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Yes, Biden Leads Polls, but Another Stat Is Key

Nate Silver: Swing-state margins suggest Trump could win Electoral College, if polls tighten
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 18, 2020 11:52 AM CDT

(Newser) – The respected stats site FiveThirtyEight.com is out with its first batch of polling averages for the presidential election, and it's good news for Joe Biden—at least on the surface. Biden is up 50.5% to 41.3% nationally, and he also leads in nearly all the swing states. But Nate Silver points out that Biden's lead in many of those swing states is not as great as it is in the national polls. In Minnesota, for example, Biden is up by 6.6 points, less than his 9.2-point margin nationally. The upshot: If the polls tighten, Trump could again lose the popular vote but win via the Electoral College.

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"While a Biden landslide is possible if he wins all these swing states, so is a Trump Electoral College victory, depending on which way the race moves between now and November," writes Silver. At Politico, Steven Shepard writes about another issue that may favor Trump: the unreliability of state polls. The Trump campaign maintains that polls this year, as in 2016, are underestimating the president's support. And the campaign "has a point," writes Shepard. One example: People with more education are more likely to fill out these surveys, and they're also more likely to vote Democratic. But the polls again may be undercounting others, particularly lower-income white voters who favor Trump. (Read more Election 2020 stories.)

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