There is very little in American politics that is as binary as most partisans tend to see things. Which is why the recent uptick in President Biden's poll numbers may not be all it seems to Democrats.

Biden’s party certainly can take heart that he has virtually erased the polling deficit he had been running nationally against former President Trump. The incumbent had fallen as far as 4.3 percentage points behind in RealClearPolitics’ average of national polls on Jan. 25. Now the Trump edge is down to a mere two-tenths of a percentage point in the two-way matchup (Trump 45.6 percent, Biden 45.4 percent).

But with the election still nearly seven months away (though early voting in some states starts in mid-September), serious election watchers would be better advised to focus more on matchups in the key battleground states and less on national polls. That’s where Biden’s prospects remain spotty.

Given the current configuration of American politics, with less-populated Republican states having an outsized influence in the Electoral College while Democrats "waste" a huge number of votes running up the

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