Electoral College 2020: Trump or Biden to win?

By Richard Hansen


WITH a week to go until Election Day 2020, former Vice President Joe Biden holds a handy lead over President Donald Trump in both the national popular vote and in key swing state. 

Reputable pollsters like Nate Silver from fivethirtyeight.com give the president a mere 12% chance at re-election while the Economist electoral forecast gives Donald Trump a paltry 5% chance at winning the electoral college.  

Despite these data-based forecasting models, many political pundits are extremely hesitant to write the president off. 

There is still an element of PTSD going around in political circles after 2016 when Donald Trump surprised almost everyone by losing the national popular vote but comprehensively defeating Hillary Clinton in the Electoral College.

With this in mind, we’re taking the opportunity to update our predictions for key swing states and suggest who we think might come out on top next Tuesday.  If you want to read our previous forecast for comparison you can check it out here.

Arizona- 11 electoral votes

The Grand Canyon state has routinely been a reliable one for the Republicans and has not voted for a Democrat since 1996.  The changing demographics in the state over the last few years have meant it has moved into play for the Democrats.

It is also important to recognise that Donald Trump was no friend of the late Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona, who famously voted down Trumps rollback of the Affordable Care Act in 2017 just prior to his death.  McCain remains beloved in Arizona and his widow Cindy has recently endorsed Joe Biden. 

Polls in Arizona have also shown a small but remarkably durable lead for Biden over a long period of time.  It is for these reasons we think Biden will move the state into his column.

Predicted winner – Biden

Florida – 29 electoral votes

The sunshine state has an incredibly diverse mix of people, cultures, and political opinions. It is a vital battleground state particularly for the president who realistically has no path to 270 electoral votes if he loses here. It would be a real humiliation for him to lose his adopted home state – where he is registered to vote.

Although Biden has an advantage in terms of early voting and advertising dollars in one of the country’s more expensive media markets, Trump absolutely needs to win here if he is to have any chance of re-election. 

Polling is moving in the right direction for the president and we feel he will come out just on top, especially since Republican’s holding state-wide office may help him in the event of a recount.

Predicted winner – Trump

Georgia- 16 electoral votes

Georgia is another state with changing demographics and has become in-play in 2020. Donald Trump’s poor polling with suburban women has also helped make this state competitive this cycle.

This race is a true toss-up with the most recent reputable poll shows it a dead heat 49-49. We believe this will be a squeaker, but Biden will just come out on top, carried to victory by strong turnout of African Americans and ex-Trump voters from the Atlanta suburbs.

Predicted winner – Biden

Iowa – 6 electoral votes

Iowa, who twice voted for Obama shifted heavily to the right in 2016 and Trump carried the state by almost double digits. A competitive senate race where Republican Joni Ernst is struggling to hold on, Trump’s botched response to the pandemic and Biden’s centrist policy platform has seen the state shift back towards the Democrats this time around.

Predicted winner – Biden

Maine 2nd – 1 electoral vote

Maine, is one of two states which award its electoral college votes by congressional district, and is somewhat fickle when choosing its representatives.

Republican Senator Susan Collins faces a tough re-election fight largely due to her support in confirming Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court in 2018. However, it would be unlike the Pine Tree state to give unfettered power to one political party.

We believe that while the state at large will support Joe Biden and will elect a Democratic Senator, but the 2nd congressional district will support Trump.

Predicted winner – Trump

Michigan – 16 electoral votes

Michigan was carried by Trump in 2016 by the most razor thin of margins. It is one of a number of states which the president must hold on to if he is to stand any chance at re-election.

The past four years has seen continued manufacturing downturn in Michigan along with the election of a Democratic Governor. Coronavirus has hit Michigan hard, and Biden has built up a lead in the polling.

Predicted winner – Biden

Nebraska 2nd – 1 electoral vote

Like Maine, Nebraska allocates its electoral votes by congressional district. Nebraska’s second district is mostly made up of the suburbs outside Omaha and Clinton was close to winning here in 2016. Trump’s languishing support among suburban women will likely deliver this electoral vote for the Democrats.

Predicted winner – Biden

Nevada – 6 electoral votes

Nevada was narrowly won by Clinton in 2016 and while the Trump team have been signalling confidence in their chances in the Silver State, no reputable polling shares their optimism. Biden has held a significant and durable lead throughout the entire campaign, and we expect him to carry this into election day.

Predicted winner – Biden

North Carolina – 15 electoral votes

North Carolina has shown a small and steady lead for the former Vice President. Early voting is particularly prevalent in the Tar Heel state and Biden will have already banked a large proportion of this lead.

Importantly, this is one state where we are likely to see results fairly early on election night. A comfortable Biden victory could spell trouble for the president elsewhere, while a close race or a Trump win may be a signal for a very long night.

Predicted winner – Biden

Ohio – 18 electoral votes

This state is a traditional bellwether, voting with the winner of the election in every election since 1964.

Trump carried it in 2016 as it moved sharply to the right as blue-collar workers switched from Obama to Trump in droves. We predict the result will be much closer this time, but Ohio is the most right-leaning of all the rust belt states and we believe the president will just hold on here. If he does not, he has no chance of victory.

Predicted winner – Trump

Pennsylvania – 20 electoral votes

Pennsylvania is another critical state in the rust belt which Trump carried in 2016 after years of Democratic support. Biden will be looking to take back the Keystone state and is well placed to do so with his personal appeal, and broad-based policy strategy.

Polling has shown a sizeable lead for Biden. We believe Biden will carry this state, which arguably will provide the “tipping point” for him to receive 270 electoral votes and the presidency.

Predicted winner – Biden

Texas – 38 electoral votes

I cannot believe we are talking about Texas as a swing state, yet with its changing demographics and personal unpopularity of the president, the Democrats find themselves in with a shot in the Lone Star state.

The 2018 senate race between Ted Cruz and Beto O’Rourke almost caused a monumental upset for the democrats and we expect Texas to trend more towards them in the future. Only in the event of a huge landslide is Biden likely to win here, and while it is encouraging to see him expanding his electoral map we believe it will likely be a bridge too far for the Democrats.

Predicted winner – Trump

Wisconsin – 10 electoral votes

In Wisconsin we have the final piece of the rust belt which Hillary Clinton famously neglected in 2016 to her peril. Biden’s personal appeal, broad policy platform and Trump’s botched pandemic response will carry the democrats to victory here. As Michigan and Pennsylvania go, Wisconsin tends to follow.

Predicted winner – Biden

If these predictions remain correct into election day, Joe Biden will comfortably become the 46th President of the United States as President Trump becomes the first president to lose re-election since George H. W. Bush in 1992.

It is important to remember however, we may not have a winner on election night due to huge influx in mail-in voting and various states inability to process ballots until after election day.  You can read more about this here.

We will be live streaming the whole event from 2200 GMT/1800 ET on our YouTube page and will be raising money for Safe Passage UK- a charity who help refugees access safe and legal routes to asylum. You can donate by clicking here.  


Featured Image: Pixabay

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