The day of the decision

Polls show Joe Biden with edge over Donald Trump in key states

Polling shows Biden with leads in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin — three states that contributed to President Trump’s unexpected victory in 2016


Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is leading in most national and state-level polls one day before Election Day, leaving his supporters cautiously optimistic as they near the finish line. Polling shows Biden with leads in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin — three states that contributed to President Trump’s unexpected victory in 2016.

The former vice president is also making inroads in other battlegrounds like Florida, Texas, North Carolina, Ohio and Georgia. The FiveThirtyEight forecasting model gives Biden a 90-percent chance of winning the election, but Democrats say they aren’t relying heavily on the polls, eager to avoid another 2016 scenario where they appeared overconfident.

Liberal activist Michael Moore warned last week that Trump's support is being “undercounted,” saying people should be wary of polls showing Biden with a commanding lead.

Meanwhile, the Trump campaign is putting on a show of optimism, pointing to enthusiasm on the ground for Trump.

Here’s a look at where the race stands in the critical swing states.


Biden and Trump spent the weekend campaigning in the Keystone State. The president held four rallies in Newton, Reading, Butler and Montoursville on Saturday, while first lady Melania Trump visited Luzerne County. Biden held two events in Philadelphia on Sunday. He’ll continue his two-day blitz in the state on Monday, with Dr. Jill Biden. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), and her husband Doug Emoff also making stops for the Biden campaign.

The campaigns’ focus on the state reflects its importance four years after Trump it in 2016 by roughly a point. Biden is working to rebuild the Democrats’ blue wall, which used to include Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, through attracting white working class voters and galvanizing the Black voter. Trump, on the other hand, is working to appeal to the white working-class vote that put him over the top in 2016.

FiveThirtyEight calls Pennsylvania “the most likely tipping point state.” The forecaster says Biden has an 87-percent chance of winning the state. Biden also holds a lead in the state, according to a number of recent polls. An NBC News-Marist poll released on Monday shows Biden with a five-point lead over Trump there, 51 percent to 46 percent. The Real Clear Politics polling average shows Biden 4.3 percentage points over the president.

However, we won’t likely won’t know who won Pennsylvania until after Election Day due to the massive amount of early and mail-in votes that have already been cast.

“I expect the overwhelming majority of ballots in Pennsylvania, that’s mail-in absentee ballots, as well as in-person ballots, will be counted within a matter of days," Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar told NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday.


Michigan is another state where Biden is working to reclaim the Democrats’ blue wall. Biden campaigned in the state with his former boss President Barack Obama over the weekend in Flint and Detroit over the weekend.

Trump campaigned in the state on Monday, holding a rally in Traverse City.

Biden leads in most recent surveys, which show him from two to seven percentage points over the president. The Real Clear Politics average shows Biden leading by 5.1 percentage points. Moreover, most pollsters say Biden is the clear favorite to win Michigan barring any major polling error. FiveThirtyEight gives Biden a 95 percent chance of winning the state.


Trump flipped Wisconsin, another traditional Democratic stronghold, in 2016. Now, Democrats are intent on winning it back. They weren’t exactly optimistic about their chances in the Badger State at the beginning of the cycle, but the state appears to be in their grasp ahead of Election Day.

Multiple polls taken in October show Biden with a commanding lead in the state. The Real Clear Politics Average shows him with a 6.6-percent lead over Trump, while FiveThirtyEight gives Biden a 94 percent chance of winning the state.


Minnesota is another state that falls into the Rust Belt part of the Democratic blue wall. Though Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton won Minnesota in 2016, Trump came surprisingly close to flipping it, losing the state by roughly two points.

There has not been a lot of polling in Minnesota this election cycle. However, Biden and Trump have spent time campaigning in the North Star State, suggesting both campaigns view it as a tight race.

FiveThirtyEight shows Biden with a 96-percent shot at winning Minnesota, while the Real Clear Politics average shows the former vice president with a 4.3-percent lead over Trump in the state.


The Buckeye State has been considered a Trump stronghold, though it now appears to be in play for Democrats heading into Election Day.

Trump won the state by eight points in 2016, homing in on the state’s rural and white working-class population. Four years later, the Biden campaign sees an opening there, making visits and putting resources into the delegate-rich state.

The Real Clear Politics average shows Trump leading Biden just 1.4 percentage points in Ohio. However a Quinnipiac University survey released on Monday shows Biden leading Trump by 4 points, 47 to 43 percent.


The race in Florida appears to be tighter than in other states, giving the Trump campaign a potential opportunity in the longtime battleground state.

A Quinnipiac University poll released on Monday showed Biden up five points in Florida, 47 percent to 43 percent. The Real Clear Politics average shows the former vice president leading Trump by just 1.4 percentage points.

Democrats have raised concerns over the narrowing gap between early Democratic and Republican voters. Democrats hold a roughly 100,000-ballot lead over Republicans, which is closer than it was two weeks ago when Democrats led Republicans by 462,000 ballots.

In particular, the party has sounded the alarm over Biden’s support among Florida’s Latino community, which is not as strong as Hillary Clinton’s support was with the group in 2016.

An NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Telemundo poll released on Sunday found that 62 percent of Latino respondents backed Biden for president, compared to 29 percent who supported Trump.


Polling shows a narrow race unfolding in Arizona, where Biden leads by half a percentage point, according to the Real Clear Politics polling average.

Biden has held a slight lead in Arizona, according to most recent public polling, though his lead is within the margin of error.

An NBC News-Marist poll released on Monday showed both candidates tied in the Grand Canyon State at 48 percent among likely voters. Four percent of voters polled in the state said they were undecided or voting for another candidate.

Trump won the state by three points in 2016.

However, the Biden campaign expressed confidence in their chances in Arizona on Monday, citing the mail-in votes that have yet to be counted.

“In Arizona, a state that’s majority vote-by-mail, where we’ve seen nearly 80 percent of ballots cast already, Trump would need to get 60 percent of the remaining votes to win,” Biden campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon told reporters on Monday. “That includes vote-by-mail ballots in Maricopa County that haven’t been counted yet and we believe will significantly break for us.”


Clinton won Nevada by two points in 2016, though polling is scarce going into Election Day four years later.

The Real Clear Politics polling average shows Biden with a 3.6 polling average over Trump in the state. Additionally, an Emerson College poll released last week showed Biden with a two-point lead over Trump, 48 percent to 46 percent.

Historically, the state has gone back and forth in presidential election years, supporting former President George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004, and going for former President Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012.


The Tar Heel State is a critical state for Trump and one where he is neck-and-neck with Biden.

Trump leads Biden in the state by half a percentage point, according to the Real Clear Politics Polling average. An Emerson College poll released last week shows the candidates tied, while a recent Reuters/Ipsos poll shows Biden up by one percentage point.

Fifteen electoral votes are up for grabs in North Carolina. Trump won the state by three points in 2016.

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