The race between Donald Trump and Joe Biden is tightening in Pennsylvania. Trump’s gains come as a result of young and male voters moving towards Trump. For Democrats already skittish about recent polls showing Trump gaining with Black and Latino voters, this is yet another worrying sign.
The bump is even starker in the “swing counties” that helped decide the 2016 election. The counties were 54%-35% for Biden six weeks ago, now it’s 46%-44% Trump.
There’s been a forced media narrative in the weeks following the conventions that the race is shifting towards Trump. That’s not exactly true, Trump still trails significantly behind Biden nationally and narrowly in swing states. But he is gaining, and his margins in these swing states are closer than this same period in 2016.
Some of this could’ve been expected. Biden was a particularly weak candidate with Latino and younger voters, and as the media narrative shifts away from Trump’s catastrophic handling of the pandemic it’s natural that his numbers are jumping a bit. Trump has always had the incumbency advantage, and anyone who believed this would be an easy win for Biden was deluding themselves, as is anyone saying this election is in the bag for Trump now.
Still…these are disquieting numbers for Biden with around sixty days to go until Election Day. Democrats spent a year in a ferocious primary battle for the party’s future and soul, they emerged from it in a moment of societal upheaval with a candidate who inspires little excitement absent a narrow grouping of white suburban moderates and older Black voters. Now they may be reaping the consequences. Get ready for a close race.