This year’s battleground States, the rise of early voting, and the final poll of polls of the 2020 US Election.


First published in November 2020.


Early Voting Doubles

According to a project collecting early voting data since 2008, the number of ballots cast early in person or through mail-in has doubled in the 2020 presidential election compared with 2016 numbers.

As of November 2, 94 million people have already voted in the United States. More than 100 million people could end up voting early in the 2020 election.

That number would be the equivalent of three quarters of all ballots counted in the last presidential election in 2016. It remains to be seen if the coronavirus pandemic has merely shifted a large part of votes to mail-in and early voting. Yet, there is also a chance for voter turnout to increase this year.

The chart shows early votes recorded as of election day. (Due to reporting delays and many states accepting mail-in ballots until several days after the election, the figures do not represent the final total of early votes cast.)

Number of total votes and votes cast early in U.S. presidential elections (in millions). | Statista

The Battleground States

Outside of Democratic and Republican strongholds, there are some battleground states (also known as swing states), in which the U.S. presidential election will be decided today. Whoever takes the most electoral votes from swing states has the best chances of winning the presidency.

Texas and Florida play a key role because they have a particularly large number of votes in the Electoral College.

According to polling averages compiled by RealClearPolitics, Joe Biden is continuing to catch up in the Lone Star State, with two recent individual polls seeing him tie with incumbent President Donald Trump after one October poll by the Dallas Morning News even putting the Democrat in the lead. For the purpose of our chart, which shows average poll numbers, Trump is still ahead in Texas, but by a margin that is decreasing.

Biden is not only catching up in Texas, but is also extended his lead in Wisconsin. While he is still ahead in a several other battleground states, his lead has been decreasing in the lead-up to election day in these places, notably in the crucial state of Florida.

Ohio is one of the closest polling states, currently going to Trump according to averages, if by a razor-thin margin. Georgia, where numbers are equally close, currently sees Biden taking a narrow lead.

Average poll margins in favor of Donald Trump or Joe Biden in major swing states in the 2020 presidential election. | Statista

Trump vs. Biden: The timeline

A timeline of the average voter favorability toward Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and incumbent Donald Trump shows how, head-to-head, Biden has held a significant lead over Trump for all of 2020.

Over the last couple of months, Biden has enjoyed one of his largest favorability leads over Trump, averaging around 7-10% higher than the current president. Even when Biden wasn’t the favorite to win the Democratic nomination in January and February, he still held a sizable lead over Trump.

Biden’s average lead over Trump had steadied to around 7%. That is one of the largest polling leads from a challenger in history. Other historic factors, like the country’s record 80+ million early and absentee ballots already cast, seem to favor a Biden victory over Trump.

Still, one of the big deciding factors for Biden will be whether remaining Democrats flock to the polls in as large of numbers as Republicans today.

If voting blocs in swing states like Florida, Texas and Pennsylvania favor Trump, there are still statistical chances for the current president to capture enough Electoral College votes to retain his job.

There may be only just a few hours left before we get to know the name of the next president of the United States.

Percentage of voters who would vote for each candidate in 2020. | Statista


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[This piece was first published here, here and here & written by Katharina Buchholz, Data Journalist at Statista and Willem Roper, Editor at Statista.]

(Cover: Screenshot of the second debate that opposed Donald Trump to Joe Biden.)

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