Biden polling

Biden’s polling lead nears magic number – POLITICO

According to the latest RealClearPolitics average, Biden is sitting at 49.3 percent in national surveys and has a 6.2 percentage point lead over President Donald Trump. That’s significantly higher than Clinton’s 44.9 percent mark this time four years ago, which was good for only a 1 point lead.

It’s the same story in many of the battleground states: Biden is at or within 2 points of majority support in enough states to lock down an Electoral College victory, compared with Clinton’s low- to mid-40s scores in mid-September 2016 in the same states, some of which she would end up losing as late-deciding voters went decisively for Trump.

“One of the worries that kept me up at night in ’16 was we just always felt like there was a bigger number of undecideds. And if they broke predominantly in a direction, then the whole thing could change,” said Steve Schale, a Florida-based Democratic strategist and the executive director of a pro-Biden super PAC. “I don’t think there was a single poll in Florida that had [Clinton] over 48 percent. I think that was the case in a lot of places.”

It’s a fundamental difference in Democrats’ standing compared to this time four years ago. While Biden has not locked up the election, the path to victory that Trump took in 2016 is currently blocked.

Trump is mired in the low- to mid-40s — roughly where he was four years ago. But this time, Trump is the incumbent president. And with fewer undecideds or voters poised to select third-party candidates, Trump is running out of time to improve his poll numbers and close the gap.

“As the incumbent with a tough approval rating, he needs to kick it up. And obviously he’s trying to do that by squeezing a few more votes out of his base, at the risk of even annoying other [voters],” said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute of Public Opinion, which last week found Biden leading Trump in Pennsylvania and tied with him at Florida. “So the Biden number is interesting — and obviously, if you get 50 [percent], that’s the home run.”

In Florida, the latest RealClearPolitics average has Biden ahead by nearly 2 percentage points, 48.7 percent to 47.1 percent. While Biden’s margin is not meaningfully different from Clinton’s 1-point deficit this time four years ago, both Clinton (45.2 percent) and Trump (46.2 percent) were in the mid-40s, thanks to a larger pool of undecided voters.

In most of the 13 swing states identified by POLITICO — those rated as toss-ups or just leaning toward one party in our Election Forecast — Biden is not only outperforming Clinton in terms of the margin between him and Trump, his average vote share is also greater than Clinton’s was at this point four years ago.

Biden leads in 10 of the 13 states, according to RealClearPolitics averages, trailing Trump only in Georgia, Iowa and Texas. In Sept. 2016, Clinton also trailed in Arizona, Florida and Ohio.

In addition to nearing 49 percent in Florida, Biden is at 49.2 percent in Arizona, 47.8 percent in Michigan, 51.6 percent in Minnesota, 48 percent in New Hampshire, 49 percent in Pennsylvania and just over 50 percent in Wisconsin.

Victories in those states, where Biden’s lead over Trump is at least 4 points, would clinch the presidency for the former vice president even if Trump won the other swing states. In fact, if Biden won Arizona, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, he could afford to cede Florida, Nevada, North Carolina and Ohio — each of which he leads right now — and still become the next president.

Trump’s vote share in some states, like Florida, is also a little closer to 50 percent than four years ago. But almost across the board, Biden is outperforming Clinton by greater margins than Trump is outrunning his own 2016 performance.

“We don’t have a dominant third-party candidate who is going to take a big chunk of those voters who are like, ‘I hate both of them,’” said Republican pollster Jon McHenry. “So they should be a little bit closer [to 50 percent].”

That means that Trump can’t just rely on the kind of late surge he got four years ago to gobble up undecided or third-party voters. He needs to persuade at least some voters who say they prefer Biden to switch in the closing weeks of the race, a task made more challenging by Trump’s position as the sitting president.

“It’s always hard to convince someone who’s made a decision to do something not to do it,” said Schale, the longtime Biden ally. “And I think the other challenge Trump has is he wasn’t an incumbent [in 2016]. There wasn’t a record, and — historically — job approval matters in these things. He’s in the mid-40s in a lot of these states.”

As an incumbent with low approval ratings, Trump has fewer remaining opportunities lefto make the kinds of gains he needs, particularly with voting already underway in a handful of states — and set to begin soon in many others.

“Even if you were talking about a race being 48 [percent] Trump, 46 Biden — you wouldn’t feel bad about Biden’s chances in that scenario because he’s the challenger, and you want the incumbent to be at 50 or above. Especially if there’s not a significant third-party vote this time,” said McHenry. “So, if you’re looking at it from that perspective, really, Trump is running against 50. And whether he’s within 2 or 3 of Biden, you would want to see him making some gains sooner rather than later.

“I still think that this race can wind up turning on the first debate,” he added. “I’d be hesitant to make any bold predictions about the presidential race until we see what happens there.”

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places polling

NBA polling places: Which arenas will serve as voting sites for November election after player protests – CBS Sports

Several NBA arenas have already committed to being used as polling places in November

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What’s Next For the NBA and The Players

The NBA and NBPA made a groundbreaking announcement on Friday as the players agreed to resume the postseason with several new social justice initiatives in place. The league will form a coalition of players, coaches and governors to work on social justice programs, and televised advertising spots throughout the postseason will be devoted to promoting civic engagement. The most important development, however, will be the conversion of NBA arenas into voting sites for the 2020 presidential election. 

