2020 election polls: Donald Trump and Joe Biden's key battleground state polling numbers

Matt Mathers
·5-min read
 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

President Donald Trump has a proverbial mountain to climb if he is to defeat his Democrat challenger Joe Biden at November's election.

The incumbent is behind by 9.2 percentage points in national polls and has just over a week to turn things around to avoid being a one-term president.

But as then-Democrat nominee Hilary Clinton found to her cost in the 2016 race, winning the popular vote does not always translate into an election victory.

Mr Trump's path to reelection has narrowed significantly over the past few months, but America's electoral college voting system means he still has a chance of victory.

Heading down the final stretch, both candidates will be focusing their campaigning efforts in a number of key swing or "battleground" state as they seek to secure the 270 electoral college votes needed to enter the White House.

Below is a breakdown of those pivotal states: the number of electoral college votes up for grabs for in each, how they voted in 2016 and what the polls are saying this time around. Polling numbers will be updated on a daily basis*.

Arizona

Electoral college votes: 11

2016 result: Trump win

What the polls say this year: Biden 48.7% v Trump 45.8%

Republicans have won the traditionally conservative state of Arizona every year since George W. Bush was elected president in 2000. Mr Trump won the state in 2016 but only secured some 90,000 more votes than the then-Democrat nominee, Hilary Clinton.

Women voters in Arizona have been deserting the president because of his aggressive approach to politics, while elder residents are unhappy with his handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Still, the polls suggest the race for Arizona will go down to the wire.

Florida

Electoral college votes: 29

2016 result: Trump win

What the polls say this year: Biden 49.1% v Trump 46.7%

Florida is one of the most important states on the electoral map. America's third-most populous state has been a toss-up over the past few decades, choosing Richard Nixon in 1972, Mr Clinton in 1996 and Obama in 2008 and 2016, before swinging back to the Republicans in 2016.

Again, Mr Trump's victory in the Sun Belt state was narrow - he secured just 100,000 more votes than Ms Clinton. If Mr Biden wins the state back for the Democrats, then it is difficult to see a path to victory for the president because of the large number of electoral college votes on offer in the state.

Georgia

Electoral college votes: 16

2016 result: Trump win

What the polls say this year: Biden 47.6% v Trump 47.3%

One of America's original colonies, Georgia has turned red every year since Mr Clinton swept to power in 1992. The Georgia contest is shaping up to be one of the closest in this year's election and polling shows the state currently on a knife-edge. A win for Mr Biden would almost certainly put him in the White House, although winning the state is not critical.

Michigan

Electoral college votes: 16

2016 result: Trump win

What the polls say this year: Biden 50.6% v Trump 42.7%

Mr Trump ended a two-decades-long Democrat stranglehold on Michigan with victory in 2016. But Mr Biden commands a strong lead in the Rust Belt state. The president visited the state on 26 October with a Make America Great Again rally in Washington, but it may have been too little too late. Mr Biden has held a considerable lead in Michigan since March.

Minnesota

Electoral college votes: 10

2016 result: Clinton win

What the polls say this year: Biden 50.7% v Trump 42.6%

Another Rust Belt state whose economic fortunes have suffered as a result of globalisation, Minnesota stuck with the Democrats in 2016 - but only just. Ms Clinton secured just over 40,000 more votes than her rival. Team Trump will be hoping for a win in Michigan this time around, putting an end to the Democrats domination of the upper midwest state.

North Carolina

Electoral college votes: 15

2016 result: Trump win

What the polls say this year: Biden 49.2% v Trump 46.6%

North Carolina has voted for a Republican candidate every since 1976 - except for 2008 when the state chose Barack Obama. Polling shows a tight race in the state, which has been heavily targetted by team Trump. The president has been scheduled to hold at least two more rallies in the state before election day.

Ohio

Electoral college votes: 18

2016 result: Trump win

What the polls say this year: Biden 46.5% v Trump 47.9%

Ohio has traditionally been a bellwether state and whoever emerges victorious in the state usually enters the White House. It is the only key battleground state where the pollsters give the president a lead over Mr Biden. Mr Obama won there in 2012 and 2012 as did Clinton before him in 1992 and 1996. Mr Biden will be hoping to win back the trust of voters whose livelihoods have been decimated by disappearing industrial jobs.

Pennsylvania

Electoral college votes: 20

2016 result: Trump win

What the polls say this year: Biden 50.3% v Trump 44.7%

Analysts say that Mr Biden's home state of Pennsylvania could be key in deciding the outcome of November's election. Both candidates themselves have told campaign rallies that whoever wins the northeastern state may well end up in the White House. Trump just about carried the state in 2016. He won by fewer than 10,000 more votes. Barring a major upset, it looks like Pennsylvanian's are set to choose one of their own.

Wisconsin

Electoral college votes: 10

2016 result: Trump win

What the polls say this year: Biden 50.9% v Trump 44.1%

Democrats failed to win Wisconsin for the first time since 1988 when George Bush defeated Democrat Michael Dukakis. Mr Trump secured victory in the Badger State with just over 20,000 more votes than Ms Clinton. Back in March, the two candidates were neck-and-neck on just over 46 percentage points. But Mr Biden edged in front around April and hasn't looked back since.