New polling from CNN shows the Democratic Party's presumptive 2020 presidential nominee Joe Biden trailing President Donald Trump in crucial battleground states even as the former vice president continues to lead nationally — portending an ominous repeat of 2016.
"I hope everyone understands that Trump could lose the popular vote by an even bigger margin in November and still pull off the same narrow electoral college win," tweeted Vox writer David Roberts. "In fact, that seems the most likely outcome."
Roberts added that he was "really getting 'reliving the exact same nightmare all over again' vibes lately."
The poll results, which were released Wednesday, show Biden with a 51% to 46% voter preference lead over Trump nationally. But in 15 battleground states, Trump averages 52% over Biden's 45%.
According to CNN, the results also point to a worrying trend for Biden among younger voters in those states:
Though other recent polling has shown some signs of concern for Biden among younger voters and strength among older ones, few have pegged the race as this close among younger voters. The results suggest that younger voters in the battleground states are tilted in favor of Trump, a stark change from the last CNN poll in which battleground voters were analyzed in March, even as other demographic groups shifted to a smaller degree. Given the small sample size in that subset of voters, it is difficult to determine with certainty whether the movement is significant or a fluke of random sampling. Nationally, Biden holds a lead over Trump among voters age 65 and older, a group which has been tilted Republican in recent presidential elections.
To activist Peter Daou, the polling results indicate a fundamental weakness in the Democratic Party's standard bearer that should not be ignored. Daou said on Twitter that he was ridiculed for saying that Biden's weakness makes him worse than a non-name, standard Democrat to take on the president.
"Well, here we are with a crashing economy, tens of thousands dead, and Trump still potentially winning," said Daou.