Former Vice President Joe Biden currently leads Republican incumbent President Donald Trump by a handsome margin with less than a month remaining before the Nov. 3 election.
However, the memory of 2016’s stunning win by Trump, over Democrat Hillary Clinton despite her lead in the polls have investors, poll watchers and regular Americans hesitant to call this race a done deal for Biden.
To be sure, Clinton did win the popular vote by over 2%, but ultimately, Trump received 304 electoral college votes and Clinton 227, after two electors defected from Trump and five defected from Clinton.
One analyst notes though that a win by Trump, despite Biden’s large lead in current polling, would represent one of the biggest errors in polling history in the modern era .
Deutsche Bank strategist Jim Reid in a Wednesday note writes that the largest polling error thus far in modern history was Democrat President Harry S. Truman’s apparent upset victory over then New York Gov. Thomas E. Dewey, a Republican, in the 1948 race that often recalls the erroneous headline in the Chicago Daily Tribune the following day that read “Dewey Defeats Truman.”
Truman won that race by 5 percentage points despite lagging behind in final polls leading up to Election Day by 4.4 percentage points, Reid writes (see included chart).
A Trump victory, however, would be a decidedly greater error in polls.
“A Truman style error in the polls may give Mr Trump a chance given the electoral college system, but the reality is that – unless the polls narrow into election day – a Trump victory would be the biggest error in our modern era of mass polling,” the Deutsch Bank analyst writes.