In a repeat of 2016, just a few states could decide who wins the 2020 presidential election. According to the CBS News Battleground Tracker, 13 states could hold the keys to this year’s election. The tracker looks at the importance of individual states in the electoral college, rather than the national popular vote, and whoever gets at least 270 of those votes will become the next president. Here are the thirteen states to watch:


The latest CBS News Battleground Tracker poll has Biden leading 51% to Trump’s 46%, with a six-point margin of error.

Trump won the state by roughly 3.5 percentage points in 2016. Arizona has voted Republican in every presidential election since 1952, with the exception of 1996.


Biden and Trump are even in Iowa. Trump won Iowa by 10 points in 2016 and still attracts voters without a college degree and White evangelicals in the state. However, President Obama won in both 2008 and 2012.


Ohio is crucial in securing the presidency, as the winner of Ohio also won the last 14 presidential elections. Biden and Mr. Trump are in a near-dead heat in Ohio. According to the Battleground Tracker, Trump and Biden each have 49%, with a 5.9-point margin of error.

North Carolina

Biden leads 50% to Trump’s 48%, within the 5.9 margin of error. In 2016, Trump won North Carolina by nearly 4 points over Hillary Clinton.

In North Carolina, mail-in ballots postmarked by 5 p.m. on Election Day will be accepted until November 12. [READ MORE]


Biden is leading 50% to Trump’s 47%, with a margin of error of 5.9 points. Every poll in Georgia has the race too close to call. Trump won Georgia by five points in 2016. Trump maintains the support of non-college White voters and men in the state, while Biden has strong favorability among women and Black voters.


Currently, Biden leads Trump 51% to 48%, with a 5.9-point margin of error. Trump won Florida four years ago by just under 113,000 votes.

Alachua County, which includes Gainesville and the University of Florida, is a Democratic stronghold in the state and voted for Hillary Clinton over Trump in 2016 by a margin of 58% to 36%.

Last month, dozens of voters in Alachua County reported receiving emails from the right-wing group the Proud Boys, threatening to “come after” them unless they vote for Trump.


Biden is up by nine percentage points in Nevada. The state has gone Democratic since 2004, but Trump narrowly lost in 2016.

Biden has strong support of Hispanic voters, a group that made up nearly one in five Nevada voters in 2016. Polls show Trump, who is seen as a strong leader by Republicans and Independents, is ahead of Biden when it comes to the state’s economy.


In 2016, Trump won Texas by about nine points. Now Trump narrowly leads Biden 49% to 48%, with a 5.9-point margin of error.

Democrats made major gains in the 2018 election and early voter turnout in Texas surpassed 2016’s total voter turnout. Six in 10 Hispanic likely voters in the state, young and old, currently support Biden.


Biden leads in Minnesota with 53% to Trump’s 44%, with a margin of error of six points.

Minnesota has not chosen a Republican for president since 1972, but Trump narrowly lost the state in 2016.


Biden is leading Wisconsin by five points, with a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points. Biden has advantage over Trump with key groups like men, White, non-college voters and seniors.


Biden remains ahead by six points in Michigan, with a margin of error of 5.9 points. Trump narrowly won in 2016 by just 10,000 votes. Turning the state blue is crucial to Democrats to win the White House.


Biden leads 53% to Trump’s 46%, with a 5.9-point margin of error. The prize for winning Pennsylvania is 20 electoral college votes. Trump won Pennsylvania by less than 1% in 2016.

Winning Pennsylvania may again come down to the state’s blue-collar workers — specifically those in the state’s booming fracking industry. Approximately 32,000 Pennsylvania workers are employed in the fracking and natural gas industry.

New Hampshire

Biden leads Trump, 54% to 43%, with a 6.1% margin of error. Trump narrowly lost New Hampshire in 2016.


Why We Need To Know:

When citizens cast their ballots for president in the popular vote, they elect a slate of electors. Electors then cast the votes that decide who becomes president of the United States. If you don’t vote, you’re denying yourself a representative in the Electoral College. Until the Electoral College is abolished, it’s necessary to stay engaged in the process to have electoral votes align with the popular vote in an election.



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