Joe Biden’s Chances of Beating Donald Trump in Critical Swing States: Polls

by Jessica

A close look at recent polling in five critical swing states shows a tight race, with President Joe Biden appearing to trail former President Donald Trump in three, and more or less a draw in two others.

Although Biden has made gains against Trump in some recent national and state-level polls, the 2024 presidential election will likely be determined in just a handful of key states.

In 2016, Trump managed to flip Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, which had all gone for former President Barack Obama in 2012.

Then Biden managed to win them back for Democrats in 2020, while also narrowly flipping Georgia and Arizona, which had previously been seen as solidly Republican in presidential elections.

Presidential elections are decided by the Electoral College, which awards each state a certain number of electoral votes. A presidential candidate needs to secure 270 electoral votes for victory, and winning the national popular vote does not guarantee success.

Notably, Trump lost the popular vote in 2016, as did former President George W. Bush in 2000. With most states leaning solidly Republican or Democrat, the Electoral College gives a few swing states outsized influence in deciding the ultimate winner.

Here’s a closer look at where things stand in these five critical states with a little more than six months until Election Day on November 5.

Biden narrowly defeated Trump in Arizona in the 2020 election, carrying the state by just 0.3 percent of the vote (49.4 percent to 49.1 percent). This marked the first time a Democratic presidential candidate won the state since 1996.

Currently, the polling appears to favor Trump in Arizona. The Real Clear Politics average shows Trump ahead by about 4.5 points (49 percent to 44.5 percent)

A poll of 600 likely Arizona voters conducted by The Tyson Group from April 10 to 11 showed Trump leading Biden by 6 points, 39 percent to 33 percent.

The survey included third-party candidates Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (12 percent), Cornel West (2 percent) Jill Stein (2 percent), and Lars Mapstead (1 percent). The margin of error was plus or minus 4 percentage points.

In late March, RABA Research carried out a poll in the southwestern state showing Trump at 39 percent and Biden at 36 percent. The survey included 503 registered voters with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 points.

Notably, no Arizona poll carried out this year has shown Biden leading Trump thus far.

Similar to Arizona, Biden edged out Trump in Georgia in 2020, flipping the state for Democrats for the first time since 1992. He beat Trump by a margin of 0.2 percent (49.5 percent to 49.3 percent).

However, things look like they could reverse in 2024, with the polling showing Trump ahead. The Real Clear Politics average currently has Trump at about 49.7 percent compared to Biden’s 45.5 percent.

The most recent poll carried out by Fox News/Beacon Research/Shaw & Company Research from April 11 to 16 shows Trump leading Biden by 6 points.

The Republican has the support of 51 percent of registered Georgia voters compared to 45 percent who back the Democratic incumbent. The survey included 1,128 registered voters with a margin of error of plus or minus 3 points.

Polling data from The Wall Street Journal/Fabrizio, Lee & Associates/GBAO in late March showed Trump leading as well. In that survey, Trump was at 42 percent and Biden was at 38 percent, with third-party candidates in the mix.

Mapstead was at 4 percent and Stein had 2 percent. With 600 registered voters surveyed, the poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 points.

While Biden beat Trump in Michigan in 2020, the former president narrowly flipped the state in 2016. Trump garnered 47.5 percent of the vote compared to former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s 47.3 percent.

Trump presently appears to be favored over Biden in Michigan. The RealClear Politics average has the former GOP president at about 47.4 percent versus the incumbent Democrat’s 44.1 percent.

The recent Fox News poll from April 11 to 16 showed Trump ahead by 3 points. The Republican was at 49 percent compared to Biden’s 46 percent in the state.

Polling of 600 likely Michigander voters by Marketing Resource Group (MRG) conducted from April 8 to 11 showed Trump ahead as well. In that survey, Trump was at 37 percent and Biden had 34 percent. Third party candidates were also included, with Kennedy Jr. at 13 percent, Stein at 2 percent and West at 1 percent. The survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 points.

A few Michigan polls earlier in the year showed Biden narrowly ahead of Trump or tied.

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