US Election 2020

USA election 2020 odds: what’s happening in the polls?

Democrat Joe Biden maintains a solid lead against incumbent president Donald Trump on Saturday September 26, up by 7.3 percentage points nationwide.

USA Election 2020 odds: what’s happening in the polls?
MIKE SEGAR REUTERS

The latest polling numbers currently paint a positive picture for Joe Biden nationwide. However these numbers should be taken with a pinch of salt. In 2016, Hillary Clinton was 14 percentage points ahead of Trump, after which she won the popular vote by over 3 million vote but still lost the electoral college and therefore the election.

Biden stays strong across polls in swing states

According to The Guardian’s analysis of eight key swing states, Biden is ahead of Trump in seven of them. Only in Iowa is the President ahead of his challenger, narrowly beating Biden by 0.4pp.

In Florida, which holds the key to an enormous 29 electoral college seats, currently Biden is said to be in the lead by 1.6pp. Trump won the southern state in 2016, but the two elections prior to that saw Florida dominated by Democratic candidates. Florida has a diverse population, comprising a large older demographic as well as high proportion of Hispanic residents (around 23%).

In Wisconsin, a Democratic stronghold since 1988 until Trump turned it red by a narrow margin in 2016, Biden is now leading by 7.3 percentage points. Similarly in Michigan where 15 electoral votes are at stake, Trump trails 7.1pp behind his challenger. Trump’s Michigan win was flimsy in 2016 (0.3pp).

Ohio is currently much closer to call, with Biden only in the lead here by 1.0pp. In 2016, Trump won the state by 8.1pp which presents a tough challenge for Democrats, who will be relying on a high turnout among black voters to boost their chances. North Carolina appears to be similarly neck-and-neck, with Biden currently showing a lead by on 1.5pp.

A Republican stronghold in the past four elections, in Arizona Biden is making headway with a 3.7pp lead in the latest poll on September 22. Joe Biden is also currently shown to be almost 5.0pp ahead of the former reality TV star in Pennsylvania.

Donald Trump: Closing the gap?

Since January 2020, the landscape for the national polls has changed dramatically. At the start of the year polls showed Biden in the lead by only 2 percentage points. Everything has changed since the pandemic and the ensuing economic crisis hit the country. In July 2020, Trump was trailing behind Biden by 15 percentage points according to a Washington Post – ABC news poll.

Now that Trump is gradually closing that gap, and following recent revelations on Trump’s tax bill, it appears that anything could happen by election day, November 3.