The presidential election is next week- here’s where the candidates stand in the polls

An overview of the electoral college results in the 2016 presidential election. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The presidential election is next week on Nov. 3. At this point in the campaign season, 58.6 million voters have cast a ballot in the election, officially surpassing the number of people who voted early in 2016 according to the Associated Press. With the volatility of the Coronavirus and the general anxiety surrounding the outcome of the election, accurate polling is more important than ever. Here’s what the nation’s top pollsters say about where the candidates are in the polls.

National polls

Nationally, Biden has maintained a clear lead over Trump throughout the election cycle, and currently leads in the RealClearPolitics national polling average by 7.8 points. Only one poll in the last two weeks has Trump ahead, a Rasmussen poll that has him leading by one point. In every other poll, except one, Biden leads Trump by seven points or more.

State polls

Biden maintains leads over Trump in several key swing states, and remains within competitive margins in several others. Biden leads Trump by 4.8 points in the Pennsylvania RCP average, with the only poll favoring Trump in the last seven days, showing him leading by two points, with 400 likely voters surveyed and a 4.9 point margin of error. In Wisconsin, Trump hasn’t been ahead in a poll since August, with Biden maintaining an RCP average of 5.5 points.  Biden is also leading in Michigan, with an RCP average of nine points ahead of Trump, Virginia, where an average of the most recent polls has him leading by 10.3 points, and Arizona, where Biden is ahead by an average of 2.4 points.

Trump is more competitive in the remaining swing states. Biden leads Trump in the Florida RCP average by 1.8 points and maintains a lead over Trump in four of the last five polls. He also leads Trump in North Carolina with an RCP average of 1.2 points, with 3 out of five recent polls favoring him, and is barely leading in Iowa with only 0.8 points in the RCP average. Trump is winning Ohio by 0.6 and Georgia by 0.4 points in the states RCP average. It is worth noting that no Republican candidate has ever won the presidency without winning Ohio.

Conclusion

It is undeniable right now that Biden is favored to win the election. Fivethirtyeight.com, a website that calculates the odds of elections by creating aggregates of polls, gives Biden a 87% chance to win the election. If the polls in all states hold true until election day, Biden would win the election with 334 electoral votes. Even if Biden lost one or two states he is currently polling well in (such as Florida and Arizona, for example) he would still have a comfortable lead in the electoral college. Polling can always change, of course, so expect a bit of variance going in to the election next week.

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Brendan Janostin

Brendan Janostin is a Mass Communications major with with a focus on Journalism and a minor in Political Science.  Currently, he is the news editor of the University Chronicle.  He enjoys fighting games, Star Trek, political analysis, and watching bad movies with his friends.

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