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US Election key battlegrounds: The FOUR key states to watch in Trump vs Biden race
October 14, 2020
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Joe Biden and Donald Trump are currently neck-and-neck in key states which could swing the outcome of the 2020 election. 2020 has been a year of considerable hardship for the US, with coronavirus killing hundreds of thousands and mass civil unrest taking place across all 50 states.
American’s go to the polls in a different way to Brits, with a certain number of seats in the Electoral College assigned to each state according to its population.
Usually, the candidate with the most votes tends to win the election – but this was not the case in 2016.
In 2016, more than 65 million voters cast ballots for then-candidate Hillary Clinton, three million more than the current president Donald Trump.
But she lost the Electoral College vote, collecting only 227 to Mr Trump’s 304 electoral votes.
This is where swing states come in – the key players in deciding the outcome of the most hotly contested election in recent history.
Ms Clinton lost several key swing states in her 2016 run, costing her the highest office in the world.
These states are much less predictable than stalwart blue or red seats like California and Alabama, which have almost always voted Democrat and Republican respectively.
Nationally, Mr Biden currently holds a ten-point lead on the incumbent – but some are still set to swing either way.
What are the key states in 2020? And who will win in them?
Mr Trump will travel to Iowa tonight and North Carolina tomorrow, where the current President has made ground in the betting since Monday.
Betfair spokesperson Sam Rosbottom said: “Donald Trump is making gains in a number of key battleground states following his return to the campaign trail this week.
“His odds have improved in Florida from 6/4 to 11/10 and then in Pennsylvania, 100/30 to 9/5, all in 48 hours.
“The President, a 2/1 outsider to be re-elected, needs to pick his battles wisely and focus on the states he feels he has the best chance of winning to really close the gap on the 1/2 outright favourite Joe Biden.”
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But which states could be make or break for Mr Trump?
Georgia – Georgia has not voted for a Democratic candidate since 1992, and is currently showing neck-and-neck polling between the two candidates.
A former Republican stronghold, it holds a valuable 16 electoral college seats.
Ohio – A republican president has never won a US election without taking Ohio, categorising it not only as a swing state but as a must-win for overall victory.
Since 1944, Ohioans have selected the losing candidate only once, voting for Republican Richard Nixon over Democrat John F. Kennedy in 1960.
Mr Trump managed to take the state by an unusually comfortable margin of more than eight percentage points in 2016, but things are looking less favourable for the President this time around, with Mr Biden edging ahead of his Republican competitor.
Florida – The sunshine state has long been a thorn in the side of wannabe presidents.
The southern state has an incredibly diverse voter base, made up in part of the traditional American south alongside diverse metropolitan areas.
Donald Trump won by small margins in all of these states – making it absolutely crucial that he retains them if he wants a second term.
As it currently stands, Mr Biden holds a competitive edge in all swing states, with a couple of toss-ups making the outcome somewhat unpredictable.
Florida Winner – Betfair odds: Donald Trump – 6/4 → 11/10 Joe Biden – 8/11 → 4/5
Pennsylvania – earlier this year, Mr Trump was making noticeable waves on Mr Biden in the eastern state of Pennsylvania, at one point cutting Joe Biden’s lead in half.
But now the progress has been stalled and even backslid, with Mr Biden up by seven points.
Pennsylvania Winner – Betfair odds: Donald Trump – 100/30 → 9/5 Joe Biden – 1/4 → 2/5