Home » Biden’s Debate Blunder Shifts Michigan and Minnesota Toward Trump

Biden’s Debate Blunder Shifts Michigan and Minnesota Toward Trump

by Richard A Reagan

President Joe Biden’s widely criticized debate performance has caused a significant shift in the electoral landscape, moving Michigan and Minnesota in favor of former President Donald Trump.

Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics has adjusted its ratings, citing Biden’s performance as the primary reason.

Kyle Kondik, managing editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball, noted that Minnesota, previously categorized as “likely Democratic,” has now been downgraded to “leans Democratic,” while Michigan has transitioned from “leans Democratic” to a “toss-up” status.

“In agreeing to the earliest-ever general election presidential debate, President Joe Biden sought to change the focus of this election from a referendum on himself to a choice between him and a flawed rival, former President Donald Trump,” Kondik noted. “Needless to say, not only did Biden fail in this objective, but he exacerbated perhaps his biggest weakness — a widely-held belief that he is simply too old and diminished to lead the nation for another four years.”

Prior to the debate, polls already indicated a tightening race in these key states. In Minnesota, a Hill-Emerson poll released a week before the debate showed Trump and Biden in a virtual tie. 

Trump lost Minnesota by roughly 1.5% in 2016 and by approximately 7.1% in 2020. In Michigan, the RealClearPolitics polling average recently showed Trump with a 1.2% lead over Biden, a state Trump won in 2016 but lost in 2020.

Kondik’s analysis explains the importance of Michigan to Biden’s re-election strategy. “Just to be clear, Biden has zero plausible paths to the White House without Michigan,” he stated.

This sentiment is echoed by many within the Democratic Party, who are increasingly anxious about Biden’s ability to secure the necessary electoral votes.

With the updated ratings, 251 electoral votes are now rated anywhere from leans to safe Republican, compared to 226 electoral votes rated anywhere from leans to safe Democratic, with the remaining 61 electoral votes categorized as “toss-up.” A candidate needs 270 electoral votes to win the presidency.

The fallout from Biden’s debate performance extends beyond Michigan and Minnesota. Internal Democratic polling, as reported by Puck News, shows Biden taking significant hits across the board, trailing Trump even in traditionally Democratic states like New Mexico and Virginia.

This has sparked calls from some Democrats for Biden to reconsider his candidacy, fearing a repeat of his debate debacle.

Kondik further commented on the situation, noting that Biden’s ability to rebound from this poor performance is crucial. “What Biden needs to do is show that the debate was a fluke, not a reflection of day-to-day reality. He can only do that by turning in better performances in unscripted settings — performances he may not be able to produce.”

As Biden faces mounting pressure to demonstrate his capability, Trump capitalizes on the momentum gained from Biden’s missteps.

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