Another week to American elections: How are Trump and Biden doing?
Debates are over, the last election meetings are over too. Donald Trump and the challenger Joe Biden are on the final straight line to Election Day on November 3.
Time for an interlude: how are the candidates doing? Below is the latest state of the national polls and forecasts in the main swing states.
Anyone who follows media has been out of the polls for weeks. Newspapers, TV stations, analytic institutes: anyone who takes themselves a little seriously keeps their own poll in the run-up to the elections.
FiveThirtyEight and RealClearPolitics combine and weigh those polls, thus reaching an average. Both websites have been showing a clear trend for weeks: Joe Biden takes the lead. Since the beginning of October, the Democrat has reached Trump even further.
Despite what was often said after Trump’s unexpected victory in 2016, nationwide polls are indeed a good measure of the mood of American voters.
However, the national polls are not great at prediction. It is not the candidate who gets the most votes in favor of his name that wins, but the candidate with the most votes.
To predict the outcome, it is therefore more useful to look at the polls in states that are likely to be decisive for the outcome. In these so-called swing states, it is not possible to determine in advance which candidate will win: sometimes he is a Democrat and sometimes a Republican. However, it is worth noting that polls in individual states are often somewhat less accurate than national polls.
One of the most important swing states, where there are many electors to win, is Florida. If that state goes to Joe Biden, datasite FiveThirtyEight gives him more than 99 percent chance of becoming president. The other way around, Trump, if he wins Florida, according to the calculation model of the website, has a 40 percent chance of winning.
Based on the average of the latest polls, FiveThirtyEight Biden in Florida calls favored to win. But the difference between the candidates is small: Biden stands at 50.7 percent, Trump at 48.5. That difference falls within the margin of error.
Other swing states
In Pennsylvania, another major swing state, Biden is ahead in the polls: 52.4 percent against 46.9 for Trump. According to FiveThirtyEight, the chances of winning for the Pennsylvania Democrats are now 86%.
Biden is also ahead of the average of the polls in the major states of Arizona, Michigan, North Carolina and Wisconsin. The biggest difference in Michigan is 53.5 percent for Biden against 45.4 percent for Trump. In the other three countries, the gap is limited to a few percentage points and falls within the margin of error.