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Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Today’s 2020 Election Polls: Biden Jumps Out To 7 Point Lead In Georgia, But It’s An Outlier

Topline

Polls out Wednesday show Joe Biden with a lead in several states that could help him run up his total votes in the Electoral College, including Georgia, a state that hasn’t voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since 1992.

Key Facts

A Quinnipiac University poll found Biden up 51%-44% over President Trump in Georgia, the widest margin for the Democratic nominee in any high quality Georgia poll this year. 

Biden leads by just .4 points on average in polls in Georgia this year—meaning the result is likely an outlier—but the Democratic nominee does not necessarily need the state to win election.  

A separate Quinnipiac poll found Biden ahead by just 1 point in Ohio (48%-47%), another state that Democrats have long considered an uphill battle, but also one that Biden does not necessarily need to win in November. 

A New York Times/Siena College poll found Biden ahead by 4 points in North Carolina, a state that went to Trump by 4 points in 2016. 

Democrats are optimistic they can flip the Tarheel state, and Biden leads by 3.3 points on average in polls.

A Reuters/Ipsos survey found Biden ahead by just two points in Florida (49%-47%) and 4 points in Arizona (50%-46%), another two states that could help Biden expand the map.

Key Background

Biden could win the White House by flipping Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan, and holding states Hillary Clinton won in 2016. However, Biden’s strong polling numbers in several Sun Belt states have led Democrats to look to expand the map. The Cook Political Report currently ranks Arizona as “lean Democrat,” and Florida, Georgia, Iowa, North Carolina and Ohio as “toss-ups” (Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania are all rated “lean Democrat.”)

Tangent

Polls also found Democrats faring well in several Senate races in Georgia and North Carolina. Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff leads Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) by 6 points (51%-45%) and Democrat Raphael Warnock leads Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) and Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) in a crowded runoff in Georgia’s other Senate election (41%-20%-22%, respectively), according to Quinnipiac’s survey. Cal Cunningham, the Democrat challenging Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), is currently leading by 4 points in the Times’ survey (41%-37%.)  

Crucial Quote

Nate Cohn, a polling expert at the New York Times, said he is skeptical about Biden’s strength in southern states because he feels pollsters may be overestimating the Democratic nominee’s performance with white voters. 

 Further Reading

Today’s 2020 Election Polls: Biden Is In A Much Stronger Polling Position Than Hillary (Forbes)

Today’s 2020 Election Polls: Warning Signs Flash For Peters In Michigan Senate Race (Forbes)

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