Let’s start with some basics on polling. Polls are very, very accurate within their margin of error (MOE) What this means is that if a poll’s MOE is 4%, and your candidate is ahead by 2% , there is roughly a 95% probability that your candidate’s vote total is going to fall within a range of +6% to -2%. 4% is a pretty common MOE, so if Trump or Biden are ahead by 4% or more in a state, they would win that state if the election were held today.
Second point on polling: The best way to look at polls is to aggregate and average many recent polls, not look at just one poll.
OK, so here is the state of the race based on the 270toWin polling averages as of September 24. https://www.270towin.com/2020-polls-biden-trump/
One very big thing has happened since my last update. Three weeks ago, it appeared Minnesota might be competitive, and I moved it from Likely Biden to Lean Biden. Since then a number of polls have been released showing Biden with a comfortable 9-point lead. Minnesota is back to Likely Biden. At the same time, Biden’s lead in Wisconsin and Michigan has grown. He is well outside the margin of error in both states.
When you combine these Great Lakes states with the other states in which Biden is clearly ahead by more than the MOE, you get 259 electoral votes for Biden, only 11 short of the magic 270.
Biden is ahead by 4 points in both Pennsylvania and Arizona, right on the cusp of a safe lead. And he only needs one of these two to win the election.
So, the states where Biden is up by 4 points or more add up to 290 electoral votes.
This leaves six states that are very, very close: Texas, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio, and Iowa, all states Trump won last time. Right now, he is slightly ahead in Texas, slightly behind in Florida, and the rest are dead even.
So, to win, Trump needs to win all six of the toss up states, AND Pennsylvania and Arizona. Not impossible, but very unlikely, especially considering that Biden leads nationally by 8%, just as he did 60 days ago.
Democrats need a net gain of 4 seats to flip the Senate, assuming they lose their Alabama seat as expected. Democratic challengers are ahead outside the MOE in Colorado, Arizona, North Carolina, and Maine. The races in Republican seats in Iowa, Georgia, Montana, and South Carolina are all very close. A Democratic Senate appears very likely.
And in this atmosphere, there is no chance Republicans will take back the US House or make significant gains in Washington state races.
Bottom line: We are about to head into four weeks of debates with Joe Biden and the Ds comfortably ahead. I will check in again next Friday.