MSNBC’s morning show, The Morning Joe, came prepared Tuesday.
Joe Scarborough proudly asked John Heilmann about the polls favoring Joe Biden. Heilmann wasted no time: “Wisconsin and Michigan, increasingly, seem like they are out of Donald Trump’s reach,” Heilmann responded.
MSNBC is here to tell you the "walls are closing in" on President @realDonaldTrump.
The first 1,305 times, they were wrong. But this time, they are serious about it. pic.twitter.com/q8Siepy68d
— The First (@TheFirstonTV) September 29, 2020
Heilmann went on to say Pennsylvania is leaning Biden’s way and the “walls are closing in” on Trump’s chances of re-election.
Heilmann’s hypotheticals are correct: if Trump loses Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania — Biden is likely the winner. However, Heilmann is far ahead of logic in claiming both Wisconsin and Michigan are out of reach for Trump.
Per last week’s ABC News/The Washington Post polls, Trump holds a 51%-47% advantage over Biden in Florida, and a close 49%-48% in Arizona. Meaning, if the president holds both, and wins most of the states he won in 2016, he likely needs to win only one of three among Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Which, despite what the Morning Joe is pushing, is in the cards.
Last week, the Morning Consult released data showing Americans in Big 10 states crediting Trump for the conference’s decision to ultimately play this season. I explained:
“Over half of college football fans surveyed say Trump played at least a role in the Big 10’s return. More importantly, the same 53% of Big 10 fans surveyed agree. 19% of which say the president is ‘completely responsible;” 34% voted ‘somewhat responsible.’”
This isn’t to say Biden shouldn’t be favored — but it is not the lock MSNBC, CNN, and ESPN are hoping for.
Meanwhile, there’s the argument the polls are wrong and, like in 2016, underestimate President Trump’s support. Bill O’Reilly has taken the position all polls are meaningless until the week after the first debate. I tend to agree with O’Reilly over the “polls are always inaccurate” group.
If so, by this time next week, statements like Heilmann’s can be taken seriously.