The national polls consistently show Joe Biden with a double digit lead, Donald Trump trails in every major battleground state, and pundits are starting to talk about a Biden landslide.
But as hundreds of Floridians cast their ballots every day, one of Florida’s most prominent political pollsters sees a clear path for a Trump victory.
“I’m fairly optimistic for my side right now, based on what I’m seeing,” Republican strategist Ryan Tyson says in the latest episode of Political Party with Adam Smith.
“I’m not yet convinced that Joe Biden can earn the turnout that he needs to defeat the turnout that Trump will receive,” said Tyson, a Republican Levy County native not known for dubious spin.
What are so many other experts missing? Maybe they are not factoring in the number of white voters refusing to say if they will vote for Trump, said Tyson, who recently finished polling in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Arizona.
“There’s something similar happening in all of those states. It’s happening here as well. And it’s a disproportionate number of white voters that are refusing to answer the ballot question,” Tyson said.
“The moment you put Donald Trump’s name into a survey there is a disproportionate share of the white segment of the electorate that just checks out: ‘We’re not going to talk to you, or we’re going refuse to answer your ballot question.’ “
The election can go either way – and Tyson said Biden is performing stronger along Florida’s all-important I-4 Corridor than Hillary Clinton did four years ago, but he also sees Trump stronger among Hispanic Floridians, and he questions whether Biden’s base will turn out a strongly as Trump’s.
“To me this entire election hinges on that question: Can Joe Biden himself inspire the ascending electorate to turn out and vote for him in a way that they did for Barack Obama? As I look at the data, advantage still goes to the side that actually has something to turn out for, not just against.”
The average of recent public Florida polls compiled by Real Clear Politics early this week showed Biden winning Florida by 3.7 percentage points.
At this point in the race four years ago, Clinton led Trump by an average of 3.6 percentage points. Trump wound up winning Florida by 1.2 points.
Listen for much more.