In late October of 2016, district-level polling was full of flashing red warning signs for Hillary Clinton: from northern Wisconsin to New York's Southern Tier and Michigan's Upper Peninsula, single-digit leads for Donald Trump in September had expanded to double digits in heavily white working-class areas. And although much of this party polling was never released publicly, it turned out to be prescient.
Fast forward to 2020: district-level polls are full of danger signs for Trump. In both parties' private surveys — used to make key resource allocation decisions — he's routinely underperforming his 2016 margins by eight to ten points, consistent with national polls. As a result, one well-placed GOP member told us this week "it would be a pleasant surprise if we only lost ten House seats."
There are a few exceptions to this underperformance: in heavily Hispanic districts in South Florida, South Texas and California's Central Valley, Trump is doing relatively well or even exceeding his 2016 numbers. But if anything, Trump's numbers are increasingly horrific in upscale suburban districts, including several he carried by double digits
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