CNN Is Too Afraid to Update Its Election Projection Map

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AP Photo/Paul Sancya

It’s been over two months since CNN launched its inaugural “Road to 270” election projection map, in which the pro-Biden network conceded that Donald Trump had “enough states solidly in his corner or leaning in his direction to put him in a position to win the presidency again.”

According to the network, its Electoral College projection map is based on “public and private polling, conversations with campaign advisers, Republican and Democratic political operatives, members of Congress, and political professionals involved with outside groups poised to be active in the race.”

Here’s what their map showed in that projection. As you can see, Trump had 272 Electoral College votes, enough to win the presidency, even with three toss-up states (Arizona, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania) left unassigned:

Despite this project showing Biden heading for defeat, CNN tried to find a silver lining. “If Biden were to win all the current toss-ups, he’d still need to claw back at least one of the three states he won in 2020 (Georgia, Michigan, and Nevada) that are currently slightly leaning Trump’s way,” the network explained. “It is not difficult to imagine all three of those battleground states moving into the toss-up category once the campaign becomes more engaged.”

Now, in the two months since, one might think this map would be updated. After all, there’s been plenty of new polling. But, as of this post, CNN’s “Road to 270” hasn’t been touched. Everything is exactly the same. 

Yet, they know the map has gotten worse for Joe.

CNN’s Harry Enten noted on Saturday that Biden is “trailing by 5 points or more in the most recent polling from Arizona, Georgia and Nevada.”

You’ll notice in their inaugural projection that Arizona was still categorized as a toss-up. Frankly, I’m not sure why it was, because Trump has consistently been leading in the polls in Arizona since August, and his RealClearPolitics average lead is 5.5 points. 

Trump’s situation in Wisconsin has also gotten better. In fact, Biden hasn’t beaten Trump in Wisconsin in any poll taken this year, according to the wide array of polls tracked by FiveThirtyEight.

CNN still seems to know that Biden is in a very weak position right now.

“If Biden loses [Arizona, Georgia, and Nevada], he can still win if he carries every other contest he did in 2020 — that would help him finish 270-268 in electoral votes,” Enten observes. However, there’s a major problem with this scenario. “The problem for Biden is that he’s behind in Michigan. The average of polls over the past six months that meet CNN’s standards for publication has him down 4 points.”

 After pointing out that the polls show Trump leading “narrowly” in enough states to win the election, Enten reminds CNN’s dwindling audience that the election “isn’t being held today or tomorrow. It’s being held in about eight months.”

CNN seems to know that Biden’s situation has gotten worse since its first “Road to 270” map was released, but hasn’t made any changes to its map. At the very least, they should have moved Arizona to Trump’s column, giving him a total of 283 Electoral College votes to Biden’s 225, with the 29 Electoral College votes between Wisconsin and Pennsylvania still in the toss-up column.

So, what are they waiting for?

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