Biden Is Sitting Pretty in Key States…For Now

Donald Trump’s polling problems are well-chronicled. Some polls have him down by as many as 14 points to Joe Biden nationally as the president desperately tries to separate himself from the pandemic and meet the former Vice President on a debate stage. Even more telling than national polls, though, are polls in key swing states, which are leaning more heavily toward Biden.

The Cook Political Report has “a pretty good track record of identifying an election’s bellwether states”—in other words, the states that indicate how the election will turn out. Their March report identified six swing states based on 2016 results and 2020 factors. Lost in the shuffle of 2016 election analysis is how narrowly Trump won many of these states—in four states that helped decide the election, the president prevailed by less than one percent. Biden’s not looking good in just swing states, either—in Georgia and Texas, which Cook identifies as leaning Republican (and both of which Trump won handily in 2016), Biden is polling within less than two percentage points.

Here’s a brief rundown of the six swing and Republican-leaning states identified by Cook, with current polling averages from Real Clear Politics.

Swing States

Arizona

2016 Result: Trump +3.5
2020 Head-to-Head Polling: Biden +3.7
Electoral Votes: 11

Florida

2016 Result: Trump +1.2
2020 Head-to-Head Polling: Biden +6.2
Electoral Votes: 29

Michigan

2016 Result: Trump +0.3
2020 Head-to-Head Polling: Biden +7.8
Electoral Votes: 16

North Carolina

2016 Result: Trump +3.7
2020 Head-to-Head Polling: Biden +4.5
Electoral Votes: 15

Pennsylvania

2016 Result: Trump +0.7
2020 Head-to-Head Polling: Biden +6.0
Electoral Votes: 20

Wisconsin

2016 Result: Trump +0.7
2020 Head-to-Head Polling: Biden +5.0
Electoral Votes: 10

 

Lean Republican States

 

Georgia

2016 Result: Trump +5.1
2020 Head-to-Head Polling: Trump +1.6
Electoral Votes: 16

Texas

2016 Result: Trump +9.0
2020 Head-to-Head Polling: Trump +0.2
Electoral Votes: 38

Essentially all polling numbers are in flux less than a week into August. Things can change instantly and polling from a given week or month can become irrelevant as campaigns and real world events continue on. Still, there’s no denying that Biden is in a solid position in several important states—and, more importantly, doesn’t carry the negative associations fairly or unfairly attached to Hillary Clinton. Combined with the confluence of public health and economic crises directly tied to Trump (as well as four years of general Trump fatigue), Biden is in a good spot…for now.

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