Tomorrow evening, as you sit and watch election returns, you’ll probably be wondering what states to keep an eye on for a sign of what to expect as the night develops. That way, you can focus on the those states instead of trying to keep up with all of the information that will be bombarding you no matter what news source you choose to follow.
There are six states that will essentially decide who the next president is, and they’re the ones you need to be especially on the alert for Tuesday evening, according to Todd Landman, Professor of Political Science at the University of Nottingham, writing in The Conversation.
All eyes are on Pennsylvania. Whoever wins it will likely be the next president, but there are caveats to that.
Namely, if Trump loses Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Florida, Pennsylvania won’t help him a bit. The path he has to 270 electoral votes is incredibly narrow, while Biden’s is much wider. Biden can reach 270 in any number of ways. To quote Professor Landman:
“Pennsylvania has 20 electoral college votes, which Trump won in 2016 with a 0.78% margin. For 2020, Biden carries a lead in the polls and has gained ground over the course of the campaign.”
The final NBC News/Marist poll — released on Monday afternoon — shows Biden ahead by 5 points, 51 to 46 percent.
Arizona hasn’t voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since 1992, when it went for Bill Clinton, but it’s poised to go blue yet again:
RealClearPolitics shows Biden with a razor-thin 0.5 point lead in the Grand Canyon State.
Believe it or not, the Lone Star state is in play this year, and that alone tells you just how unpopular Trump is, because he should already have Texas in the bag.
For the first time in decades, Texas could be part of a larger blue wave:
“Biden is neck and neck with Trump in a traditionally Republican state that shares a long border with Mexico – a focal point for Trump’s promise to build a wall – and a strong cohort of Latino Republican voters.”
How close is Texas at this point? According to FiveThirtyEight, the race is dead even, which means turnout will likely determine who wins.
To quote the late NBC News host Tim Russert in 2000: “Florida, Florida, Florida!”
Once again, the Sunshine State could play an essential role in determining who wins in 2020. To put it simply, if Biden wins Florida, you can pack it in for the evening, because the election will be over with. That’s how desperately Trump needs the state if he’s to have a sliver of a chance of winning.
Quinnipiac has Biden leading by five percentage points in a poll released late Monday afternoon, 47 to 42 percent.
Georgia is another state that Trump should already have squared away with just a day left in the 2020 race. Demographic changes, however, are turning the state bluer with each election:
“One of the original colonies, part of the “old south”, Georgia has participated in all elections since the founding (with the exception of 1864 during its secession). It was a Democratic stronghold until 1972, when it flipped Republican.”
270toWin has Biden leading in the Peach state by a whisker, 47.6 to 47.4 percent.
Though it only has 10 electoral votes, Wisconsin was a key state for Trump in 2016, where he won by a mere 0.7 percent margin, among the closest of any state Trump managed to pluck from the Democratic column:
“Biden leads by over an average of 6% (in one poll by 17%) and is likely to take the state in 2020.”
So, now you’re ready for Tuesday evening. Sit back and watch as the American people speak and tell us the direction we’ll be taking in the next four years.