Special Report

Who Would Win in Battleground States If the Presidential Election Was Today

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6. Michigan
> Electoral votes: 16
> Who would win today: Joe Biden; +4.2 point avg. spread
> Winner in 2016 election: Donald Trump; +0.2 point
> Nov. 2016 voter participation: 61.8% (13th highest)

The November 2016 presidential election marked the first time in nearly two decades that Michigan’s electoral votes went to a Republican. This year, the state is one of several in the Midwest that stands out as a closely contested political battleground. Both Trump, who recently visited Saginaw County, a blue collar stronghold, and Biden, who recently spoke at the United Auto Workers headquarters in Warren, have been campaigning strategically for the state’s 16 electoral votes that could prove to be critical in winning the presidency. Most polls are showing that Biden has a slight lead in the state.

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7. Minnesota
> Electoral votes: 10
> Who would win today: Joe Biden; +10.2 point avg. spread
> Winner in 2016 election: Hillary Clinton; +1.5 points
> Nov. 2016 voter participation: 65.3% (5th highest)

Minnesota’s electoral votes have not gone to a Republican candidate in nearly five decades. That may soon change, however, as the state has moved to the right in recent years. Though major cities in Minnesota are largely left of center, Hillary Clinton won the state in 2016 by a slim 1.5 point margin.

Trump has made several campaign-style visits to Minnesota as president, presumably with the goal of rallying the state’s rural conservative voting bloc. To win the state, Trump will need a decisive victory in rural Minnesota — including the Iron Range, an area where iron mining and production is an economic pillar. Stil, Biden leads in the statewide polls show, and as of mid-September, his lead appeared to be widening.

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8. Nebraska 2nd District
> Electoral votes: 1
> Who would win today: N/A
> Winner in 2016 election: Donald Trump; +2.2 points
> Nov. 2016 voter participation: 63.4% (9th highest)

Along with Maine, Nebraska is one of only two states that does not allocate all of its electoral votes to the statewide winner. As a result, Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District, which covers the Omaha area, is up for grabs this election. The area, which went to Obama in 2008, has only one electoral vote, however, and will not likely be a campaign hotspot for either candidate.

While Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District could realistically go to either party this year, the rest of the state reliably votes Republican.

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9. Nevada
> Electoral votes: 6
> Who would win today: Joe Biden; +6.0 point avg. spread
> Winner in 2016 election: Hillary Clinton; +2.4 points
> Nov. 2016 voter participation: 53.5% (12th lowest)

Since Republican candidate George W. Bush won the White House in 2004 with the help of Nevada’s electoral votes, the state has gone to the Democratic candidate every presidential election. In 2016, Clinton won the state by a small 2.4 point margin, and while Democrats have a slight lead in the polls going into the 2020 election, Trump could still walk away with six electoral votes from Nevada this November. Should the Republican ticket take the state this year, it will likely be the result of low overall voter turnout, but strong participation among the state’s large and growing retirement age population.

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10. New Hampshire
> Electoral votes: 4
> Who would win today: Joe Biden; +5.5 point avg. spread
> Winner in 2016 election: Hillary Clinton; +0.4 point
> Nov. 2016 voter participation: 66.9% (3rd highest)

New Hampshire is the only state in the New England region that polls show could foreseeably go to Trump this year. New Hampshire is home to a large rural conservative voting bloc, and Clinton won the state’s four electoral votes in 2016 by a razor thin 0.4 point margin.

Despite its status as a swing state, neither Trump nor Biden have allocated substantial campaign resources to New Hampshire — likely because the four electoral votes up for grabs will contribute very little to the 270 ultimately needed to win. Currently, Biden has an advantage in the polls in New Hampshire.