Making a prediction about whether Donald Trump or Joe Biden will win the election depends heavily on what the swing states do. Most polls suggest Biden will wrest the presidency away from Trump, but there is no guarantee.
What are the swing states?
The swing states remain a huge question mark in every Trump / Biden prediction right now. The swing states are those that don’t always vote either Democrat or Republican in presidential elections. Some states are essentially a lock for either party, like California and Illinois, which always vote Democrat.
Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina, Arizona, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Nevada, Georgia and Iowa have been swing states with close races over the last few presidential elections.
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This time around, there are a few states that are swing states even though historically, they haven’t been.
For example, Texas is traditionally a red state, but this time around, there are signs that it could go blue. That would be a huge loss for Trump because the state has the second-highest number of electoral votes after California. It would be very difficult for him to win if he loses Texas.
According to The Hill, the nonpartisan Cook Political Report moved Texas into the toss-up column. Further, Democrats argue that the state could go blue in this year’s election. RealClearPolitics’ poll shows Trump with a 2.3-point lead over Biden in Texas, while FiveThirtyEight shows a 1.3-point lead, so Texas could still go blue despite its red history.
On the other hand, a poll conducted by Dallas Morning News suggested Biden was ahead by three points.
Georgia is also turning out to be a bit of a surprise this year. At the beginning of the campaign, it would’ve been unthinkable that Trump would lose the state, but FiveThirtyEight and RealClearPolitics show Biden with slim leads over Trump there. His lead is within 1.7 points in both polls though, so Georgia could still go either way. The state hasn’t voted Democrat since 1992.
Both Trump and Biden are hitting the campaign trail in Georgia, highlighting its importance as a swing state. Biden was there this past week in both a rural part of the state and in Atlanta, while Trump is campaigning there over the weekend.
If Trump loses Georgia, it could also mean that the GOP won’t hold the Senate either because the state has two competitive Senate races there this year.
The Swing States Of Ohio and Iowa
Trump was the clear winner in Ohio and Iowa in 2016, beating Hillary Clinton by eight points in the former and nine points in the latter. However, this time around, the race between Trump and Biden is much closer, making these states swing states with difficulties making a prediction either way.
Of note, Ohio voted for Barack Obama and Biden in 2008 and 2012, so that’s one reason the state could go blue this year. Polls from RealClearPolitics and FiveThirtyEight both show Trump with a lead of only one percentage point over Biden. On the other hand, Quinnipiac University’s poll showed Biden leading Trump by five points.
Obama and Biden also won Iowa in 2008 and 2012, and this year it is a very close race. RealClearPolitics shows Biden ahead by 1.2 percentage points, while FiveThirtyEight shows him ahead by 0.3 points. Quinnipiac’s poll shows Trump leading by one point.