Democratic Party presidential candidate Joe Biden still leads President Donald Trump in six battleground states that will likely determine the election in a down-to-the-wire contest Nov. 3.
Biden is ahead in polls taken in Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Florida, Arizona and North Carolina. Trump's wins in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania in 2016 gave him the Electoral College votes he needed to defeat Hillary Clinton. A Trump defeat in Florida, now his home state, will make it all but impossible for him to win the presidency.
The final preelection Reuters/Ipsos opinion polls released Sunday shows Biden widening his lead over Trump in these six swing states. The polls cover the period Oct. 21 to Nov. 1.
Biden's lead is the largest in three swing states Trump must absolutely win for reelection: Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. His edge over Trump in Michigan and Wisconsin is 10 percentage points and seven points in Pennsylvania.
Biden has led Trump in all these states in each Reuters/Ipsos weekly poll beginning mid-September. His leads have also increased in each state over the past two weeks.
Biden has a 2-point lead over Trump in Florida and a 1-point edge in Arizona and North Carolina. In Michigan 52% says it is voting for Biden and 42% for Trump. Wisconsin is 53%-43% for Biden and Pennsylvania is divided 51%-44% for Biden.
In Florida the split is 49%-47% for Biden and Arizona is 48%-46%.
Things are close in North Carolina at Biden 49% and Trump 48%
Biden's lead over Trump is reflected in poll-of-polls results gathered by both RealClearPolitics and FiveThirtyEight. The RealClearPolitics general election polling average reveals a 7.2% edge for Biden compared with 7.5% last week. The national polling tracker from FiveThirtyEight sees Biden with an 8.9% lead over Trump compared with 9% last week.
Trump's response to the COVID-19 pandemic is the dominant issue in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. As of Sunday, the U.S. had 9.1 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and 210,000 deaths, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In Michigan and Wisconsin, 52% of likely voters said Biden would be better at handling the pandemic. This number is 51% in Pennsylvania. In all three states, 40% of likely voters said Trump was best suited for the job.