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Three states that narrowly swung from Barack Obama in 2012 to Donald Trump in 2016 seem likely to swing back in 2020. Polling currently gives a consistent and solid lead to Democrat Joe Biden in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

Should Biden carry all three of these swing states and keep all of the states Hillary Clinton won in 2016, he will win an Electoral College majority and the presidency.

According to RealClear Politics' polling average, Biden currently enjoys a 4-point lead in Pennsylvania, a 6.4-point lead in Michigan, and a 6.7-point lead in Wisconsin.


FiveThirtyEight's poll averages are similar. They put Biden ahead in Pennsylvania by 4.5 points, in Michigan by 7.5 points, and in Wisconsin by 6.4 points. Trump has continually trailed in each of the three states' polling averages since mid-April.

For months, virtually every major poll in these three states has shown Biden ahead. Of the polls listed by RealClear Politics, only two GOP-leaning pollsters (Rasmussen Reports and Trafalgar Group) have shown anything but a Biden lead in more than three months.

Not counting those outliers, Biden has lead in 40 straight Michigan polls, 25 consecutive Pennsylvania polls, and 23 straight Wisconsin polls.

The polling averages in these three states are, of course, not a guarantee of victory in November. Hillary Clinton had a lead in the polling averages in all three states in 2016 and still narrowly lost each.

But Biden doesn't necessarily need to carry all three states to win. He currently holds leads in polling averages of other places won by Trump in 2016, including Arizona and Florida.

The swing-state polling numbers are consistent with national polling, which has also unfailingly shown Biden ahead over Trump since April, except for an occasional Rasmussen poll.

"Biden up 8% in new NBC/WSJ national poll (51% to 43%). 90% say their minds are made up. Pre-#RBG passing," University of Virginia Center for Politics director Larry Sabato tweeted on Sunday. "So far Biden's lead in most surveys is fairly stable."

NBC News' senior political editor, Mark Murray, agreed, tweeting on Thursday: "The Biden-versus-Trump race remains incredibly stable" — though he noted that could change over the upcoming weeks.

And Evan Scrimshaw, managing editor of the forecasting site Lean Tossup, wrote last week that the Democratic ticket has "a clear, present, persistent, and stable lead in states that add up to, at minimum, 270 votes. And that's the ballgame, guys."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

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