Analyzing the Presidential Election Swing States Polls, Odds, Projections

Analyzing the Presidential Election Swing States Polls, Odds, Projections

The United States Presidential election is certainly no popularity contest. In two of the last five elections, the popular vote winner lost the Electoral College, and thus the presidency. Donald Trump, despite losing the popular vote by about three million, won the 2016 election because he flipped four states that voted for Barack Obama in 2012: Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. 

He won the E.C. by the slimmest of margins, a total of about 77,000 votes in the states that made the difference. As we look ahead to November, let’s take a look at who’s projected to win in the swing states- Trump or presumptive Demorcratic nominee Joe Biden.

joe biden

The general polling, most of which has Biden up by just under double digits is important, but the swing state polling is where it’s really at. Online casinos in the U.S. are shifting their efforts to include online betting as part of their gaming portfolio, in time for the election. Next summer and fall will be interesting, as more sports bettors will be looking elsewhere for action while the games remain on hiatus. With almost the entire American sports world on pause, those who typically bet on sports are now wagering on politics or entertaintment. Some are playing the stock market instead. The real action will be in/on the swing states, sometimes referred to as the “battleground states” or “purple states.”

The best central hub on the internet for following the Electoral College race in as it has an interactive map with the latest state by state polling. It also shows each state’s winners back to 1992. Of the four aforementioned states that Trump turned red last time out, all but Florida, which is too close to call, are expected to turn back blue. Biden is up by 7 points in the most recent Michigan poll, and it’s a state that he could solidify, should he pick their Governor, Gretchen Whitmer, as his running mate. Just like in Michigan (16 electoral votes), the bookies favor Biden in Pennsylvania (his home state, worth 20 EVs) and Wisconsin (10 EVs).

The polls in each state mirror the odds, and vice versa. In recent presidential elections, Florida (29 EVs) and/or Ohio (20 EVs) have been extremely decisive, and they’ll factor in big time this November. Both states are really tight right now, but there is actually a path to the presidency for Biden should he lose both.

Colorado (9 EVs) and Virginia (13 EVs) have been swing states in recent elections, but both are solidly blue according to the latest odds and polls. Elsewhere, Arizona, which hasn’t voted Democrat since Bill Clinton in 1996, conveys a current 6% point lead for Biden. And Georgia, as “Dixie” as a state can get is actually in play. In a state that hasn’t gone blue since 1992, the most recent poll actually has Biden up by a point! With the exception of Virginia or Florida, it’s extremely rare to see a Democrat win a state that was once in the Confederacy.


All in all, Trump’s only path to another Electoral College victory lays in holding the entire line of purple states from ’16. There are no solidly blue states from last time out/recent elections turning into battleground territory for him right now.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports, which is partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly contributes to WGN TVSports IllustratedChicago Now and SB Nation.

You can follow Banks, a former writer for Chicago Tribune.comon Twitter and his cat on Instagram.

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