“In every city where the league franchise owns and controls the arena property, team governors will continue to work with local elections officials to convert the facility into a voting location for the 2020 general election to allow for a safe in-person voting option for communities vulnerable to COVID,” the NBA’s statement read. “If a deadline has passed, team governors will work with local elections officials to find another election-related use for the facility, including but not limited to voter registration and ballot receiving boards.”

The distinction in the first sentence is critical. Some NBA arenas are privately owned, allowing teams to easily offer them up as polling sites. Others are owned publicly, or by a mix of private entities, which makes use for elections slightly more complicated. Publicly owned arenas can still be used as voting sites, as will be the case with the AT&T Center, where the San Antonio Spurs play, but those decisions will be made by local officials. 

For now, let’s take stock of where the NBA’s initiative to turn arenas into voting sites stand. Which arenas have already announced plans to be converted into polling sites, which ones will likely join them, and which ones are owned by the public and out of the NBA’s hands. 

Teams to announce prior to joint NBA/NBPA statement

  • Atlanta Hawks. On June 29, the Hawks announced that State Farm Arena would be used for early voting for the Georgia General Primary Runoff Election between July 20-Aug. 11, and it will be used for the general election on Nov. 3 as well. 
  • Detroit Pistons. On July 1, the Pistons announced that their practice facility, the Henry Ford Pistons Performance Center, would serve as a polling place on Nov. 3. Additionally, they announced several other initiatives, including a voter registration page on and live voter registration events at the practice facility. 
  • Sacramento Kings. The Golden 1 Center will be open to voters for registration from Oct. 24 through Nov. 3 and will serve as a voting center on Election Day, the Kings announced on July 17. 
  • Washington Wizards. On Aug. 10, the Wizards announced that Capital One Arena would be used as a voting site, but details are still being determined. 
  • Houston Rockets. The Toyota Center will be open to registered voters from Oct. 13-30 and on Election Day, Nov. 3, the team announced on Aug. 27. 

Teams to announce since joint NBA/NBPA statement

  • Los Angeles Clippers. The Forum, which is owned privately after Steve Ballmer purchased it from Knicks owner James Dolan in May, will be available for voters from Oct. 24-Nov. 3 to either drop off mail-in ballots or vote in person, the Clippers announced. The Clippers do not play at the Forum. The Staples Center, where they and the Los Angeles Lakers play, is privately owned and operated, has not been announced as a voting site. 
  • New York Knicks. Madison Square Garden will be available for early voting from Oct. 24-Nov. 1 for over 60,000 registered New York voters assigned to it as a polling place, and will be open on Election Day itself from 6 a.m. through 9 p.m., ET, the Knicks announced
  • Indiana Pacers. Banker’s Life Field House will be available as a voting site from Oct. 24-Nov. 1, and on Election Day, Nov. 3, the Pacers announced
  • Utah Jazz. Vivint Smart Home Arena will serve as a voting site on Election Day, Nov. 3, the Jazz announced. In addition, three Larry H. Miller Multiplex Theaters in Utah will be used as voting sites as well. 
  • San Antonio Spurs. Bexar County Commissioner Justin Rodriguez revealed Friday that the AT&T Center will be used as a voting site. The team has not followed that up with a release of its own, but the arena is owned by Bexar County. 
  • Dallas Mavericks. The Mavericks announced that American Airlines Center will be used as a voting site as part of its “7 Days of Action” Initiative. 

Teams that have not made official announcements, but are expected to participate

  • Milwaukee Bucks. On July 1, Bucks owner Alex Lasry announced that the team would partner with LeBron James‘ More than a Vote initiative to make Fiserv Forum available as a voting site. The team itself has not made an official announcement since then, however. 
  • Golden State Warriors. The Chase Center is planning on serving as a voting site, but has not yet made an official announcement, according to The San Francisco Chronicle. An announcement is expected in the near future. 

Teams that play in publicly owned arenas

  • Memphis Grizzlies. The Grizzlies announced Friday that they had reached out to the Shelby County Election Commission about using FedEx Forum as a voting site, but were told instead to focus on driving voters to local precincts. 
  • Brooklyn Nets. Barclays Center is technically owned by the Brooklyn Arena Local Development Corporation, which leases the arena to Brooklyn Events Center, LLC, an entity owned by Nets owner Joe Tsai, for $1 per year. 
  • Phoenix Suns. Talking Stick Center is owned by the Phoenix City Council, and is currently being renovated, which will prevent it from being used as a voting site. 
  • Cleveland Cavaliers. Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse is owned by the Gateway Economic Development Corporation, a non-profit that also owns Progressive Field. 
  • Orlando Magic. Amway Center is owned by the Orlando City Council. 
  • Miami Heat. American Airlines Arena is owned by Miami-Dade County. 
  • Charlotte Hornets. Spectrum Center is owned by the Charlotte City Council. 
  • Minnesota Timberwolves. Target center is owned by the city of Minneapolis. 
  • Oklahoma City Thunder. Chesapeake Energy Arena is owned by Oklahoma City. 
  • New Orleans Pelicans. Smoothie King Center is owned by the state of Louisiana.

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