US election 2020 polls: Who is ahead – Trump or Biden?


Headshots of Joe Biden and Donald Trump facing each other

Voters in America will decide on 3 November whether Donald Trump remains in the White House for another four years.

The Republican president is being challenged by Democratic Party nominee Joe Biden, who is best known as Barack Obama’s vice-president but has been in US politics since the 1970s.

As election day approaches, polling companies will be trying to gauge the mood of the nation by asking voters which candidate they prefer.

We’ll be keeping track of those polls here and trying to work out what they can and can’t tell us about who will win the election.

Biden leading national presidential polls

National polls are a good guide as to how popular a candidate is across the country as a whole, but they’re not necessarily a good way to predict the result of the election.

In 2016, for example, Hillary Clinton led in the polls and won nearly three million more votes than Donald Trump, but she still lost – that’s because the US uses an electoral college system, so winning the most votes doesn’t always win you the election.

With that caveat aside, Joe Biden has been ahead of Donald Trump in most national polls since the start of the year. He has hovered around 50% in recent months and has had a 10-point lead on occasions.

Who’s ahead in national polls?

average voting intention based on individual polls

Date

BIDEN

TRUMP

30 Sep 51 43
30 Sep 51 43
30 Sep 51 43
29 Sep 51 43
29 Sep 51 43
29 Sep 51 43
28 Sep 50 43
27 Sep 50 43
27 Sep 50 43
26 Sep 50 43
25 Sep 50 43
25 Sep 50 43
24 Sep 50 42.5
24 Sep 50 42.5
24 Sep 50 42.5
23 Sep 50.5 42.5
23 Sep 50.5 42.5
22 Sep 50.5 42.5
22 Sep 50.5 42.5
22 Sep 50.5 42.5
22 Sep 50.5 42.5
21 Sep 51 43
21 Sep 51 43
21 Sep 51 43
20 Sep 51 43
20 Sep 51 43
19 Sep 50.5 43
19 Sep 50.5 43
19 Sep 50.5 43
18 Sep 50 43
17 Sep 50.5 43
16 Sep 50.5 43
16 Sep 50.5 43
16 Sep 50.5 43
15 Sep 50 43
15 Sep 50 43
15 Sep 50 43
15 Sep 50 43
14 Sep 51 43
14 Sep 51 43
13 Sep 51 43
12 Sep 51 43
12 Sep 51 43
11 Sep 51 43
10 Sep 51 43
10 Sep 51 43
09 Sep 51 43
08 Sep 51 43
08 Sep 51 43
08 Sep 51 43
08 Sep 51 43
08 Sep 51 43
08 Sep 51 43
07 Sep 49.5 42
06 Sep 49.5 42
06 Sep 49.5 42
05 Sep 50.5 42.5
04 Sep 50.5 42
04 Sep 50.5 42
03 Sep 50.5 42
02 Sep 50.5 42.5
02 Sep 50.5 42.5
01 Sep 50 42
01 Sep 50 42
01 Sep 50 42
01 Sep 50 42
01 Sep 50 42
01 Sep 50 42
31 Aug 50 42
31 Aug 50 42
31 Aug 50 42
31 Aug 50 42
31 Aug 50 42
30 Aug 50 41
30 Aug 50 41
29 Aug 50.5 41.5
28 Aug 50.5 42.5
28 Aug 50.5 42.5
27 Aug 50.5 42.5
26 Aug 50 43
25 Aug 50 42
25 Aug 50 42
25 Aug 50 42
24 Aug 50 42
23 Aug 50 42
22 Aug 50 42
21 Aug 50 42
20 Aug 50 42
19 Aug 50 42
18 Aug 50 42
18 Aug 50 42
18 Aug 50 42
17 Aug 50 42
16 Aug 50 42
15 Aug 50 42
15 Aug 50 42
14 Aug 50 41.5
14 Aug 50 41.5
13 Aug 50 41
12 Aug 50 41.5
12 Aug 50 41.5
11 Aug 50 41.5
11 Aug 50 41.5
11 Aug 50 41.5
11 Aug 50 41.5
10 Aug 49.5 41
09 Aug 49 41
08 Aug 49 41
07 Aug 49 41
06 Aug 49.5 41
05 Aug 49.5 41.5
04 Aug 50 42
04 Aug 50 42
03 Aug 50 42
02 Aug 49.5 41.5
01 Aug 49.5 41.5
31 Jul 49.5 41.5
30 Jul 49.5 41.5
