Polling of battleground states, mostly by the New York Times and Siena, predict Trump holding enough of his key 2016 victories to win in 2020 over the further-left candidates. However, Trump is projected to lose to Biden, according to these polls, by a wider margin than his own 2016 victory.
Florida, Pennsylvania, and Arizona are all states won by Trump in 2016, and that are projected to go Trump over Sanders or Warren, but Biden over Trump in 2020. If Biden could swing Florida and either Pennsylvania or Arizona, that alone would be enough to swing the election in his favor. If Trump were to hold all three, the Democrat would have to take all of Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, and Nevada in order to achieve a very narrow (276-262) victory. Trump lead over Warren 46-42 in Florida, 46-44 in Pennsylvania, and 47-46 in Arizona. He lead Sanders 45-44 in Florida, 45-44 in Pennsylvania, and 49-45 in Arizona. He trailed Biden 44-46 in Florida, 45-46 in Pennsylvania, and 46-49 in Arizona.
Wisconsin and Michigan are both states which prefer Trump to Warren, but both Biden and Sanders to Trump, according to the New York Times polls. Emerson also did a poll of Michigan which showed all Democrats defeating Trump. The Rust Belt states combine to 26 electoral votes, less than Florida alone. Trump leads Warren 45-40 in Michigan, and 47-45 in Wisconsin. Sanders leads Trump 46-42 in Michigan, and 47-46 in Wisconsin. Biden leads Trump 45-44 in Michigan and 46-44 in Wisconsin. Either of these states, in conjunction with Florida, would be enough for a narrow Democrat victory (271-267 with Wisconsin, or 277-261 with Michigan). Both of these states, along with Pennsylvania, would also give the Democrats a 278-260 victory. If Democrats swung only these two states along with Arizona, we would have a 269-269 tie, and Congress would decide the election.
The New York Times poll also tested North Carolina and Iowa, but both showed Trump defeating all challengers. He would beat Warren 48-44 in North Carolina, and 47-40 in Iowa; Sanders 48-44 in North Carolina, and 47-43 in Iowa; and Biden 48-46 in North Carolina, and 45-44 in Iowa. They also tested Pete Buttigieg in Iowa, where the Democrat is polling especially well in the Democratic primary, but he also falls, 45-41.
Emerson also tested Nevada, where they had Trump defeating Warren and Biden 51-49, but tying Sanders 50-50. The state voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016, and would be a 6-point pickup for the president. However, it would not swing the election with any candidate involved.
If these polls are correct, Trump would defeat Warren 325-213, and Sanders 293-239. He won his 2016 election 306-232 over Clinton. Biden would defeat Trump 312-226. This news could shape how Democrats approach the primary, which Biden currently leads, but in which Warren is hot on his tail. If Democrats value defeating Trump as the most important thing in a candidate, as they often claim they do, Biden should be their choice, so long as they have faith in his ability to campaign. If Trump faces Warren or Sanders, however, it could be the second time he wins the presidency without winning the popular vote.
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