Lately, pollsters and pundits have been nervously pondering the following question: “If Trump is behind in the polls, why do most voters say, in the same surveys, that he will win the upcoming election?” As Harry Enten recently noted at CNN, “An average of recent polls finds that a majority of voters (about 55%) believe that Trump will defeat Biden in the election. Trump’s edge on this question has remained fairly consistent over time.” This is far more than mere statistical curiosity by number nerds. Several peer-reviewed studies have shown that surveys of voter expectations are far more predictive of election outcomes than polls of voter intentions.
Voter expectations concerning who would win a given election were consistently more predictive than surveys using only conventional polling questions.
The polls that appear to portend a one-term presidency for Trump actually predict that the president will trounce Biden badly this November.