Michigan now "Swing" -- swing polls spreadsheet updated

270towin.com maintains a map of which states analysts think are safe or swing.

I have updated my spreadsheet showing the Trump vs. Biden and Trump vs. Sanders polls in the five -- now six swing states. These polls, particularly Trump vs Biden, are the only polls that you should pay attention to. National polls are highly misleading. There are only 538 people who vote in a Presidential election, and that must never be forgotten.

The picture remains mixed, particularly when you factor in how much Trump surprised compared to the polls in 2016. I believe there is as much as 5 points of advantage for Trump not shown in the polls, so to be comfortable of Trump losing, you want him down by that much. All the swing states show mixed results -- that's why they are called swing states.

Update: Ohio could be in play. A new quality poll just emerged in Ohio with Biden +4, Sanders +2. It may become a swing state again.

At present, Democrats must capture 38 votes from the swing states. In practice that means, of the six swing states:

  • Florida plus any of the other five, or
  • Almost any 3 of the other five
  • (AZ+WI+NC fails, and AZ+NC+MI wins only if Omaha, Nebraska's second, is won.)

Unfortunately, Florida does not currently look great. Here's my rough judgment:

  • Florida: Low
  • Pennsylvania: Decent chance for Biden
  • Michigan: Decent for Biden (slightly better for Sanders)
  • North Carolina: Modest chance for Biden
  • Arizona: Low, but positive trend emerging
  • Wisconsin: Low

Biden has 3 strong results in PA this year, but also 3 weak ones. In NC he has no strong results, but all his results are positive. Arizona is almost a red state, but the latest poll there is strong fro Biden. Biden has 2 strong results in Michigan, and 4 more on the cusp of that, but also 3 likely losers. He has never shown much strength in Wisconsin but is improving.

In other words, held today I would predict Trump as more likely to win, though not by a large margin. Biden's best working shot is to win PA, MI and NC -- or to make a big push for Florida and win Michigan. The stock market and virus crisis may alter that quickly, though.

For full details go to my spreadsheet of swing state polls which I am keeping updated.

Side note: Winning AZ+WI+MI, while fairly unlikely, results in a tie. At present a tie would make Trump and Pence win, but a congressional change that flipped a state delegation from red to blue would cause no majority winner in the House, and a 3-state flip to the Democrats in the Senate would cause no majority there as well, an unlikely, unprecedented and ill-defined situation that might make Pelosi President. More on that later.

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