On Wednesday, writing for The Washington Post, conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin detailed how new polling shows a "nightmare" for Trump — both in states that are an essential part of the GOP coalition, and in "blue wall" states Trump managed to peel off in 2016.
"Public polling for the presidential election shows tight races, with former vice president Joe Biden ahead in North Carolina (1 percentage point), Florida (2.4), Texas (about 1 point) and President Trump ahead in Georgia (by less than 2 points)," wrote Rubin. "He is performing much worse than any GOP nominee since 1976. (It would be as if Biden had not nailed down Connecticut.) In Georgia, a Republican has not done this poorly since 1992. For Trump to be struggling with what should be slam-dunk states at this stage in the race is a sign for him and his supporters that something is really wrong."
All of this is bad enough for Trump, Rubin wrote, but the real problem is that he can't even match his performance in the Midwest states he carried in 2016.
"The states that are not really close at all are Michigan and Wisconsin, where Biden leads by averages of 7.5 and 6.8 percentage points, respectively," wrote Rubin. "If Biden wins those states, as seems increasingly likely, even after Trump’s racial scare-mongering in Kenosha, Wis., he would need only one of the following to win (assuming everything else falls as it did in 2016): Pennsylvania (where Biden is up by nearly 5 points); Arizona (where Biden is up by about 5 points); plus a single delegate from Nebraska’s second congressional district; Florida; North Carolina; or Georgia."
"Can Trump come back from significant deficits in two states that nearly seal his fate? Theoretically yes, but it’s far from clear how he would pull this off," wrote Rubin. "Moreover, early voting starts Sept. 24 in Michigan. In Wisconsin, absentee ballots go out Thursday, and in-person early voting starts Oct. 20. Trump is running out of time."
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