The U.S. presidential election on Tuesday is likely to be decided in five key states: Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia and Florida. Democrats hope to avoid a repeat of 2016, as votes in only three states swung in the election. Jowharlooks at the dynamics of the game in these battlefields.
Republican President Donald Trump famously won the 2016 presidential election by carving out a narrow path to victory, in part by reversing the faithful Democratic “blue wall” states of Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania – states that Democrats thought they could count on.
Thus, he won the Electoral College despite losing the national referendum. The American “winner takes all” system made his narrow victories in these three states crucial – of the estimated 120 million votes cast in 2016, just over 100,000 voted in the election.
Here’s a look at five of the key states at stake in the 2020 White House race.
The birthplace of Democratic candidate Joe Biden, Pennsylvania, is the largest of the three former “blue wall” states in conflict. Philadelphia and Pittsburgh tend to vote Democrats by large margins, while rural leans heavily toward Republicans.
Historically, Democrats have tended to exclude the GOP among the state’s white working-class voters. As was the case in many traditionally democratic areas outside of big cities, Ronald Reagan won many of these voters – the so-called “Reagan Democrats” – in his 49-state 1984 landslide. His successor, George HW Bush, preserved them largely four years later. But from Bill Clinton’s victory in 1992 through Barack Obama’s re-election in 2012, Democrats won enough of this white working – class swing vote to keep Pennsylvania in their column every time.
That changed in the 2016 election. Trump won by a record number in rural, conservative areas, while largely reversing white working-class areas of the Democrats – such as the Erie and Lucerne counties, both post-industrial “rust belt” areas.
If one is to believe the polls, this time will probably be different. Biden has a 4-point lead in Pennsylvania according to a total number of polls published by Real Clear Politics on Sunday. The numbers in the suburb of Philadelphia – the kind of upper-middle-class area that formed an important part of Reagan’s and Richard Nixon’s GOP coalitions – look particularly bad for Trump: an NBC / Marist poll in September showed that Biden led there by a full 28 points.
However, some data suggest that such polls, after incorrectly predicting a Clinton victory in 2016, could be misleading. When Pennsylvania voters were asked who would win the state in a vote in Monmouth in July, Trump came in with 1 point at the top. In the same poll, 57 percent said they believed there were “secret” Trump voters in the area.
The schedules of both campaigns during the final days of the race show that they consider the state vital. Trump held four rallies in Pennsylvania on Saturday and returns Monday, the last day of the campaign. Biden has an event scheduled for Philadelphia Sunday. The Biden campaign has said he and comrade Kamala Harris will campaign in “all four corners” of the state on Monday.
Michigan has many of the same dynamics at stake as Pennsylvania, especially as many white working-class Reagan supporters switch to Democrats – putting the state in their column in every presidential election from 1992 to 2012 – until a return to the GOP helped Trump carry the state in 2016 .
Again, polls suggest Biden will once again make the state blue: the average for Real Clear Politics has him 7 points ahead. He appears to be in a stronger position with the Democratic base in Michigan than Hillary Clinton was last time: Biden beat Bernie Sanders decisively in the primary, while the left-leaning Vermont senator won a surprise victory over Clinton in 2016. An EPIC- The MRA vote in June put Biden as much as 16 points ahead of Trump.
Democratic congresswoman Debbie Dingle of Michigan – who warned the Clinton campaign that she was in trouble there in 2016, however, told The Atlantic that the latter poll was “bullshit”. She said she “saw many Trump signs starting to appear”. Nevertheless, Dingle has also said that Biden is in a better position than Clinton was “because Joe connects with working people”, noting that “many people took [it] to the heart when Hillary used the word “regrettable” “to describe Trump supporters and felt she was” looking down on “them.
As in Pennsylvania, both 2020 campaign plans have underscored the importance of the swing state. Biden held a demonstration there on Saturday with former President Barack Obama. Trump held a “Make America Great Again Victory Rally” in Michigan on Friday. The city’s wife Jill and Trump’s children Eric and Tiffany all campaign there on Thursday.
In 2016, Trump became the first Republican presidential candidate to win Wisconsin since Reagan and his famed 1984 victory. Again, it was winning white working-class voters who had long voted Democrat, and that was at the heart of Trump’s success. As a reflection of the situation throughout the United States, the Republican base is concentrated in rural areas, while the Democratic strongholds are urban, including Wisconsin’s largest city, Milwaukee, and the liberal university city and capital of Madison.
Opinion polls have suggested that voters in affluent suburbs around major U.S. cities appear to be ditching Trump. But some studies suggest the central Milwaukee suburbs may be an exception, with a Marquette Law School poll released in early September putting Trump 10 points ahead.
In 2016, Trump campaigned in Wisconsin five times after party conventions. In contrast, Hillary Clinton did not fight in the state at all during the same period; she subsequently described her campaign as being “surprised” there.
Overall, the average Real Clear Politics Biden gives a 6-point lead in Wisconsin. Trump and Biden both campaigned there on Friday – the latest of several trips both candidates have made to the state this year.
No Democrat has won Georgia in a presidential election since Bill Clinton in 1992. But the GOP’s dominance over the state has loosened: A Democratic candidate turned Georgia’s 6th Congress district by a narrow margin in the 2018 midterm elections.
Composed largely of green Atlanta suburbs, the 6th District is the former seat of Bill Clinton’s top Republican antagonist, right-wing former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
Republican Brian Kemp came out with only 55,000 votes in the highly controversial gubernatorial election in 2018, in which critics – including his Democratic challenger Stacey Abrams – claimed voter repression. According to data analyzed by The Economist, “the number of possibly disqualified voters was close to 50,000” within the official margin. Either way, the tight result underscored the GOP’s weak grip on Georgia.
The number of young and minority voters in Georgia has grown over the past decade. “Demography is moving against us,” incumbent Republican Senator David Perdue told a group of GOP activists in April.
Biden drives Trump out with just 0.8 points in Georgia, according to the average for Real Clear Politics. Biden traveled to the state Tuesday, giving a speech at Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s earlier retreat; Trump held a demonstration there on Sunday.
Now the third most populous U.S. state, Florida, has been named the winner of every presidential election since 1996 – but its status as a time of day really caught the world’s attention in the 2000 presidential election. George W. Bush following a Supreme Court ruling on the recount.
Florida’s population has grown over the last few decades thanks to the influx of largely white retirees and largely Latin American immigrants. Some two-thirds of white voters in Florida told an AP poll in 2016 that they voted for Trump. Trump also did well among the state’s large Cuban-American population, largely descended from exiles who fled Fidel Castro’s communist regime and won 54 percent of their vote. Clinton won by 71 percent among Latino Floridians of other origins.
The voting average for Real Clear Politics has Biden with 1.2 points in the state, and some studies suggest that support for the two candidates is shifting. After Florida retirees played a significant role in Trump’s victory in 2016, a Quinnipiac vote in early October put Biden 15 points ahead among residents over 65.
Late last month, a survey for Telemundo placed 48 and 43 percent of Biden and Trump, respectively, among the state’s heterogeneous Latino demographics. By comparison, Clinton won 62 percent of Florida’s Latin American vote in 2016.
“If Biden is to turn Florida around, he must at least match Clinton’s numbers among Hispanics, and it looks like that will not happen,” said Brad Coker, a pollster at Mason-Dixon Polling and Strategy, the firm that conducts the survey. Politico.
Trump and Biden both hosted demonstrations in Tampa on Friday.