29 Jul 49 41
28 Jul 49 41
28 Jul 49 41
28 Jul 49 41
27 Jul 50 41.5
26 Jul 51 41
25 Jul 51 41
24 Jul 51 41
23 Jul 51 41
22 Jul 50 41
21 Jul 50 41
21 Jul 50 41
20 Jul 50 40.5
19 Jul 51 41
18 Jul 51 41
17 Jul 50 40.5
16 Jul 50 40.5
15 Jul 50 40.5
15 Jul 50 40.5
14 Jul 50 40
14 Jul 50 40
13 Jul 50.5 40
12 Jul 50.5 40
12 Jul 50.5 40
11 Jul 49 40
10 Jul 49 40
09 Jul 49 40
08 Jul 49 40
07 Jul 49.5 40.5
07 Jul 49.5 40.5
06 Jul 49 41
05 Jul 49 40
04 Jul 49 40
03 Jul 49 40
02 Jul 49 40
01 Jul 49.5 40.5
30 Jun 49.5 40.5
30 Jun 49.5 40.5
30 Jun 49.5 40.5
29 Jun 50 41
28 Jun 49 41
27 Jun 49.5 40
26 Jun 49.5 40
25 Jun 50 41
24 Jun 50 41
23 Jun 49.5 40
23 Jun 49.5 40
22 Jun 50 41
22 Jun 50 41
21 Jun 50 41
20 Jun 50 41
19 Jun 50 41
18 Jun 50.5 41
17 Jun 50 41
16 Jun 50 41
16 Jun 50 41
15 Jun 49 41
14 Jun 49.5 41.5
13 Jun 49 41
12 Jun 49 41
11 Jun 49 41.5
10 Jun 49 42
09 Jun 49 42
08 Jun 49 42
07 Jun 49 42
06 Jun 49 42
05 Jun 49 42
04 Jun 48.5 42
03 Jun 49 42
03 Jun 49 42
03 Jun 49 42
02 Jun 48 41
02 Jun 48 41
01 Jun 48 42
01 Jun 48 42
31 May 48 41.5
30 May 48 42.5
29 May 48 42.5
28 May 48 42.5
27 May 48 42
26 May 48 42
25 May 48 42
24 May 48 42
23 May 48 42.5
22 May 48 42.5
21 May 48 42.5
20 May 48 42.5
19 May 48 43
19 May 48 43
18 May 49 44
17 May 49 44
16 May 48.5 43.5
15 May 48.5 43.5
14 May 49 43
14 May 49 43
13 May 48 43
12 May 47 43
11 May 47.5 42.5
10 May 47.5 42.5
09 May 47 42
08 May 47.5 42
07 May 47.5 42
06 May 47.5 42
05 May 48 42
04 May 48 42
03 May 47 42
02 May 47.5 41.5
01 May 48 42
30 Apr 47.5 41.5
29 Apr 48 42
28 Apr 48 42
28 Apr 48 42
27 Apr 48.5 42
26 Apr 48.5 42
25 Apr 48.5 42
24 Apr 48 42
23 Apr 48 42
22 Apr 48 42
21 Apr 48 42
20 Apr 48 43
19 Apr 48.5 42.5
18 Apr 48.5 42.5
17 Apr 48.5 42
16 Apr 48.5 42
15 Apr 48 42
14 Apr 48 42
13 Apr 48 42
12 Apr 47.5 42
11 Apr 47.5 42
10 Apr 47.5 42
09 Apr 47.5 42
08 Apr 48 42
07 Apr 48 42
07 Apr 48 42
07 Apr 48 42
06 Apr 49 42
06 Apr 49 42
06 Apr 49 42
05 Apr 48 42.5
04 Apr 48 43
03 Apr 48 43
02 Apr 48 43
01 Apr 48.5 44
31 Mar 49 45
30 Mar 49 45
29 Mar 49 45
28 Mar 49 45
27 Mar 49 45
26 Mar 49 45
25 Mar 49 44
24 Mar 49 43
24 Mar 49 43
23 Mar 50 44
22 Mar 50 44
21 Mar 52 42
20 Mar 52 43
19 Mar 52 43
18 Mar 52 42
17 Mar 52 42
16 Mar 52 43
15 Mar 52 43
14 Mar 52 43
13 Mar 52 43
12 Mar 52 43
11 Mar 51 43
10 Mar 50 43
09 Mar 51 42
08 Mar 51 42
07 Mar 50 43
06 Mar 49 45
05 Mar 49 45
04 Mar 49 45
03 Mar 49 45
02 Mar 49 45
01 Mar 49.5 45
29 Feb 50 45
28 Feb 50 44.5
27 Feb 50 44
26 Feb 49.5 44.5
25 Feb 50 45
24 Feb 50 45
23 Feb 50 45
22 Feb 50 44.5
21 Feb 50 44
20 Feb 50 44
19 Feb 50 44
18 Feb 50 44
17 Feb 51 44
17 Feb 51 44
16 Feb 50 43.5
15 Feb 50 43
14 Feb 50 43
13 Feb 50 43
12 Feb 49.5 45.5
11 Feb 50 44
10 Feb 49.5 43.5
09 Feb 49.5 43.5
08 Feb 49 44
07 Feb 49 44
06 Feb 49 44
05 Feb 50 46
04 Feb 50 45
03 Feb 50 45
02 Feb 50 45
01 Feb 50 44
31 Jan 50 44
30 Jan 50 44
29 Jan 50 44
28 Jan 50 44
27 Jan 50 45
26 Jan 50 45
25 Jan 50 45
24 Jan 50 46
23 Jan 50 46
23 Jan 50 46
22 Jan 50 44
21 Jan 50.5 45
20 Jan 50.5 45
19 Jan 50.5 45
18 Jan 48 46
17 Jan 48 46
16 Jan 48 46
15 Jan 48 46
14 Jan 48 46
13 Jan 48 46
12 Jan 48 46
11 Jan 48 46

