Miami, Florida: Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has maintained a commanding national lead over President Donald Trump in the final US election polls, as well as smaller leads in the most important battleground states.
If the state polls were underestimating Trump’s support by the same amount as 2016, Biden would still be far enough ahead to win the required 270 Electoral College votes on November 3. The President would require a bigger polling miss than four years ago to win a second term.
The final NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released on Monday (AEDT) showed Biden with a 10 point national lead.
The final polls by Siena College and The New York Times showed Biden leading by between three and 11 points in four of the most competitive states. These polls showed Biden leading Trump by three points in Florida, four points in Arizona, six points in Pennsylvania and 11 points in Wisconsin – all states Trump won narrowly in 2016.
These results somewhat eased Democrats’ anxiety after the respected Selzer poll released the previous night showed Trump ahead by seven points in Iowa. The same result by this pollster before the 2016 election was later seen as a portent of Hillary Clinton’s poor performance with white, working class voters across the midwest.
The polls are painting a more mixed picture in Florida than elsewhere, with most experts expecting the margin of victory to be two percentage points or less for either candidate.
The final ABC News/Washington Post poll showed Trump ahead by two points in Florida but Biden winning by seven points in Pennsylvania.
The final Reuters/ Ipsos poll showed Biden ahead by six points in Pennsylvania and by 10 points in Wisconsin.
The polls show only around 3 per cent of voters remain undecided, with a similar percentage supporting a third-party candidate. Over 93 million Americans – 67 per cent of the total turnout four years ago – have participated in the election.
Biden is focusing his final days of campaigning on Pennsylvania, a state where Democrats feel less confident than in other “rust belt” battlegrounds such as Michigan and Wisconsin.
The Biden campaign announced that Biden would hold an election-eve campaign rally with pop star Lady Gaga in Pittsburgh, the second most populous city in Pennsylvania. This follows two Biden events in Philadelphia on Monday (AEDT).
The Biden campaign also announced a surprise visit to Ohio on election eve, a state Trump won comfortably in 2016 but where recent polls show a close race.
Meanwhile, Trump is criss-crossing the country with five back-to-back rallies scheduled in Michigan, Iowa, North Carolina, Georgia and Florida on Monday (AEDT).
Biden has a 7.2 percentage point lead in the RealClearPolitics national average, down from a peak of 10.3 points after the first presidential debate but more than twice as large as Clinton’s final polling lead in 2016.
Several Republican-leaning polling firms continue to show far better results for Trump, and in many cases election-winning leads in the battleground states.
Rasmussen Reports and the Trafalgar Group, for example, show Trump ahead by four points and three points respectively in Arizona. Rasmussen, whose polls are frequently cited by Trump on social media, shows Biden winning the popular vote by just three points.
These firms both proved among the most accurate in 2016 but have had a more mixed record in recent election cycles.