US Polls: How Numbers Show Joe Biden Remains Favourite Contender

Pennsylvania is the most likely “tipping-point” state that could put either Trump or Biden on top.

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US Presidential Elections 2020: US President Donald Trump and former Vice-President Joe Biden.
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Two days before Wednesday’s US election (AEDT), the FiveThirtyEight national aggregate gives Joe Biden an 8.6 percent lead over Donald Trump (52.0 percent to 43.4 percent). In the key states, Biden leads by 8.3 percent in Wisconsin, 8.2 percent in Michigan, 4.8 percent in Pennsylvania, 3.1 percent in Arizona and 2.2 percent in Florida.

Biden’s lead in Pennsylvania is almost four points below his national lead, and that gives Trump hope of pulling off an Electoral College/Popular Vote split, as occurred at the 2016 election. Pennsylvania is the most likely the “tipping-point” state that could put either Trump or Biden over the magic 270 Electoral Votes.

If Biden loses Pennsylvania, but wins Michigan, Wisconsin and Arizona, he would have 269 Electoral Votes, one short of 270. Either Maine’s or Nebraska’s second Congressional District could, in that scenario, give Biden the narrowest of Electoral College wins. These states award one Electoral Vote to the winner of each of their districts, and two to the statewide winner. All other states are winner-takes-all.

In 2016, Hillary Clinton lost the tipping-point state (Wisconsin) by 0.8 percent, while winning the Popular Vote by 2.1 percent – a difference between the tipping-point and Popular Vote of 2.9 percent.

Analyst Nate Silver says that while Trump can plausibly win, he would need the polls to be wrong by far more than in 2016. At this stage in 2016, the FiveThirtyEight forecast gave Trump a 35 percent chance; he currently has just a 10 percent chance. Trump only has a 3 percent chance to win the popular vote.

Trump had one very good poll result from a high-quality pollster: a Selzer Iowa poll gave him a seven-point lead in that state. But most high-quality polls have been far better for Biden: Siena polls for The New York Times gave Biden a six-point lead in Arizona and Pennsylvania, a three-point lead in Florida and an 11-point lead in Wisconsin.

In FiveThirtyEight aggregates, Biden leads by 2.0 percent in North Carolina and 1.5 percent in Georgia. He trails by 0.3 percent in Ohio, 1.2 percent in Texas and 1.7 percent in Iowa.

If Biden won all these states, he would win over 400 Electoral Votes. Florida is now in this group of states when it had previously been better for Biden.

Trump’s net job approval ratings have jumped three points since last week. In the FiveThirtyEight aggregate, his net approval with all polls is -8.5 percent, and -7.0 percent with polls of likely or registered voters. The RealClearPolitics average has Biden’s net favourability at +7, while Trump’s is -13.

I wrote for The Poll Bludger on October 22 that there are two key measures, where Biden is doing far better than Clinton. First, Biden is over 50% in national polls, which Clinton never achieved. Second, he has a net positive favourability rating, whereas both Clinton and Trump were very unpopular in 2016.

The US election results will come through on Wednesday from 10 am AEDT. You can read my wrap for The Poll Bludger of when polls close in the key states and results are expected. A key early results state is Florida; most polls close at 11 am AEDT, but the very right-wing Panhandle closes an hour later.

In the FiveThirtyEight Classic Senate forecast, Democrats now have a 79 percent chance to win control. The most likely outcome is a 52-48 Democratic majority. The 80 percent confidence range is 48 to 56 Democratic seats.

Labor Set for Increased Queensland Majority

With 68 percent of enrolled voters counted at Saturday’s Queensland election, the ABC is calling Labor wins in 50 of the 93 seats. The LNP has won 30 seats, all Others seven, and six seats are in doubt. Labor won 48 seats at the 2017 election, so they have already improved on that.

Current statewide primary votes are 40.2 percent Labor (up 4.8 percent since 2017), 35.8 percent LNP (up 2.1 percent), 9.0 percent Greens (down 1.0 percent), 7.0 percent One Nation (down 6.8 percent), 2.6% Katter’s Australian Party (up 0.3 percent) and a paltry 0.6 percent for Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party.

In Saturday night’s article, I wrote that the Greens could win four seats. They won Maiwar and South Brisbane, and appeared to have good chances in Cooper and McConnel. However, postal counting has pushed the Greens into third in both Cooper and McConnel, and they are now too far behind the LNP in both seats to realistically hope to overtake. Labor will win these seats on Greens preferences.

(This is an opinion piece and the views expressed above are the author’s own. The Quint neither endorses nor is responsible for the same. This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article here.)

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