The race next door – #1

(Every two weeks, until the US presidential election in November, I’ll post a new piece on some aspect of what’s happening in the US. Much of it will be about polls, some of it will be about advertising, some of it will be about issues and debates. ) Follow #RaceNextDoor

States that count

Who will win will almost certainly depend on what happens in a combination of seven so-called swing states: Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, Arizona, Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina or Georgia.

If you live in these states, you’re lucky to get a lot of attention from the candidates. In 2020, turnout was above the national average — as both campaigns poured money into those states.

Across America, Biden collected 81.3 million votes, which was a record for a presidential candidate. Trump won 74.2 million. But while a gap of 7 million votes seems enough for a comfortable victory, the swing state picture was a lot closer.

Trump won 17.6 million votes in the Lucky Seven states, compared to 17.4 million for Biden.

But Trump only prevailed in two of the states, with 33 electoral college votes. Biden won the other five states with 57 electoral college votes.

When the election dust settled, Biden had a total of 306 electoral college votes, compared to Trump’s 232. If the five states that Biden won last time went to Trump this time, and all else remained the same, Biden would come out on the short end: 249 to Trump’s 289.

Trump has more than even a chance of living to 47e American president

What do we know about what these states look like today?

In the states Trump carried in 2020, he leads in the most recently published polls.

Ohio: Trump won by 8% in 2020. Trump is up by 11 or 12 points.

North Carolina: Trump won by 1% in 2020 and leads by about 5%.

What about the states where Biden prevailed?

GeorgiaBiden won in 2020 by 0.24%. Trump has led all recent polls, by a fairly wide margin.

Michigan: A 2.83% win over Biden in 2020. Trump has led in 4 of the last 5 published polls.

Pennsylvania: Biden won by 1.18% in 2020. Trump has led in 3 of the last 5 polls, with narrow margins.

Arizona: Biden won by 0.31%. Trump has taken the lead in three of the last five polls, by very narrow margins.

Wisconsin: Biden won by 0.64% in 2020. In the last five polls, Trump leads in three polls, Biden is one and tied at one.

Neither candidate can feel confident at this point. Spending has been small so far and billions of dollars will be deployed. By all accounts, the Democrats have more money and the Republicans have big legal bills. One candidate sits in the Oval Office, the other in a courtroom and is described as a cheat, liar and fraudster.

But despite that, it looks like Trump will lose the race.

Biden won 51.3% four years ago, compared to Trump’s 46.8%. The last five national polls show Biden and Trump tied. If Biden only ties Trump in the national polls, he will likely lose the Electoral College.

If Ohio and Georgia remain comfortably in Trump’s column, this race will come down to what happens in just five states: Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona and North Carolina. In 2020, the gap between Trump and Biden in those five states was a minuscule .2% of all votes cast in the United States.

To call it a nail-biter would be an understatement.