62 days until Election day

The BBC poll of polls looks at the individual national polls from the last 14 days and creates trend lines using the median value, i.e. the value in the middle of the set of numbers.

See individual polls

By contrast, in 2016 the polls were far less clear and just a couple of percentage points separated Mr Trump and his then-rival Hillary Clinton at several points as election day neared.

Which states will decide this election?

As Mrs Clinton discovered in 2016, the number of votes you win is less important than where you win them.

Most states nearly always vote the same way, meaning that in reality there are just a handful of states where both candidates stand a chance of winning. These are the places where the election will be won and lost and are known as battleground states.

In the electoral college system the US uses to elect its president, each state is given a number of votes based on how many members it sends to Congress – House and Senate. A total of 538 electoral college votes are up for grabs, so a candidate needs to hit 270 to win.

As the map above shows, some battleground states have a lot more electoral college votes on offer than others so candidates often spend a lot more time campaigning in them.

Who’s leading in the battleground states?

At the moment, polls in the battleground states look good for Joe Biden, but there’s a long way to go and things can change very quickly, especially when Donald Trump’s involved.

The polls suggest Mr Biden is ahead in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin – three industrial states his Republican rival won by margins of less than 1% to clinch victory in 2016.

Scroll table to see more data

Click a column header to sort the table by that column in ascending or descending order
Arizona 48.0% 45.2% Trump by 3.6%
Florida 47.8% 46.7% Trump by 1.2%
Georgia 46.8% 46.5% Trump by 5.2%
Iowa 46.5% 46.0% Trump by 9.5%
Michigan 49.2% 44.0% Trump by 0.2%
Minnesota 50.4% 41.0% Clinton by 1.5%
Nevada 49.0% 43.7% Clinton by 2.4%
New Hampshire 51.8% 43.4% Clinton by 0.4%
North Carolina 47.1% 46.6% Trump by 3.7%
Ohio 49.0% 45.7% Trump by 8.2%
Pennsylvania 49.6% 43.9% Trump by 0.7%
Texas 45.2% 48.4% Trump by 9.1%
Virginia 51.3% 40.3% Clinton by 5.4%
Wisconsin 49.8% 44.3% Trump by 0.8%

