Joe Biden has an advance of less than 10 percent nationally and surpasses Clinton in voting intentions in key states, but the current US president still has a chance to win a second term. The latest polls show that Biden is quoted with 51% of the popular vote, while Trump has 42%. The situation is quite similar to that of 2016, but Biden seems to have a greater advantage given that Trump lost votes in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. But Trump is pushing hard for acceleration in campaign marches and can cause surprises, especially in tight states.
The winner must obtain at least 270 votes out of 538 in the Electoral College, these votes counting in front of the popular vote.
USA Today analyzes the current state of the race and how the results can be decided in favor of one of the candidates according to the voting tendencies in the undecided or decisive states for tipping the balance. In addition, votes in some states are counted faster than in others, and the ratio between early and election day votes will also count. More than 74 million Americans have already voted, in person or by mail, and it is estimated that more than 150 million Americans will run in this year’s election.
The US president can be elected based on the votes of four groups of states.
The group of the 3 major states of the “Rust Belt”: Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin
The easiest way to victory for Biden is to win these 3 states in which Trump won by a narrow margin in 2016. At the same time, Biden needs victories in all of Hillary’s states in the previous elections.
Trump received less than 1% of the vote in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin in 2016 and would have to win at least one of them to be re-elected. Otherwise, it would depend on the return of a Hillary Clinton state.
Both campaigns focused on Pennsylvania as the decisive state, which also has the most voters, 20, with both candidates holding election marches this week.
Polls show the winner here is Biden, who leads with 5.3%. In Wisconsin, where in 2016 Trump had only 0.23%, Biden currently has 8.1%.
These 3 states will count the votes by mail only from election night or the next day, so the results come here at the latest.
Southern States Group Arizona, Florida, North Carolina
There are states where the results of postal voting could already be known on election night or the next day.
Biden leads easily in polls in them. Trump won them in 2016 at an average difference of less than 4 percent.
Biden becomes president if he wins Florida (29 voters) and one of the other two states plus all the states taken by Clinton. On the other hand, Trump would have had to win all the Midwestern states in the first group.
The reverse is true for Biden, if Trump gets the second group states.
Biden leads the polls as follows: Arizona (2.4%), Florida (1.5%), North Carolina (1.2%).
Trump’s percentages in 2016: Arizona (3.5%), Florida (1.2%), North Carolina (3.7%).
The group of states where Biden is less likely
In 2016, Trump won in Iowa, Ohio, Georgia and Texas by a wider margin than in the southern key states listed above. Here the race is a little tighter, and Trump needs to keep these states on his side to win. Biden, on the other hand, can win without these states.
Much of the vote could already be counted on election night, and the results gathered here could be a sign of trouble for Trump everywhere.
Biden leads in Iowa (2.4%) and Georgia (1.5%), while Trump has a lead in Ohio (0.6%) and Texas (3%).
In 2016, things were quite different for Trump: Iowa (3.5%), Georgia (0.4%), Ohio (3.7%), Texas (9%).
The group of states that Trump hopes to take from Clinton
The key states of Minnesota, Nevada and New Hampshire were won by Clinton in 2016 and are the biggest variable in the election. Trump has improved his numbers in the first two, but Biden leads in all three polls, surpassing Clinton at least in voting intentions.
Trump increased the number of paid commercials on television in Minnesota and gave Biden an election blow after he spoke about the transition of the oil industry to greener forms of energy.
If Trump took Minnesota, he would upset the calculations in the Midwest and make up for a potential failure in Wisconsin or Michigan. But New Hampshire could be unattainable for the American president: here Biden has 11% of the voting intentions.
In the other two key states in the group, Biden has half the votes: Minnesota (6%), Nevada (5.2%).