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Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

A new ABC News/Washington Post poll released Wednesday shows former Vice President Joe Biden with a 7-point lead in Michigan and 17-point lead in Wisconsin against President Trump just days ahead of the general election.

Why it matters: Both swing states are vital for the candidates — but particularly for Trump, who's been floundering in state and national polling for weeks. Moreover, the surge for Biden comes as both Michigan and Wisconsin grapple with rising coronavirus case numbers as America approaches a potential winter wave of positive tests.

  • Wisconsin is third in the nation per capita for COVID-19 cases. The state has also seen a 112% spike in deaths in the last two weeks.
  • The White House has struggled with its own COVID-19 breakouts in recent weeks, including approximately a half-dozen cases stemming from the Vice President's staff earlier this month. Trump himself and first Lady Melania Trump also had the coronavirus.

Of note: Trump won both Michigan and Wisconsin in 2016.

Between the lines: There's seemingly little that can change voters' course at this point. Due to pandemic concerns, millions of Americans have already cast their ballots by mail or voted early in order to avoid crowded polls on Nov. 3.

  • Surveys repeatedly show few undecided voters compared to previous presidential elections.

The poll was conducted from Oct. 20-25 and surveyed "902 Michigan registered voters, including 789 likely voters; and 906 Wisconsin registered voters, including 809 likely voters," ABC reports. "Results have margins of sampling error of 3.5 percentage points among registered voters and 4.0 among likely voters in both states, including design effects."

Go deeper

Off the Rails

Trump turns on Pence

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photos: Elijah Nouvelage, Alex Wong/Getty Images

"The end is coming, Donald."

The male voice in the TV ad boomed through the White House residence during "Fox & Friends" commercial breaks. Over and over and over. "The end is coming, Donald. ... On Jan. 6, Mike Pence will put the nail in your political coffin."

Biden embarks on a consequential presidency

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Donald Trump tried everything to delegitimize the rival who vanquished him. In reality, he's set Joe Biden on course to be a far more consequential U.S. president than he might otherwise have become.

The big picture: President Biden now confronts not just a pandemic, but massive political divisions and an assault on truth — and the aftermath of the assault on the Capitol two weeks ago that threatened democracy itself.

Updated 8 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Bomb cyclone prompts blizzard warnings from Virginia to Maine

Computer model projection showing the intense storm off of Cape Cod on Jan 29, 2022, with heavy snow and strong winds lashing the coastline. (Weatherbell.com)

Blizzard warnings are in effect for 11 million people from coastal Virginia to eastern Maine as a historic winter storm is set to slam the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast beginning Friday.

Why it matters: The storm will bring hazards ranging from zero visibility amid hurricane force wind gusts and heavy snow, to coastal flooding that will erode vulnerable beaches and threaten property from the Jersey shore to coastal Massachusetts.