Nov 1, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Final NYT poll before election shows Biden leading in 4 key swing states

Biden and Trump.

Photos: Jim Watson, Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Joe Biden has a lead over President Trump in Florida, Arizona, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, according to the last New York Times/Siena College poll before Tuesday's election.

Why it matters: Biden's apparent lead in a number of states, largely supported by voters who did not turn out in 2016, "appears to put him in a stronger position heading into Election Day than any presidential candidate since at least 2008," the Times' Alex Burns and Jonathan Martin write.

By the numbers: Biden's lead is within the margin of error in Florida. But the former vice president holds a significant lead in Wisconsin, which Trump won in 2016 by fewer than 23,000 votes — less than a percentage point.

  • Florida: Biden 47%-44% Trump
  • Arizona: Biden 49%-43% Trump
  • Pennsylvania: Biden 49%-43% Trump
  • Wisconsin: Biden 52%-41% Trump

The big picture: The new polling results add to Biden's lead in FiveThirtyEight's average of polls in the four battlegrounds.

  • In Florida, Biden's average lead increased from 1.7% to 1.8%.
  • In Arizona, Biden's average lead widened from 3.2% to 3.4%.
  • In Pennsylvania, Biden's 4.9% lead did not change.
  • In Wisconsin, Biden's average lead increased from 8.2% to 8.7%.

The bottom line: "Trump’s apparent weakness in many of the country’s largest electoral prizes leaves him with a narrow path to the 270 Electoral College votes required to claim victory, short of a major upset or a systemic error in opinion polling surpassing even the missteps preceding the 2016 election," the Times writes.

Methodology: The poll of likely voters was conducted from Oct. 26 to Oct. 31. The margin of error is 3.2% in Wisconsin and Florida, 3% in Arizona, and 2.4% in Pennsylvania.

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