Please update your browser to see full interactive

Source: Real Clear Politics, Associated Press. Last updated: 2 October

But it’s the battleground states where Mr Trump won big in 2016 that his campaign team will be most worried about. His winning margin in Iowa, Ohio and Texas was between 8-10% back then but it’s looking much closer in all three at the moment.

Betting markets, however, are certainly not writing Mr Trump off just yet. The latest odds give him about a 40% chance of winning on 3 November, which suggests some people expect the outlook to change a lot over the next few weeks.

But political analysts are less convinced about his chances of re-election. FiveThirtyEight, a political analysis website, says Mr Biden is “favoured” to win the election, while The Economist says he is “very likely” to beat Mr Trump.

Do polls show who won the first debate?

Image copyright
Getty Images

Donald Trump and Joe Biden went head-to-head in the first of three planned live TV debates on 29 September.

Many pundits called the debate for Mr Biden and the BBC’s Anthony Zurcher agreed, describing it as “the political equivalent of a food fight” with the former vice-president emerging as the man “least covered in slop”.

But what do the polls tell us? Well we’ll have to wait a few days before the bigger national and state-level polls reflect any changes, but we do have some data from more limited snap polls.

In a CBS News/YouGov poll of people in battleground states who watched the debate, 48% said Mr Biden was the winner while 41% went for Mr Trump – a similar split to the national polling averages. Nearly 70% of people said the debate made them feel “annoyed”.

A snap CNN poll gave Mr Biden a larger winning margin, with 60% of people saying he had won, compared to 28% for Mr Trump. But looking back to the first debate in 2016, a CNN poll then gave a similar winning margin to Hillary Clinton (62%-27%) and we know how that race ended.

Has coronavirus affected Trump’s numbers?

The coronavirus pandemic has dominated headlines in the US since the start of the year and the response to President Trump’s actions has been split predictably along party lines.

Support for his approach peaked in mid-March after he declared a national emergency and made $50 billion available to states to stop the spread of the virus. But it dropped after that point, even among Republicans.

The virus is likely to be at the forefront of voters’ minds and one leading model produced by experts at the University of Washington predicts the death toll will have risen to about 240,000 people by election day.

Mr Trump may be hoping Operation Warp Speed, his administration’s vaccine initiative, can produce an “October surprise” – a last-minute event that turns the election upside down.

The chief scientific adviser to the initiative has said it’s “extremely unlikely but not impossible” that a vaccine could be ready to distribute before 3 November.

Can we trust the polls?

It’s easy to dismiss the polls by saying they got it wrong in 2016 and President Trump frequently does exactly that. But it’s not entirely true.

Most national polls did have Hillary Clinton ahead by a few percentage points, but that doesn’t mean they were wrong, since she won three million more votes than her rival.

Pollsters did have some problems in 2016 – notably a failure to properly represent voters without a college degree – meaning Mr Trump’s advantage in some key battleground states wasn’t spotted until late in the race, if at all. Most polling companies have corrected this now.

But this year there’s even more uncertainty than normal due to the coronavirus pandemic and the effect it’s having on both the economy and how people will vote in November, so all polls should be read with some scepticism, especially this far out from election day.

What questions do you have about the US election?

The US election process can be confusing. The BBC is here to help make sense of it. Please put your questions below.

If you can’t see the form, you may need to view the site on a desktop.

In some cases, your question will be published, displaying your name, age and location as you provide it, unless you state otherwise. Your contact details will never be published. Please ensure you have read our terms & conditions and privacy policy.

Written and produced by Mike Hills and Will Dahlgreen. Design by Irene de la Torre Arenas. Development by Katie Hassell, Marcos Gurgel, Steven Connor and Shilpa Saraf.



Source link

US election 2020 polls: Who is ahead – Trump or Biden?
Scroll to top