Joe Biden Is Leading Donald Trump in These States Hillary Clinton Lost in 2016, According to Polls

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is leading President Donald Trump in polling for several states his predecessor Hillary Clinton lost in 2016, which could help him to a secure victory in the Electoral College should survey results ring true.

Trump lost the popular vote but took the Electoral College majority last time out, though his path to 270 this year looks narrow according to state polling.

Wins in major states such as Florida and upsets in areas like Michigan boosted his tally, with Biden having to focus on such spots this time out should he want to secure an Electoral College win and the position of commander-in-chief.

Below, Newsweek looks at states Clinton lost last time out that might be in Biden's grasp.

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania, worth 20 Electoral College votes, was won by Trump by less than one percent of the vote in 2016.

His win bucked a Democratic trend in the state since 1992, with 1988 the last time a Republican candidate won there.

According to Real Clear Politics' average, Biden is up by 4.3 percent in the state.

It has been a major focus of the Biden campaign, and is the Democratic presidential candidate's home state.

In recent The Hill/Harris X polling, he was up by five points.

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Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden speaks to reporters while making a visit to a voter mobilization center on October 29, 2020 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The state will prove a major haul of Electoral College votes for whoever wins there. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Wisconsin

Wisconsin marked another state which had been a Democratic stronghold in recent years up until Trump's win. With 10 Electoral College votes, it would not mark as major a coup as some states in this list, but would be seen as a solid marker for Biden's pursuit of 270.

The Republican won by less than one percent of the vote last time out. According to Real Clear Politics' average, Biden is up 6.4 points in the state in polling heading into Election Day.

A recent YouGov poll gave him a stronger lead, at nine points.

"It's actually the first time that the margin is big enough that we can say it's statistically significant, even accounting for the margin of error," Barry Burden, a political science professor and director of the Elections Research Center at UW-Madison, told the Wisconsin State Journal.

"It's not a guarantee that Biden will win the election, but it is saying that we can be pretty confident from the data that he is in the lead among the people who were interviewed."

Another poll, for The Washington Post/ABC News put Biden up by double figures, with a 17-point lead among likely voters.

Michigan

Another state Clinton would have expected to win last time out, reclaiming Michigan will be a clear goal for Biden. He holds a 6.5-percent lead over Trump there on average, according to Real Clear Politics' poll tracker.

Trump's narrow victory bucked a Democratic trend in the state, as he won by just shy of 11,000 votes or around 0.3 percent of those cast in 2016 according to numbers collated by The New York Times.

Recent The Washington Post/ABC News polling from the state puts Biden up by seven points.

Another poll by Lansing-based Glengariff Group for The Detroit News and WDIV-TV showed a similar advantage of eight points, though the same polling firm's results gave Clinton a double-digit lead before her defeat in 2016.

Florida

Both campaigns are focusing on Florida, with Trump recently speaking of "spending more" and "winning big" in the state.

Worth 29 Electoral College votes, the state will mark one of the biggest victories of the election for whoever secures a win there.

Polling has the state on a knife-wdge, with Biden just ahead by 1.2 points on average according to Real Clear Politics' tracker.

The latest The Hill/Harris X poll from the state put Biden up by three points, with 50 percent of support in the state compared to Trump's 47 percent.

North Carolina

North Carolina marks another tight race, with Biden up by around 0.6 percent on average according to Real Clear Politics tracker. The latest state polling from The Hill/Harris X put him up by one point.

The state represents 15 Electoral College votes and was won by Trump last time out. The state has more often been Republican won in recent presidential elections, with an Obama victory in 2008 the first time since 1976 that the Democratic candidate claimed the state.

Georgia

Georgia is another tight contest, with Biden up by 0.4 percent according to Real Clear Politics' average.

A Monmouth University poll released earlier this week showed Biden up by a larger margin, of five percent, with 50 percent of 504 registered voters in Georgia asked October 23 to 27 going for him compared to 45 percent for Trump. The poll's margin of error is plus or minus 4.4 percent.

"Biden seems to have made some inroads in deep-red parts of Georgia. He won't win these areas, but he can carry the state if he is able to get close to a third of the vote there," Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute, said in a statement.

The state, which represents 16 Electoral College votes, has not voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since 1992.

How Would These Shape the Electoral College?

If Biden were to win all the above states, with then the other results staying the same as 2016, he would secure 333 Electoral College votes and his place in the White House.

Then without some of the tighter states, such as Florida, Georgia and North Carolina, this could still see him forge a path to 270. If Biden won the other states mentioned but those three were held by Trump, the Republican would still be defeated with Biden on 273 and Trump 258 if all the other results remained the same.

Newsweek has contacted the Biden and Trump campaigns for comment.

How Does the Electoral College Work?

Each state is assigned a number of Electoral College votes, based upon its representatives in Congress.

The number is determined by the combined number of how many members in the House of Representatives and the Senate a state has.

In most states, if a candidate wins a majority of the votes in the state they take all of its Electoral College votes. Maine and Nebraska differ from this, with votes split between the state and congressional districts.

Following an election, all the electors from the state would generally cast their votes in the winner's favor. A candidate needs to hit 270 for an outright majority of the 538 votes from the Electoral College. Achieving this number sees them become the president.

The list below details the number of Electoral College votes each state has:

  • Alabama - 9
  • Alaska - 3
  • Arizona - 11
  • Arkansas - 6
  • California - 55
  • Colorado - 9
  • Connecticut - 7
  • Delaware - 3
  • District of Columbia - 3
  • Florida - 29
  • Georgia - 16
  • Hawaii - 4
  • Idaho - 4
  • Illinois - 20
  • Indiana - 11
  • Iowa - 6
  • Kansas - 6
  • Kentucky - 8
  • Louisiana - 8
  • Maine - 4
  • Maryland - 10
  • Massachusetts - 11
  • Michigan - 16
  • Minnesota - 10
  • Mississippi - 6
  • Missouri - 10
  • Montana - 3
  • Nebraska - 5
  • Nevada - 6
  • New Hampshire - 4
  • New Jersey - 14
  • New Mexico - 5
  • New York - 29
  • North Carolina - 15
  • North Dakota - 3
  • Ohio - 18
  • Oklahoma - 7
  • Oregon - 7
  • Pennsylvania - 20
  • Rhode Island - 4
  • South Carolina - 9
  • South Dakota - 3
  • Tennessee - 11
  • Texas - 38
  • Utah - 6
  • Vermont - 3
  • Virginia - 13
  • Washington - 12
  • West Virginia - 5
  • Wisconsin - 10
  • Wyoming - 3