President Trump's rocky road to reelection
President Trump has a difficult electoral map to overcome if he expects to win reelection to a second term, though I will certainly not say that it's impossible. The RealClearPolitics poll averages has Trump mostly down against Biden in the states that are in play, but he's not as down against Biden as he was at this same time against Clinton.
That said, it will still be quite the upset if he's able to win again, in my opinion. In 2016 Trump won Michigan's 16 electoral votes and 1 electoral vote from Maine, a feat that he is, at best, unlikely to achieve again in 2020. 2016 taught me humility in making political predictions, but let's assume for the sake of argument that Biden will win Michigan's and all of Maine's electoral votes. This is fine for Trump, as he can still win without them well enough.
Arizona has been a Republican stronghold for a long time, but it seems to be somewhat in play in this election as Biden is currently leading Trump in the polling. Trump can still win without Arizona, but it gets far more difficult without those 11 electoral votes. Let's assume he wins Arizona, however.
Trump won Iowa's 6 electoral votes in 2016, and he's currently polling ahead of Biden in that state so he may be able to rely on them again in 2020. Either way it won't break his reelection chances, but let's follow the polling on this one and give it to Trump.
So we've given Michigan and all of Maine to Biden, and Iowa and Arizona to Trump, which leaves the only states still in play as Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Florida. This puts Biden at 249 electoral votes and Trump at 197.
Trump and Biden are effectively tied in the polling in North Carolina, but let's give North Carolina's electoral votes to Trump boosting him to 212.
It will be interesting to see how Wisconsin goes, as Biden is currently polling ahead of Trump, but I think it's possible that the recent shooting of Jacob Blake by police and the riots and violence that ensued as a result might tip that state back to Trump. When people are afraid they want security, and Trump is perceived as the "law and order" candidate over Biden by far. Biden and the Democrats have done a terrible job striking a balance between support of peaceful Black Lives Matter protests and the more violent factions that have sprung up across the country. Let's give Wisconsin's 10 electoral votes to Trump putting him at 222 to Biden's 249.
Between Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida I have no reason to suspect that Trump will pull off the upset in any of them. He's currently trailing Biden in all three states and winning any two of them, given our previous assumptions, would make Biden the 46th President of the United States. As I said before, however, Trump is trailing Biden in these states by less than he was trailing Clinton in them at the same time in 2016, and he went on to win them all. Anything is possible, in other words.
If Trump happens to win Ohio and Florida, however, while Biden wins Pennsylvania, again, with our previous assumptions, then the two of them will tie at 269 electoral votes apiece. This will send the election to the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives which will, presumably, elect Joe Biden over Donald Trump. I would say this is an unlikely outcome, but more plausible than usual.
The most important state, however, is Florida. If Biden wins Florida then he wins outright no matter what other states Trump might win, unless we assume that Trump is able to keep Michigan or to win a state, such as Virginia, that Hillary Clinton won in 2016, which I think is more unlikely than him simply winning Florida again. If Biden wins Florida while Trump wins Ohio and Pennsylvania then Biden wins with 278 electoral votes to Trump's 260.
The polling, as it stands now, however, indicates that Biden will win in a landslide with 337 electoral votes to Trump's 201. The point I'm trying to make here is that Trump needs what would amount to several miracles to happen in his favor to win reelection, whereas Biden can weather many states going poorly for him and basically just Florida going right and still come out with the win. Obviously it happened for Trump in 2016 so it could happen again, but Biden is a much stronger candidate than Clinton was so it would, at least in my opinion, be even more miraculous if Trump is able to pull off the win against Biden.
I'm not making any predictions here, but merely pointing out that, as things stand right now, this is Biden's race to lose. Anything could happen between late August to early November to cause this election to turn on a dime in Trump's favor, or he could simply pull off another amazing upset, but right now the Trump campaign cannot be happy with what they're seeing. They just pulled off what seems to have been a fairly well received Republican National Convention, whereas the Democratic National Convention didn't seem to do much for Biden at all, so we'll see what comes of that, but it's still looking grim for 45.