Trump Needs to Conquer Toss-Up States to Win

Even then, he'll have some work to do, according to latest forecasts
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 30, 2020 12:02 PM CDT
Trump's Essential Task: Win the Toss-Up States
President Trump during a campaign rally on Thursday in Tampa, Fla.   (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

It's the last weekend to go before the election, and various outlets are providing a late look at where the race stands. The big picture will sound familiar: Joe Biden is the consensus favorite, but President Trump still has a path to victory. At, the site puts Biden's chances of victory at 89% and Trump's at 11%. Coverage:

  • One view: In the final map from NPR, Biden has a clear advantage in the race to 270 electoral votes. In states that lean toward or are likely to go to a certain candidate, Biden is up 279-125. "Trump's straightest remaining path to victory calls for him to capture nearly all the tossup states—not impossible, since most have long histories of voting GOP—and then capture PA," tweets Steve Inskeep. On the flip side, he notes that some traditional red states have become toss-ups (notably Texas) or even blue, meaning Biden has a chance of going higher than 279. NPR's toss-up states: Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Iowa, Ohio, Arizona, and Texas. Also a toss-up is Maine's 2nd Congressional District; the state isn't winner-take-all.

  • Toss-ups: The nonpartisan Cook Political Report has just added Texas to its own toss-up category. "To win the election, Trump will need to win every state we currently have in the Toss Up column: Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Iowa, Ohio, Maine's 2nd (congressional district), as well as the newest addition, Texas," writes Amy Walter. But he'd still have to take another two states that currently lean Democratic: Arizona, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Nevada, or New Hampshire.
  • Assessment: "It's not impossible, but you have to squint to see how Biden's lead won't hold up on Election Day," writes Steven Shepard at Politico. He finds that polls have tightened only "slightly" in four battleground states (Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania), not much at all in Michigan, and in Biden's favor in Wisconsin. Separately, FiveThirtyEight takes an in-depth look at what's happening in the battleground states.
  • Unless ... the polls are dead wrong because of "shy" Trump voters? Read about that possibility here.
  • A Florida issue: Democrats are worried about low turnout in Miami, reports Politico. So far, Republicans have been turning out to vote in bigger numbers, and Democrats are showing up at lower rates than at this point in 2016. The Biden campaign's decision to scrap door-to-door canvassing is seen as one part of the explanation.
(Read more Election 2020 stories.)

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