin than the current averages show, as ballots have already been cast at a point in the race when Trump is polling behind.

Even worse for Trump is that these early votes are being cast in critical swing states such as Ohio, North Carolina, and Wisconsin — which Trump needs to win if he wants to pull out an Electoral College victory.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.