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Fox News Power Rankings: All eyes could be on Omaha this November

Former President Trump maintains his slight edge in the latest Fox News Power Rankings, which has Trump at 251 electoral college votes to President Biden’s 241.

The forecast continues to see the race coming down to four toss-up states: Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Arizona, and Nevada. 

Four other states, including Michigan, Minnesota, Georgia, and North Carolina are also highly competitive.

But there is a change in one state that could prove essential to a Trump victory.

Polling shows a close and steady race

Trump tops Biden by one point in the latest Fox News survey; a result well within the margin of error.

Most high-quality polling since the last forecast is showing the same result: a one or two point lead, either for Biden or Trump, within each poll’s margin of error.

It is too early to tell whether Trump’s conviction in a criminal trial over falsified business records will impact this race, though polling conducted by Marist in the week before the verdict suggests that it will not.

Trump is leading in the battleground states, and especially the closest Sun Belt states (Arizona, Georgia, and Nevada), with mid to high single-digit margins.

The race is closer in the Rust Belt states (Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin), where Trump’s leads are usually within one or two points.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr is still a wild card in this race. He received support from 17% of registered voters in a Marquette survey two weeks ago.

He pulls roughly the same amount of support from both sides in most polls, though Republican voters tend to view him more favorably.

Why Trump could win

Trump’s consistent leads are good news for the former president’s campaign.

He is making significant inroads with traditionally Democratic groups; particularly young, Hispanic, and Black voters.

As the new Fox News Power Rankings Issues Tracker reveals today, voters say Trump is the right man to handle the economy and the border, two out of the three leading issues in this election. Voters also say Trump is more mentally and physically fit to take on the job.

Biden has a more modest advantage on abortion policy, and voters say he is more honest than Trump.

Biden’s policy woes are unlikely to go away before November: prices are much higher under his administration, many more illegal immigrants will enter the country, and he will continue to age.

And while Democrats argue that voters are ‘just waking up’ to this election, this is the first rematch in 70 years. Voters are very familiar with these candidates and what they stand for.

Why Biden could win

On election night, the only math that matters is the race to 270 electoral college votes.

In an election with no surprises in other states, Biden can hold on to the presidency by keeping Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

There are also reasons to think that support for Biden among young and minority voters could strengthen as November approaches.

As Fox News polling analysis recently showed, ‘in April 2020, Biden was at 66% among Blacks and 52% among Hispanics. He ultimately won both groups with much wider percentages, 91% and 63%, respectively, according to the November 2020 Fox News Voter Analysis.’

Close elections also come down to turnout. 

Biden has strong support from college educated voters, who are a very reliable voting group, and he leads on abortion. 

That issue not only rates as a top deal-breaker issue in the latest Fox survey, but is highly likely to feature separately on the ballot in Arizona, which this forecast views as a toss-up state.

Nebraska’s 2nd district could be critical to a Trump victory

Biden can win another four years if he keeps the Rust Belt states and there are no other surprises.

What would a surprise look like? 

The most likely candidate is Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District.

If Biden keeps Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin and every other state he won in the 2020 election, the incumbent president will take home 270 electoral college votes. That is the minimum number of votes required to win the election outright.

One of the votes making up that 270 is Nebraska’s 2nd district.

(Maine and Nebraska are the only states that award electoral college votes both to the winner of the statewide vote, and the winner of the same vote but separated by congressional district.)

If Trump wins that district, then it’s a tied race at 269 electoral college votes each. 

Ties are resolved in the U.S. House, where each state gets one vote. If Republicans control the majority of seats in a state, then a Republican member will cast the vote for that state.

Assuming the electoral college votes in line with the results, and Republicans do not suffer massive losses in the House at the next election, and the voter for each Republican-led state supports Trump, then he would be the likely victor in an electoral college tie.

Nebraska’s 2nd district has voted for two Democratic and two Republican presidents in the last four elections:

  • In 2020, Biden won with 51.95% to Trump’s 45.45%.
  • In 2016, Trump won with 47.16% to Clinton’s 44.92%.
  • In 2012, Romney won with 52.85% to Obama’s 45.70%.
  • In 2008, Obama won with 49.97% to McCain’s 48.75%.

Omaha and its suburbs make up a significant part of the district’s population, and that city has a disproportionately high percentage of people with a college education, making the district the most favorable territory for Biden in a very Republican state.

Both parties are keeping an eye on this part of the state and this forecast expects them to invest heavily in it as November draws closer.

Nebraska’s 2nd district moves from Likely D to Lean D in this forecast.

This post appeared first on FOX NEWS